ASIAN shipowners feel that because of the unco-operative attitude of the London marine market, there is an urgent need to seek a viable alternative in the region. This was agreed at the second meeting of the insurance committee of the Asian Shipowners Forum (ASF) held in Hong Kong this week. Representatives from the national shipowners associations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Singapore, met to investigate problems directly related to the insurance costs for fleets owned and operated by Asian owners. The main purpose of the meeting was to prepare recommendations for deliberation at the fifth meeting of the ASF to be held in Hong Kong in May next year. Delegates were united in opposition to the unilateral action taken in London to revise the 'Institute Time Clauses - Hulls' without consultation with shipowners, particularly those in Asia. Proposed revisions by the P&I clubs on the limitation of 'Catastrophe Calls' were also reviewed. While the compromise proposal and conditions set by the International Group of P&I Clubs were welcomed in principle, great importance was emphasised on the need for ASF members actively to examine the issue of the limit. There was unanimous agreement that further consultation should take place between the Asian owners in order to create an effective Asian insurance environment for shipowners. It was also felt there was a need to include representatives from the insurance industries in ASF countries in the consultation process. In order to maintain momentum in identifying more precisely and achieving the ship insurance objectives for the ASF, it was agreed that this was a further reason for the setting up of an ASF permanent office. Efforts by Asian shipowners to set up marine underwriting markets in the region are expected to intensify in the run-up to the May meeting. A senior executive of a British P&I club said it was time Asian owners, with their growing clout, had more representation on the boards of P&I clubs, most of which were based in Europe.