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Press Release

ICS and China Maritime Safety Administration in talks to collaborate on GHG and COVID-19 challenges

18 March 2021

18th March 2021. This week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the China Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA) met virtually to push forward collaboration on key challenges facing maritime. The meeting focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the industry, and managing the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on shipping and seafarers.

Guy Platten, ICS’s Secretary General, and Mr. Cao Desheng, Director General of China MSA, led the online meeting.

ICS and China MSA agreed to promote fair and pragmatic measures to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping, under the framework of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The two organisations also tabled discussions on how COVID-19 related challenges in the industry, such as vaccines for seafarers, legal liability for shipowners, and maintaining strong global supply chains, could be met and managed through international co-operation.

The two organisations announced the creation of a regular consultation mechanism, whose aim is to discuss any IMO regulations and technical issues of common concern.

Guy Platten, ICS Secretrary General, commented:

“COVID-19 and climate change are two of the gravest challenges to ever face the shipping industry; both through short-term disruption and long-term threat. On the latter point, we are deeply committed to helping reduce shipping’s carbon footprint. Though much progress has been made in recent years, a lot remains to be done.

This is why we welcome opportunities to work with partners such as China’s MSA on ensuring a fair and equitable global reduction in carbon emissions; and we look forward to working together closely in the future.”

Other important issues discussed included ship safety, maritime investigation, and training for seafarers.

The meeting has laid a solid foundation for deepening bilateral cooperation in the future.  It was noted that Mr Cao sincerely wished ICS ‘an early victory’ over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Cao was supported at the meeting by stakeholders including Li Guanyu, from the International Cooperation Department of China’s Ministry of Transport. The Marine Department of ICS also participated, led by Simon Bennett, ICS Deputy Secretary General, Jonathan Spremulli, Principal Director (Marine), and Edward Liu, Principal Representative of ICS (China) Liaison Office.