Monday, February 8, 2010

BIMCO Endorse New Quality Standard For Shipping Agents And Brokers

Concerns at Credibility of Sector Encourages Self-Regulation
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE - The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the world’s largest ship owners association, has endorsed the Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) Quality Standard mark as an important step in regulating the shipping brokers and agency sector and maintaining the quality of these fields.

In a statement issued by BIMCO, Deputy Secretary General Søren Larsen said that “[We] fully endorse this initiative as an important step in raising quality standards, generally, as well as specifically for the agents and brokers sector”.

“In a regulatory environment with increasing focus on maritime safety and quality and significant liability risks for ship owners and operators it is important that the industry strives to self-regulate. The Quality Standard provides ship owners and operators with a degree of protection, sets minimum standards and ensures a coherent provision and application of services in this important segment of our industry”.

The new accreditation will serve to assist ship owners and operators in their selection of who is to represent them. This will ensure a specific level of knowledge and experience as well as financial standing of their selected representative with a regular audit overseen by FONASBA to ensure that the required criteria are maintained and that the member displays a demonstrable and tangible commitment to quality.

In a statement BIMCO said that: “So far ten FONASBA member associations, representing nearly 200 companies in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Great Britain, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United States now apply the standard. A number of other associations are currently developing the relevant criteria.

“It is clear, therefore, that this initiative is gaining in stature and is becoming accepted as the global standard for professionalism and quality performance in the ship brokers and agency sector.”

(pic: Søren Larsen)