Future shipping regulations first need cost benefits analysis, says ICS

London: The cost of regulation is threatening the industry’s ability to ensure compliance and lessons must be learnt, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has warned the United Nations (UN).

Implementing regulations such as limits on emissions, the Ballast Water Management Convention and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention will cost the shipping industry an estimated $500bn over the next 10 years. This was not fully taken into account with the rules were adopted, the chamber said.

The IMO should conduct full and proper cost benefit analysis of all new future regulatory proposals, the ICS told the UN Inter Consultative Process on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) meeting in New York on April 7.

“Unless the shipping industry is commercially viable it will not be able to deliver the investments in environmental and social improvements that are sought by regulators on behalf of society at large,” ICS director of policy and external relations, Simon Bennett, said in the meeting.

The ICS warned UN regulators against piling more bureaucracy on the shipping industry in the planned expansion of the UNCLOS convention.

In January this year, the UN recommended that UNCLOS be amended to include a new legally binding instrument on the conservation of marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction, possibly in ‘high seas’ marine protected areas.

“ICS sees benefit in the designation of high seas protected areas, to address issues such as unregulated fishing, but it should be borne in mind that under the authority of UNCLOS, shipping is already comprehensively regulated by IMO,” Bennett said.

“While the shipping industry recognises that the regulation of other ocean activities, especially on the high seas, may not be so well developed, we do think great care should be taken with regard to the current balance that exists between the rights and obligations of states in their flag, coastal and port state roles.”

These roles function perfectly well, as demonstrated by shipping’s efficiency and the significant reduction of shipping and pollution incidents, Bennett said.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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