Bureau Veritas Welcomes OCIMF Support

Friday, November 08, 2002
International lassification society Bureau Veritas says OCIMF is right to support moves towards higher common standards for tankers currently being developed by all leading class societies, and right to refuse to endorse the unilateral initiatives taken by ABS, DNV and LR alone. Yesterday Will Jenkins, vice chairman of OCIMF, praised the contributions of BV, GL, Class NK and the Russian Register and reiterated that OCIMF was willing to work with any organisation for quality and safety. Bernard Anne, head of BV's marine division says, "OCIMF wants quality tankers, which we fully support, and the support of its members for all our efforts is vital. It is obvious that the unilateral moves by ABS, DNV and LR to develop common scantlings are not a technical issue, but a commercial one. These three societies are trying to create a dominant market position. That will stifle competition and stifle innovation. We have already seen the consequences of overhasty moves in the bulk carrier field. It is obvious nonsense to suggest that by huddling together like spoilt children and trying to exclude other class majors these three societies can improve safety or quality for the world fleet. Our industry understands a lot about anti-trust and anti-competitive measures, and oil majors are always very careful to avoid any such collusion." Anne continued, "All the class majors have areas of expertise which they can contribute to developing common standards, and each can bring something to the table. If we treat this as it should be, as a technical issue, then the whole industry can move towards higher common standards, helped by the backing of OCIMF members. But if we split up into little groups and each go our own way, then we lose technical input, the result is not as good as it should be, and we end up with a distorted market." BV's position has been to work strongly with other IACS members to devise workable improvements to future designs and give practical guidance to yards and owners. "We fully support IACS, and also believe that it will be possible for IACS members to develop common basic scantlings," says Anne. "But this is not a question about unified IACS or not, it is a question of what is best for shipping. At the moment much of the action is about what is best for three societies, and that holds back efforts to find global answers to global problems. Let's stop this nonsense and all get round the table."

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