15th January 2020
Since our last NewsFlash for Q1/Q2, there have been a number of ongoing developments in our industry, what I have previously described as a continuous tidal wave of legislation, which will require us to progress innovative solutions – and there have been a few adjustments within at the BSA itself – all which indeed goes to prove the old adage that “the only constant is change”.
As some of you will be aware, I have transitioned from my role as MD for Teekay UK, to take over as Managing Director for V.Ships UK Ltd. Through V.Ships I will continue represent a large number of ships registered with the Bahamas, and the BSA BoD have expressed their confidence in me to continue as Chairman, with the trust that I will follow our strategic agenda for the balance of my three-year term to 2021.
In a recent resolution, the BSA Board appointed our Legal Counsel, Theodora Mitropetrou, as ‘Secretary’ – which is now considered an executive position. Further on you will also be able to read more about the BSA Secretariat, and changes in our Board of Directors.
From our discussions with the USCG and US EPA in early September, and at the ICS BoD meeting in mid-September, as well as our own AGM in mid-October and the Round-table discussions on Long-term Measurements for battling GHG emissions, it is clear that shipping is facing considerable changes not only to the way we design our ships, but also to operations. Closest in time is of course the Sulphur Cap. This will undoubtedly create some challenges to shipping in the short-term – with perhaps most immediately, thorough preparedness and high alert during PSC inspections.
From a medium-term perspective, there are currently discussions on the implementation of speed optimisation or possibly speed reductions / limits, reduction of engine effects, and more.
As part of the long-term strategy, just before Christmas, the ICS together with the other Round-table organisations launched its proposal for a R&D Fund to support the development and launch of sustainable technology for shipping. The BSA BoD is fully in support of this proposal, which I have personally been involved in developing, on the condition such a fund is solely for the purpose of driving technology and also managed in such a way that funds are not drawn upon by IMO members.
As a brief reflection of 2019, there were two clear highlights: Bahamas achieving the very high ranking at #2 on the Paris MOU Performance list, and retaining USCG Qualship status. This in turn reflects on the quality of our membership – your management; ships; and crew.
I am very proud to represent the BSA as an association committed to the highest standards – and our close relationship with the BMA is key to our shared success.
In closing, I would like to wish all of you a Happy, Healthy, Safe, and Successful New Year.