Shipping Needs Global Legislation, Not Unilateral Measures

press release
Friday, March 16, 2012
ICS Chairman Spyros M. Polemis

Balancing environmental aspirations with economic realities, but also with political realities is not easy, ICS Chairman Spyros M Polemis is set to tell delegates at the influential CMA Conference in Connecticut this week.


In a speech entitled “Balancing Environmental Aspirations With Economic Realities,” Mr Polemis will:

• highlight the danger of aspirational legislation
• stress that shipping is a global industry requiring global rules
• urge legislators to ensure their proposed environmental legislation is compatible with technical and economic realities


Urging US States not to implement their own rules, Mr Polemis is set to point out: “If major trading nations such as the US adopt rules that are at variance to those agreed by governments at IMO we have chaos and if individual US States decide to implement their own rules in conflict with Federal requirements, it is even worse – we actually run the risk of double chaos.”


In particular, Mr Polemis will highlight the issues of ballast water management and sulphur emissions – pointing out the need to ensure enough low sulphur fuel is available to enable the international shipping community to meet low emissions requirements and the need to establish that equipment actually exists to meet ballast water treatment standards.


He will also discuss industry concerns that Market Based Measures may be seen by some governments as fund-raising opportunities with the shipping industry viewed as a “cash cow” by some.


He will conclude that shipping should be treated like a sovereign state in its own right:   “A ship may be flagged in one country, and owned in another, while the cargo carried will be of economic benefit to a variety of different importing and exporting nations.  This is why we need to maintain a special global regime for shipping,” he is set to say.

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