First established in 1916, the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) represents Greek-owned vessels over 3,000 gt under Greek and other European and third country flags. Greek shipowners are primarily active in the bulk / tramp sector (e.g. bulk carriers, tankers, LNG / LPG carriers etc.) and have a presence in liner trades through containerships which are usually chartered-out to major carriers.
Greek-owned vessels are preponderantly involved in cross-trading activities carrying cargoes between third countries.The UGS has traditionally supported and fostered policies ensuring a truly competitive business environment, free trade, global rules and regulations and first and foremost safety of life at sea and a sustainable environment.
With headquarters in Piraeus and permanent representatives in Brussels and Washington D.C., the UGS closely follows developments in the United Nations International Maritime Organization (UN IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and other global bodies.
The UGS is a member of ICS and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and participates in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Economic and Social Council of Greece (ESC). The UGS is also a member of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC).
It maintains a close working relationship with sector-specific industry organisations, such as INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO and with BIMCO. Finally, the UGS also maintains long-standing close relations with the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the London-based Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC) and the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA), raising environmental awareness regarding protection of the marine environment in Greece and worldwide.
The UGS is active in engaging with international and EU institutions and stakeholders. The UGS also regularly has meetings with the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and individual classification societies. The UGS maintains ongoing bilateral relationships with other shipowners’ associations. In addition, the UGS regularly visits the U.S. and meets with the Administration and Congress in order to promote common strategic interests and better understanding of maritime issues of mutual concern.
At national level, the UGS co-operates with the Greek authorities, especially the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy and seafarers’ organisations regarding the competitiveness of the national register, seafarer recruitment and maritime education.
Greek shipowners have in recent years undertaken several social responsibility initiatives throughout the country, culminating in 2016 in the establishment of the Greek Shipowners’ Social Welfare Company “SYN-ENOSIS”. Its aim is to contribute to Greek society by supporting social welfare programmes and activities for vulnerable social groups and projects of public interest, through the provision of humanitarian and charitable aid. SYN-ENOSIS is the permanent vehicle and a solid reference point for the collective social responsibility of the shipping community and a reflection of the multifaceted contribution of Greek shipping to public life.