Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2021

7 7 Furthermore, in 2020, Interferry took a leadership position on the safe resumption of passenger services by issuing a best practice guide. The guide strengthens our hopes for better things to come in the foreseeable future, especially as governments around the world have embraced it as a blueprint for Covid-safe travel. This prime example of being prepared for worst-case scenarios typifies our determination to stay focused on the issues that are critical to the industry’s well-being. In good years or bad, regulatory representation is a constant in the association’s workload, not least through our consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where continuity during the pandemic has been ensured by replacing in-person sessions with virtual meetings. The change of process is proving to be highly acceptable, as explained on page 88 by Interferry regulatory affairs director Johan Roos. Our most urgent priority right now concerns proposals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions under the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ships Index (EEXI). Ahead of the 2030 target – a 40 per cent reduction on 2008 values – short-term measures were agreed in principle last November, scheduled for final approval in June this year and are due in force by 2023. Non-compliant ships will lose their licence to operate, while recertified vessels must thereafter conform to a continuous improvement plan for operational efficiency, the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII). The main compliance option under the short-term proposals is power limitation to reduce speed and thus achieve the average performance required of each shipping sector. While this is workable on deep-sea operations, Interferry has argued for sector-specific solutions to meet the diverse design and service requirements of ferries. We launched a survey asking members for fleet-wide energy-related data and received an excellent response that will help as many existing ships as possible to navigate both the EEXI and CII. I think it’s fair to say that this initiative alone speaks for the benefits of joining Interferry’s membership roll call of 260 operators and suppliers in 40 countries. And this leads me to one final hope for 2021 – that Interferry’s annual conference will go ahead as planned in Santander, Spain in October. In 2020, the event scheduled for Hobart, Australia, had to be cancelled for the first time in our 45-year history after falling victim to the pandemic. There has surely never been more a more important time to demonstrate the “Stronger Together” motivation of our networking and knowledge-sharing mission. CFR Like all of Interferry’s member lines, Philippines-based operator FastCat has implemented new procedures to keep passengers safe and healthy onboard its ferries Photos: Archipelago Philippine Ferries/FastCat