BIMCO to Meet With Officials in Washington

Monday, September 16, 2002
BIMCO announced that it has arranged for meetings to take place this week with high ranking officials from the U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the State Department Visa Office, the U.S. Senate Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Sub-Committee, the U.S. House Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Sub-Committee, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, and the Department of Transportation. In an official statement, BIMCO’s President Michael Everard, said, “This is a very important visit to the U.S, not only for BIMCO and its members but for the entire shipping community.” He added, “There are a number of very important security issues currently under consideration in the U.S. which will have a direct impact on shipping and on trading with North America”. Everard continued, “Because BIMCO represents more than 65% of the world’s merchant fleet”, translating into more than 510 million tonnes deadweight, “our input is important in shaping these discussions”. “I will be joined in Washington by our President-Designate, Mr. C.C. Tung of OOCL, whose knowledge of the container industry is invaluable in these kinds of discussions, our U.S. Liaison Officer, Admiral William Kime (Ret.), and the President of the U.S. Chamber of Shipping, Mr. Joseph Cox. Also present will be BIMCO Secretary General, Truls W. L’orange and BIMCO Deputy Secretary-General, Ove C. Tvedt, who has been actively involved in U.S. maritime security issues for a number of years,” Michael Everard said. These meetings are a direct result of consultations held between BIMCO and a number of Washington officials earlier this year. Topping the agenda will be the recent joint industry appeal concerning U.S. security costs and procedures submitted by BIMCO on behalf of ISF, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and BIMCO. Everard went on to say that “BIMCO has a strong tradition of cooperating with various U.S. agencies. For instance, in 1998, this cooperation led to the signing of a Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard. The purpose of this Agreement is to find non-regulatory approaches to enhance safety, complementing the activities of existing federal advisory committees. This Agreement provides BIMCO with unique opportunities to influence matters to the benefit of our members”. Furthermore, in 1989, BIMCO signed the Sea Carrier Initiative Agreement (SCIA) with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs authorities. This Agreement was established in response to the severe penalties enforced by the U.S. authorities when drugs were inadvertently carried onboard merchant ships. These are just two examples of a close cooperation between BIMCO, representing the maritime industry, and U.S. government agencies. BIMCO is therefore confident that the meetings it has arranged in Washington will address current concerns and identify possible solutions. After the meetings in Washington, the BIMCO delegation will continue on to New York where its Executive Committee will meet. A conference entitled “Shipping in Change” will also be held on 19 September.

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