All posts by Jonathan

Young Ship Agent or Ship Broker Award 2020

As a result of only three synopses being received for initial consideration by the YABA Review Committee, the Committee has reluctantly decided that the 2020 Award will be postponed. Unfortunately it is not feasible to hold a valid competition with five or less entries. It is however the intention to re-run the Award in 2021 and if the three prospective 2020 entrants decide to do so, their entries will be carried over until next year.

Further information on the conditions of entry for the 2021 YABA, along with the applicable deadlines and other guidance, will be circulated to members in October or November.

FONASBA Joins Industry Group in Drafting IMO COVID-19 Recommendations

A high-level maritime industry group representing ship owners, ports, classification societies, P&I clubs and marine equipment manufacturers, as well as ship agents and brokers, has come together under the coordination of the International Chamber of Shipping to  draft recommendations for the facilitation of maritime trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three papers have been endorsed by the International Maritime Organisation to date.

The first, general guidance to national governments and authorities on maintaining maritime trade and recognising seafarers and shore-side workers as essential personnel, has been issued as IMO Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.6, and can be found here.

The second, providing a set of protocols for the management of crew changes  whilst in the midst of a blanket ban on the movement of persons and international passenger flights, has been issued as Circular Letter No. 4204/Add. 14 and can be found here.

The third paper, Circular letter No. 4204/Add. 16 is intended to assist in  managing the ship/port interface to ensure the safety of both seafarers and shore-side personnel and prevent the spread of COVID-19. A copy of that paper can be found here.

FONASBA is pleased and proud to have been able to contribute to the drafting of these documents, and by so doing to assist in ensuring that the maritime sector can continue to operate in the most efficient means possible whilst giving due regard to the need for robust and effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19: FONASBA Secretariat Arrangements

Due to the restrictions on travel put in place by the UK Government on Monday, 16th March to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and in common with many other organisations, the FONASBA Secretariat office will be closed until further notice. With immediate effect therefore, General Manager Jonathan C. Williams FICS and Assistant General Manager Victoria Marsh FICS, will be working from home.

Both our Secretariat email addresses, and continue to be monitored at all times and telephone calls should be directed to Jonathan Williams’ mobile number +44 7778 497707.

We will of course notify the reopening of the Secretariat office as soon as we are able to do so.

ECASBA Supports Opatija Ministerial Statement

Following the High-level Ministerial Conference held in Opatija, Croatia on 10th March, the country’s Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure issued a statement calling for the European Union to work towards the implementation of a 5 point plan for the future of Europe’s Waterborne Transport Sector.

The statement, issued on 11th March in the presence of European Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Vălean, calls for action to:

  • Ensure a carbon-neutral and zero pollution waterborne transport sector,
  • Maximise the use of digital solutions to enhance connectivity and ensure seamless multimodal transport operations,
  • Ensure the competence of future European seafarers and inland navigation workers,
  • Achieve zero accidents in the maritime sector and
  • Ensure the EU maintains an effective and competitive maritime transport sector

Whilst recognising the actions already underway in Europe following the launch of the Green Deal, and through the NAIADES programme, TEN-T Network, European Maritime Single Window environment and similar actions, the statement makes it clear that where possible, agreement on these measures should be achieved at international level, through action in the International Maritime Organisation and the World Trade Organisation.

Welcoming the Ministerial Statement, ECASBA Chair Marco Tak said “ECASBA supports the actions set out in the statement and is committed to working with our parent organisation FONASBA and our European partners to achieve the ambitious but nonetheless achievable outcomes, for the good of both our ship agent and ship broker members and the wider maritime community. ECASBA and FONASBA are already active within the European and international maritime sectors on these matters and we will continue to strive to secure their implementation at the earliest opportunity”.

A copy of the Ministerial Statement can be found here.

Joint WHO/IMO Statement on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The Secretaries General of the World Health Organisation and the International Maritime Organisation issued a joint statement on 21st February calling on Member States to ensure that precautions against the spread of COVID-19 do not result in “unnecessary interference in international trade”.

A copy of the joint letter can be found here.

ECASBA European Seminar Brussels 2020

Held as part of European Shipping Week 2020, ECASBA’s European seminar took place at the NH Berlaymont Hotel on Wednesday 19th February.

The presentations given at the seminar can be downloaded as .pdf files using the links below.

European Issues Update: The traditional opening presentation summarising the issues currently being addressed by ECASBA, presented by General Manager Jonathan C. Williams FICS

ECASBA Position Papers and Action Plans – presentations on two of the subjects covered by ECASBA’s newly launched position papers:
Customs Action Plan: Presented by Hilde Bruggeman, – coordinator of the ECASBA Customs Working Group
Recognition of Agents: Presented by Jean-Pascal Bidoire, ECASBA Vice Chair

Digitalisation and Innovation, the impact on ship agents:
“Port +”: Presented by Jan van Dooren, this is an introduction to the Antwerp-based port-call optimisation and data sharing facility
“Innovating Together”: Presented by Raoul Tan, an overview of the extensive digitalisation projects being undertaken by the Port of Rotterdam

The European Single Window Projects:
Three presentations by the European Commission:
The EU Single Window Environment for Customs: Presented By Zahouani Saadaoui, Head of Sector, DG-TAXUD
The European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe): Presented by Jukka Savo, Policy Officer, DG-MOVE
The Impact of the EMSWe on Customs: Presented by Marco Marsili, Policy Officer, DG-TAXUD

The EMSWe: the industry view: Presented by Capt. Peter Langbein and Bastian Güttner of BSMD, Bremen



ECASBA has joined 14 other European Union maritime organisations in welcoming the von der Leyden Commission’s “Green Deal” initiative ( but has warned that implementation of same should not prejudice the ability of the European transport sector to compete globally.

The paper also called for the establishment of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable and smart mobility and for the elimination of administrative and regulatory burdens, including streamlining customs and other reporting formalities.

A copy of the paper can be found here.


This special edition of the Newsletter reports on FONASBA’s 50th Annual Meeting held in Miami on 1st – 3rd October. A copy is available to download here.

The contents include:

  • Thanks and Acknowledgements
  • The Keynote Address by Rear Admiral Richard Timme, US Coastguard
  • Participant Feedback
  • Report on the ECASBA plenary meeting
  • Chartering & Documentary plenary meeting
  • Liner & Port Agency plenary meeting
  • Host Association Seminar
  • The inaugural Association Best Practices plenary meeting
  • 2019 Council Meeting
  • Social events
  • Photo pages

FONASBA Young Ship Agent or Ship Broker Award 2020

Entries are now open for the 2020 Young Ship Agent or Ship Broker Award. Applicants must be aged under 40 at the time of making their entry and be employed by a company that is a member of FONASBA national association or is itself an Associate or Club Member.

As in previous years, candidates are invited to submit a short (one page) synopsis of the subject and coverage of their proposed entry to the Review Committee, this year by 31st March 2020.

The 2020 Award entry criteria, can be found here.  Synopses and entries should be sent to