Istanbul Update: Developments, and the View from Turkey

18 September 2020

With nearly 200 vessels registered through International Registries, Inc.’s (IRI’s) Istanbul office since January 2020, Regional Manager of IRI Istanbul Ozgur Asik and his team of six have been busy working with owners, operators, managers, and crew to ensure that standards of safety and best practices remain high on the agenda. To help local ship operators, the team developed a program of online Officer Training Seminars, which have been hosted for eight different Turkish ship operators and attended by more than 300 officers and superintendents. Ozgur said:

With ongoing problems with crew changes and contracts, there are hundreds of officers currently at home or in offices. With conditions and requirements continuing to change, it is crucial that officers have an opportunity to continue engaging and learning from each other. It’s also important that our own team at IRI is able to continue learning and gathering insights from crews, both onboard and ashore, who are able to share their experiences on the issues and challenges they face.

We took the opportunity to develop an online training session hosted by one of our highly experienced nautical inspectors. The training focused on preparing for a port State control inspection, and explained key safety and compliance issues that need to be addressed. The officers were able to share their own experiences and openly discuss issues, which has been beneficial for all of us.

IRI’s Istanbul office utilizes two in-house inspectors and several highly qualified contractors to conduct vessel inspections at Turkish ports. After a pause of several months, some vessel inspections are being conducted in-person again, with strict adherence to social-distancing requirements.

“It is our intention to keep updating this online training course, and keep it going even when officer rotations get back to normal,” Ozgur said. “One positive to come out of a very bad COVID-19 situation is that companies are better equipped to work online and remotely, and we have found even more ways to add value for our clients.”

Ozgur also says the teams’ work in providing International Hazardous Materials (IHM) certifications will continue in earnest. Worldwide, the Marshall Islands added IHM certification to its portfolio of services to support clients’ compliance with the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR), to provide IHM certification for some vessels beginning 31 December 2020. Preparing an IHM requires a great deal of planning and coordination, so the Marshall Islands is well-placed to help owners with this, in addition to their vessel inspections.

“Turkey is a key ship-building and ship-recycling center, which is why it is really important for IRI to have a well-developed and highly experienced team here. This is also a key reason that Turkish owners are attracted to the RMI Registry—for our technical expertise, our ability to support them in their local language, and our ability to leverage a really strong global network known for its quality.”

“I’m hopeful we will soon see a return to more purchasing activity among Turkish owners, and more activity across Turkey’s shipyards in the coming months. For our team, we remain focused on supporting the shipping community here, and continuing to work with them to adjust,” Ozgur concluded.