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Consultation on a dry bulk sector quality self-assessment scheme

For more recent important updates please see here here.

-first published on 15 May 2020-


INTERCARGO has long recognised the need for companies in the dry bulk sector to have a widely accepted and common quality benchmark. First considered five years ago, the issue was revisited in 2018 and since 2019 INTERCARGO has been developing with its Members and with external expert support DRY-SAS, a dry bulk sector quality Self-Assessment Scheme, which focuses on shore management.

Recognising that our sector would not welcome multiple separate schemes with any associated duplications, INTERCARGO is aiming at a scheme which will enjoy industry-wide support, embrace best practices and Key Performance Indicators and raise the bar on safety, environmental and operational excellence.

INTERCARGO is the only recognised international organisation representing dry bulk shipowners, managers and operators. We are non-profit, with quality and operational excellence as our key values.

Finding merit in any initiative that would respect our values and principles, INTERCARGO is open to collaboration with other industry bodies and organisations. We envisage a scheme carefully developed, widely consulted upon and accordingly accepted by the industry, as offering the best service for the dry bulk sector.


Principles that such a scheme should respect and features it should present:

  • wide endorsement by the industry as a whole, rather than by few and limited in scope interests
  • backing and control by a non-profit recognised organisation or in conjunction with such an organisation, as opposed to commercial interests
  • offering our sector a tool in the service of Safety, Environmental and Operational excellence, rather than a potential commercial tool or a potential future “license to trade”, which would present commercial opportunities for any interests
  • a transparent worldwide open consultation, where all feedback would be visible by all participants, administered by an impartial arbiter to filter, evaluate and consolidate the feedback received
  • an unambiguous verification process and clarity of responsibilities in the scheme’s administration, such as a clear distinction between its administrators and its potential auditors.


Consultation:  DRY-SAS from INTERCARGO

  • INTERCARGO is developing DRY-SAS: a risk based, tailored Self-Assessment Scheme specifically for the dry bulk sector. It can be effectively utilised regardless of the size of a company and concentrates on shore management.
  • Consultation within the INTERCARGO membership is ongoing
  • INTERCARGO will be launching an industry wide consultation process prior to implementation of the scheme.

(Full Members please login below for further details.)

A public consultation will be launched in due time here.


Review of other schemes

  • INTERCARGO does not endorse the recently announced ‘DBMS standard’ , and is consulting internally with its Members.
  • INTERCARGO will publish here, fully available for public access, its assessment and technical evaluation of ‘DBMS’ currently being promoted outside INTERCARGO.

Please refer to important updates here.

(Full Members please aslo login below)


Media coverage

  • Naftika Chronika: “INTERCARGO at the forefront of past and current challenges in Dry Bulk Shipping” (in Greek, please refer to pages 66-68 here)
  • Riviera:  “Bulk Carrier Leaders” Webinar with speaker from INTERCARGO Vice-Chairman Capt Jay K Pillai, as well as representatives from Members please refer here
  • Mare Forum:  “DRYBULK” Webinar with speaker from INTERCARGO Secretary General Kostas Gkonis; for DRY-SAS discussion, please refer to video recording (from 1:24:00 to 1:32:00)  here

  • Hellenic Shipping News: “INTERCARGO: Consultation on dry bulk sector quality self-assessment scheme” – please refer here
  • Dry Bulk magazine: “Consultation on dry bulk sector quality self-assessment scheme” – please refer here
  • Ship Management International: “Covid-19 impacts ability to properly debate dry bulk sector quality scheme” citing INTERCARGO Chairman Dimitris Fafalios and Vice-Chairman Spyros Tarasis – please refer here
  • Safety4Sea: “INTERCARGO’s Self-Assessment Scheme under development” citing Secretary General Kostas Gkonis –  please refer here and also here (in special column of ‘invited views’)
  • Naftika Chronika: “INTERCARGO aims at a scheme widely adopted by the dry bulk sector”, invited response by Secretary General Kostas Gkonis on the ‘DBMS standard’ launch:

  –  for a translation in English of the original article, please refer here

–  for the original article in Greek, please refer to page 76 here (within a ‘DBMS’ dedicated section on pp.73-78)

  • Lloyd’s List: “Intercargo vents frustration with RightShip’s new management benchmark” –  please refer here



For more information, please contact Mr Paul Markides, INTERCARGO’s Marine-Quality Manager at


For INTERCARGO Full Members only:

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