IUMI SRTI press release

The need for transparency in ship recycling has been highlighted by Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) during an industry webinar discussion held on October 5th.

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The event was co-organized by the International Union of Marine Insurance and the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI).

“For us at American Hellenic, sustainability is not just a trend or a catch-phrase,” Mr Tsakiris said. “It is a matter of ethos. But we also believe that it can be an intelligent way of doing business.

“We see regulators, investors, financiers and major clients converging around these principles, partnering each other while calling unsustainable businesses to account”, he added.

Sustainability has been a modus vivendi for American Hellenic Hull, and ESG issues have been reflected in the company’s policies, right from its inception in 2016.

In accordance with the UN’s 2030 agenda, the company has adopted an innovative sustainable approach, forging international co-operations with the UNEP Finance Initiative, Principles for Sustainable Insurance and the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative, the UN Global Compact, the Net Zero Insurance Alliance, and the World Maritime University. The company has participated in the development of two guides to tackle ESG issues in non-life insurance and sustainable blue economy.

The shipping industry is facing tectonic changes from new regulations related to decarbonisation and alternative fuels, new technologies and the use of AI in operations and on board. Among the most significant issues that all marine underwriters should address are sustainable ship recycling policies and procedures.

AHHIC is a member of the SRTI since May 2021. Launched in 2018, the SRTI provides a platform for shipowners to disclose their ship recycling policies and actions undertaken to raise awareness for sustainable ship recycling.

Efforts to date from the international community, United Nations and other institutions, to establish a “single window” policy in ship recycling are not enough, according to Mr Tsakiris.

“In the absence of a single international regulation for ship recycling; stakeholders are urged to find the “one ring to rule them all”, he said.

The lack of a common regulation for the protection of the workforce – even children working in various yards-, the protection of the environment and the absence of a Ship Recycling Plan from ship recycling yards, create a two-speed recycling industry between high-cost and low-cost yards”, Mr Tsakiris underlined.

Risk management is at the forefront of all marine underwriters’ activities and when it comes to the vessel’s final voyage, it is crucial for insurers to assess the risk before and until the shipbreaking.

“We believe that an agreed framework and a common risk management strategy should be adopted that will provide an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements”, said Mr Tsakiris.

In the absence of a common international legislative framework, the platform acts as a one-stop shop for all the stakeholders.

“We propose that SRTI should take further initiatives, including the introduction of a risk assessment heatmap, that will help the marine insurance community to better understand the risks related to unsustainable ship recycling practices”, Mr Trsakiris said.

“It is essential for marine underwriters to participate in raising the shipping industry’s sustainable ship recycling standards and lobby for a common framework to be adopted and commonly accepted by all stakeholders of the maritime adventure.”

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