6th Annual HELMEPA – USCG meeting in Washington, DC
For the sixth consecutive year, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) welcomed the representatives of HELMEPA Member Companies at their headquarters in Washington, DC for the established annual meeting, which continues the long tradition of cooperation between the two organizations.
The meeting took place on Tuesday 6 November and was chaired, as last year, by RADM John P. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, who heads the development of national policy, standards and programs that promote safety at sea, security and environmental stewardship, while overseeing at the same time the directorates of inspections and compliance, marine transportation systems, commercial regulations and standards.
In a warm and friendly atmosphere, RADM Nadeau and eight other USCG officials, including Mr Jeffrey Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, Captain Scott Kelly, Commanding Officer for Operating & Environmental Standards and Captain Matt Edwards, Chief of Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, examined in detail the items of the Agenda, which was compiled in cooperation with the participating Member managing companies. The CG provided information on the latest developments on the topics as well as clarifications and answers to specific issues encountered by member vessels in their efforts to achieve optimum compliance with US regulations.
The evident subjects that dominated discussions included ballast water management in US waters (extensions, alternatives in case of BWT systems’ failure, etc.) and USCG’s implementation policy given the existence of 12 type-approved systems (including the last one announced on the day of the meeting), the global sulfur limit as from 1/1/2020 and the major issue of fuel oil quality assurance for safe vessel compliance with the new requirement, as well as more specific PSC issues in the US.
With regards to the latter, the USCG representatives listened with interest to a number of proposals aiming at facilitating the preparation of vessels for inspection in US ports and stressed once again that the Coast Guard’s intention is to always be flexible and cooperative in resolving problems according to legislative requirements, provided that due diligence is applied and these problems are sincerely and timely reported to the competent COTP.
Closing, participants on both sides recognized the spirit of cooperation and the mutually constructive character of these meetings and are looking forward to their next meeting in 2019.
The 9 participating Member companies and there representatives were:
- ARISTON NAVIGATION CORP., Christos Georgousopoulos, DPA/CSO-Newbuildings Manager,
- ATLANTIC BULK CARRIERS MANAGEMENT LTD., Panos Zachariadis, Technical Director,
- CHANDRIS (HELLAS) INC., Evangelos Pantelelis, HSTE Manager/ Alternate DPA
- CLEOPATRA SHIPPING AGENCY/DELTA NAVIGATION, John Couloucoundis, President
- COSTAMARE SHIPPING COMPANY S.A., John Drakogiannopoulos, RS&Q Manager, DPA-CSO,
- DIANA SHIPPING SERVICES S.A., Andreas Minaidis, Environmental Manager – EMR
- EURONAV SHIP MANAGEMENT HELLAS LTD., Pantelis Patsoulis, DDPA/DCSO – Senior HSQE Superintendent,
- Μ/MARITIME CORP., Michael Gavriil, DPA/HSQE Manager,
- VRONTADOS S.A., Constnatinos Kokkinakis, Quality & Safety Manager/ DPA-CSO
Participants on the part of HELMEPA Secretariat were Dimitris C. Mitsatsos, Director General, Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator and John Pesmatzoglou, Maritime Training Officer.