Maritime Safety and Protection of the Marine Environment

Maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment depends on a chain of collective responsibility, namely, flag states, port states, shipowners, ship operators, shipbuilders, seafarers, classification societies, insurers and charterers. The UGS welcomes and fully supports efforts which safeguard safety at sea and promote a sustainable future for both the environment and the shipping sector. Indeed the UGS has itself led a number of initiatives towards accomplishment of these aims with global recognition and application. The UGS advocates adherence to internationally adopted standards and procedures and opposes unilateral and regional measures. This is so, as shipping is an international activity which is in need of international solutions and regulations. Shipping offers an irreplaceable service to global trade and the world and, as such, environmental concerns, which the whole humanity shares, should be considered in the context of technological capability and sustainability of shipping. Regulations need to be workable and enforceable rather than merely aspirational and mandating, inter alia, equipment or specifications not yet available, or setting unrealistic goals.

In the context of the above principles, the UGS follows with special interest and contributes to the formation of the collective industry’s positions on a number of issues, such as CO2 emissions from ships, the reduction of the sulphur content of bunker fuel, Ballast Water Management, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Goal-based Standards and the International Association of Classification Societies’ (IACS) Common Structural Rules (CSR).