Industry and globalisation

Summary of the 104th meeting of the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding


At its 104th meeting held on 11 June 2007, the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding considered the following items:

Consultation with the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)

The International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) made a presentation on behalf of TUAC focussing on:

  • building a global metalworkers’ movement;
  • dealing with transnational corporations; and
  • implementing countervailing union power.

The IMF noted concerns within the union movement of possible employment impacts related to industry overcapacity once the current high level of demand abates, and suggested that the Working Party undertake further analysis of the impact of overcapacity on employment, as well as exploring the relationship between shipbuilding and its impact on Occupational Health and Safety.

The IMF also suggested the exploration of possible links between negotiations in shipbuilding and steel.

Short to medium term trend in shipbuilding

Delegates considered an extensive consultant’s report aimed at identifying prospective trends in newbuilding demand for the major vessel types over the next few years.

The report basically reflected the views heard by Delegations during the Workshop held in December 2006, that demand would remain healthy until around 2010 when there was an expectation that demand might begin to fall away after that date.

Amendments to the Understanding on Export Credits for Ships

WP6 Delegates considered a number of amendments to the Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Ships necessary to ensure that the Understanding remains consistent with the OECD’s Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits. Agreement to the proposals will be given by the Delegations in writing. If approved, the amendments would result in new provisions covering:

  • rules covering the repayment of principal and payment of interest;
  • a means of dealing with the issue of the application of Project Finance, and
  • the inclusion of new items on the future work programme.

See also the OECD’s work on Export Credits.

Report on Ship Financing

The WP6 considered a report on ship financing prepared by a specialist consultant.

No particular issues were identified as requiring special attention, although Delegates noted that this report should be kept in mind when considering future WP6 Programmes of Work.

Report on the Status of the negotiations on a new Shipbuilding Agreement

This document provided a detailed record of the status of the negotiations on the new Agreement reached when those negotiations were paused in September 2005. Delegations considered the document as an important source of information in the event that those paused negotiations are re-started.

Project Proposal on a survey of subsidies and other support measures

This is the first component of a two part project addressing subsidies and other support measures, and is the highest priority item in the WP6 2007/08 Programme of Work. This project proposal covers the collection of information from WP6 members, and non-OECD economies willing to participate, and will form the basis of a detailed Inventory. The second part, to be prepared for consideration in 2008 will provide an analysis of the data collected.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding will be held in Paris on 10/11 December 2007. For further information please contact Mr Danny Scorpecci at


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