Lloyd’s Register’s Hellenic Advisory Committee (HAC) met November 19, 2009 at the Yacht Club of Greece. Chairman, Capt. Panagiotis Tsakos summed up the proceedings: "This has been another good committee meeting. We are facing a new era - the issues we see, particularly the carbon challenge, have never been experienced before. Never have we needed class so much, never before has class needed shipowners as much as today. We have resolved to share our issues with each other and help each other address the challenges we face." The Committee members emphasised their concern that shipping was engaging with the prospect of market-based measures to combat climate change when they felt the industry needs to be prioritising technical solutions to reduce emissions from shipping.
The Committee’s agenda included a regulatory update with particular emphasis on the entry into force of the EC Directive (2005/33/EC) relating to low sulphur fuel; a review of the orderbook situation – particularly in China; and a briefing of the main points from the recently held Hellenic Technical Committee (HTC).
Newbuilding quality was raised as an issue – with marine equipment and component supply chains under pressure, the committee looked for assurance that Lloyd’s Register could provide support when needed in assessing shipyard quality. Apostolos Poulovassilis, Regional Marine Manager EMEA, said: "Ensuring safety and quality is always our primary concern both at new construction stage or in-service. Many of our owners are looking to us to help them find operational efficiencies and continual improvement – far beyond compliance. But the downturn and financial difficulties may lead some operators to defer essential maintenance. Although compliance is the responsibility of the owner we feel class should play a pro-active role in this respect by first, and quickly, aiming to address issues through our Fleet Quality Management Programme before they become problems. So far as shipyards are concerned, we will continue to strengthen and make available the expert assessment of our shipyard project teams’ leading technical ability to support and guide owners involved with newbuildings."