InterManager, the international trade association for third party and in-house ship managers, has today launched a set of ‘General Principles of Conduct and Action’ for the international ship management sector which it says will drive up quality across the industry.
Announcing the new General Principles of Conduct and Action, during London International Shipping Week 2023, InterManager President Mark O’Neil (pictured), CEO of the Columbia Group, said: “These new industry-wide Principles reflect the fact that InterManager members are committed to achieving high standards in providing their wide range of services to the global shipping industry.
“These General Principles will inevitably raise the standard of international ship management and the services of associated suppliers. As professionals we must always aspire to improve and share knowledge.”
InterManager’s General Principles of Conduct and Action sets the collective principles that all InterManager members should follow and is regarded as vital to their success in reaching the highest standards of ship operations. The General Principles represent some 18 months of work by InterManager members sharing their experience and represent the fulfilment of an important mandate for the President, who is in his second term of office. Mr O’Neil advised that that the General Principles are dynamic and evolving and predicted they “will get stronger over time”.
Highlighting the fact that InterManager members represent the top echelon of ship management, regardless of their size, Mr O’Neil urged ship owners and operators to support the General Principles by discriminating between InterManager members and non-members. “It’s a simple fact that there can be no reason why a manager would not want to be a member of InterManager unless it did not want to open itself up to improvement by incorporation of these General Principles and to self-assessment or audit. I would expect discerning clients to opt for companies that aspire to these Principles and are open to audit.”
Mr O’Neil advised that the new General Principles Conduct and Action are aspirational and there is no pass/fail scenario. “We do not expect full compliance on day one, from either existing or new members, but there has to be a demonstrable commitment to working towards full compliance and a steady improvement,” he said, adding: “The whole purpose of the General Principles is not to pass or fail but to show how positive change can be implemented and for that change to be wanted. For new members, self-assessment will be the initial step upon entry.”
Initially the General Principles will rely on a self-assessment but there will then follow periodic, confidential audits by a third party. The aim of the audit will be to assess and demonstrate how and where improvement can be achieved. In instances of concern, poor practice, or failure to remedy, InterManager’s Executive Committee will determine whether the particular company should remain a member, although Mr O’Neil stressed: “We are really talking about exceptional cases which I hope will be very rare.”
InterManager is proud to be leading the industry by improving standards in this way and at a time when shipping is striving to meet sustainability goals. Championing the General Principles Captain Kuba Szymanski, InterManager Secretary General, commented: “I firmly believe that this process should be inclusive not exclusive, encouraging and aspirational as opposed to penalising, and co-operational as opposed to confrontational. I congratulate my InterManager colleagues on working together to create the new General Principles of Conduct and Action and applaud their commitment to this industry-wide measure.”
The General Principles of Conduct and Action are available on the InterManager website: www.intermanager.org