The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is a trade association that represents ship owners and ship operators via national shipowners associations.
Its aim is to promote the interests of its members throughout all issues of ship operation and also shipping policy.
Key facts about the International Chamber of Shipping:
- ICS member shipping companies operate over 80% of the world’s merchant tonnage.
- ICS membership is made up of national shipowners’ associations in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
- The ICS was established in 1921.
- The ICS has 36 members and 11 associate members.
- The ICS is based in London.
- The ICS is unique because unlike other international shipping trade associations it represents the global interests of all the different trades in the industry, from passenger ship operators to tanker operators.
- The ICS is a consultative body to the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.
- The ICS deals with regulatory, operational and legal issues relating to the shipping industry.
The ICS provides representation for its members with various intergovernmental regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organisation.
It is also a source of information for members and has developed guidance and best practice for those operating within the industry – these resources are offered free to ship owners in the industry, as well as to members.
Its mission is to aim for a global shipping industry that operates to high standards, prioritises safe shipping operations, as well as protection of the environment.
While it was fundamentally created to promote the industry of shipping operators it also has as one of its aims cooperation with other organisations, both governmental and non-governmental in order to help make the shipping industry a more efficient and safe place.
Criteria for membership:
ICS members are ship owners and operators from around the world who are represented via national ship owners associations. It is the associations that hold the membership so individual owners and operators cannot apply.
There are no membership criteria listed on the website because of this.
Opinions about the International Chamber of Shipping:
The ICS is quoted in several industry publications, commenting on the issues of the day such as CO2 reduction. It is mentioned on the websites of its members, such as the UK Chamber of Shipping.
Documents online show the ICS commenting on global issues, such as tax conventions, and there is also coverage of events such as the International Chamber of Shipping Conference where Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organisation, described the ICS as “one of several non-governmental organisations that represent the shipping industry at IMO and has one of the longest pedigrees.”
Other online sources refer to the ICS as the “most recognised global ship owners association.” The credibility of the ICS is obvious from the publications in which its name appears, the associations with other bodies and the kind of issues it is asked to comment on.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing all sectors and trades (including inter alia tankers, dry bulk carriers, containerships, general cargo and specialised ships, as well as passenger ships) with the various intergovernmental bodies that impact on shipping. ICS membership comprises national shipowners’ associations in 35 countries representing over 80% of the world merchant fleet.
For more on shipping see: 2016 International Container Shipping Rates & Costs and Freight Forwarder & NVOCC International Cost & Companies Guide