Bimco has hired a former European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and Belgian owners’ association environmental head as manager of a new office in Brussels.

Gudrun Janssens, who was head of environmental & technical affairs at the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association from 2019, will become manager of intergovernmental engagement at the Brussels office.

She was also previously director of maritime safety & environment at ECSA in Brussels.

Janssens will join Bimco on 1 November when the Brussels office opens, bringing it closer to the centre of European Union decision making as Bimco expands its global reach.

“Opening our office in London last year to be close to the International Maritime Organization has cemented our belief that we need to be close to the decision-making processes,” said Lars Robert Pedersen, Bimco deputy secretary general.

An office in Brussels is important as shipping works towards decarbonisation, with EU regulations having a significant impact, he added.

Bimco has been working to draw up a standard industry time charter clause for trading under IMO carbon emission regulations due to take effect on 1 January and aims to deliver it soon.

The association also opened an office in Houston in the US this year, adding to a presence in Athens, Shanghai, Singapore and its headquarters in Copenhagen.

Janssens also has experience with ship recycling and has been responsible for European and international initiatives regarding waste management in ports and from ships.

“The shipping industry is facing unprecedented change, challenges and opportunities, and [I] look forward to representing members’ interests from right here in Brussels,” she said.

She holds a postgraduate in port management from the University of Ghent in Belgium and has studied at the University of the Orange Free State in South Africa, focusing on energy, environment, and natural resources law.