THE International Ship Managers' Association (ISMA) wants to become a representative trade association of ship managers. A proposal to this effect was endorsed at the association's annual general meeting held in Hong Kong this week. Enquiries within the industry into the degree of support for such a proposal have commenced and the membership is reviewing changes in the articles of association to allow such a move. A spokesman said if there were sufficient backing by the December 15 deadline, the association would open its membership to ship managers with proven quality assurance certification that would have to exceed the requirements of the ISM Code of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The association also will seek to influence insurers, obtain trade discounts, provide input to national governments and offer legal assistance. Other matters discussed at the meeting were crew supply, training, the liabilities to which ship managers were exposed and the ISM Code. It was agreed that to bring the association's certification into line with the code, members would be encouraged to initiate association audits on 20 per cent of their fleet each year with a view to ensuring that by the time the code became mandatory all members' vessels would have undergone the audit. Olav Thorstensen of Thorne Shipmanagement of Singapore was elected president to succeed Captain Joachim Meyer. Harry Gilbert of Hong Kong's Wallem Group was elected vice-president, replacing Sven Sorlie of Barber Shipmanagement. The executive committee now consists of Mr Thorstensen, Mr Gilbert, Capt Meyer, O B Stene of Jebsens Shipmanagement,E Koch of Columbia Shipmanagement, D M Walton of International Marine Carriers, F F Speedie of Denholm Shipmanagement, R Bajpaee of Eurasia Shipping and Management, and G E Agathocleous of Interorient Maritime Enterprises.