Chairman's Synthesis




[as of July 2005]


Royal Association
of Netherlands' Shipowners


Lloyd's List




For sponsoring opportunities for this conference, please contact

Ms. Ruth Dalgethy
tel: +31 10 281 06 55

conference committee:

Peter Swift
Managing Director INTERTANKO

Roger Holt
Managing Director INTERCARGO

Paul Markidis
Director Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)

Marianne Lie
Managing Director Norwegian Shipowners Association

Arthur Bowring
Director, Hong Kong Shipowners Association

Ugo Salerno

Henk Merkus
Deputy Head, Division for MaritimeTransport,
Dutch Ministry of Transport

David Row
Divisional Manager, Shipping Policy, Department for Transport, UK

Rear Admiral Robert C. North,
U. S. Coast Guard (Ret.)
President, North Star Maritime, Inc.

Nathalie Soisson
Transport Safety Group Coordinator, Total

Ioannis Kourmantzis
Senior -Vice -President
Regional Manager for
Maritime South Europe, DNV

Philippe Boisson
Communication Director
Bureau Veritas

Peter van Agtmaal
Managing Director, Royal Association of Netherlands’ Shipowners

Nicolette van der Jagt
Secretary General
European Shippers' Council

Alfons Gunier
Secretary General, European Community shipowners Association

Niels Bjørn Mortensen
Senior Manager, BIMCO

Gianfranco Damilano

Michael Grey
Commentator, Lloyd’s List,
Conference Chairman

Jannis Kostoulas
Managing Director, Mare Forum

Mare Forum 2005
Shipping in a Responsible Society
 Quo Vadis?

12 &13 September 2005

Hilton hotel Cavalieri
Rome - italy


The Marine Industry, while enjoying a period of relative prosperity, is nevertheless finding itself under an increasingly intense regulatory scrutiny. Substantial progress has been made across many fronts, with the reduction of marine pollution, maritime casualties and the attack upon sub-standard ships, yet there is a public demand for more. The quality of shipping has improved, yet expectations of still better governance remain unsatisfied.

There are significant changes taking place in the maritime world, not least on the regulatory front, where age-old concepts are being challenged by newer prescriptions. The freedom of the seas, once taken for granted, is clearly being eroded by a rise of regionalism, unilateralism and a type of power projection that sees powerful countries wishing to extend their defended borders into the deep oceans far from their shores, miles beyond the traditional limits. Technology enables maritime long range surveillance of merchant shipping, justified perhaps by the need for defence against terrorism, but challenging the intentions of those who drafted the UN Law of the Sea Convention.

There is a tectonic shift taking place in maritime technology, operational experience and the ownership of world shipping, moving inexorably to the east, the rise of Asian maritime power requiring shipping’s institutions to change.

Perceptions remain important, and the general ignorance about the importance of shipping tends to marginalise the whole industry, keeping its many achievements invisible, while accentuating things that go wrong. There is a societal change, sometimes described as the “blame culture” which shows increasing intolerance of any form of accident, and any incident, in particular, which damages natural resources. This has manifested itself in demands for the criminalisation of those who have been involved in incidents, a course which increasingly commends itself to the public and politicians, but which threatens to produce other consequences.

So the maritime industry must take a more proactive role in demonstrating its importance to the world, its considerable achievements and the way in which it handles its responsibility to society. It needs a higher profile, emphasising the progress that is being made in tackling sub-standard ships, in meeting challenges of greater environmental responsibility, in developing better, more robust ships , satisfying the operational demands for shipping excellence and reducing the gaps between the very best shipping practitioners and those who still struggle with standards.

But none of these enhancements come cheaply, additional regulation invariably carries a price and somehow these improvements, while obviously desirable, have to be paid for. Thus, those who facilitate shipping investments must be made aware of the changes to their terms of reference and new financial criteria driven by the demand for improved ships . Meanwhile, those who use shipping have an obligation to pay their way, thus providing the incentives for excellence.

Human element issues, the need to move beyond mere compliance in our attitude to the environment, and how we are tackling the demands for far greater maritime security illustrate other important challenges, which require “blue skies thinking”, innovation and commitment.

The industry has done a great deal, but there is still more to be accomplished, and a distinct need to tell the world about this essential but invisible industry. Mare Forum 2005, to be held in Rome in September takes the form of a “progress report”, its now traditional high level conference bringing industry figures, regulators, users of shipping examining a range of the industry’s “unfinished business”.

Mare Forum 2005 offers
ten distinct strands to this important and useful examination of progress and industrial performance:

The State of the art:
What has been achieved? - What is still to do?

The erosion of the freedom of the seas:
How can the Stars be Aligned?

The search for quality shipping - The challenge of global terrorism
How the industry is delivering its targets for safety and high standards and what still needs to be done. Can shipping ever be made safe against determined terroris

The demand for “greener” shipping
Tuning the technology to accord with society’s expectations for more environmentally sustainable transport.

The all important human element
How can the industry recruit, train, educate and retain coming generations of high quality people?

The dash for short sea shipping
A major potential for growth to answer contemporary problems of congestion, pollution and logistics.

The Market forecasts
Dry and Liquid bulk. The future of FFA's. Can we really forecast the market?

Investments in Liquid and Dry Bulk
Buy, sell or hold

Who will pay for all this?
What are the real costs of regulation? The price of qualitative improvement - role of the banks and shippers

Improving the industry’s image
How can we reveal the realities of an essential yet invisible global industry to politicians, press and public?

The official language of the conference will be English. Simultaneous translation in Italian will be provided.

We look forward to welcoming you in Rome,

Commentator, Lloyd's List
Conference Chairman
Managing Director

The conference programme
To  register for the conference please click here