Tugboat tugging a ship

Round Table meeting of shipping industry associations prioritises seafarers at first in-person meeting since COVID

Published: 22 February 2023

In Athens last week, the leaders of the major shipping industry trade associations agreed to work together to prioritise seafarers.

As well as BIMCO, the other organisations are INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The meeting was the first physical meeting since 2019.

The group was unanimous in its emphasis on the importance of the seafaring community. They agreed to work together on issues addressing the criminalisation of seafarers, lessons learnt from the pandemic, training and the future availability of skilled mariners, as well as the attractiveness of seafaring careers in general.

They also debated members’ positions on key industry topics ranging from decarbonisation and ship recycling to eliminating marine pollution.

Round Table participants work together to serve, represent and advance the international shipping industry. Aiming to create a responsible and respected international shipping industry by identifying areas of common interest, the Associations work together where the combined effort of the Round Table can achieve more than individual efforts.

The leaders attending the meeting were:

  • Paolo d’Amico, Chairman of INTERTANKO
  • Sabrina Chao, President of BIMCO
  • Dimitrios Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO
  • Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping.

The aims of the round table are to:


  • Present the industry’s arguments in a clear, co-ordinated, consistent and unambiguous manner
  • Enhance political and public awareness of the essential role of shipping in world trade
  • Encourage a positive and respected response to the industry on the part of society at large
  • Communicate the performance of the industry
  • Provide guidance to the industry on relevant topical issues
  • Develop measures for credible and effective self-regulation within the industry whilst promoting the case for a proper balance between regulation and self-regulation
  • Support the principle of international rather than regional or unilateral regulation
  • Advance quality in shipping, and the universal commitment to maritime safety and environmental responsibility
  • Ensure that shipping provides a challenging and rewarding career for persons of commitment, initiative and enthusiasm
  • Promote the shipping industry as an attractive employer
  • Develop a closer working relationship with the industry’s partners in the “chain of responsibility”.

Current coordination topics include the fair treatment of seafarers and their criminalisation, piracy, MARPOL Annex VI, greenhouse gas emissions from Ships, reception facilities, ballast water management, corruption and many more.


BIMCO House front door


Communications Team

Copenhagen, Denmark