2016 proved to be another challenging year for Belgian shipowners, faced with the sluggish growth of world trade, as well as a continuing unbalance between supply and demand in most shipping industry segments. Entrepreneurship and creativity are still very much required to ride out these difficult times. Positioning the fleet, seeking technological innovation and good relations with the financial world remain crucial.
Belgian shipowners are very much aware of the imperative to reduce CO2 emissions, as evidenced by new company departments set up to improve energy efficiency on ships and thus reduce CO2 emissions. The RBSA also launched an emission reduction initiative. In June 2016 our association organised a CO2 symposium where various shipping industry stakeholders expressed their concerns and positions: representatives of ship engine and equipment manufacturers, the world refining association, fuel suppliers, EU officials, regulators and academics. Several shipowners explained the operational measures implemented by their company to reduce CO2 emissions.The work started at this symposium will be continued by a think tank involving the various stakeholders, for the purpose of listing all CO2-reduction initiatives and using the information collected as an inspiration to develop novel ideas.
Also safety remained a top priority for shipowners, which resulted in Belgian shipowners having their top position on the Paris and Tokyo MOU white lists and USCG Qualship 21 list confirmed. And almost all Belgian shipowners added new vessels to their fleet.
Just like the previous years, the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association participated in 2016 actively in various work groups and board meetings of both the European Community Shipowners Association and the International Chamber of Shipping.
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