Board members of the International Chamber of Shipping have met with representatives from major shipping nations, as well as the secretary general of the International Maritime Organization, to discuss Arctic shipping.
The Oslo 2013 Maritime Summit in Norway, coordinated by the Norwegian government and attended by senior officials from Greece, Japan, Norway, Russia, Singapore, the U.S. and the European Commission, stressed the need for government and industry cooperation in order to take advantage of shipping opportunities in the Arctic.
“ICS was keen to stress the importance of Arctic nations avoiding unilateral measures that might cut across IMO conventions or the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” said Masamichi Morooka, ICS chairman, in a written statement.
He said the immediate priority for ICS was to continue to work within IMO to assist in the completion and adoption by governments of the IMO Polar Code, which is expected to become mandatory via amendments to the IMO’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships in 2014.
ICS members also set out a number of further principles regarding the future governance of Arctic waters. These included the need for Arctic coastal states to avoid imposing discriminatory treatment that might prejudice the rights of ships registered with non-Arctic nations, as well as the importance of appropriate fees for services.