French shipowners are real players in the globalisation process and work daily to make maritime transport and services more competitive and increasingly respectful of people and the environment.
The actions and efforts made by French shipowners in the economic, environmental and social fields continue to bear fruit.
A young and quality French fleet :
With an average age of less than 8 years (compared to 16 years in Europe), it is one of the youngest and safest in Europe. More than a hundred companies operate nearly 1,000 ships, of which about 550 are under the French flag.
The excellence of the French flag is recognised:
French flag is among the safest and most efficient flags in the world. Ranked first in the prestigious whitelist of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 and first in the world by the International Chamber of Shipping.
The most environmentally friendly mode of transport:
Maritime transport has, over the last 15 years, considerably reduced its environmental impact (oil pollution halted and CO2 emissions divided by 20). Although it accounts for 90% of the world's freight transport, maritime transport now represents less than 3% of total CO2 emissions.
The safest mode of transport:
The continuous decrease in maritime accidents is the result of years of commitment, mobilisation, regulation and innovation.
An activity that creates attractive jobs (at sea and on land):
Maritime transport represents 22,000 direct jobs and 305,000 induced jobs in France.
With this objective of sustainable development, Armateurs de France, the professional organisation of maritime transport and services companies, proposes to French shipowners to renew and deepen their efforts and commitments:
Social responsibility:
Because social dialogue and the improvement of working conditions are the primary concern of our companies. This is also the primary mission of Armateurs de France.
Environmental protection:
Because at a time of energy transition, shipowners are committed to reducing their emissions into the atmosphere and their discharges into the sea, and to managing their on-board waste and water as well as possible.
These commitments are the subject of this Blue Charter dedicated to all French shipping and maritime services companies that are members of Armateurs de France, regardless of the flag their ships are registered under.
Ensure the welfare of seafarers:
  • Apply conditions of remuneration, leave, working conditions and social protection that exceed those defined by the International Labour Organisation
  • Reinforce the use of a common working language that is well understood by all and ensure that the composition of crews, including the number of nationalities represented on board, is not an obstacle to good communication on board
  • Provide adequate hygiene and living conditions for all persons on board vessels
  • Ensure the protection of crews from external threats
To act in favour of transparent and quality management:
  • Favour partners (commercial, port, shippers, suppliers, classification societies) integrating social and environmental aspects into their strategy
  • Promote professional equality between women and men: sharing of professional responsibilities, equality
Promote employment and training in maritime transport:
  • Contribute to the defence of French seafaring employment by influencing administrative and political decisions
  • Promote access to:
  • Initial training: to support the action of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime and to take on board the school's students as part of their compulsory training
  • Continuing training: to offer seafarers already working the possibility of increasing their level of qualification and to encourage social promotion (VAE)
  • Encourage the retraining of seafarers for jobs on land
Ensure a high level of safety for their vessels. Apply company management rules in line with safety requirements: establish rigorous operational procedures and monitor their application, ensure the necessary human resources and equipment supply
  • Supporting the safety training of crews throughout their careers
  • Promote a clean, safe, intelligent and energy-efficient ship of the future: contribute to the work of CORICAN (Conseil d'Orientation de la Recherche et de l'Innovation pour la Construction et les Activités Navales), include projects in future investments
  • Maintain the ranking of the French flag at the top of the Memorandum's whitelist
Take concrete action to protect the environment and the marine environment:
  • Reduce the emissions of their ships into the atmosphere (of CO2, sulphur, nitrogen oxides) and reduce their environmental footprint as much as possible
  • Promote the implementation of technologies that limit the environmental impact of maritime transport: "green" engines, scrubbers, dual-fuel propulsion, ballast water treatment systems, improved hull and propeller performance, etc.
  • Support the sustainable protection of the marine environment, in particular through the protection of cetaceans and marine mammals:
  • Respect a code of good conduct be vigilant and adapt the vessel's conduct (watch, route, speed) in sensitive maritime areas such as the Pelagos sanctuary
  • Study the possibility of fitting collision avoidance devices (REPCET type) for vessels operating in areas where cetaceans and marine mammals are present
  • Raise the awareness of seagoing and sedentary personnel about the protection of the environment and marine ecosystems
  • Ensure the safe and ecological recycling of their vessels through the early and voluntary application of the Hong Kong Convention
Define the best transport logistics:
  • Favour, whenever possible, maritime and river routes, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of transport
  • Promote modal shift (from land to sea) and support the development of motorways
Develop a participatory organisation:
  • Promote the introduction of "clean" sectors: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Renewable Marine Energies
  • Contribute to discussions and work aimed at further reducing the various types of pollution caused by ships, particularly within the framework of the Armateurs de France environmental steering committee
  • Follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Grenelle de la Mer and the Assises de la Mer, which are the responsibility of the profession
  • Support the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which aims to achieve good ecological status of marine waters
  • Actively participate in working groups reflecting on sustainable development and ecological governance of the marine environment (e.g. the Blue Society, the Conseil National de la Mer et des Littoraux (CNML), the Cluster Maritime Français, etc.)
  • Promote and contribute to the sustainable management of marine protected areas, including on the high seas
  • Establish partnerships with associations for the protection of the marine environment, and more broadly, the environment
This commitment involves the implementation of reflections, consultations and constructive actions with the various players (public and private) in the sector.