Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association

The Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association was founded in 1909. Almost all shipowners operating vessels under the Belgian flag are RBSA members.

Our mission is:

  • to defend the common interests of all shipowners under the Belgian flag,
  • and to represent them in dealing with the authorities and the social partners.

RBSA has delivered pioneering achievements in various fields:

  • for the recruitment of seafarers for sea service:RBSA has helped to set up the institutions and the regimes concerned;
  • the Association has additionally assisted in expanding seafarer labour conditions as well as their social security and pension regimes, at national and international level;
  • moreover, RBSA has contributed to the promotion of maritime training.

Back under the Belgian flag

The RBSA’s successful campaign to convince Belgium to adopt the EU maritime policy was a truly remarkable achievement. This decision enabled shipowners to return under the Belgian flag. Consequently the shipping industry, especially the merchant marine, ocean-going tug services and hydraulic engineering have all known unprecedented growth.

RBSA serves as a dedicated point-of contact for the maritime sector

Not only for members, but also for politicians, public services and other parties concerned who seek advice about all shipping-related issues or who want to learn how shipping can support world trade even better.

A representative on the European and world stage

However RBSA operates beyond Belgium as well: in Europe under the umbrella of ECSA (European Community Shipowners’ Associations) and on the world stage, through ICS (International Chamber of Shipping). Accordingly Belgium has been an IMO (International Maritime Organization) council member for many years. Thus our country has been directly involved in shaping and designing maritime transport conventions.