Good governance is essential for ICS to be fully effective. Our governance arrangements set out the system by which ICS is directed and controlled, and include formal lines of accountability and reporting. This system enables efficient decision-making involving members.
The arrangements are derived from the formal constitutions of the two companies (the ICS rules and articles of association and the Marisec memoranda) along with policies and guidelines that have been adopted by our Boards and Members.
The work of ICS is overseen by a Board of Directors, comprising senior shipping company executives who are nominated by their national member association and elected at the AGM to represent the collective interests of their national shipowners’ association.
The national associations that form the membership of ICS also nominate representatives to a network of specialist ICS Committees. The committees are responsible for developing the international policy of the shipowners which ICS represents.
This includes the positions to be presented by ICS on international maritime regulatory matters and on regional or national regulatory proposals that may have an impact on global shipping.
The ICS Board oversees the work of ICS and sets ICS policy and future direction. There are currently 30 directors, including a Chair and four Vice Chairs, and two executive directors. The roles of the Board and Committees are clearly defined in the ICS articles of association and rules.
Every full member association has the right to nominate a candidate from their membership to the ICS Board.
Board members are elected by the full members at an AGM for a 1 year term. The Chair and the Vice Chairs are elected by the full members at an AGM for 2 year terms. Board members and office bearers are eligible for re-election in accordance with the ICS rules.
Board members represent the leadership of the global shipping industry. They are willing to contribute their experience, expertise and knowledge to the work of ICS, provide guidance and direction to the organisation, and ultimately help ICS shape the future of shipping.
A broad geographical spread helps to ensure a balanced view, one of the reasons why ICS positions are highly respected within the shipping community and beyond.
The ICS Board normally meets three times per year, including a meeting in conjunction with the AGM.
For our list of past AGMS – please click here (add link to AGM page)
Specialist committees determine most of the detailed evolution of ICS’ positions on the range of issues, in order to ensure proposals are capable of being implemented successfully in practice.
Altogether, 17 committees, sub-committees and panels support the policy set by the Board and handle particular aspects of ICS work.
Each committee and panel is made up of representatives from national associations, including experts from their shipping company members.
Each committee, sub-committee and panel elects one of their members as chair, who presides over meetings. The chairs of the four main committees are invited by the ICS Board to report at the ICS Board meeting. An ICS secretariat member acts as secretary to each committee. Each committee has its terms of reference defined by the Board.
The chair is the head of the ICS board and presides over it. He or she is selected from among the Board members and elected by an AGM for an initial term of 2 years. The ICS Chair holds an honorary position and gives ICS its long-term direction.
Since 2016 Esben Poulsson, Singapore, is Chair of ICS.
The chair’s primary role is to ensure that the ICS Board is effective in its task of setting and implementing ICS direction and strategy. As the face of ICS, the chair is a high profile individual with extensive experience in the shipping industry and also represents ICS and ICS members at international meetings, conferences and in the media. Each Chair defines his or her role within the context of their particular time in office.
Previous ICS Chairs
|2016- current||Esben Poulsson, Singapore|
|2012 – 2016||Masamichi Morooka, Japan|
|2006 – 2012||Spyros M Polemis, Greece
(Chairman ICS and President ISF)
|1998 – 2006||Rolf Westfal-Larsen, Norway|
|1992-1998||Juan H. Kelly, CBE|
|1987-1992||Sir Brian Shaw|
|1982-1987||Sir Adrian Swire|
|1970-1973||Robert Huskisson, President ISF|
|1968-1971||Sir Frederic Harmer|
|1963-1968||Sir Errington Keville|
|1949-1963||Sir Colin Anderson|
|1947-1949||Sir Joseph Maclay|
The Secretary General is the chief executive officer of ICS and runs the ICS secretariat. He or she is selected and appointed by and accountable to the Board.
Since 2018, Guy Platten is Secretary General of ICS.
The Secretary General’s primary role is to implement the organisation’s strategic and policy development. He or she is supported by a management team who are each responsible for one of the functional areas of the organisation.
The Secretary General, as the intermediary between national member associations, the board and external stakeholders, is also charged with fostering dialogue between ICS members. He or she must have an open ear for their concerns, and implement the strategic direction agreed by the Board for the organisation.
The Secretary General is also the Managing Director of Marisec, so that for all practical purposes the management of the two companies is seamless.
Each Secretary General defines his or her role within the context of their particular time in office.
Previous ICS Secretary Generals
|2018 – current||Guy Platten|
(last Secretary General of ICS and ISF)
|1978-2006||Chris Horrocks, CBE|
The Board meets annually to discuss strategic issues impacting the industry and the future direction of ICS.
|2019||Faroe Islands||Faroese Shipowners’ Association|
|2018||Hong Kong||Hong Kong Shipowners Association|
|2017||Istanbul, Turkey||Turkish Chamber of Shipping|
|2016||Tokyo, Japan||Japanese Shipowners’ Association|
|2015||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners|
|2014||Limassol, Cyprus||Cyprus Shipping Chamber|
|2013||Oslo, Norway||Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA)|
|2012||Port Douglas, Queensland, Australian||Australian Shipowners Association|
Final AGM of ISF
ICS relocates to St Mary Axe
|Hamburg, Germany||German Shipowners’ Association|
|2010||Singapore||Singapore Shipping Association|
|2009||London, United Kingdom||United Kingdom Chamber of Shipping|
|2008||Athens, Greece||Union of Greek Shipowners in in|
|2007||Hong Kong, China||Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association|
|2006||Washington DC, United States||Chamber of Shipping of America|
|2005||Copenhagen, Denmark||Danish Shipowners’ Association|
|2003||Tokyo, Japan||Japanese Shipowners’ Association|
|2002||Oslo, Norway||Norwegian Shipowners’ Association|
The Board of Directors of Maritime International Secretariat Services Limited comprises the ICS Chair and the four ICS Vice Chairs, along with two executive directors.
The Secretary General of ICS is the Managing Director of Marisec.
The Marisec Board has responsibility for oversight of Marisec and ensures that the secretariat services provided to ICS are professional and provided on a sound financial footing
ICS is supported by a dedicated professional secretariat employed by Marisec and based in London. The secretariat delivers on the strategy set out by the board. It is split into several specialist teams working closely together to engage with international organisations and members to represent the interests of the shipping industry.
At all times, secretariat staff act in compliance with the guidance on bribery and corruption and competition law, and the secretariat supports a whistleblowing strategy.
Secretariat staff also serve as secretaries to the Boards, Committees, Sub-committees and Panels.
ICS and Marisec are compliant with all applicable company law and corporate governance laws and regulations. In addition, as an employer, Marisec is compliant with all applicable employment law and associated regulations to ensure a safe working environment and promote the health and safety of its employees.
Compliance policies, statements and registers have been adopted by the ICS and Marisec Boards, and training and reporting mechanisms have been put in place and are monitored on an on-going basis.
Specific areas include company law, competition law, and data protection law and regulation.
The ICS Board has adopted a Competition Law Compliance Policy, the principles of which have been endorsed by the Marisec Board. A Competition Law Compliance Statement is made at the start of all meetings to remind participants of the importance of compliance.
In addition, policies, guidelines and registers have been adopted to ensure that the organisation and the secretariat (Marisec employees) are compliant with other laws that may be applicable to our activities, including anti-bribery and anti-corruption law.