Shipping leads the way | Seatrade Maritime

We changed the discussion from “Can We Resist Corrupt Demands” to “Here Are Effective and Proven Ways To Promote Change”. For an industry that is often divided, we have shown what can be achieved together – on one of the most challenging topics in society.

MACN’s operating model and success are based on collaboration, inclusion and collective action. Right from the start, we recognized that no single company, regulatory authority or person can drive the necessary systemic change in the entire maritime supply chain. However, we recognize that by bringing together multiple stakeholders including seafarers, businesses, local authorities and community groups, we can challenge the status quo, where corruption is accepted as something we can never change.

Cooperation with industry

Today, MACN comprises over 160 companies, which account for over 50% of the world’s tonnage. Our members include flag states, port agents, shipping companies, freight owners, and ship management. In recent years the IMO has also put corruption on its agenda and has strongly supported the multi-stakeholder approach required to create change.

The industry support that MACN has received shows that the industry does not accept corruption as an acceptable part of business. It also makes collective action so much more effective. A company, ship, or captain who rejects a corrupt request can only achieve so much. Any ship taking the same stance will change the way operations are conducted.

Working together at sea

An important part of MACN’s work has been working with the seafaring community. Your involvement in the work of MACN has been a critical factor in our success and development as you are the men and women who face the threats, harassment and personal consequences of corruption.

MACN has received nearly 50,000 anonymous reports of corrupt claims over the past decade. This is now one of the largest industry-specific corruption datasets ever collected. The fact that we have been able to collect these demands shows us that seafarers do not expect or want this and that companies are more than willing to support their crew. This, in turn, has spurred the development of MACN’s Frontline tools and training materials. It has also led directly to the development of onshore support for ships and crews calling at ports where corruption is a known problem.

Cooperation on land

Laws, regulations, and company policies are an important part of developing an anti-corruption compliance framework. However, it is crucial to complement this oversight with immediate anti-corruption assistance. MACN has seen the impact of engaging local stakeholders, including governments and local authorities, to combat corruption risks. MACN’s HelpDesk model has proven to be extremely effective, providing immediate on-site support to employees and businesses in some countries when integrity issues arise. The HelpDesks also play a vital role in linking the efforts of governments, seafarers and businesses, and provide a concrete role on how governments can engage in change.

For seafarers, real-time local support is a very tangible and immediate sign of the efforts MACN has made in the fight against corruption. However, the work and collaboration that has gone into making this call is considerable and spans across the industry and with the involvement of governments.

Next Steps

The future for MACN and our members is deep and wide. Depth is to provide more tools for seafarers to work with authorities and regulators in existing and new markets, and to address the root causes of corruption in different places. The breadth will result from increasing our work in the logistics supply chain. The future is very positive. The more people become aware of the advances in the shipping industry, the better they will see how MACN’s work can be applied to their social and economic environment.

About Christine Geisler

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