Monday, 6 April, 2009

ASF calls for asian governmental body

Owners representatives meeting in Hong Kong for the Asian Shipowners Forum (ASF) Ship Insurance and Liability Committee have called for Asian governments tyo forma regional body to consider and respond to regional proposal for regulating shipping. A statement notes that, in the past, ASF has commented widely on the various EU Draft Directives, but “has not seen an equivalent level of contribution from Asian governments”.
ASF adds: “Taking note of the reports of recent comments made by Mr Shigeru Ito, Director General of the Maritime Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and Mr Oh Konggyun, Chief Executive of the Korea Register and Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies, both of whom support a more active ‘Asian Voice’ on maritime issues at the governmental level, the Committee urges Asian governments to form a regional body in order to consider and comment on legislation proposed at the regional level, particularly that being proposed by Europe and the United States.”
The ASF also expressed its “continued deep concern at the treatment of seafarers who are unfortunately involved in maritime accidents”. It said: “While recognising that local legal procedures must be followed, the Committee is concerned that seafarers who are involved in accidents are being treated as criminals as a response to and to satisfy public concern about the effects of the incident, even when it is clear that there has been no criminal intent or obvious fault. There would seem to be many such incidents, where the only fault of the seafarer would appear to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Committee urges all Governments, particularly those in the developed world, to reconsider the harm they are doing both to the recruitment of future seafarers as well as to the reputation of their legal systems by politicising such incidents and treating seafarers with little regard for their human rights and as being guilty until proven innocent.”

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