New BIMCO President sets course for digitalisation

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Anastasios Papagiannopoulos, CEO of Common Progress has been elected President of BIMCO, the world’s largest international shipping association, with 2,100 members in more than 120 countries.

Papagiannopoulos has set three clear themes for his two-year presidential term. The first is to promote digitalisation across the industry. BIMCO will be working on a range of projects using convergent technologies to pursue this objective, including applying new advances in software capability to develop a brand new contract editing tool.

Papagiannopolous said; “BIMCO is focused on driving efficiency, creating better information and increasing simplification, but all of our work to increase digitalisation across the industry comes with a risk, and in everything – our work on cyber safety and security will remain a top priority, ensuring that our members’ ships are safe, that their seafarers are aware of the dangers and our members’ important information is secure”.

Promoting digitalisation will be key to achieving the president’s second theme, which is to reduce the administrative burden for the ship’s master. An administrative burden that BIMCO will be working to lift further through the removal of unnecessary regulations which no longer serve a purpose for the safe operation of ships.

Last but not least, the third theme is to encourage the successful implementation and effective enforcement of new stronger environmental regulations – clarifying the obligations and working to ensure regulations are practical and realistic to implement. BIMCO will help shipowners navigate the Ballast Water Management Convention, by highlighting the key dates and advising on equipment selection and the operational realities. BIMCO will also continue to work with other associations and the IMO to help establish a feasible and practical implementation plan to meet the 2020 global cap on sulphur emissions.

Following Papagiannopolous’s election, BIMCO confirmed that Sadan Kaptanoglu, managing director of HI Kaptanoglu Shipping has been elected as BIMCO’s very first female President Designate.

Papagiannopoulos applauded her election saying that she was an inspiration to women across the industry and her appointment marked the organisation’s commitment to successful collaboration between nations, genders and beliefs.

Finally, he noted that while the shipowners’ association is very different today to the original body established in 1905, BIMCO remains committed to being its members’ trusted partner, through the provision of outstanding practical, technical and contractual advice, and he concluded saying: ‘like The Odyssey BIMCO will navigate through rough waters with caution, without fear and looking to the future with confidence based on expertise and experience’.