Arun Sharma, executive chairman the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), intends to pack as much into his one-year tenure as chair of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) as possible. He is set to take over the position in July and has a raft of plans readied, which he shares today with Maritime CEO.
IACS will identify areas to contribute in meeting the IMO targets of 50% reduction in GHG emissions, Sharma says.
On the regulatory side ensuring the industry complies with the 2020 sulphur limit will be one of the defining elements of his IACS chairmanship.
Sharma also wants to help IMO fast-track matters related to new technologies and quality aspects.
“We would like to see an enhanced industry interaction and closer engagement with all stakeholders,” Sharma tells Maritime CEO in an exclusive interview.
Another priority under his watch will be to build a consensus within IACS for an integrated solutions approach to help the industry to comply with the new regulations.
Sharma has been in Southeast Asia this week, attending many events around Singapore Maritime Week, keen to bolster the portion of international owners on his classed fleet. Currently non-Indian ships make up around 15% of the IRClass fleet, something Sharma is keen to change.
Increasingly, class is becoming a multi-service offering. However, Sharma is adamant that his peers have not moved too far away from their origins.
“Key class role remains unchanged – safety of life and protection of marine environment. Given the technical expertise available with class societies, it can offer beyond class services, which do not strictly fall under the class role,” Sharma says.
A marine engineer by profession, Sharma has over 30 years experience in the field of shipping and marine operations. He held senior position in several shipping companies including Shipping Corporation of India, Varun Shipping, Great Eastern Shipping and India Steamship Company. He has been chairman of IRClass since 2012.