NEWS CENTER
Update on QUALSHIP 21 / E-ZERO

According to data published by the USCG for January 2018, current holders of the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate include a total of 36 HELMEPA member vessels managed by 14 companies, and the E-Zero Designation: 4 vessels managed by 2 companies. The following table shows the member vessels number per Managing Company:

Managing Company Number of Vessels *
Qualship 21 E-Zero
ADELFIA SHIPPING ENTERPRISES S.A. 1  
ARISTON NAVIGATION CORP. 2  
ATLANTIC BULK CARRIERS MANAGEMENT LTD. 4  
ATLAS MARITIME LTD. 1  
CHARTWORLD SHIPPING CORPORATION 1  
MINERVA MARINE INC. 1  
NEDA MARITIME AGENCY CO. LTD. 4  
NIOVIS SHIPPING CO. S.A. 2  
PEGASUS MARITIME ENTERPRISES INC. 1  
S. LIVANOS - HELLAS S.A. 6 1
SILVER LAKE SHIPPING CO. S.A. 1  
SPRINGFIELD SHIPPING CO.OF PANAMA S.A. 3  
THENAMARIS (SHIPS MANAGEMENT) INC. 1  
TSAKOS ENERGY NAVIGATION LIMITED (T.E.N.) 8 3
Total number of member vessels 36 4

*Note: Vessels of the company that also carry the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate but are not members of HELMEPA are not included in the numbers given in the table.



The 2018 HELMEPA Refresher Training Program kicks off

HELMEPA, operating as a DNV GL certified "Maritime Training Center for Pollution Prevention, Safety at Sea and Environmental Awareness" launches tomorrow, 16 January 2018, its 36th Annual Program of Voluntary Refresher Training.

The Program kicks off with the 2-day Seminar "Marine Environmental Awareness", based on IMO Model Course 1.38 and certified by the Maritime Authority of the Republic of Cyprus.

The 2018 Program offers also the 2-day "Safety" and "Pollution Prevention" and the 1-day "Human Element and Safety" Seminars. Again this year, these new Seminars have been developed in close cooperation with HELMEPA's Training Committee, in a way that their syllabus meets the actual training needs of Member Companies.

New topics presented this year include cyber security, prevention of enclosed lifeboat release accidents, MRV implementation, response to oil pollution from ships, the Safety II approach to safety issues and leadership-communication principles for the management of human resources on board.

Each 2-day Seminar is to be offered 5 times during the year, while the 1-day Seminar is scheduled 8 times in total. HELMEPA warmly thanks all those who are actively involved in the successful implementation of the Program, in particular the lecturers, who are experts of 12 Member Companies and Organizations, scientific staff of the National Technical University of Athens, Officers of the Hellenic Coast Guard and independent associates.

Detailed information on the Seminars is included in the Refresher Training 2018 booklet, available at HELMEPA's website (Downloads).



HELMEPA at the maritime community in Dubai

Following up on the Memorandum of Cooperation that HELMEPA Chairman Dr. George Gratsos signed with the Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries on 4 May 2017, the Treasurer of HELMEPA Board of Directors, Mr. Nikos Bafaloukos, Managing Director of Fairdeal Group, organized a meeting of HELMEPA with maritime stakeholders in Dubai on 10 January 2018. Specifically, Mr. Khamis Juma Buamim, Board Member, Managing Director & Group CEO of Gulf Navigation Holding, exchanged views with Mr. D. Mitsatsos and Ms Ch. Prekezes for the better preparation of the United Arab Emirates MEPA which is expected to be found in Dubai. HELMEPA has undertaken the obligation, according to the Memorandum, to assist the initiative of the establishment of this MEPA in all its phases.

Furthermore, HELMEPA's presentation at the Offshore Arabia Conference to take place at the end of February in Dubai and under the chairmanship of Mr. Buamim, was also discussed at the meeting.



HELMEPA and AUSMEPA meeting with AMSA in Canberra

On 4 January 2018, the CEO of AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Mr. Mick Kinley welcomed at their offices in Canberra, Mr Dimitris Mitsatsos and Ms Christiana Prekezes of HELMEPA, Mr. Warwick Norman, Chairman of AUSMEPA and INTERMEPA and Ms Julie Nash, Executive Officer of AUSMEPA. At the meeting also present was Ms Annalisse Sly, Acting Manager, Environment Standards of AMSA.

The aim of the meeting was the exchange of information and the strengthening of cooperation between HELMEPA and AMSA, which started in 2000 when AUSMEPA was established. In this spirit, HELMEPA tabled questions of Member Companies on the implementation of Australian maritime legislation requirements, on which Mr. Kinley provided clarifications and explained the respective policies of AMSA, that HELMEPA will disseminate to its Members. Ways to sustain a closer cooperation were also discussed so that HELMEPA Member vessels trading in Australian waters, timely informed, can effectively contribute to the common efforts of protecting Australian's sensitive sea areas. Last but not least, the synergy of the three organizations was discussed during the meeting.

Mr. Mitsatsos, on behalf of HELMEPA, invited Mr. Kinley to come to Greece during POSIDONIA 2018 and to address HELMEPA Conference to be held on 6 June, between 10.30 and 14.00 at the Metropolitan Expo.

On the occasion of HELMEPA's visit in Australia, Mr. W. Norman, in his capacity as INTERMEPA Chairman, exchanged views with HELMEPA's representatives on issues to be included in the agenda of the Steering Committee meeting of INTERMEPA during POSIDONIA.



11/01/2018
Launching of the 2018 Refresher Training Program

It is our pleasure to announce the launching of HELMEPA's new Annual Voluntary Refresher Training Program with the two-day Seminar Marine Environmental Awareness next Tuesday 16 January. This year's Program consists of 4 different Seminars, a one-day and three two-day Seminars. The first Seminars of each category are scheduled as follows:

  • Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17 January (09.00-16.15): Marine Environmental Awareness
  • Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 January (09.00-15.15): Safety
  • Wednesday 31 January (09.00-15.15): Human Element and Safety
  • Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 February (09.00-15.15): Pollution Prevention

For the syllabus and the daily program of each Seminar, as well as the 2018 Refresher Training Calendar, you may refer to the following link: http://www.helmepa.gr/en/summary.php

Note: The Seminars are addressed to bridge and engine room officers as well as land-based staff of HELMEPA Member Companies. For more information on the registration process and terms of participation, you may contact HELMEPA’s Maritime Section by phone at 210 9343088 or e-mail at training@helmepa.gr.



04/01/2018
New issue of 'The HELMEPA Navigator' Technical Bulletin (No. 137)

Issue No 137 of our Technical Bulletin "The HELMEPA Navigator" has been published, including articles on the following topics:

  • Safety of mooring operations
  • AMSA advises on ship-to-ship transfer operations at sea
  • Marine casualties and incidents - selection of facts from EMSA´s Annual Overview
  • 10 years of CleanSeaNet

Note: "The HELMEPA Navigator" Technical Bulletin is published both in English and Greek. It is sent electronically to HELMEPA member companies and seafarers, and is also available for download on our website (Member's Login).



11/12/2017
24th Annual Board of Representatives of the 'HELMEPA Junior' Program

"Adults, wise up
and help us save the environment"

Twelve children, 5 to 11 years old, from Agia Paraskevi in Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli, Antiparos, Chios, Corfu, Florina, Gargalianoi in Messinia, Gerakas in Attica, Gournes in Heraklion-Crete, Ioannina, Vagia in Viotia and Volos convened as the 24th Board of Representatives (BoR) of the "HELMEPA Junior" educational Program, on Friday 8 December in Athens. These children are the "leaders" of the most active Groups in 12 Greek Prefectures and representatives of the 7,214 children-members of the program during the school year 2016-2017.

Invited by HELMEPA, children, parents, volunteer teachers and local coordinators of schools' activities participated in two separate events, hosted by HELMEPA's Associate Member Company, COSTAMARE Shipping. The young schoolchildren convened and elected their Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretaries, shared their experiences and agreed upon their environmental messages addressed to the adult community. Teachers and parents were welcomed on behalf of the family of the late Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos and COSTAMARE by the company's Executive Vice President, Mr. Diamantis Manos and on behalf of HELMEPA's Board of Directors by the Chairman, Dr George Gratsos.

Honouring symbolically the devotion of teachers to their high duties, the Chairman presented a commemorative plaque to Mrs. Maria-Phaedra Tsialera, teacher of the sole schoolchild in the Primary School of Arkioi, in Dodecanese. Ms. Tsialera thanked HELMEPA and spoke of the adverse conditions on this little remote island as well as of the unprecedented and valuable experience of her work there, as a teacher.

Mr. Theodosis Stamatellos, Area Manager for Greece, East Mediterranean and Adriatic of Hellenic Lloyd's, Associate Corporate Member of HELMEPA, referred with warm words to the Association's voluntary environmental programs, which were supported by Lloyd's Register Foundation in the six-year period from 2011 to 2017 in 24 Greek Cities. These consisted of Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaigns on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences. The outcome of this 6-year effort was presented by HELMEPA's Executive Coordinator, Mrs. Christiana Prekezes.

Afterwards, the children members of the Board of Representatives sent out their common message:

"Please do not throw down your garbage, because the environment will need assistance.
I am a small child doing as much as I can.
Wise up and give me a helping hand!"

This was followed by the presentation of commemorative diplomas and gifts to children and adults and a lunch kindly offered by COSTAMARE. The event concluded with a visit to the Planetarium of the Eugenides Foundation, organized by HELMEPA.



01/12/2017
New issue of The HELMEPA Monitor (No. 15)

The new, 15th issue of our electronic publication "The HELMEPA Monitor" has been released. This initiative was undertaken as a result of the close collaboration between the US Coast Guard and HELMEPA and we believe that it is a useful tool for the companies and crews of the ships trading in US waters.

The current issue includes the following articles:

  • New biofouling management regulations in California
  • Cyber Security developments in the US
  • USCG draws attention to vessel stability and watertight integrity issues
  • ECDIS updates to meet IHO standards
  • Update on USCG Type-Approved Ballast Water Management Systems

Note: All the issues of "The HELMEPA Monitor" are available in English for HELMEPA members on our website.



27/11/2017
The HELMEPA-Lloyd's Register Foundation Campaign concludes on the island of Naxos

The "Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences" came to a close in the Cyclades and specifically Filoti of Naxos with a Seminar for teachers that took place on Thursday 23 November.

This Campaign was carried out by HELMEPA between 2014 and 2017 across 14 areas of Greece with the support of Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF)*. In total, more than 14,000 schoolchildren and 900 teachers visited, on the Campaign's expenses, the mobile exhibition that operated for 200 days in the 14 areas. Furthermore, 400 teachers participated in ‘train-the-trainer' seminars, while many voluntary activities took place in cooperation with local stakeholders.

Besides raising the environmental awareness of kids and adults, the aim of this initiative was also to provide scientific knowledge on the Campaign's themes to students and teachers of the Greek periphery and to inspire children to learn more about science, engineering and new technologies in the service of the environment and humanity.

On the island of Naxos, the mobile exhibition was hosted for 8 days at the Cultural Centre of Filoti and was visited by a total of 1,050 students from all the Primary and High Schools of the island. Moreover, during the seminar "The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future" that took place in the same place, participating teachers were informed about recent scientific developments and became members of the "Marine Teachers" network.

HELMEPA wholeheartedly thanks the Society of Filotites of Naxos - Anomeritis Library for hosting the exhibition, the Municipality of Naxos for placing the Campaign under its auspices and organizing the program of school visits, the Directorate for Primary Education of Cyclades for their cooperation and above all the schoolchildren and teachers of Filoti and the rest of Naxos for their enthusiastic response to the Campaign's messages, which fills us with hope for a better future.

* Note to the Editors:
Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.
http://www.lrfoundation.org.uk/



24/11/2017
Annual Meeting HELMEPA - USCG

On Tuesday 21 November 2017, the 5th consecutive annual meeting of HELMEPA Member Companies' representatives and the United States Coast Guard took place at their Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The meeting was hosted by RADM John P. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, who leads development of national policy, standards and programs to promote Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Stewardship, while overseeing the Directorates of Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation Systems, and Commercial Regulations and Standards.

With the participation of Captain Jennifer F. Williams, Director of Inspections & Compliance, Captain Ryan D. Manning, Chief, Office of Port & Facility Compliance, Captain Scott Kelly, Office of Operating & Environmental Standards and other staff, the meeting took place in a friendly and constructive atmosphere.

Items of the Agenda, which was compiled in cooperation with the participating Member Companies, included water ballast management, Cyber Security, adequacy of shore reception facilities and management of sewage and garbage, QUALSHIP 21, inspections towards issuing COC, biofouling, navigation issues in US waters and other. Clarifications and update on the most recent developments on these issues were provided while CG officers listened attentively to specific concerns of vessels managed by HELMEPA Member Companies because, as they stated, their aim is safety, security and environmental protection in parallel with facilitation of maritime commerce.

During the meeting, the Coast Guard emphasized that, at all circumstances, on time and sincere reporting to the COTP by the Master and the Operator of any problems experienced onboard is appreciated since proper communication can solve issues that otherwise may have severe consequences.

The 7 Member Companies that participated and their representatives were:

  • ARISTON NAVIGATION CORP., Christos Georgousopoulos, DPA/CSO-Newbuildings Manager,
  • CARRAS (HELLAS) S.A., Spiros Vlachos, QMS Manager,
  • COSTAMARE SHIPPING COMPANY S.A., Ioannis Drakogiannopoulos, RS&Q Manager, DPA-CSO,
  • DIANA SHIPPING SERVICES S.A., Michael Gavriil, DPA-CSO-HSQE Manager,
  • EURONAV SHIP MANAGEMENT HELLAS LTD., Pantelis Patsoulis, HSQE Superintendent/DDPA/DCSO,
  • S. LIVANOS - HELLAS S.A., Michail Fragkias, DPA & Safety Manager,
  • TSAKOS COLUMBIA SHIPMANAGEMENT (TCM) S.A., Andreas Zarnavelis, Deputy DPA /Quality & Regulatory Compliance Officer.

HELMEPA Secretariat was represented by Dimitris C. Mitsatsos, Director General, Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator and Dimitris Giakos, Membership Services.



10/11/2017
HELMEPA Junior celebrates 24 years of action

On November 10, 2017 we celebrated 24 years of operation of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program. It was on November 10, 24 years ago, that HELMEPA’s Board of Directors, chaired by Basil Phr. Papachristidis and with the sincere, warm support of the late Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos, then Vice Chairman, unanimously approved the proposal to create the educational environmental program “HELMEPA Junior”. It was and still is, the offering of HELMEPA’s volunteer Members to children aged 5 to 13, in order to enhance the environmental awareness of tomorrow's citizens.

Since then, the Program, with the approval of and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Research and Religions as well as with the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, has been implemented throughout Greece with a total participation of 99,150 children and 3,604 Volunteer Teachers in 1,361 kindergartens and elementary schools.

Up until today, the young volunteers, under the guidance of their teachers, implemented with great eagerness and enthusiasm 30,000 actions of the Action Plan, which is renewed every year and approved by the State. In and out of the classroom, the children turned their concerns into action for a better environment around them but also for “Planet Earth, our one and only home”. They “adopted” beaches that they cleaned up, produced and disseminated informative material, created artworks from “trash” materials, recycled, staged theatrical performances, located illegal dumpsites and spoke about them to local authorities and media. They learned about the marine environment through simple experiments and games, they discovered the world of shipping and the nation’s maritime history through visits to Port Authorities and Maritime Museums as well as discussions with veteran mariners.

With the annual Panhellenic Drawing Contests, the children sent 5,200 colorful “messages”, through their imaginative group artworks. Many of these have been presented in special exhibitions organized by the Athens City Museum, the Maritime Museum of Greece, the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Palaio Faliro and the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, at the Port of Thessaloniki.

In 1998, the Program was awarded the Global 500 Award by the United Nations Environment Program-UNEP while in 2000, the International Maritime Organization-IMO invited two kids members of the program in London to speak to the Plenary of the Organization’s members, then 166 countries and 63 non-governmental organizations. They stated their concerns about the marine environment and made reference to the voluntary activity of Greek children through their participation in “HELMEPA Junior”.

In 2002, the Office of the European Parliament in Greece recognized the children members of the Program and their teachers for their voluntary environmental action, which HELMEPA spread to other countries.

In 2005, children members of “HELMEPA Junior” from the island of Kalymnos, and from the relevant programs of CYMEPA in Cyprus and TURMEPA in Turkey, represented IMO as its Ambassadors in the "World Children's Conference of the UN for the Protection of the Marine Environment". The Conference was held under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program in Japan in 2005, Malaysia in 2006 and Norway in 2008.

In 2016, “HELMEPA Junior” received the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Award for “Achievement in Environmental Protection”.

At the annual meeting of the Board of Children's Representatives of the Program in Athens, the most active groups from all over Greece are represented with their leaders. They exchange experiences and ideas and express their messages to the adult society. At the same time, teachers and parents, as HELMEPA guests, are informed about the children's activities and contemporary environmental issues by the association’s staff.

During all these years of the Program’s operation, HELMEPA’s scientific staff visited public schools in 85 towns and informed students and teachers. The 89 issues of the quarterly newsletter titled “Young Seagulls” in 75,000 copies, informed kids and teachers on the members’ activities in various regions and hosted students’ articles addressed to other children and the adult society.

A dedicated website (www.helmepajunior.gr) with approximately 12,000 visits annually, in operation since 2001, provides information to teachers about the Program and developments on contemporary environmental issues besides projecting groups’ activities.

HELMEPA, having celebrated this year its 35th anniversary of the voluntary commitment of the Greek shipping family, from shipowner to the last seafarer for Clean Seas and Safe Ships, wholeheartedly thanks all children-Members, their Teachers and their parents. Furthermore, HELMEPA wishes that the thousands of members of the Program of the past and the future contribute towards the protection of the environment urging us all to change our environmental conduct.



31/10/2017
HELMEPA and Gratia Publications sign Memorandum of Cooperation aimed at the younger generations in Greek shipping

Today, Tuesday, 31 Ïctober 2017, Dr George Gratsos, Chairman of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA and Mrs Ioanna Bissia, Publisher of Gratia Publications, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation at HELMEPA's offices.

The aim of the Memorandum is to further develop the cooperation between the two parties towards enhancing environmental awareness and a spirit of safety at sea among the human element in the Greek shipping community, with a focus on the younger generations, by use of all adequate means of information and publicity.

Such means will include organizing awareness raising activities, recognizing and projecting achievements in pollution prevention by individuals or organizations, projecting achievements of the contemporary shipping industry and the potential of engaging in marine professions, as well as the information of youth on marine science and technological developments for the sustainable management of marine resources.

The collaboration has actually already begun with the extensive article dedicated to HELMEPA's 35 year-long history and work, hosted in the English May 2017 edition of "Naftika Chronika".

This joint effort continued with the recent educational event for students of maritime schools and Merchant Marine Academies, titled "Environmental regulations in shipping: modern dilemmas for the maritime industry", co-organized with the "Isalos.net" educational initiative, at the "Aikaterini Laskaridis" Foundation.



20/10/2017
HELMEPA member vessels receive the new USCG designation 'E-Zero'

We are glad to announce that 4 HELMEPA member vessels are included in the first 40 vessels that recently received from the USCG the new E-Zero designation within the framework of the Qualship 21 program. These vessels are rewarded for having Zero Environmental Deficiencies or Violation.

More specifically, the program which started on 20 July 2017 provides rewards mainly in the form of reduced inspections to vessels enrolled in Qualship 21 for the last three years, which for this period have zero worldwide detentions for MARPOL, and zero environmental deficiencies (MARPOL, 33 CFR Subchapter O, Ballast Water Management, Vessel General Permit, Antifouling) in the U.S.

The eligible vessels must also have zero Letters of Warning, Notices of Violation or Civil Penalties related to Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting or speed restriction violations over the past 5 years. Finally, they must fulfill requirements regarding ballast water management, such as having installed a USCG type approved system.

More information is available at the following link: QUALSHIP 21 E-Zero pamphlet.

The following table shows HELMEPA member vessels number per Managing Company that are current holders of Qualship 21 and E-Zero:

Managing Company Number of Vessels *
Qualship 21 E-Zero
ADELFIA SHIPPING ENTERPRISES S.A. 1
ARISTON NAVIGATION CORP. 2
ATLANTIC BULK CARRIERS MANAGEMENT LTD. 5
ATLAS MARITIME LTD. 1
CARRAS (HELLAS) S.A. 1
CHARTWORLD SHIPPING CORPORATION 1
ENESEL S.A. 1
MINERVA MARINE INC. 1
NEDA MARITIME AGENCY CO. LTD. 4
NIOVIS SHIPPING CO. S.A. 2
PANTHEON TANKERS MANAGEMENT LTD. 1
PEGASUS MARITIME ENTERPRISES INC. 1
S. LIVANOS - HELLAS S.A. 6 1
SILVER LAKE SHIPPING CO. S.A. 1
SPRINGFIELD SHIPPING CO.OF PANAMA S.A. 6
THENAMARIS (SHIPS MANAGEMENT) INC. 1
TSAKOS COLUMBIA SHIPMANAGEMENT(TCM) S.A. 1
TSAKOS ENERGY NAVIGATION LIMITED (T.E.N.) 8 3
Total number of member vessels 44 4

* Note: Vessels of the company that also carry the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate but are not members of HELMEPA are not included in the numbers given in the table.



05/10/2017
HELMEPA honors World Teachers Day

World Teachers Day is celebrated on 5 October each year, to pay tribute to those who struggle on a daily basis to provide decent education to the new generation, often under harsh conditions. It was established by UNESCO in 1994 in order to honor the teachers' precious work and place them at the center of attention along with their needs.

This year's theme "Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers" reaffirms the support of teachers as a top priority in all education and development strategies, in order for them to be able to offer all students the education they deserve.

HELMEPA - the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, which operates the annual Environmental Education Program "HELMEPA Junior" since 1993 throughout Greece, feels the need to wholeheartedly thank the 3,600 Elementary and Kindergarten Teachers who have voluntarily participated and supported the Program to date and to wish them health and strength in their difficult and important work.



21/09/2017
Meeting of HELMEPA's Training Committee

The meeting of HELMEPA's Training Committee took place on Thursday 21 September with the participation of 11 representatives of member managing Companies and the Association's competent staff. The Committee elected unanimously Capt. J. Drakogianopoulos, DPA/CSO of COSTAMARE SHIPPING CO. SA as its Chairman and Capt. M. Gavriil, DPA/CSO of DIANA SHIPPING SERVICES as his replacement.

Following, the Committee reviewed the Training Program for 2018, which was proposed by the Maritime Sector and will be offered by HELMEPA to Merchant Marine Officers and the staff of Member-Companies. The Program will consist of two-day and one-day seminars in the fields of Safety and the Human Element, Pollution Prevention and Meteorology applied on the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, while the two-day Marine Environmental Awareness seminar will continue. The Committee also dealt with the training offered by HELMEPA on the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, which 193 merchant Marine Officers have received so far and recommended additions to the programs concerning ship handling, ECDIS and COLREGS.

The Committee's proposals will be materialized once the Board of Directors has been informed on Wednesday 27 September.



28/08/2017
New Placard on MARPOL Annex V discharges

Revised Guidelines on the implementation of Annex V of the MARPOL Convention on the Prevention of Garbage Pollution from Ships were adopted at the recent 71st meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) of the International Maritime Organization (ÉÌÏ), 3 - 7 July 2017. The new Guidelines are aligned with the revised MARPOL Annex V, while new amendments will enter into force on 1 March 2018 bringing significant changes to operational practices as well as to the structure and categories of the Garbage Record Book (GRB).

Seeking to contribute actively to its Members efforts towards prevention of garbage pollution from ships, HELMEPA supplied its 400 Member-vessels with the new redesigned Discharges' Placard, which also includes the requirements of the "Polar Code", in force since 1st January 2017.

For further information you may contact the Maritime Training Center of HELMEPA.



28/06/2017
HELMEPA’s Scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year

Honoring the memory of the late George P. Livanos, Founder of HELMEPA, Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos, Honorary Chairman and Stavros Daifas, Founding Member of the Association, the Board of Directors, having examined the 26 high-quality submitted entries, awards three Scholarships, worth €15.000 each, for postgraduate studies, as follows:

(1) George P. Livanos Scholarship, to Mr Antonios-Stefanos Vakondios, son of a seafarer and graduate of the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, for the acquisition of an LLM degree in Maritime Law at the University of Southampton.

(2) Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos Scholarship, to Mr Alexandros-Gerasimos Kellaris, a distinguished graduate of the Department of Biology of the University of Crete, for the acquisition of an MSc degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College in London.

(3) Stavros Daifas Scholarship, to Ms Marianna Dimitriou, a graduate of the Naval Architecture Department of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, for the acquisition of an MSc degree in Marine Engineering at Newcastle University. This scholarship is kind donation of Ms Irene St. Daifas, Special Secretary of the Board of Directors of HELMEPA.

HELMEPA thanks all the candidates for their interest and congratulates the three new Scholars, whishing them every success in their studies!



09/06/2017
HELMEPA celebrated its 35th anniversary

In an atmosphere full of excitement, at the Yacht Club of Greece, hundreds of supporters and friends, along with Mrs Fotini P. Livanos, celebrated on Tuesday 6 June, 35 years of operation of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA, founded on the initiative of the late George P. Livanos.

Members of the Parliament, State officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Hellenic Coast Guard Commandant, the Chief of the Fleet, the President of the UGS, former Chairmen of HELMEPA, members of the Greek and international maritime community, Presidents and Directors of AUSMEPA-Australia, CYMEPA-Cyprus, NAMEPA-North America êáé TURMEPA-Turkey as well as representatives of Greek and foreign shipping press honored the event, which was coordinated by the journalist Ms Niki Lymberaki.

The TV spot with the "Seagull" of 1984, a video with facts and achievements of the 35year long work of HELMEPA and the presenter's statement that her generation grew up with the message "no garbage, no plastic in the seas and on beaches", provided the basis upon which Dr. George Gratsos, Chairman of the Board of Directors presented a brief account of the association's work in his address. He referred to the voluntary contribution of HELMEPA in the maritime training of Greek officers, the environmental awareness of the wider public and the students as well as the creation of similar associations in 7 more countries.

"Shipowners and seafarers, inspired by George P. Livanos, co-signed in 1982 a joint declaration with which HELMEPA operates and will continue to do so as long as Greek shipping exists" , emphasized Dr Matthaios D. Los, Founding Member of the association and Treasurer of the Union of Greek Shipowners.

On behalf of the 15,000 Greek member seafarers, the President of Union of Masters and Mates of the Greek Merchant Marine, Captain Manolis Tsikalakis, underlined that "Greek mariners believe in HELMEPA, which with its work contributed also in their being treated with respect by national maritime administrations."

"The work and example of HELMEPA offer Greece a special distinction, comparable to the advantageous position of the Greek owned fleet within global shipping. It took the vision, creativity and faith of a great Greek shipowner and patriot - George P. Livanos - for Greece to express the best its maritime tradition has to show" stated Mr. Basil Phr. Papachristidis, second HELMEPA Chairman, in his address read by Ms. Lymberaki.

Honoring Mr. Andreas Potamianos, who served HELMEPA's goals for a number of years as Member of the Board, Dr. G. Gratsos bestowed him a commemorative placard. In his thanking address, Mr. Potamianos praised the vision of the late G.P. Livanos and spoke on HELMEPA's achievements through his personal experiences, specifically at the beginning.

Also honored at the event was Captain John Tsenembis, associate member of HELMEPA since 1983, first and for many years instructor at the association's seminars. In his brief speech, he referred to his personal memories from the first years of this initiative of Greek shipping, which he still serves. Presenting him with a commemorative placard, Mr. Paul Ioannidis, associate Member and Member of the first Board of Directors, stressed the fact that HELMEPA was the first to accept and implement in its training the safety spirit with which the global aviation industry was already operating.

Moving on from maritime training to the environmental education of children, Mr. Nikos Tsakos, former Chairman of HELMEPA, presented Mrs Carmen Constantakopoulos with a commemorative placard in appreciation of the support of her late husband Capt. Vassilis Constantakopoulos to "HELMEPA Junior" program, which is continued by his sons and Costamare Shipping. Mrs Constantakopoulos expressed her warm gratitude to all those who contribute to the environmental awareness of the younger generation.

HELMEPA was exposed for the first time to the international shipping in 1985, participating in the Seatrade exhibition in New York and since then is present at every "Posidonia" with the initiative of their founder Mr. Themistocles Vokos, Honorary Member of HELMEPA. In his address, Mr. Vokos expressed his admiration to the vision of George Livanos and all the contributors to the successful evolution of the association, to what it offers to maritime training and environmental education and wished that this work continues for many years to come.

The Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice-Admiral Stamatis Raptis referred to the long standing cooperation of the Coast Guard with HELMEPA. Similarly, Vice-Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos, Chief of the Fleet, thanked the association for the gratis participation of Hellenic Navy personnel in its training programs.

First classification Associate Member was American Bureau of Shipping-ABS and on the reasons for which they supported this voluntary initiative from the very beginning, referred Mr. Dimitris Houliarakis, at the time prominent member of ABS staff.

Significant to the successful growth of HELMEPA was and remains the contribution of Associate Member Companies. Commemorative honorary placards were presented to the representatives of the first 3 Associate Members as well as for the extra support to HELMEPA's needs. To Mr. Vassilios Kroustallis, Senior Vice President, ABS Europe, to Mr. George Teriakidis, Regional Business Development Manager, DNV GL and Mr. Theodossis Stamatellos, Area Manager, Greece, East Mediterranean and Adriatic, Lloyd's Register. All of them in their respective addresses praised the association for its constant voluntary contribution to shipping and the wider community, renewing their commitment to continue supporting it in the future.

Congratulations and wishes for continuation of its work expressed also to the Members of the Board and the Secretariat of HELMEPA the 300 Greek and foreign guests who honored the event during the reception that followed, closing a enjoyful evening. The guests were offered, as a symbolic souvenir of the 35th anniversary, the special, well designed in English issue of "Naftika Chronika", which its editors had the initiative of dedicating to the 35 years of HELMEPA with data derived from the association's records.



07/06/2017
INTERMEPA honors World Oceans Day

The Steering Committee of the International Marine Environment Protection Association-INTERMEPA met on Wednesday 7 June at the Metropolitan Hotel in Athens, on the occasion of HELMEPA's 35th Anniversary event.

Present at the meeting were the following Committee members: Mr Warwick Norman, Chairman of AUSMEPA and INTERMEPA, Mr George Tsavliris, Chairman of CYMEPA, Dr George Gratsos, HELMEPA Chairman along with Messrs Dimitris Mitsatsos and Nikos Gerassimou, Director General and Legal Advisor respectively and Mr Aksit Ozkural, General Manager of TURMEPA.

During a working lunch, the members of the Steering Committee exchanged ideas towards strengthening the cooperation of the members of INTERMEPA. Expressing all the members, the Chairman Mr W. Norman congratulated HELMEPA for its 35th anniversary as well as Mrs Sadan Kaptanoglu, Vice-Chairperson of INTERMEPA for being elected the first ever President Designate of BIMCO.

On the occasion of World Oceans Day, which is celebrated on 8th June 2017, the members of INTERMEPA, AUSMEPA in Australia, CYMEPA in Cyprus, HELMEPA in Greece, NAMEPA in North America, TURMEPA in Turkey, UKRMEPA in Ukraine and URUMEPA in Uruguay, honor the theme of this important Day "Our Ïceans, Our Future" as it reflects their philosophy.

"The protection of the marine environment and exploitation of ocean resources are compatible providing humans exercise care, restraint and understanding" as mentioned in the inaugural Declaration of the MEPAs and INTERMEPA.

Synergy between all the stakeholders of the "blue sector", in various parts of the world, is an essential element towards effectively addressing the challenges facing the oceans in order to ensure their sustainable future along with that of the world at large.



18/05/2017
35th General Assembly of the Members of HELMEPA

The 35th Regular General Assembly of HELMEPA, held on Tuesday 16 May 2017, was of a historic character as it was hosted at Member-Company CERES, in the same place where the first General Assembly took place 35 years ago.

HELMEPA's Chairman Dr G. Gratsos chaired the Assembly with acting Secretaries Mrs. Th. Papaemmanouil of ANANGEL MARITIME SERVICES Inc. and Mr. E. Stergiopoulos of GASLOG LNG SERVICES Ltd.

During his brief address, Dr Gratsos made reference to the activities of the association highlighting the training of officers on the bridge simulator, which was acquired by HELMEPA thanks to the efforts of his predecessor, Dr J. Coustas and the kind donation of Corporate Associate Member DNV GL. Referring to the training seminars offered by HELMEPA, which are attended annually by approximately 350 officers and staff of Member Companies, he stressed that they are possibly unique worldwide as they don't focus only on maritime regulations but also on practical implementation and the operational experience of the vessels' managing Offices. The selection of topics is carried out by a Committee of 12 experienced staff members of shipping companies managing a total of approximately 350 vessels - tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, product carriers, chemical carriers and LNG - classification societies and staff of HELMEPA's Maritime Training Center Secretariat. Therefore, these seminars offer the experience of companies and seafarers of vessels visiting annually approximately 3,000 ports, where they face continuous inspections by authorities.

Dr Gratsos went on to note that the environmental education initiatives are spreading throughout Greece also with the 3-year long "Campaign" funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation, while international cooperation with the MEPAs' network is continuing. Closing, the Chairman stated that "all environmental regulations, inspections, penalties and fines have been created by the international community because there are still people amongst us who have not realized the significant benefits of environmental protection. These are the people we want to approach and enhance their environmental awareness, for their benefit and that of the environment" .

The Director General, Mr. D. C. Mitsatsos presented the activities of 2016, which were unanimously approved by the Assembly. The Treasurer of the Board of Directors, Mr. N. Bafaloukos, described the finances during 2016. The Assembly approved the financial status presented by the Auditors, Moore Stephens and released the Board of Directors and Auditors from any management responsibility for the year 2016, electing the latter once again for 2017.

Mr. Bill Box, Senior Manager and Commercial Area Manager for Greece/Cyprus of Associate Corporate Member INTERTANKO, conveyed to the Assembly the appreciation of all Members of this international association for the work of HELMEPA, especially the bridge simulator training, the activities of "HELMEPA Junior" and the voluntary beach cleanups. Closing, he stated that the instigator of the association, the late G. Livanos, "would be thrilled seeing, 35 years later, the achievements of HELMEPA and its sister Associations-MEPAs worldwide" .

Present at the Assembly were the Chairman of CYMEPA, Mr. G. Tsavliris, HELMEPA Founding Members Dr Ì. Los and Í. Soutos and Honorary Members, Messrs P. Ioannidis, J. Polychronopoulos and Í. Tsavliris.

A light buffet followed, kindly offered by CERES.



11/05/2017
HELMEPA receives the EFKRANTI Award for Best Communication Strategy

Yesterday, 9 May 2017, at the Foundation Chatherine Laskarides in Piraeus, the shipping magazine NAFTIKA CHRONIKA presented the EFKRANTI Awards 2016.

In a packed room, at the presence of the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, the Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard, representatives of shipping entities, companies and the Press, HELMEPA was honored with the Award for best communication strategy, "for its organized, consistent, transparent and meaningful communication policy through cooperation with mass media representatives" .

The President of the Masters and Mates Union of Greek Merchant Marine (PEPEN), Mr. Em. Tsikalakis, introducing the award, stated:

"I feel especially honored to represent the large maritime family of Greek Masters and it is a great joy for me specifically, that as President of PEPEN, I present this award to HELMEPA. With HELMEPA we are connected with inextricable bonds because of our common aims and efforts for the protection of the marine environment and ocean resources. All of us, the Greek captains do not forget the endeavours of the pioneers of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - 35 years now - to nurture a high level of environmental consciousness through multiple means of information and refresher training… we owe them a lot!

The acceptance of HELMEPA"s goals by the entirety of the shipping world, seafarers and owners alike, shows that the vision of the late shipowner George Livanos met with "receptive ears" and was materialized by competent and sensitized personnel. Presenting the EFKRANTI Award, I wish to congratulate the organizers for the selection of the recipient and for the fact that they stand by the maritime community and to HELMEPA for the immense environmental work carried out… warm congratulations."

Receiving the Award, HELMEPA Chairman Dr. G. Gratsos warmly thanked NAFTIKA CHRONIKA on behalf of his colleagues at the Board of Directors, the Secretariat and especially the volunteer Members of the association. He referred to the late George P. Livanos, who had the idea of bringing together seafarers and shipowners, motivating them voluntarily and proactively. Furthermore, he stressed the offering of continuous training to merchant marine officers by means of simulator courses, seminars and e-learning and he mentioned the sister organizations - MEPAs created in 7 more countries and cooperating among them under the umbrella of INTERMEPA. Closing, Dr. Gratsos accentuated the fact that HELMEPA Members realized from the very beginning the need of sensitizing the younger generation on the protection of the sea and the environment, "something we do at an ever more intensive pace".

All of us in HELMEPA wish to warmly congratulate each and every recipient of the Awards as well as the organizers and supporters of the event!



04/05/2017
MoU between HELMEPA and Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries

Today, Thursday 4 May 2017, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA and the United Arab Emirates Offshore and Shipping Industry, represented by the Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries (DcmmiEmirates).

The signing ceremony took place in Athens in the framework of the 3rd Session of Joint Cooperation Committee of Greece and the UAE, in the presence of Ministers G. Katrougkalos and G. Stathakis of Greece and Dr. Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State of UAE.

Signing the MoU, Dr. George Gratsos, Chairman of HELMEPA and Mr Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of DcmmiEmirates, committed the two organizations to voluntarily cooperate towards establishing the Emirates Marine Environment Protection Association-EMEPA, a non-profit making entity dedicated to the preservation of the marine environment and enhancement of safety.

Details of this cooperation are provided in an agreed upon Action Plan.



02/05/2017
HELMEPA Junior members paint their marine world!

The Panhellenic Drawing Competition of "HELMEPA Junior" Program based on the theme "What a rich seafloor, a magic marine world!" has been successfully completed. The Program's young volunteers colorfully depicted on paper the magical marine environment thus reminding us with their artworks why we all have a duty to protect them.

The Competition was held separately for kids under 2 age categories: (a) 5-7 years old and Special Education Centers and (b) 8-12 years old. HELMEPA received a total of 314 artworks from 336 "HELMEPA Junior" Groups from 104 Kindergartens and Primary Schools across Greece.

The Program's Groups and Board of Representatives voted for the best artworks and the winning drawings were:

Kids 5-7 years old and Special Education Centers

  • 1st Prize: Primary Special Education School of Amfissa, Group 60(K), 9-15 years old
  • 2nd Prize: "ILIADI" Private Primary School, Island of Salamina, Attica, Groups 1932(A)-1933(A)-1934(A)-1935(A), 7 years old
  • 3rd Prize: Kindergarten of Mavrothalassa of Serres, Groups 2278(N)-2279(N), 5 years old

Kids 8-12 years old

  • 1st Prize: "ILIADI" Private Primary School, Island of Salamina, Attica, Groups 2749(B)-2750(B)-2751(B), 9 years old
  • 2nd Prize: Primary School of Loutrochori, Pella, Group 388(E), 11-12 years old
  • 3rd Prize: 10th Primary School of Alexandroupoli, Group 1029(D), 12 year old

The two first-prize winning artworks were printed as posters and feature the names of the young artists and their Teachers in both Greek and English. These will be distributed widely throughout Greece and abroad. The members of the Groups awarded 2nd and 3rd prizes will each receive special Commemorative Certificates of Participation

Congratulations to all the young artists for their wonderful work!

Note:
All the drawings of the two categories can be viewed at the following links:
http://www.helmepajunior.gr/pdf/DrawingCompetition2017-1.pdf
http://www.helmepajunior.gr/pdf/DrawingCompetition2017-2.pdf



28/02/2017
HELMEPA salutes the 'Clean Seas' Campaign of the United Nations

It is with great satisfaction that HELMEPA salutes the launching of the United Nations' marine litter campaign titled "Clean Seas". Officially announced on 23 February at the Economist World Ocean Forum in Bali, the campaign is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and specifically Goal 14.1: "By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution."

Pollution of the marine environment, especially with plastics, has reached alarming levels. It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic waste reach our seas and oceans every year! Plastics pose a huge threat for the populations of 600 different marine species, which are injured or die as a result of entanglement or by eating them. Considerable is also the economic impact of marine litter on coastal communities due to aesthetic pollution, reduced tourist flows, cleanup costs etc.

The problems associated with this type of pollution have been highlighted since the mid '80s by HELMEPA's campaigns, starring the Association's famous "Seagull" under the motto "No Litter, No Plastics in Seas and on Beaches".

The new UN campaign aims to secure commitments from Governments, as well as private sector enterprises and members of the general public, to reduce plastics. For example, the industry and private businesses can phase out microbeads in personal care and cosmetics products, improve plastic management and commit to plastic re-design, re-use, recycling and recovery. Each and every one of us can change everyday habits, i.e. replace plastic bags with a cloth bag, use a thermos for water and avoid using single-use plastic cups.

In the context of this global effort, HELMEPA will further enhance the information provided to its volunteer Members, 14,000 Greek seafarers, 200 companies and organizations and 400 vessels, on this significant problem. Moreover, it will enrich the environmental awareness provided to 10,000 schoolchildren, who participate annually in the "HELMEPA Junior" and "Cadets" programs and will seek to attract wider participation in the approximately 250 beach and underwater cleanup actions, which the Association coordinates every year with the contribution of volunteers throughout Greece.



14/02/2017
Memorandum of Cooperation between HELMEPA and RINA HELLAS

Today, Tuesday 14 February 2017, Dr. George Gratsos, Chairman of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA and Mr. Spyridon Zolotas, Area Manager Greece and Cyprus, RINA HELLAS, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two Organizations, at HELMEPA's offices.

The Memorandum refers to the development of cooperation between the two entities with the aim to enhance skills, competence, training and awareness of the human element in shipping that meets the needs of an efficient, safe, secure and environmentally friendly maritime industry.

To this end and as a first step, the capabilities offered by HELMEPA's Full Mission Bridge Simulator will be utilized in the context of the Competence Management System, a scheme developed by RINA for assessing and continuously improving the technical and non-technical skills of onboard personnel.

Pleasant surprise was for everybody the coincidental visit to HELMEPA's offices during the signing ceremony of Mr. Warwick Norman, Chairman of the Australian Marine Environment Protection Association - AUSMEPA as well as INTERMEPA, who saluted this initiative as one more synergy for the benefit of the human element in shipping.

Following the signing, a brief meeting took place where issues pertaining to the continuous training of merchant marine officers under the current situation and contemporary challenges were discussed.



19/01/2017
HELMEPA's Enriched ''e-Learning'' Program

HELMEPA's enriched e-Learning Program with 4 new topics is already available, to its Members and Non Members, with the following two "training packages" in English:

Environmental Training Course

  • SOPEP (Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan)
  • Vessel General Permit
  • Ballast Water Management
  • Marine Litter - MARPOL Annex V
  • Ship's Emission Control Worldwide and in ECAs
  • Oil Record Book, Part I
  • Sewage and Grey Water Management Onboard

Safety related Training Course

  • Risk Assessment during loading/unloading operations in tankers
  • Accident prevention during lifeboats
  • Safe entry into enclosed spaces
  • Navigation in dense and controlled traffic
  • Weaknesses related to Fire Safety
  • Maritime Labour Convention - general overview
  • Passage Planning (with reference to PSSAs)

Each topic of the abovementioned includes:

- PowerPoint Presentation,
- 30 multiple choice questions to test what users have learnt, who have 3 attempts available to achieve a score of at least 66% in order to be Certified;
- A course evaluation form for comments/feedbacks

More information at the link http://helmepa.gr/en/elearning.php