A ship wreck can be a hazard to navigation. Other vessels and their crews can potentially be endangered, and, depending on the nature of the cargo and remaining fuel on board, a wreck may also cause damage to marine environments and other coastal interests. Then there is the issue of costs and risks involved in marking and removing hazardous wrecks.
To help resolve these issues, IMO's Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention, covers the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks, drifting ships, objects from ships at sea, and floating offshore installations.
To spread knowledge of the specific aspects of the Convention, IMO led a panel discussion on wreck removal challenges, at the Salvage & Wreck Removal Conference in London, United Kingdom (5-7 December).
The Convention entered into force in 2015, filling a gap in the international legal framework on liability and compensation by providing the first set of uniform international rules aimed at ensuring the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located in a country's exclusive economic zone. The Convention covers shipowners' liability for costs of locating, marking and removal of hazardous wrecks; compulsory insurance to cover shipowner liability; the criteria for determining the hazard posed by wrecks, including environmental criteria. The treaty also includes an optional clause enabling States Parties to apply certain provisions to their territory, including their territorial sea.
To-date, 41 States have signed up to the Convention, representing more than 72% of world merchant shipping tonnage. Find out more about the Convention, here.
Oman has become the 16th signatory* to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.
The Amendment significantly broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code when it was adopted at a high-level meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in January 2017. It covers measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste.
Mr. Said Bin Al-Harthy, Under Secretary for Ports & Maritime Affairs of Oman deposited the instrument with Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London (7 December).
* Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
IMO is at the UN climate change conference (COP 24) in Poland, highlighting key elements of the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. The strategy sets out a vision to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely. This sets a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.
IMO reported to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 49) on the Organization’s actions and commitment to reduce emissions from international shipping, including the adoption of the Initial IMO Strategy and work on technology cooperation and capacity building.
Discussions at a number of side events at COP 24 have focused on prospects for alternative and low-carbon fuels, as both industry and Governments discuss the need for a shift away from fossil fuels. The IMO initial GHG strategy recognizes that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition. The implications for economic development, including for vulnerable countries, have also been key points for discussion. IMO’s GloMEEP energy efficiency partnerships project and the global maritime technology centre network (GMN) are supporting developing countries to implement IMO energy efficiency measures and to push forward with pilot projects and trials for emissions recording and reporting.
Download IMO presentations and statements here.
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited IMO Headquarters in London (5 December). The Princess Royal was received by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and addressed the 100th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and took a keen interest in the proceedings, as the Committee discussed measures to enhance maritime security and piracy and armed robbery against ships. The Princess Royal, who is Master of Trinity House and President of the Mission to Seafarers, then met delegates from a number of Member States and non-governmental organizations. Photos here.
The visit was organised as part of a series of events commemorating IMO’s 70th anniversary and the World Maritime Day theme - “IMO 70: Our Heritage: Better Shipping for a Better Future". In March 1948, the convention establishing IMO was adopted. The Maritime Safety Committee was one of the IMO bodies established by that convention and is the oldest technical committee of IMO. On 6 March this year, 70 years to the day since the IMO was established, Her Majesty the Queen visited IMO Headquarters.
Ukraine has acceded to an important IMO ship safety treaty – the 1988 Protocol relating to the International Convention on Load Lines. Limitations on the draught to which a ship may be loaded make a significant contribution to the ship's safety. These limits are given in the form of freeboards, which constitute, besides external weathertight and watertight integrity, the main objective of the Convention. Measures under the treaty take into account the potential hazards present in different zones and different seasons.
The 1988 Protocol updates and revises the earlier treaty. The technical annex contains several additional safety measures concerning doors, freeing ports, hatchways and other items. These measures help to ensure the watertight integrity of ships' hulls below the freeboard deck. All assigned load lines must be marked amidships on each side of the ship, together with the deck line.
Mr. Andriy Galushchak, State Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London (5 December) to deposit the instruments of accession. The 1988 Load lines Protocol now has 110 Contracting States, representing more than 97% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) is meeting for its milestone 100th session, with a busy agenda encompassing maritime autonomous surface ships, fatigue guidance for seafarers, polar shipping, goal-based standards and other agenda items. The MSC will receive the report of a correspondence group which has been testing the proposed methodology for the regulatory scoping exercise on maritime autonomous surface ships, taking into account different levels of autonomy. Focusing on the human element, the MSC is expected to approve revised guidance on fatigue, a key tool for seafarers and ship operators. On polar shipping, the MSC is expected to establish a working group to further consider how to move forward with developing mandatory and/or recommendatory measures for ships operating in polar waters but not currently covered by the Polar Code.
Matters related to the goal-based ship construction standards for bulkers and oil tankers are on the agenda, following the successful initial verification of 12 Recognized Organizations by IMO GBS audit teams. The MSC will consider the initial audit of a further recognized organization.
The outcomes of Sub-Committees will be considered, including various guidelines set for approval. The MSC will be updated on the reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships.
Amendments to update the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers are set to be adopted, alongside amendments to the Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (SPS Code).
The MSC is being chaired by Mr. Brad Groves (Australia). Read more here. Click for photos. A special event marking 100 sessions of the MSC was held on Monday (3 December).
Legal experts and port and maritime security officers from Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka have gathered at IMO in London (27-29 November) for a focused sub-regional workshop on implementing transport-related (maritime) counter terrorism instruments. The joint United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and IMO Counter Terrorism/Security sub-regional workshop was a follow-up to three national workshops in the same countries.
This is part of an ongoing UNODC/IMO project to boost implementation of IMO maritime security and counter terrorism treaties, including SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the suppression of unlawful acts (SUA) instruments. These are key elements of the international counter terrorism instruments. The emphasis of the capacity building is on the need for good supporting national legislation, as well as multi-agency collaboration.
The national workshops have recognized the benefits of developing national maritime security strategies and national counter-terrorism strategies. Representatives from the United Kingdom, who have developed both, contributed their experiences in strategy development at this sub-regional workshop. Interport Police and the UN 1540 Committee also participated in the workshop. The World Customs Organization (WCO), UNCTED and Interpol will be involved in future workshops on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction via the maritime domain.
The ongoing joint UNODC/IMO Counter Terrorism/Security project will continue, with table-top exercises in Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet Nam in early 2019, and with a regional meeting planned for February 2019 which will include Philippines, which recently completed a table-top exercise tailored for testing contingency plans on possible terrorism-related incidents in the maritime domain.
The first regional donor/recipient workshop on maritime Technical Cooperation activities is underway in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (26-30 November). The workshop builds on the long-term resource mobilization strategy for IMO's Technical Cooperation activities, approved at the sixty-eighth session of the IMO Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC). This strategy identified a more proactive and methodical approach with regard to generating new resources by encouraging the development of partnerships with Member States, the United Nations system and multilateral development banks, through the design of new and innovative projects.
The regional workshop brings together officials representing transport ministries, responsible for maritime affairs, and finance ministries, responsible for official development assistance (ODA). This is the first workshop of its kind since the launch of the Strategy; with participants sharing knowledge, skills and experience as vital resources, as well as providing an invaluable opportunity to network with maritime and development cooperation counterparts from around the region to seek possible cooperation opportunities and to brainstorm on how to increase awareness of and prioritise maritime issues in national development plans.
The workshop has provided a platform for donors to prioritise their interests and to identify the needs and demands of recipient countries; for recipients to have a better understanding of how to access the various resources available to address their needs; to improve the understanding of each other's mechanisms of operation with regard to accessing and delivering funding and support; and to build an enhanced network of knowledge partnerships and communication.
Participating Member States and organizations represented at the workshop were; Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The workshop was organised by IMO with support from the Government of the Republic of Korea.
Response plans are essential to ensure reliable national and sub-regional systems for preparedness and response, trained personnel, basic equipment and contingency plans for combating marine pollution incidents. REMPEC, the IMO-administered pollution emergency response centre in the Mediterranean, facilitated the organization of a meeting of national authorities involved in the contingency plan for the Western Mediterranean.
The Fifth Meeting of the competent national authorities in charge of the implementation of the Sub-Regional Contingency Plan between Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia for Preparedness for and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships for the South-Western Mediterranean was held in Algiers, Algeria (27-28 November). Opening the meeting, H.E. Mrs Fatma Zohra Zerouati, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy of Algeria, underlined the need to organize high level sub-regional meetings on an annual basis to ensure the continuous commitment of the countries involved in the implementation of the regional plan.
The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) assists Mediterranean coastal States in ratifying, transposing, implementing and enforcing international maritime conventions related to the prevention, preparedness and response to pollution from ships, including IMO’s Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response (OPRC 90). An effective regional contingency plan is considered to be the single most important factor which determines the effectiveness and the success of response to marine pollution incidents. The recent meeting falls within REMPEC’s continuous efforts to implement a solid framework for mutual assistance and cooperation in case of marine pollution from ships in the Mediterranean.
The meeting was attended by more than 150 representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, as well as from the United Nations, UNDP and REMPEC.
REMPEC also facilitated further collaboration and exchange of experience between the South-Western Mediterranean Contingency Plan, and the Ramoge Agreement, a similar regional cooperation framework between France, Italy and Monaco (which has been in place for more than 40 years).
IMO technical assistance and institutional support has been instrumental in the recent adoption of the ASEAN Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan. The plan was adopted by the 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting, held in Bangkok, Thailand (8 November). The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan provides for a mechanism whereby ASEAN Member States can request and provide mutual support in response to any oil spills. It also ensures a common understanding and effective integration between affected and assisting ASEAN Member States, in the event of incidents involving oil spills.
Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) on an ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism for Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in 2014, IMO has delivered various national and sub-regional activities in the different ASEAN countries to support the concrete implementation of the MoU, including a recent IMO workshop held in Malaysia in July 2018 aimed at familiarizing stakeholders with the content of the final draft of the plan. This technical assistance has been provided through the Global Initiative project for South East Asia (GI SEA), a joint project with the oil and gas industry (IPIECA). This supports implementation of IMO’s Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (the OPRC 90 Convention).
The final adoption of the Regional Plan was made pursuant to the recommendation of the ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG) during its 36th Session held in August 2018 in Singapore. During these MTWG Meetings, IMO has also continuously underlined the importance of the development and adoption of the regional plan. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The global network of Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres is expanding with a number of branch offices and becoming an integral player in implementing IMO’s initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. This is especially true when it comes to capacity building, technical cooperation and R&D. A 250-strong* crowd attended the MTCC-Africa side-event on Capacity Building for Climate Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry (27 November), during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya (photos).
The event was organized within the framework of the Global MTCCs Network (GMN), a network of five MTCCs established in support of IMO’s Initial Strategy on GHG emissions reduction with the objective of assisting stakeholders and IMO member states through capacity building and technology transfer.
The GMN project is financed by the European Union and implemented by the IMO. In his opening remarks, Mr. Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Kenya, , emphasized the importance of the IMO strategy, which calls for a reduction in shipping emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out completely, consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.
IMO’s Mr. Fredrik Haag, elaborated on the MTCCs role in implementing follow up actions of IMO’s initial strategy. The MTCCs (both now and in the future) will help ensure that over the next three decades emissions from shipping can be stabilized and reduced. This type of reduction is only possible with initiatives like the GMN and its activities, such as improving energy efficiency through retrofitting existing vessels, something which is currently being piloted by MTCC-Pacific.
The five MTCCs have begun the process of expansion, with MTCC-Asia establishing branch offices in Cambodia (in 2017) and more recently in Myanmar (November 2018), with a third planned for Bangladesh (to open in 2019). MTCC-Pacific is also expanding and is in the process of establishing its branch office in Samoa. *Attendees included representatives from the European Union, IMO, the Ministry of Transport Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development of the Republic of Kenya, the host institution of MTCC-Africa (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology – JKUAT), MTCC-Africa, MTCC-Pacific, as well as regional stakeholders and focal points of the Network from Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar and Namibia.
Technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieving the overall ambition in the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. A meeting of the IMO Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) Task Force at IMO Headquarters in London (27 November) held a lively debate on the marine fuel for the future - and discussed how the GIA can support IMO in the development of measures that can increase the uptake of low carbon fuels (with a view to feeding this into IMO’s work on the Initial GHG Strategy). The meeting agreed, as a next step, to hold a GIA roundtable early 2019 to discuss how early movers could be incentivised to invest in alternative fuels.
The GIA Task Force includes representatives from members of the GIA, a public-private partnership initiative of the IMO under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloMEEP Project that aims to bring together maritime industry leaders to support an energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system. The meeting took stock of the different workstreams the GIA has embarked on, including the development of E-Learning Course on the Energy Efficient Ship Operation for seafarers and shore-based personnel, and work on the development of short and mid-term solutions that can support a global uptake of the Just-In Time operation of ships.
The GIA agreed to continue its work until December 2019, in line with the time-scale of the GloMEEP project. The GIA currently has 15 members, representing Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports.
IMO's global programme on Women in Maritime is the latest to feature at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya (26-28 November) this week. A WOMESA* side event on the integration of women in the maritime sector, featured a host of speakers (click for photos and details), participants from 10 African countries** supported by IMO and conference attendees.
Speaking at the event, IMO's Helen Buni, who runs the programme, said that "the time is now for women to ride the wave of Africa's maritime sector". She added that "female empowerment is an economic no-brainer" given that empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add US$28 trillion in GDP growth by 2025.
Ms. Buni highlighted the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2019 - 'Empowering women in the maritime sector'. She urged participants to embrace this as a unique chance to share ideas and opportunities, create new partnerships and work together to turn the Blue Economy concept into concrete actions. In doing so, it will also help the maritime sector build momentum in helping deliver the UN Sustainability Development Goals, including SDG5 on gender equality.
Ms. Buni also took the opportunity to announce plans to re-establish a network for women in the maritime sector for west and central African countries - to promote female empowerment in the #BlueEconomy in the region.
* The Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA), was initiated by IMO, launching in 2007.
** Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa
A full house at the IMO side event at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference has brought together experts* in the maritime sector, trade and development. The event, on “How States can leverage the #BlueEconomy into their national policies” was part of IMO’s on-going efforts to support a sustainable blue economy for Africa and beyond.
Conference participants were welcomed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, who highlighted in his speech the need for “closer collaboration and communication to ensure the sustainable development of activities in our oceans”. A wide variety of speakers spoke on four sub themes (see full list of speakers and themes).
During the discussions (photos), IMO’s Chris Trelawny highlighted the need for States to adopt “whole of government, joined up approaches” in their national maritime development policies. Mr. Trelawny also advised governments to continue to speak to their universities, because there was “undoubtedly, no shortage of talent in Africa”. Adding to the discussion, Norwegian Minister of International Development, H.E. Nikolai Astrup, said that “any national strategy on the oceans needs the private sector” to work with States, while UNECA’s Adeyinka Adeyemi emphasised that “litter does not stop at the border”, in his call for countries to work together on maritime issues.
The side event was moderated by IMO Acting Director, Technical Cooperation Division, Juvenal Shiundu.
* Member States of the African Union, United Nations agencies, national governments, regional and international development agencies, development and financial institutions, maritime professionals and experts, civil societies, port authorities, port management associations, shipowner and fishing vessel owner organizations, as well as relevant universities, training institutions, relevant businesses and the private sector.
A successful and well-run port contributes to the sustainable economic development of its region. But what is also an economic no-brainer is female empowerment. To address both these points, IMO is providing fellowships to ten female officials attending a Port Senior Management Programme held at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, Israel, (14 -27 November).
The two-week course provides participants with key information and updates on innovations in the port industry. Subjects covered include global trends and advances in port development as well as port security and efficiency in container terminals.
The fellowships come from IMO's Women in Maritime programme which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goal number five in order to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Over the last 30 years, IMO has facilitated access to high-level technical training for women in the maritime sector to help them reach leadership positions and bring a much needed gender balance in the industry.
Participants come from ten countries; Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
How do we harness the potential of our oceans and seas to improve the lives of all, while conserving them for future generations?
This is the question being addressed at the first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, where IMO is joining world leaders and maritime experts from around the globe (photos).
The Conference in Kenya (26-28 November) will see governments, international agencies and other stakeholders discuss topics such as ocean governance, marine environment protection and maritime security and development.
IMO is holding side events on i) how States can leverage the #BlueEconomy into their national policies, ii) promoting women in the maritime sector, and iii) improvements in ship energy-efficiency and uptake of low-carbon technologies.
Speaking on the opening day of the conference, IMO Secretary-General said, “the importance of the world’s oceans for our collective future is undeniable”. He emphasised that “realising the full potential of our oceans, and the growing ocean economy, will require responsible and sustainable approaches to its economic development and a strong collaboration and cooperation among all stakeholders.” Secretary-General Lim said that he was “confident that the exchange of ideas taking place this week will make a positive contribution towards the objective we all share - to contribute to sustainable development and a thriving blue economy”.
IMO is committed to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its associated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Follow @IMOHQ on twitter for regular updates from Nairobi, as well as #BlueEconomy2018 / #BlueEconomyKE
More women are joining the maritime ranks in many aspect of the industry. To encourage this trend, IMO is supporting a training course aimed at female officials from maritime and port authorities entitled.
Twenty-seven women from 18 developing countries* are taking part in the two-week "Women in Port Management" course, hosted in Le Havre, France (12 – 23 November). It includes lectures on subjects such as port management, port security, marine environment, facilitation of maritime traffic, marketing, port logistics and other topics. The course provides participants with the necessary skills to improve the management and operational efficiency of their ports.
Visits to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen are also taking place, enabling the participants to experience for themselves the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.
The event is delivered through IMO's Women in Maritime Gender Programme, in partnership with the Port Institute for Education and Research (IPER) and the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO's ongoing and increasing efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal number five: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
This is the 14th training event of its kind. Demand for the course has continued to grow substantially over the past years.
* Antigua & Barbuda, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, the Sudan, Uganda and Viet Nam.
Biofouling is the build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures. It can be responsible for introducing potentially invasive non-native aquatic species to new environments and can also slow a ship down and impact negatively on its energy efficiency. Anti-fouling paints are used to coat the bottoms of ships to prevent biofouling. IMO’s Anti-Fouling Systems Convention, which has been in force for more than ten years, prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems.
An IMO workshop in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (21-23 November) has helped provide a greater understanding of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing this convention and implementing guidelines on how biofouling should be controlled and managed. The workshop was attended by 35 participants from 11 countries* and is part of IMO’s continuing efforts to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals - in particular SDG 14, on the oceans.
*Benin, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo.
Eleven francophone African countries* have agreed on an
action plan to better implement IMO’s key treaty on prevention of pollution
from ships – the MARPOL Convention, Annexes
The plan includes both national and regional actions as
well as recommendations to IMO, which aim to address the root causes hampering
the effective implementation of MARPOL. In particular, two priority areas have
been identified: the provision of adequate port reception facilities and the
application of MARPOL measures to offshore activities.
The plan was agreed at a regional meeting in Côte
d’Ivoire (19-21 November) organized by IMO and the Ministry of Transport of
Participants took into account the MARPOL-related
findings of IMO audits that were carried out in the majority of the countries
attending. Institutional and regulatory issues , as well as human and financial
resources, were identified among obstacles to effective implementation.
Some of the actions, such as facilitating access to
relevant IMO documents by technical staff and enhancing inter-ministerial
coordination, can be taken up immediately. Others are envisaged to require more
time, such as adopting new national legislation to implement recent MARPOL
amendments, and allocating additional resources to recruit and train officers
to effectively enforce the obligations set out in MARPOL. The action plan also
identifies needs for further technical assistance for the participating
*Benin, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinee, Mauritania, Senegal, and Togo
When the communication between ships
and port is smoothly run, shipments move more quickly, more easily and more
efficiently. This is where IMO’s Facilitation (FAL) Convention comes in. To help
increase ratification of the FAL Convention and improve understanding of its
requirements, two National Seminars on Facilitation of International Maritime
Traffic have been delivered by IMO, in cooperation with the Pacific Community
(SPC), in Tarawa, Kiribati (14-16 November) and in Honiara, the Solomon Islands
Twenty-one participants from
public authorities, agencies and private stakeholders attended the seminar in
Kiribati, which was organized by IMO and the Ministry of Information,
Communication, Transport & Tourism Development. Thirty participants
attended the seminar held in the Solomon Islands, which was organized by IMO
and the Solomon Islands Ports Authority.
Ships and ports will need to be able to exchange arrival and departure data electronically from April 2019, under IMO’s Facilitation Convention. There requirements also encourage the use of a single window in which all the many agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact. Training in the treaty requirements took place during national seminars in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (13-15 November) and in Nouakchott, Mauritania (20-22 November).
The seminars highlighted the objectives of the FAL Convention: to promote public authorities to process their clearance procedures effectively and efficiently, to make the clearance of ships, their cargoes, passengers and crews in ports less cumbersome and more expedient.
Forty-six participants attended the Malabo seminar, organized by IMO and the Ministry of Transport, Post and Telecommunications of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Twenty-one participants from public authorities and private sectors attended the seminar in Nouakchott, organized by IMO and the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy of Mauritania.
Managing and responding to maritime incidents
involving hazardous and noxious substances (HNS), usually chemicals, is an
important element of IMO’s work. As well adopting global regulations dealing
with these issues, in particular the so-called “OPRC-HNS Protocol”, IMO also conducts practical training exercises.
Last week (13-16 November) REMPEC, the IMO-administered pollution emergency response
centre in the Mediterranean, delivered such a training course in Turkey. It
brought together representatives from both the public and private sectors,
addressing the particular considerations and challenges in responding to HNS
incidents in Turkey.
The event addressed gaps in capacity, and followed up on recommendations identified during a regional HNS response workshop (MEDEXPOL 2018) that REMPEC organized in Malta, in June 2018. The outcomes and
recommendations from that event, such as the need to develop more specific
response strategies and raise public awareness of the impact of spills, will be
reported to IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) when it next meets in February 2019.
The training course in Turkey was held under IMO’s
Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and hosted by the Government of Turkey.
The intense shipping and offshore exploration activities in the Gulf of Guinea pose major risks to its coastline, so the country pays special attention to protecting its coastline.
Last week (12 - 15 November) a national workshop aimed at building the country's oil pollution preparedness and response capacity was held, under the auspices of the GI WACAF project – a collaboration between IMO and IPIECA - the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues.
The participants were able to gain key knowledge and skills – notably regarding assessment techniques and clean-up operations – which will help them develop an appropriate strategy and implement efficient shoreline response measures. The attendees also gained a better understanding of the various challenges and difficulties associated with these types of response activities, through a field visit and an assessment exercise.
The workshop was held in Conakry and organized by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests of the Republic of Guinea and, in particular, by the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas Directorate.
Maritime security depends on the capacity of national authorities to develop effective port security plans and procedures and the ability to self-audit. A regional workshop for participants from a number of countries* in the Gulf of Guinea, held in Tema, Ghana (13-16 November) has helped to build national capacity to enhance port security.
The training focused on how to establish multi-agency port and port facility security and facilitation committees with specific terms of reference; and on the drafting of port facility security assessments and plans. A third key area covered included tailored technical expertise on ships and port facilities security, maritime situational awareness, the conduct of harmonized maritime security control and compliance, information sharing, mutual support, contingency planning, joint operations and response based on existing infrastructure.
Lectures addressed piracy, armed robbery and other illicit maritime activities. Key instruments covered included the IMO maritime security measures in SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, as well as the ILO/IMO Code of practice on security in ports. Participants also visited the port of Tema, to see in practice how such measures might be implemented.
The programme to enhance port security in west and central Africa was funded by the Government of Denmark. National training workshops on port security and facilitation, with a specific focus on tackling the issue of stowaways (in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Sierra Leone), have fed into the final regional workshop.
*Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Performing a vessel inspection is an important task. Inspections by flag and port States are key to keeping ship standards high and in turn reducing accidents and pollution to the maritime environment.
To maintain a high level of safety in the region, a Regional Caribbean Ship Inspector Training course (CASIT) (29 October – 16 November) has been held in Trinidad and Tobago.
The objective of the course is to prepare ship surveyors to be able to work in a Caribbean maritime administration. On completion, trainees will be able to carry out flag State inspection (FSI) on all vessels under 24 meters in length and conduct annual and renewal surveys on vessels up to 500 GT.
Participants will also have been trained to carry out port State control (PSC) inspections, including inspection of documents on all ships.
The course covers a range of theoretical topics too, such as international treaties compliance, port and flag State regimes, Recognized Organizations (ROs), conventions on maritime safety and pollution prevention and the regional safety codes. It also includes technical components ranging from ship stability and loadlines to dangerous cargoes, machinery installations and hull constructions.
In addition, students are trained on matters related to working and living conditions on board ships in accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention 2006.
The course also gave participants a chance to conduct actual ship inspections and get a real feel for the job.
As part of IMO's Women in Maritime programme, one fellowship was awarded to a member of WiMAC, a regional association established by IMO to promote Caribbean women in maritime. The course was facilitated by IMO.
40 participants from 13 Member States and 4 Territories attended the course.