Interferry Seeks Ro-Ro Recruits to boost IMO Voice

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Trade association Interferry is mounting a membership drive with ro-ro operators among key targets in a further move to strengthen its representation at the International Maritime Organization. Interferry, which has had IMO consultative status since 2003, recently became an associate member of the influential International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and has just set up a regulatory committee to direct safety and environmental submissions by its newly expanded delegation.

Now the association – formed 35 years ago by passenger sector interests - is aiming for more ro-ro members after becoming increasingly involved in issues that also affect freight-only ferries. In March Interferry argued at the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 60th session that Energy Efficiency Design Index proposals - designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions – were based on calculations for trans-ocean shipping and penalised the specific power arrangements required for short-sea ro-pax and ro-ro cargo operations. The lobbying helped win a decision to allow another two years for the development of a workable EEDI formula for ferries.

Interferry CEO Len Roueche said,“Issues like this will impact on all types of ferry so it’s vital to have input from across the industry.  Our membership already includes major multi-purpose passenger and freight operators – like latest recruit Acciona Trasmediterranea of Spain - but reaching out to pure-freight carriers will strengthen the platform for putting forward universally viable solutions.”

Position papers on Interferry’s future IMO interventions will be overseen by the newly-formed regulatory committee.  As well as emissions, priority topics already identified include vessel and terminals security, sewage treatment, cold ironing and ship recycling. The committee includes three Interferry board members – chairman John Steen-Mikkelsen, COO of Scandlines; Jan-Eric Nilsson, chairman and CEO of Rederi AB Gotland; and Hakan Enlund, VP sales for shipbuilder STX Finland.

Other committee members include Mike Langley, newbuilding programme manager at P&O Ferries; Johan Roos, director of sustainability at Stena Rederi; Wilco van der Linden, business development director at Wartsila Ship Power/Ship Design; and John Waterhouse, a partner in the US-based Elliott Bay Design Group. Interferry has also established a more effective IMO delegation in which the CEO is now regularly supported by a range of expert personnel from its 220 member companies in 33 countries.

Underlining Interferry’s growing regulatory role, ICS marine director Peter Hinchliffe will review environmental issues as a special guest speaker at the association’s 35th anniversary conference in New York City in October. An expected 250 industry leaders will discuss ‘navigating through a new world economy’ in sessions covering emergency preparedness, access to finance, technical innovations, social communications media, emerging markets and the bottom line benefits of strong interior design.

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