Director's log

May has proven extremely busy for the Secretariat, with committee meetings in full swing in preparation for reporting to the Executive Committee in June.

Considerable focus has been on the revision of the Mooring Equipment Guidelines (MEG3), one of our flagship publications which has become recognised as an industry standard. This continues the effort to work beyond the bounds of OCIMF and its members as it engages most areas in the shipping sector, including the cordage, ship building, ship operating (all products), IACS, IAPH and terminalling (see below for more details).

The Maritime Trade and Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC–GoG) was set up by OCIMF on behalf of the shipping industry to improve the availability of security-related information to mariners in the Gulf of Guinea, thereby allowing them to avoid areas of suspicious activity, i.e. to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. The ‘pilot’ project was set up two years ago and has been supported by a number of countries from within the G7 ‘Friends of the Gulf of Guinea’ (G7++FOGG) group, together with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and INTERPOL. MTISC–GoG has successfully proved the concept, with about 9,000 reports per month from some 320 ships, a number which continues to grow. It was a great pleasure to see MTISC–GoG getting recognised by the Seatrade Awards with the presentation of the award for Countering Piracy (

I am pleased to welcome to the OCIMF team Rob Drysdale (IMT) as the new Senior Technical Adviser. Rob has been taking an extensive handover from Raj Shetty and will be fully in role by 14 June. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Raj who has completed a very successful four year secondment from AP Moller/Mærsk as the OCIMF Senior Technical Adviser. Raj will be retained in OCIMF for a few more months to ensure, amongst other activities, continuity of leadership in the Mooring Equipment Guidelines revision project.

Stay safe,

Andrew Cassels

Director OCIMF

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Marine Loading Arms

The sixth meeting of the Marine Loading Arms working group met 3–4 May in Amsterdam and was kindly hosted by Shell.

The working group represents various loading arm manufacturers, coupler companies and OCIMF member companies. The group has been proceeding well with updating the publication Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms, Third Edition (1999), continuing work started at the end of 2015.

Since publication of the third edition, various enhancements in product design, functionality and processes have taken place within the industry. The aim of this working group is to update the publication to reflect some of these changes. The fourth edition will also include additional information on cryogenic arms, ship to ship transfers on large floating LNG facilities, and Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRUs). An additional focus is to improve the readability of the publication, giving the reader a broader introduction to the topic before delving into the details of design and specification. Those companies who will be involved with the tendering and procurement of a marine loading arm will also benefit from enhanced specification tables.

The working group aims to complete the first draft by the end of 2016.

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Inland and Coastal Shipping

The Inland and Coastal Shipping focus group held their second meeting on 3 May 2016 at the OCIMF offices in London.

Five members attended the meeting in person and three more joined in through teleconference. Following an approval from the General Purposes Committee (GPC) this focus group has been established to look into barge safety matters. In this meeting, the group worked on the finalisation of terms of reference. The group asked GPC for approval to change the earlier agreed name to Global Inland and Shipping Barging focus group, to provide more clarity and to emphasise barge activity.

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High Modulus Synthetic Fibre

As OCIMF begins their hard work on the revision and update of Mooring Equipment Guidelines, 3rd Edition (MEG3) the working group on High Modulus Synthetic Fibre (HMSF) mooring lines is underway.

The HMSF working group met 9–11 May at the OCIMF offices in London, with the first two days set aside for OCIMF members to be joined by representatives from various rope manufacturers, industry organisations such as Eurocord and Cordage Institute, as well as subject matter experts from independent consultancies. The third day of deliberations saw the attendance expanded to include additional representatives from IACS, winch manufacturers and other technical subject matter experts.

Discussions over the three days covered a wide range of important ground work, most notably around reviewing the varying terminologies within the mooring system that are currently in use across the sector and relating to the different mooring components; mooring lines, winches, jetty fittings, vessel fittings and vessel supporting structure. From the outset it seemed like a reasonably straightforward task, but soon became a challenge, particularly gaining alignment where different definitions may exist for the same terms such as Minimum Breaking Load (MBL), where it is important that interpretation does not lead to discrepancies when ordering products for ships or when undertaking mooring calculations. Other terms discussed were Working Load Limit (WLL), Nominal Working Load (NWL), Safe Working Load (SWL), Breaking Strength and Yield Strength. The HMSF and MEG working groups will be clarifying terminologies to reach a common understanding for the next revision of MEG.

The outcome from the three days was successful in achieving some good alignment, and also demonstrated really positive collaboration across the participants. The HMSF and MEG working groups will now build on this groundwork and continue to further clarify these terminologies to reach a common understanding for the next revision of MEG.

A further meeting of the HMSF working group will take place in June and will provide greater detail on HMSF mooring lines and the technical components of these lines used in vessel mooring operations. In addition, the HMSF working group will also review current content on traditional cordage, wire ropes and mooring tails. The MEG working group will also meet in June and we encourage you to continue to follow the developments of both groups through our newsletter as work progresses.

European Regional Panel

OCIMF’s fifth European Regional Panel meeting (ERP 5) will take place at the Sofitel London St James on Wednesday 15 June 2016.

ERP 5 is open to OCIMF members only. If you would like to register please contact [email protected]

Robert Drysdale joins OCIMF

We would like to welcome Robert (Rob) Drysdale (International Marine Transportation) who joined OCIMF as Senior Technical Advisor on a three year secondment on 1 May.

Rob began his career in the marine industry as a Technician Apprentice for the UK MOD at Rosyth Dockyard. Subsequently, he attended Glasgow University, where he graduated in 1985 with a degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, joining Lloyd’s Register as a Marine Surveyor. In 1992 he moved to Mobil Shipping Company Limited and held a number of positions within that organisation, including Fleet Operations Superintendent. In 2000, as part of the ExxonMobil merger, Rob transitioned to IMT where he led their Nautical and Technical Services team, providing support for the fleet and into Upstream Marine Projects. Following this assignment, he was appointed Project Manager, ExxonMobil Development Company, where he was responsible for the development, construction and installation of the Banyu Urip offshore facility.

In 2010, Rob commenced a commercial leadership role in ExxonMobil’s chartering affiliate as Manager, Marine Transportation Optimization, Europe Africa and Middle East.

In his most recent role as Manager, Global Field Engineering & Logistics, Rob led the marine team responsible for supporting ExxonMobil’s Aviation & Marine Fuels & Lubricants global function.

His email is [email protected].

New MTIS video

A new video is available to view for the Marine Terminal Information Systems (MTIS). Click on the image above, or follow this link to view the video. It offers a clear overview of the programme, its benefits to stakeholders and the vital contribution it will make to improving operational standards of safety, reliability, efficiency and environmental protection.

Please enjoy, share, and for further information visit

North American Barge Inspection Questionnaire - update

The launch date for the North American Barge Inspection Questionnaire Template version 2 (2205) has been set as Monday 25 July 2016.

This template will include the Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) variant. If your organisation is a recipient of SIRE data from OCIMF's web services system, please ensure this announcement is provided to your company's IT department so that they may integrate the new template as appropriate.

Full details of the latest template can be found within the OCIMF API Documentation Repository:

Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre – Gulf of Guinea

Although May was relatively quiet operationally it proved to be a very exciting month for the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre – Gulf of Guinea (MTISC–GoG) and all those involved in other ways.

At the beginning of the month, the MTISC–GoG proudly accepted the 2016 Seatrade Award for countering piracy from Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO. All those associated with the MTISC–GoG project were delighted with this acknowledgement of the hard work that has gone in to making the MTISC–GoG pilot project such a huge success.

For the full announcement, see To watch Philip Pascoe, General Counsel at OCIMF, accept the award on behalf of MTISC–GoG visit

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The MTISC–GoG also had its first wedding! The team members in Ghana attended a ceremony to congratulate Margaret, the Centre’s chef, on the occasion of her marriage.

Margaret’s parents had passed away and Captain Finn Hansen, the MTISC–GoG Merchant Navy Liaison Officer, was honoured to be invited to sit at the top table as father of the bride. OCIMF and all the staff in Ghana wish Margaret and her husband well for the future.

The new MTISC–GoG Weekly Report was launched in January and is circulated Fridays at 1200. To be added to the distribution list please contact [email protected].

Further details of MTISC–GoG activity can be found on the MTISC–GoG website

Maritime Security snippets

International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2016

During April, industry played a major part in the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX), hosted by US Naval Forces in the Arabian Gulf.

The exercise, one of the largest ever events of its kind, attracted 6,500 military staff from more than 30 nations spanning six continents, offering the opportunity for nations to work together and with industry to keep the sea lanes open. Recognising the shared interest in keeping the global sea routes open, the three weeks of manoeuvres focused on the full range of security and support capabilities: from traditional mine countermeasure activities, to the integration of new technologies and platforms to address threats to international commerce.

The exercise was conducted in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean, which are bounded by 20 countries and include the critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb – some 2.5 million square miles.

US Naval Forces Central Command commander, Vice Admiral Donegan said that disrupting sea routes was a serious threat to global economies. “[The] threat from international non-state actors to sea traffic is real (…). We look at non-state actors with potential capabilities to disrupt sea traffic ranging from Al Qaeda to the Islamic State (IS) and even to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. All could have potential capabilities to reach out into the maritime domain and so that is one of the threats we work this exercise against in particular.” [Gulf Daily News –10 Apr 2016]

The focus for industry was to reinforce the key messages of doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our mariners, the safety of the environment and to keep the trade routes flowing.

As part of the exercise there were over 12 major shipping companies representing various aspects of the shipping business, including energy, containers and passenger ships. At sea, navies were offered the chance to interact with a number of merchant vessels to conduct escort operations, onboard search and seizure drills, ship visits, and notional threat assessments and mitigation efforts. The Royal Navy Destroyer HMS Defender escorted RMS Queen Mary 2 and RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 in the Arabian Gulf, whilst MV Maersk Atlanta practiced counter-piracy in the Red Sea with US and partner nation maritime security forces.

Geographically the region remains important for the energy sector – it is estimated that 35 per cent of the world's seaborne oil shipments pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

Those representing industry agreed this training opportunity was important – it gives the merchant mariners the chance to interact with naval ships and better understand how they operate. It also gives crews confidence, and their families affirmation, that someone is looking after them.

Industry representatives, integrated into the planning and decision making process, were able to offer expert advice and a perspective of the concerns facing mariners in time of tension.

Industry also used the opportunity to exercise an ‘Industry Communications Centre’ as a forum for interested parties to discuss an emerging situation and the impact on the maritime sector.

Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) Annual Piracy Report

OBP launched their 2015 report at the UK Chamber of Shipping on 3 May.

The report highlights a number of security related issues across the three main regions:

Western Indian Ocean. 'Despite reduced spending, international efforts in the Indian Ocean continued to suppress major attacks. However, several recent hijackings of regional vessels could signal an increased threat.' Gulf of Guinea. 'The GoG is the most dangerous region for seafarers with a rise in violence across the year and a rise in kidnap and ransom in the fourth quarter.' South-East Asia. 'Co-operative regional measures in South East Asia resulted in steep declines in piracy attacks in the second half of 2015.'

The report is available at

Political and Security Committee

Brigadier Robert Magowan CBE has been appointed Operation Commander for the EU Naval Force Somalia- EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta. Brigadier Magowan, an officer from the British Royal Marines, replaces Major General Martin Smith MBE and is expected to take up his duties on 3 June 2016. For the full press release follow the link.

Maritime Security Sub-committee

The next meeting of the Maritime Security Sub-committee (MSSC) will be held at the OCIMF London office on Wednesday 15 June at 1330.

Details can be found here.

IMO News

The 69th Session of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) was held at IMO Headquarters in London from 18–22 April 2016.

Overall it was a well-attended committee meeting, with over 150 papers to be discussed. The agenda was heavy and the main business was not completed within the five days allocated, despite the best efforts of the chairman. The main points of interest were mainly dedicated to ballast water management, air pollution and energy efficiency, technical and operational measures for enhancing energy efficiency of International Shipping and protection, and identification of special areas. There were several points of particular interest to OCIMF members.

1. MRV (Monitoring/Reporting/Verification) – data collection

During the plenary discussion there was strong support for continuing the three stage approach i.e.:

  1. Data Collection
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Setting of goals

Following the working group progress to finalise the text of the draft amendments to Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI to establish a data collection system for fuel consumption, the committee approved a mandatory data collection system.

2. Ballast Water Management (BWM)

The Committee noted that the number of Contracting Governments to the BWM Convention on 18 April 2016 was 49, representing 34.79% of the world's merchant fleet. Peru indicated their intention to deposit its instrument for accession with the Secretary General in the near future.

It is clear that triggering the required 35% is likely to happen this year and it is equally clear that there is a general unease about BWM convention implementation, particularly in terms of testing – both Type testing and Verification testing by Port State Control.

3. Reduction of GHG emissions

Miss Siminova, on behalf of UNFCCC, addressed the committee to update on Paris COP 21, which was regarded as most successful with ambitious action toward tackling climate change with a view to limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial times and with a target of below 1.5 degrees. Discussions generally supported the concept of the three step approach, i.e. focus for now on data collection, while recognising that this should not preclude the start of considering where this might lead to in a working group at MEPC 70.

The 96th Session of the Marine Safety Committee (MSC) was held at IMO Headquarters from 11–20 May 2016.

The meeting was held for eight days and the agenda was mainly dedicated to passenger ship safety; maritime security – including guidelines for Cyber risk management; verification of goal-based standards; carriage of >12 industrial personnel; unsafe mixed migration; and consideration and adoption of amendments to mandatory instruments.

There were several points of particular interest to OCIMF members:

1. Goal Based Standards (GBS)

Verification of Goal Based ship construction Standards audit – The Audit and action points of GBS within the IACS member companies was approved (albeit with some actions still to be finalised). This is viewed as a major milestone in bringing IMO GBS standards in line with the IACS member company rules.

2. Carriage of Industrial Personnel

This subject nearly achieved an approved interim solution around SOLAS I/4 exemptions and I/5 equivalents and a long term solution of a new chapter XV in SOLAS by 2024, but consensus could not be reached so this work has been deferred to the next session for more discussion.

3. Cyber Risk Management

The work group developed draft guidelines based upon the industry guidelines from BIMCO/ICS/INTERTANKO/CLIA/INTERCARGO and these will be issued as IMO guidance via an MSC circular, recognising that it will be further discussed at FAL 41 (April 2017) which then may require some revision to the circular.

In addition, MSC approved 35 new MSC circulars and a further 9 Sub Committee circulars.

Regional Panels – dates for your diary