Overview of major issues
The rising trend of piracy over the past several years has constituted a grave threat to the lives of the crews and the safe operation of ships. Areas of particular concern have been off the coast of Somalia, the Gulf of Guinea and the Malacca Straits. INTERTANKO has been actively involved to addressing piracy wherever it occurs through a number of actions, including the development of industry Best Management Practices to combat piracy, engaging with United Nations Contact Group on Piracy, working with IMO on the development of guidelines to Administration and seafarers and engaging with the Regional Cooperation Agreement on combating piracy in Asia. INTERTANKO will continue to ensure that its members have the most up-to-date information so they can decide on the best measures they feel are appropriate to protect their tankers against acts of piracy anywhere in the world.
The United Nations and individual countries have imposed sanctions against certain countries around the world for a variety of reasons, ranging from economic and trade to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, and financial or commodity restrictions. The purpose of these sanctions is to peacefully bring about some sort of change within the country affected. INTERTANKO assists Members in dealing with sanctions in two major ways. First, ensuring that any sanctions imposed that may affect members’ tanker operations are fair, reasonable and practical to implement. And second, to ensure that all members are fully aware of any sanctions that could affect their tanker operations, thereby minimizing the possibility of violating the sanction and avoiding potential penalties or trade restrictions.
The recent upheaval of certain governments in the Middle East and Africa, combined with unprecedented terrorist activities in these areas has resulted in the largest migration of refugees since World War II. The majority of these migrants are seeking refuge in Europe through sea routes in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. In many cases, the refugees are turning to smugglers who provide sea craft that are not suitable for crossing these seas, resulting in very unsafe conditions and the need for the refugees to be rescued at sea. When called on to assist in rescuing these refugees at sea, INTERTANKO Members’ tankers respond. However, there is a need for a coordinated governments’ approach to addressing the problem ashore. INTERTANKO has been, and will continue to, encourage governments to take the appropriate action to mitigate the need for rescuing refugees at sea and assist members in having those rescued, disembarked safety ashore as soon as possible to minimise delays.
Cyber Risk Management
Cyber-technologies have become essential to the operation and management of numerous systems critical to the safety and security of shipping and protection of the marine environment. In some cases, these systems are to comply with international standards and/or national requirements. However, the vulnerabilities created by accessing, interconnecting or networking these systems can lead to cyber risks in many of ships systems, including bridge navigation equipment, cargo handling and main propulsion and machinery. IMO has developed guidelines on cyber risk management which provide high level recommendations to be used in development and implementation of detailed specific risk management processes that are ship specific. In addition, the shipping industry has prepared Industry Guidelines on Cyber Security which complement the IMO guidelines. INTERTANKO has been actively involved in the development of both and will continue to play an active role in updating these guidelines to ensure that Members have the most up-to-date information to protect their tankers.
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