Committed to continuously enhancing standards of safety and developing best practices, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry conscientiously strives to ensure industry insight, expertise, and guidance is readily shared. One of the most effective ways the RMI Registry facilitates this commitment is through the Marshall Islands Quality Council (MIQC). The MIQC is a consultative consortium comprised of industry experts who gather biannually to share experiences and awareness on a diverse range of topical issues. Meetings are attended by MIQC members, invited guest speakers, and RMI Registry personnel.
Due to COVID-19, the December 2020 MIQC Meeting was held virtually as a half-day series of seminars and panel discussions. The virtual meeting was moderated by Rear Admiral (RADM) Kevin Cook. After what has been a challenging year, the meeting, provided an important opportunity for MIQC members to connect and collaborate with colleagues from around the world.
The virtual meeting addressed the ongoing and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and focused on essential issues currently facing shipowners, operators, and managers, as well as regulatory authorities, including flag States.
In addition to the RMI Registry updates, MIQC meetings are organized to provide a platform for guest speakers to share their expertise, perspective, and insight on issues currently affecting the maritime industry. The two topics discussed during the December 2020 meeting included Crewing Challenges in a COVID-19 World and United States (US) Maritime Sanctions.
Mike Bradshaw, Global Head of HSEQ (V.Ships) and Captain Ashley Cooper, Marine Director (Scorpio Ship Management s.a.m.) provided insight as to how ship management companies have been working to overcome the impact of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 while safeguarding crew health and mental wellbeing. While each shipmanager has encountered unique pressures, both V.Ships and Scorpio Ship Management s.a.m have been leaders in successfully implementing additional measures to protect seafarers while ensuring continued operations.
Officials from the US Department of State provided an overview of US Maritime Sanctions. The material shared was a valuable reminder of the ongoing need for the maritime industry to uphold international trade regulations and of the opportunities available to industry to work together to counter the pervasive threat of corruption. An industry perspective was shared by Spyros Vlassopoulos, Managing Director, Ionic Shipping (Mgt) Inc.
The virtual meeting demonstrated the value of the MIQC in its facilitation of the flow of information between industry and flag in overcoming shared challenges and providing a forum for high-level discussion. While all in attendance look forward to the return of regular in-person meetings, the RMI Registry remains committed to providing quality support to its fleet and ensuring a push towards the highest standards of safety and best practices.