February 18th was marked by the elections of the new executive committee for the Greek Section. This was an extraordinary meeting. It started with the general assembly meeting with reports regarding the activities and the finances of our Section. The general assembly meeting was followed by the elections. Last but not least we had an interesting presentation by Mr. Dimitrios Fokas of Germanischer Lloyd, in front of a capacity crowd.
The title presentation focused on developments in legislation over the last 10 years in Europe regarding the functions and the role of class societies and the control on them. As stated by the speaker the European Commission has now more tools to measure the performance of classes (Recognized Organizations, ROs) and to control them, including the possibility to impose fines for the first time. Emphasis is now on qualitative criteria only; old quantitative criteria are cancelled. The role of classes is changing. They will not be audited anymore by other IACS members.
An interesting part of the presentation referred to the IACS investigation by the European Commission. Investigation ended in Oct 2009 without any findings of infringement of competition law. IACS committed to establish more qualitative membership criteria and to allow participation in its technical work to nonmember classes. IACS and ROs faced a lot of criticism after the accidents of ERIKA and PRESTIGE. Measures taken by IACS were the strengthening of surveys for Tankers and Bulkers with introduction of ESP, the quality system QSCS, the Unified Requirements for Surveys and the expansion of the scope of surveys. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion and questions session. Classes are part of every day life in shipping and anything that has to do with them is treated with high sensitivity and interest. As always, the meeting in the perennially-hospitable Maran Auditorium was concluded with the get-together time, when we had the opportunity to meet and exchange news and ideas.
( from left to right ): G. Grigoropoulos, Ex Int. Reg. VP ; D. Fokas, Author; P.
Lalangas,Chair; N. Dionissopoulos, Membership Chair