Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) held its 32nd Annual General Meeting on 16 May 2023 in Shanghai. The meeting was hosted by the China Shipowners’ Association (CSA) and attended by more than 230 representatives from ASA Ordinary/Associate members.
Theme of the meeting was “Asia, Greener / Safer Shipping” and its focus was on many aspects of the challenges and constraints facing shipping including safety at sea, manpower and decarbonisation.
ASA said that unfair treatment of seafarers, which can take many forms and be for many reasons, has a severe impact on seafarers’ physical and mental well-being and a damaging effect on the image of the shipping industry and its ability to attract and retain qualified seafarers. Unfair treatment of seafarers often takes place when seafarers are detained on suspicion of committing maritime crimes. In this context ASA called on the Honduran Government to handle the ongoing detainment of Capt. Yu Yihai fairly and expeditiously in accordance with the provisions on fair treatment of seafarers, contained in MLC 2006 and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
ASA also urged Governments to take action in the face of increasing reports of armed robbery in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. It suggested the three littoral governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore should intensify their patrols and enforce stringent measures to combat the scourge.
As regards decarbonisation, Ms. Caroline Yang, Chair of ASA Safe Navigation & Environment Committee (SNEC), reiterated that ASA’s longstanding position is to support a consistent and predictable framework for regulating GHG emissions. This ensures that all shipping sectors can comply with uniform standards as they navigate through different jurisdictions, avoiding excessive administrative burdens and confusion within the industry.
ASA also expressed its concern over adverse impacts on the stability of the global supply chain due to drastic increases in the tolls of the Panama and Suez Canals, effective in January 2023, without ensuring enough transparency, urging both canals to ensure safe and smooth transits of vessels as well as stable management, including tolls, through regular dialogues covering such topics as green transits and stable supplies of alternative fuels.
On ship recycling ASA reconfirmed its hope that the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) would enter into force shortly, expressing the hope that Bangladesh would soon sign, and said it would also encourage respective member shipping companies of ASA members to use HKC SoC (Statements of Compliance) yards and those aiming to acquire certification.
At the 32nd ASA AGM, Mr Wellington Koo, Chairman of The Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) was appointed as the 33rd ASA Chairman. Mr Haji Awang, Chairman of the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Associations (FASA) was also appointed as the Vice-Chairman of ASA.
The next ASA AGM will be held in Hong Kong in May 2024.