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A Few Important International Organizations

1. BIMCO

Q. What are the main areas of the functioning of BIMCO?
Ans. The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) is the largest of the international shipping associations representing shipowners, known for

1. Quality information and advice. BIMCO assists in checking the background of prospective business partner and in recovering outstanding undisputed amounts, free of charge.
2. ‘BIMCO Education’ offers a number of live courses (master classes, seminars, workshops, shipping schools) and online e-Learning courses throughout the year.

Q. What is the role of BIMCO in providing fairness in maritime business?
Ans. BIMCO’s membership accounts for around 65 percent of the world’s tonnage, with more than 2,200 members globally, which includes shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents. The reason for such a large membership is the quality service they provide.

1. Along with business it facilitates harmonization and standardization of commercial shipping practices and contracts.
2. BIMCO is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), committed to promote the development and application of global regulatory instruments.
3. The association maintains a close dialogue with governments and diplomatic representations around the world, including maritime administrations, regulatory institutions, etc.
4. BIMCO conducts various training programs around the world for the Maritime Community.

5. The BIMCO is a vast comprehensive source of information and guidance on chartering related matters. It provides copies of all BIMCO standard contracts and clauses. PDF sample copies of well-known standard forms such as GENCON, GUARDCON, SUPPLYTIME, SHIPMAN, BARECON and SALEFORM can be availed. Each contract is accompanied by explanatory notes to provide the user with a clear understanding of the contractual provisions.
6. n the Clauses section there is a library of BIMCO standard clauses covering a broad range of issues connected with shipping.
7. Invaluable information is available on many aspects of chartering corrected through many years’ experience. It deals with the method of dispute resolution to be used – arbitration, court or mediation, or a mix of these, etc.
8. BIMCO adopted in 1969 a set of Recommended Principles, amended in 2005, intended for the use of parties engaged in chartering and ship agency.
9. BIMCO has access to a wide range of information from which members can be supplied with background information on new and prospective business partner. Thus, whether the prospective business partner is known for non-payment of freight, late payment, bad reputation in shipping business, etc.

2. ISF

Q. What is ISF & what is its objective?
Ans.
1. International Shipping Federation is international employers’ organization dedicated to maritime manpower issues, providing advice and guidance to members either directly or via its extensive range of global contacts by representing them in all relevant areas.
2. ISF represents the employers’ voice on industrial relations issues, proactively explaining and justifying employers’ activities to the media.
3. ISF assists with advice on the detailed technical requirements of STCW.

Q. What are the other international organization with which ISF usually interacts
Ans. The ISF Secretariat supports international organizations, such as the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the International Maritime Employers’ Committee (IMEC). The idea being, exchange of information and co-ordination to prevent overlap and duplication of effort.

Externally, ISF has consultative status with the International Labour Organization (ILO), where it co-ordinates the shipowner position at all maritime meetings, and with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). ISF attends through ILO, meetings of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. ISF is also an active member of the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) and regular contacts are maintained with representatives of maritime unions, including the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). ISF, with national ship-owner association members from Eastern and Western Europe, the Indian Sub-Continent, the Asia/Pacific Region, the Middle East and North, Central and South America, provides a unique forum for employers to co-ordinate effectively and influence events on maritime human resources issues. The ICS/ISF Guidelines on the Application of the ISM Code is a very useful document.

Q. What are the important publications of ISF?
Ans.
1. Current ICS/ISF Guidelines on the Application of the ISM Code is a very useful guide. It is updated to take account of the latest IMO amendments and guidance, as amended. It includes expanded guidance on Safety Management Systems, environmental Management, risk management, safety culture and the role of the Designated Person Ashore (DPA). The guidelines are aimed at operations managers, DPAs, Masters and ships’ officers. An accompanied CD which contains an electronic version of the text and in addition has a model Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
2. ISF’s updated & widely used On Board Training Record Book for Deck Cadets’ (Trainee Officers), to take account of the amended competence requirements in STCW 2010, which entered into force in January 2012. The revised ISF Book takes full account of the competence standards stipulated by STCW 2010, such as the use of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), application of leadership and team working skills and proactive measures to protect the marine environment. Similarly there is updated ‘On Board Training Record Book for Engine Cadets’ (Trainee Officer), to take account of the amended competence requirements in STCW 2010.
3. ISF’s  ‘On Board Training Record Book for Deck Ratings (including New STCW Grade of “Able Seafarer Deck”) incorporates the 2010 amendments to the IMO STCW Convention, which entered into force in 2012. On similar lines there is ISF’s On Board Training Record Book for Engine Ratings (including New STCW Grade of “Able Seafarer Engine”).
4. ISF’s current edition of Guidelines on the IMO STCW Convention has been updated to take account of amendments to include leadership and teamwork, enhanced refresher training for qualified seafarers, new competence standards for tanker personnel, Able Seafarer, etc. The amendments also introduce major changes to IMO regulations concerning seafarers’ minimum rest hours.

3. IFSMA

Q. What are the objectives of IFSMA?
Ans. The International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA) was formed to unite the World’s serving Shipmasters into a single professional coordinated body. IFSMA defines Shipmasters as those who are in possession of an Internationally Recognised Certificate of Competency, issued by the Government of an established Maritime Nation who are serving or have previously served, in Command of Seagoing Ships. It is a non-profit making organization, dedicated solely to the interest of the serving Shipmasters. The purpose of IFSMA is to bring the Shipmasters’ views on matters of marine safety, maritime security and protection of the marine environment to recognition level. The IFSMA deals with professional competence as well as conditions of work for seafarers.

Q. How wide spread or effective is the organization?
Ans. It was formed by Eight European Shipmasters’ Associations, with strength reaching to around 11,000 Shipmasters from sixty Countries. The IFSMA is primarily concerned with representing the interests of the serving Shipmasters in bodies such as the IMO, ILO, etc. The IFSMA’s headquarters are located in London, United Kingdom. In 1975, IFSMA was granted consultative status as a non-governmental organization at IMO which enables the Federation to represent the views and protect the interests of the serving Shipmasters.  At IMO, it is represented by the Secretary General and a team of active or former Shipmasters who attend the four main Committees, namely the Maritime Safety Committee; Maritime Environmental Protection Committee; The Legal Committee and the Facilitation Committee. This team is also active in the nine Sub-Committees of IMO, working and drafting with groups and attending the Council Meetings and the Assemblies. IFSMA submits relevant papers on various aspects to the Committees and Sub-Committees of IMO, which often results in successful debates leading to MSC Circulars and improvements in various instruments. IFSMA is asked by various bodies all over the world to participate in seminars, conferences, producing training and educational courses. IFSMA has participated in the deliberations at the International Labour Organization (ILO), where recent work involved the merger of all previous conventions and recommendations regarding seafarers into a single International Maritime Labour Convention. IFSMA has provided Consultants to assist in the Comprehensive Review and Revision of the 1978 STCW Convention. IFSMA has also participated in the Joint ICAO/IMO Group of Experts on the Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue. IFSMA has joined with the Nautical Institute, Trinity House and the Company of Master Mariners in organizing periodic Command Seminars.

4. IMCA

Q. What is IMCA? What are the objectives?
Ans. IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association), is a trade association and was founded in 1995 through the merger of the Association of Offshore Diving Contractors (AODC) and the Dynamically Positioned Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA). IMCA’s technical work program is based on a set of strategic objectives on improving performance in the marine contracting industry. Objectives being: Influencing regulatory direction and development and helping to maintain a free and fair market; using creative thinking to improve the industry; developing and sharing industry’s good practices; promoting fair contracting principles; improving competence, skills and knowledge.

Q. In coordinating its activities, how is it different from other organizations?
Ans. IMCA has secretariat in London. IMCA, though exists for the benefit of its members across the offshore, marine and underwater engineering industry, it provides members with guidance, allowing them to ‘self-regulate’ rather than look to clients or governments for setting rules and procedures. A key benefit of industry guidance is that it can be implemented and updated more quickly than legislation, which is vital in an industry with rapidly advancing technology. As a trade association IMCA also complies with international competition law (competition, antitrust and similar laws). Strict guidelines are used to ensure compliance.

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