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Global Shippers Forum AGM
The Melbourne conference was proceeded by the GSF annual meeting where the retiring Secretary General underlined to delegates the impacts of global decisions currently on the table. Three key areas of discussion were:

Global Alliances / industry consolidation impact on the competition framework:

GSF is calling for the review of VSA’s and the EU consortia block exemption (market share threshold set at 30%, above that must self-assess) given that three global alliances, comprising 13 lines, now control most of the world’s trade routes.

IMO’s CO2 emissions targets

In April this year the IMO adopted an agreement (supported by NZ) on a comprehensive strategy to phase out international shipping’s CO2 emissions completely. This includes targets to improve the sectors CO2 efficiency by at least 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 and a very ambitious goal to cut the sectors total GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 regardless of growth in demand of maritime transport. It was agreed that ICS should come forward with detailed proposals before the next round of IMO discussions in October.
Of real concern to shippers is one of the proposed short-term measures to achieve this target relating to speed reduction – i.e. slow steaming. GSF is opposed to this measure because shippers would ultimately bear the costs, resulting from the need for more ships in scheduled liner service loops, higher inventory and extended lead times which would undermine JIT deliveries. There is potential distortion to shipping markets /trade/distance travelled and disproportionate impacts on geographically remote shippers i.e. NZ. We note that the Chile has submitted a paper expressing concern on speed reduction and Argentina, Brazil and India have also raised strong concerns. GSF will attend the next IMO Working Group which has been tasked with recommending the most suitable short-term measures.

Best practice container cleanliness
The UN Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) has established a sea container taskforce to review potential new procedures under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to ensure that containers are free from pests and plant contamination. The first meeting was held in China in late 2017 to consider possible new measures. New Zealand is cited as one of the leading proponents of a mandatory initiative – at the meeting in China a representative from MPI outlined proposals under which shippers would have to supply a declaration form declaring that containers are free from pests and wood packaging. Responsibility for the declaration would rest with the exporter via the shipping line. MPI further proposed that a container cleanliness system should include the identification of the place of inspection.
However, in parallel with the IPCC initiative the US and Canadian Food and Agriculture departments have led a container cleanliness initiative, which recommends a self-inspection best practice approach as an alternative to the mandatory approach. GSF has recommended to members that it support the best practice approach. There is more to come on this of which we will keep you informed.



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