Ship Suppliers Confront IMO About Port Delays and Charges
The International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA) has taken the issue of unfair port access practices levied against its members to the international stage by delivering a verbal intervention on the issue at the IMO.
Addressing delegates attending FAL43, ISSA Secretary Sean Moloney said association members continue to experience unwarranted delay, obstruction and unfair charges when they wish to enter ports to deliver stores to ships.
“When the ISPS Code was devised and passed into IMO law, we worked hard to ensure that the role of the ship supplier was highlighted, recognized and incorporated into the legislation,” he said.
“Supplies to ships are governed and driven by the shipowners and ship managers. Full documentation is required and is to be found with every ship supply delivery made to a vessel. Ship suppliers do not just arrive at the dock gate without clear orders and documentation,” he said.
“In 2016 when the legislation was updated, we again produced a detailed booklet highlighting the agreed operational parameters within which ship suppliers would operate to ensure both the spirit and letter of the law were observed during ship supply operations.”
However, Moloney described a lack of co-operation by port authorities in many places with ship suppliers. “Daily our members – and we are sure non-members also suffer similar obstruction – encounter unwarranted delays, unworkable time slots for stores deliveries and absurdly high charges by some ports simply to allow a stores truck to enter and go about its lawful business,” he told delegates.
Moloney asks that another reminder is sent to Member States that ship supply has to be treated properly. “Furthermore, we ask that Member States remind their relevant departments that the ISPS Code is not to be considered as a money-making venture but a co-ordinated legal framework which has very successfully protected ports and ships globally from any harm as a result of security breaches.”