The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) has taken a step towards setting quality standards for ship agents and brokers.

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The Quality Standard (QS) will serve to assist shipowners and operators in their selection of who is to represent them. This will ensure a specific level of knowledge and experience as well as financial standing of their selected representative. The QS was initially launched in October 2007 and includes a regular audit controlled by national associations and overseen by FONASBA to ensure that the required criteria are maintained and that the member displays a demonstrable and tangible commitment to quality.
The Quality Standard was discussed in detail at the recent FONASBA General Meeting in South Africa, where BIMCO also participated in its capacity as a club member of the federation. At the meeting, it was confirmed that so far, ten FONASBA member associations, representing nearly 200 companies in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Great Britain, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United States now apply the standard. A number of other associations are currently developing the relevant criteria.
This initiative is gaining in stature and is becoming accepted as the global standard for professionalism and quality performance in the ship brokers and agency sector.

In a statement issued by BIMCO, Deputy Secretary General Soren Larsen said that BIMCO fully endorsed the initiative as an important step in raising quality standards, generally, as well as specifically for the agents and brokers sector.

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“In a regulatory environment with increasing focus on maritime safety and qualify and significant liability risks for shipowners and operators it is important that the industry strives to self-regulate”, said Mr. Larsen.
“The QS provides shipowners and operators with a degree of protection, sets minimum standards and ensures a coherent provision and application of services in this important segment of our industry”.

Lloyd´s Register Quality Assurance certifies that the Agencia Marítima Internacional has been approved to quality management system standard: ISO 9001:2008 applicable to Shipping Agency Services.


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