TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements

Highly successful ETA Annual Meeting 2015 hosted by Tsavliris - 2015 May 18

Hosted by its member Alexander G. Tsavliris & Sons Maritime Co the European Tugowners Association gathered in Athens for its highly attended 52nd Annual Meeting.

The three-day programme (13-15 May) included a meeting of the Supervisory Committee, the Annual General Meeting of Members, a Conference and a Social Day.

The Supervisory Committee and the Annual General Meeting of Members noted and reconfirmed with satisfaction the recent incorporation of ETA as a non-profit organisation under Belgian Statutory Law and its registration in Brussels acquiring legal personality forthwith.

Matters brought forward by the Board of Directors were the successful outcome of the European Shipping Week in Brussels in March 2015 upon initiative of ECSA, to which ETA contributed actively in its capacity of member of the Steering Committee.

The Chairman, Mr Peter Vierstraete, General Manager of Smit Northwest Europe, underlined the importance of this event in bringing the paramount role of Shipping to the forefront of the European authorities' attention.

Secretary General Mr Hugo Callens further illustrated the Chairman's positive reflection by mentioning the visit to the port of Antwerp, organised in cooperation with EMPA, the dock pilots of BRABO and the Port of Antwerp, offering a platform to introduce the ETA Guidelines for Safe Towage Operations, drafted and published by the Nautical Technical Committee and presented by Cpt Yves Beeckman.

Much consideration was given by the Members to the progress of the legislative process on the European Commission's proposed Draft Regulation on market access to port services and transparency in port finances.

The members, who hitherto had concluded to rejection of the Draft, noted with satisfaction that the Rapporteur on Port Services (Mr Knut Fleckenstein) and the Commissioner of Transport (Mrs Violeta Bulc) seemed to realise that limitation of the scope of the market access chapter to only a limited number of port services, such as towage and mooring, while leaving out cargo handling, passenger services, dredging and partly, pilotage, illustrated the obsolete and disproportioned character of relevant provisions.

Mr Knut Fleckenstein's publicly defended opinion that Chapter II of the Draft covering market access should be drastically revisited by taking out all port services instead of only a selection of them was noted with great interest by ETA members.

The members elected Mr Mario Mizzi (CEO of Tug Malta) as their new chairman in succession to Mr Peter Vierstraete (General Manager of SMIT Towage Northwest Europe) and Mr Leendert Muller (Managing Director of Multraship Towage & Salvage BV) to the position of Deputy Chairman. Both will serve on the Board of Directors for two-year terms. Mr Hugo Callens remains the ETA Secretary General.

Mr Ioannis Theotokas, Secretary General from the Greek Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Maritime Affairs and Tourism opened the conference that ensued immediately after the AGM.

The President of the International Propeller Club (Port of Piraeus) Mr George Xiradakis was the first of four guest speakers invited to speak at the conference, this year having the theme "Towage in a Global Shipping Context".

The speaker enlightened the participating audience with how shipping and maritime affairs in general, thanks to the geo-morphosis of the Islands, evolved to become one of the most sustainable pillars of the Greek Economy placing the country as a respectable leader in the shipping world.

Mr Yiorgos Anomeritis, Chairman and Managing Director of the Piraeus Port Authority gave an expose of the valued importance of the Piraeus Port.

Mr Steve Dougal of Century Marine, shipbroker and Associate Member of ETA, portrayed the evolution of the interoperability between harbour tugs and offshore towage.

Mr Roger Clasquin from the Port of Rotterdam International wrapped up the conference by tackling the subject of the Evolution of Ports as Business Partner, Blending Public Duty with Business Development.

The programme spanning over three days attracted the record participation of members and associated members, many of whom accompanied by partners and guests who were charmed by the beauty of the surrounding mountains, captivated by the tradition and cultural of ancient Greece and fascinated by the breeze of the Aegean sea against which setting meetings and conference were organised.

About ETA:  The European Tugowners Association was formally established in London on 1 July 1963 and transferred to Brussels in 2002. It is one of Europe's oldest maritime trade organisations. The Association is widely recognised as the sole representative body of European tugowners and operators striving for safe and efficient maritime transport and port services within Europe. At present, the ETA has 81 full members in 21 countries who own or operate a combined fleet of some 700 tugs in European ports/installations. Each member-country has a Representative on the Supervisory Committee, nominated by the full members of the individual countries or the respective national tugowners association. Nicolas A. Tsavliris is the Representative for Greece. Since 1964, Full and Associate Members gather each year, invariably in one of the European littoral countries where members operate.