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Working Groups

As the principal international association for the shipping industry, the primary focus of ICS representation is the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) and other regulatory bodies.

Besides actively participating in all IMO Committee and Sub-Committee meetings and its internal consultations through its committee structure and ad-hoc working groups, ICS also participates in numerous specialist working and correspondence groups that discuss proposed changes to current regulation. ICS provides its expertise in representing shipowners to ensure international regulation remains fit for purpose.

ICS is acknowledged by governments as representing the considered views of all international ship operators, as provider of a unified voice of shipping.

For illustration, here are a selection of the many organisations and of past and current working groups ICS is involved in both in and besides the work at IMO and ILO:

Improving safety & security – encouraging high operational standards

  • ITU – International Telecommunications Union for modernisation of Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems (GMDSS)
  • Industry working group for anchor handling
  • S100 maritime charts: ICS contributes to the working group at the International Hydrographic Office for developing standards for new maritime charts called S100.
  • Industry Lifeboat Group (ILG)

Established by ICS along with NGOs and some flag States, currently chaired by ICS to look at improvements in lifeboat and other survival craft safety.

The ILG has the objective of developing proposals to IMO that address both immediate and longer-term lifeboat safety issues. Group members consider that the opportunity of co-ordinating their continuing work in support of this agenda item will facilitate a more effective contribution to discussion of this matter at IMO.

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  • Piracy

ICS is member of various industry working groups to tackle the menace of pirates. These aim at

  • Identifying national and regional security threats to seafarers and shipping.
  • Facilitating interaction between stakeholders.
  • Identifying security challenges, gaps and areas for mutual collaboration.
  • Promoting information sharing, threat awareness and best practice.


Striving for high training and watchkeeping standards

Protecting the environment

ICS members have signed voluntary commitments of “zero tolerance” with regards to the illegal trafficking of wild animals and help spread awareness of the issues throughout the industry.

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  • Long- and short-term measures working group for GHG

ICS is part of an intersessional IMO working group to reduce the impact of GHG.

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  • Industry Working Group on Ship Recycling

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  • BBNJ, marine Biodiversity in areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

ICS supports negotiating a new International Legally-Binding Instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Maintaining open markets and a fair global trade policy

ICS participates along with NGOs looking at ways to improve regulation regarding maritime corruption

… and many others.