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FONASBA highlights complexity of ship agents role in new Port Procedures Survey

Shipowners, port users and regulators have been provided with a comprehensive and detailed overview of the many activities undertaken by port agents by The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA). The international association today (Monday 3 December) publishes the Port Procedures Survey, an ambitious project which has codified the numerous separate functions required to get a ship into port, get it loaded or unloaded, and sail to the next port of call. The move is designed to aid regulatory efforts to streamline and harmonise port procedures as well as demonstrate the value of ship agents to shipowners and operators.

The Port Procedures Survey is based on the input of ship agents in more than 30 FONASBA member countries and provides a very detailed picture of the actions needed to be undertaken in each port.

FONASBA President Marygrace Collins said:

“The survey demonstrates that as many as 150 separate actions may be needed to be undertaken by ship agents when dealing with a port call, but there is very little consistency in the way that these actions are undertaken at international, regional or even local level. The amount of time a vessel spends in port has a huge impact on the profitability of a voyage and it is imperative that both regulators and port users understand exactly what ship agents do. FONASBA recommends that professional and well‐ qualified agents are used to ensure that all functions are carried out to the highest standard.”

The Port Procedures Survey is divided into 12 separate sections including pilotage, ships clearance, cargo documents and crew matters.

The Survey concentrates on major ports in the dry and liquid bulk, container and passenger sectors, but these will be supplemented and expanded on an ongoing basis.

FONASBA supports container weight verification initiative

FONASBA, the international ship brokers and ship agents federation, this week (11 July 2012) gave its full backing to international government and industry efforts aimed at ensuring that shipping containers for export are accurately weighed.

The initiative, which is being led by the World Shipping Council in concert with shipowners’ association BIMCO, the International Association of Ports and Harbours, the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers Federation, as well as the maritime administrations of Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States, will be launched at the 17th session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC 17) in September.

The problem of under-declared and unverified containers is a serious one for ports and ships. A paper to be put forward at the IMO meeting revealed that in recent containership accidents, some boxes had been up to ten tonnes heavier than the manifest weight, leading to stack collapse, capsizes and even contributing to the break up of the vessel.

Onshore, under-declaration has led to crane, straddle carrier and forklift failures as well as stack collapse, overturned trucks and damage to trains, roads and bridges.

With the ship agent being central to the movement of cargo to and from the vessel and port, issues arising from the handling of containers of unverified weight, especially those which are under-declared, can affect the agent anywhere along the transport chain.

Accordingly, FONASBA is very pleased to put its name to the initiative and to support it at the forthcoming IMO meeting.

FONASBA General Manager, Jonathan Williams FICS said:

“Ship agents see the problems which inaccurately weighed containers cause ports and ships every day. It is extremely worrying that there is currently no obligation for containers to be accurately weighed anywhere along the transport chain. FONASBA hopes that this initiative will rectify this anomaly and bring considerably more certainty, resulting in increased safety levels for all parties in the container shipping sector.”

World Shipping Council President and CEO Chris Koch welcomed FONASBA’s support for the initiative and said the Council and the other partners were looking forward to the Federation’s input to the discussions in IMO and elsewhere.

ECASBA warns on impact of EU low sulphur directive

ECASBA has written to senior European policy makers warning that applying a limit of 0.1% sulphur in fuels aboard ships within designated Emissions Fuel Control Areas will actually lead to higher emissions from transport as European shippers will inevitably choose cheaper road transport options over short sea shipping.

ECASBA has called on the European Commission to:

  • Bring the Directive proposals back to ensure compliance in all respects with those applicable under IMO MARPOL Annex VI
  • To provide support, and adequate time, to the shipping industry to enable it to develop the technologies and make the modifications necessary to ensure compliance with the MARPOL requirements. The Mitigation Toolbox is a start but as initially proposed is too limited in scope and too generic to achieve the desired effects and
  • To urgently undertake a full impact assessment of the measures proposed in both MARPOL Annex VI and the amended 1999/32/EC proposals.

Click here to download ECASBA’s policy paper.

FONASBA develops port procedure survey

FONASBA is currently surveying the wide range of activities undertaken by ship agents before, during and after a vessel’s port call. The aim of the project is to provide evidence of the range, scope and detail of the agent.  All too often the role of the agent is mis-understood and once complete, the survey will detail the complexity of the agent’s functions.

FONASBA general manager Jonathan Williams said:

“By codifying and presenting the many port procedures in one document, we hope to demonstrate to legislators and other authorities the wide variation in the number of procedures applicable and the lack of harmonisation in reporting timelines and information requirements.”

He added:

“We also want to provide our members’ shipowning and operating clients with a comprehensive overview the skills and professionalism needed to carry out ship agency work.”

FONASBA Endorses Revised Norwegian SALEFORM

FONASBA Endorses Revised Norwegian SALEFORM

1 March 2012

The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents, (FONASBA), has given an enthusiastic endorsement to the newly released SALEFORM 2012 developed jointly by the Norwegian Shipbrokers Association (NSA) and BIMCO.

SALEFORM is the shipping industry’s most widely used agreement for the sale and purchase of second hand ships. SALEFORM 2012 builds upon SALEFORM 93 retaining the accepted general principles and familiar structure.

Congratulating NSA, a Full Member of FONASBA, and BIMCO, a Club Member, on their actions to update the most successful sale and purchase agreement on the market, the President of FONASBA Christakis P. Papavassiliou from Cyprus said:

“At FONASBA we are pleased and proud to support publication of the revised NSF 2012, a document whose development reaffirms the position of NSA and BIMCO at the forefront of our profession. The enthusiasm and professionalism shown by these two FONASBA members in taking the updating project forward reflects this Federation’s commitment to the maritime industry in terms of professional integrity and quality of service. FONASBA fully endorses the revised SALEFORM 2012 and has already called upon its members in 49 countries around the globe to support it.”

Echoing the President’s comments, Marygrace Collins of the USA, Chair of the FONASBA Chartering & Documentary Committee and the Federation’s President Designate added:

“We are confident that the initiative taken by the NSA together with BIMCO will ensure that the NSF remains the premier document of choice for S&P transactions worldwide.”

For further details please contact Jonathan C. Williams FICS, FONASBA General Manager

Tel: + 44 20 7623 3113


Notes to Editors

FONASBA is the only organisation representing the global ship agency and ship broking professions. Established in 1969 it now has members in 45 countries, including all major maritime and trading nations. Its remit is to “promote and protect the professions of ship agency and ship broking worldwide”, a task which it undertakes through dialogue with its member associations and its consultative status with IMO, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL and the World Customs Organisation, as well as through close and regular dialogue with the European Commission and other regional bodies. FONASBA also enjoys reciprocal memberships with the Baltic Exchange, BIMCO, INTERTANKO, indemnity insurer ITIC and the Shipbrokers’ Register and works closely with other bodies, both internationally and in Europe.