International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI), who provide administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) maritime and corporate registries, organized a successful seminar together with Blank Rome LLP on 30 November 2011 at the Yacht Club of Greece – Piraeus.
The seminar was broken into two sessions with an introduction by Bill Gallagher, President of IRI. The seminar was moderated by Theo Xenakoudis, Worldwide Business Operations Officer of IRI. The first session focused on port State control (PSC) matters and the beneficial coordination between owners/operators and flag State with regards to PSC. Captain Theodore Lalas, Fleet Operations Manager of IRI in Piraeus, provided an overview of the RMI fleet and presented PSC figures across the globe. Detailed feedback on local PSC inspections in Asia, Europe and the United States and policies of the RMI concerning flag State inspections and communication with owners/operators was presented by Richard Dias, Senior Safety & Technical Manager of IRI in Hong Kong, Marc Verburg, Safety & Technical Manager of IRI in Roosendaal and Brian Poskaitis, Senior Vice President, Fleet Operations of IRI in Baltimore.
The second session, covering regulation, enforcement and trends in the United States, was presented by two Partners, Jeanne Grasso and Greg Linsin, from the law firm Blank Rome LLP. Greg Linsin provided an overview of magic pipes, whistleblowers and general MARPOL related cases in the United States. Jeanne Grasso followed with a discussion on proactive measures owners/operators may take to prevent becoming a target in United States waters including the importance of a comprehensive environmental compliance program, close cooperation with the flag State, and accurate record keeping.
Around 200 delegates from safety, technical and operations departments of various shipping companies attended the seminar, together with lawyers and other stakeholders from the shipping industry. The seminar was developed to provide feedback to owners/operators regarding PSC statistics of the RMI fleet; to assist owners/operators in understanding RMI’s relationship with PSC authorities around the globe and how timely notification, communication, and coordination with the flag State is an essential element to avoiding delays in ports; and to provide owners/operators with more insight into the recent trends in the United States with respect to regulation and enforcement. “The information provided during the seminar will assist owners/operators in ensuring they are in full compliance with international and national standards and regulations, so they do not become targeted by PSC,” said Theo Xenakoudis.