by Paul Gonzalez-Morgan

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Masamichi Morooka, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has been in the industry for over 40 years, working within the NYK Group. A proven expert in most aspects of shipping, his current ICS role requires finding the right balance between the members he represents and regulatory bodies and governments.

What would you consider your greatest achievement to-date as Chairman of the ICS?

ICS rarely shouts about its achievements. Quiet efficiency is more the ICS style. Any success we have in persuading governments to take more account of the industry’s views is really due to the collective efforts of our member national shipowners’ associations, both in developing practical ICS policy positions and in encouraging their respective governments to listen to the ICS point of view.

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But during my time as Chairman, I do think we have had some success in getting governments to finally understand the serious problems associated with the IMO Ballast Water Convention, especially the flaws in the IMO type-approval process for the really expensive treatment systems that shipowners will soon be required to fit.

Following a high-profile campaign, IMO agreed to adopt a Resolution last year which commits governments to resolving the problems raised by ICS, so that the Convention will hopefully be fit for purpose when it finally enters force.

Unfortunately, the different regime being applied in the United States is complicating things even further and making global implementation even more chaotic. The U.S. ballast water regime is already in force, but the U.S. has still not yet approved any treatment systems that shipowners can install with confidence. This is also delaying entry into force of the IMO ballast regime, because governments that have not ratified the IMO Convention will probably remain reluctant to do so until this mess in the U.S. is sorted out.

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