The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA) returned to its spiritual home in London the week commencing 17th October for its 2016 Annual Meeting. The Federation was founded in London in 1969 and the city hosted the Secretariat from then until 1990 and again from 2000 to date. This year, delegates from a record 39 of its 55 member countries participated in a week of meetings covering chartering, ship agency and European issues as well as electing a new President and Executive Committee.
Hosted by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, FONASBA’s member in Great Britain, the meeting saw the adoption of a new standard agency appointment agreement developed jointly with BIMCO, amendments to the FONASBA Quality Standard criteria and the approval of Kenya as the 27th member country covered by the Standard. The new agency appointment agreement form will now be discussed by BIMCO’s Documentary Committee at their meeting in November with a view to that organisation also approving it.
Iran was also confirmed as the 56th FONASBA member country when The Shipping Association of Iran (SAOI) was elected to membership.
The meeting programme also featured a joint seminar with the London Branch of the Institute on the question of “Are shipbrokers are dodos, doomed to extinction?” A distinguished panel of experts debated the motion and concluded that in spite of technological advances and changing market and trade conditions, qualified and professional brokers still have a vital role to play in international shipping.
At the close of the Council Meeting on Friday 21st October, the Presidency of the Federation passed from Glen Gordon Findlay of Brazil to John A. Foord FICS of Great Britain, who becomes the fifth British President in the organisation’s history. The week closed with the Gala Dinner, held jointly with the Institute’s Prize Giving ceremony, at the Mansion House in the City of London. Delegates, partners and guests were welcomed to the Dinner by the Lord Mayor, Lord Mountevans, who is both a shipbroker and Member of the Institute.
The Prize Giving Ceremony also included the presentation of the second FONASBA Young Ship Agent or Ship Broker Award to Tim Polson MICS of Australian Independent Shipbrokers. Receiving the award, Tim gave an excellent speech in which he acknowledged both the value of education for today’s young shipping professionals and the unique bond between all members of the international maritime community.
The 2017 Annual Meeting will be in Dubai as guests of the Dubai Shipping Agents’ Association.
FONASBA is the only organisation representing the global ship agency and ship broking professions. Established in 1969 it now has members in 56 countries, including all major maritime and trading nations. Its remit is to “promote and protect the professions of ship agency and ship broking worldwide”, a task which it undertakes through dialogue with its member associations and its consultative status with IMO, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL and the World Customs Organisation, as well with the European Commission and other regional bodies. FONASBA also enjoys reciprocal memberships with the Baltic Exchange, BIMCO, INTERTANKO, the International Port Community Systems Association, indemnity insurer ITIC and the Shipbrokers’ Register and works closely with all other maritime scetor bodies, both internationally and in Europe. www.fonasba.com