2016 IFBSO/ICOMIA Congress, Trieste


The 2016 IFBSO/ICOMIA Congress was held in Trieste, Italy from 7 – 10 June and was hosted and organised by ICOMIA member UCINA Confindustria Nautica, the Italian Marine Industry Association.
The first two days of Congress consisted of various committee meetings including the Environment Committee where Albert Willemsen, ICOMIA Environment Consultant, gave members the latest news regarding chemical substances used in boatbuilding/throughout all levels of the supply chain that may be categorised as hazardous and thus become altered or phased out of production. As a result of this development ICOMIA will issue a Bulletin to members and industry explaining the issues regarding consistent and sufficient transparency relating to substance identity and potential changes in substance compliance/availability.
On Thursday afternoon, delegates enjoyed tours of two local boatyards: Alto Adriatico Custom and Italia Yachts. The IFBSO/ICOMIA Joint Session, held on Friday morning, featured London based ‘European Travel Ventures’ – the innovative founders of The Yacht Week, an initiative focused on shared sailing experiences for Millennials. The ICOMIA Working Session followed on Friday afternoon and featured industry updates from ICOMIA’s members.
The final meeting of Congress was the 50th ICOMIA Annual General Meeting, where Jouko Huju (Finnboat) was appointed new President of ICOMIA; succeeding Thomas J Dammrich (NMMA). Andrea Razeto (UCINA) and Simon Cook (BIA Australia) were appointed Vice Presidents. The AGM also played host to the final farewell of ICOMIA’s longest serving representative Paul Boomsma, who retired as Honorary Treasurer; he is succeeded by Peter Methven, OBE.

Congress concluded with the annual Gala Dinner, which was held at Duino Castle, a fourteenth-century fortification overlooking the Gulf of Trieste – which provided the perfect backdrop for an evening celebrating an extraordinary achievement – ICOMIA’s 50th Anniversary. Delegates donned Black Tie and National Dress and immersed themselves in a very special and glamourous evening that culminated in a spectacular firework display.
Jouko Huju, ICOMIA’s new President said: “On behalf of ICOMIA I would like to thank AkzoNobel, IBI and RAI Amsterdam for their kind generosity sponsoring the firework display. This year’s Congress was especially memorable due the anniversary celebrations, but also because of the innovative work achieved at our meetings – demonstrating that even after a half a century, ICOMIA is still leading recreational marine industry”.
Udo Kleinitz, ICOMIA’s Secretary General, agrees: “We will continue to focus on eliminating restrictions on trade, to keep conditions in established markets as industry friendly as possible, to provide information on emerging markets for our members wishing to advance globally. The development of infrastructure, creation of technical guidance and promotion of boating is still very much on our agenda, as it was 50 years ago”.
Next year’s ICOMIA Congress will be held 24 – 27 May 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia and will be hosted by ICOMIA’s Australian member, Boating Industry Association.