Maritime administrators from over 20 countries across Asia
have gathered at the first regional event of Asia’s Maritime Technology
Cooperation Centre (MTCC-Asia) to
discuss ways to bring shipping into a low carbon future.
More than 50 participants joined representatives from the EU
and IMO at the Shanghai Maritime University (18-22 September) to discuss
national priorities and barriers relating to topics such as greenhouse gas
control, ship energy-efficiency and technologies applied for fuel consumption
MTCC-Asia is part
of the global network for energy-efficient shipping under the GMN project, funded by the
European Union and run by IMO. The network of five regional centres are promoting technologies and
operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector.
The impacts of wastes and other matter in the marine environment from mining operations is at the core of a working group from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) which is meeting at IMO Headquarters in London (20-22 September). This is the group's first formal meeting and it aims to provide independent advice on what environmental impacts could arise from the marine disposal of mine tailings around the world both from land based and marine minerals mining. A report is being prepared by the group which will inform the discussions taking place in the context of the London Convention and Protocol, the treaties which regulate the dumping of waste at sea. (LC/LP). The event is co-sponsored by IMO and UN Environment and the meeting is being chaired by Dr Tracy Shimmield.
A national table-top exercise on maritime security in Lima, Peru
(18-19 September) has supported the country to implement the
United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which imposes binding obligations
on all States to
adopt legislation to prevent
the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means
of delivery and establish appropriate
domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking.
The Lima exercise focused on the provisions that fall within the
scope of IMO maritime security measures,
including SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facilities
Security (ISPS) Code and the SUA treaties covering the suppression of unlawful acts
against the safety of maritime navigation.
Participants from different government departments and agencies
reviewed a range of evolving scenarios related to maritime security and
maritime law enforcement issues and identified opportunities for improvement
and the need for better collaboration and sharing of information and procedures
between national agencies.
The exercise, conducted by IMO and the United Nations Regional
Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the
Caribbean (UNLIREC), followed
a series of similar events in other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America
region in recent months. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team
An IMO film showing how the IMO Polar Code supports safe and environmentally-friendly shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic waters is being screened at the NEVA 2017 International Maritime Exhibition and Conference (19-22 September), in St Petersburg, Russia. IMO's Assistant Secretary-General Lawrence Barchue delivered the opening address, updating the audience on regulatory standards affecting the safety of international shipping, fishing and offshore operations and the protection of the marine environment. Mr Barchue also spoke of the importance of sharing a common understanding on the issues that affect the maritime community today.
IMO`s Mikhail Gappoev also attended the event, to take part in the Arctic Round table looking at issues and opportunities associated with, Arctic ecology, transport development and the application of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is in Russia this week
(16-20 September) for a series of high-level meetings with ministers and
officials. After talks in Moscow with the Minister and Deputy Minister of
Transport and the Head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency, Mr Lim
moved on to Vladivostok. There he visited the sail training ship
"Nadezhda" (pictured) and the Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University before
speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding
on Port State Control.
Port State Control is the process, supported by IMO, by
which officials in ports can board visiting foreign-flag vessels to verify
compliance with international safety and pollution standards. In a speech to
the meeting, Mr Lim praised Port State Control officers as being the “front
line” of effective implementation for IMO’s global shipping regulations and
hinted at an expanded role embracing education and advocacy.
IMO is attending the 34th session of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in in Bohol Island, Philippines (19-21 September) to update the Maritime Transport Working Group on its latest activities. IMO is looking forward to enhancing cooperation with ASEAN members, particularly in pursuing the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan which seeks to ensure a sustainable transport network, including low carbon modes of transport. IMO also wishes to further promote the implementation of ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan (OSRAP). IMO will share the outcomes of a workshop held in the region in May 2017 on a key IMO treaty supporting the free flow of international maritime traffic – the Facilitation Convention (FAL) which has the potential to reduce transport costs and contribute to sustainable development in the region.
Cyber security awareness on board ships plays an important role in ensuring the safety and security of shipping around the globe. IMO has issued Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management, in addition to a resolution on Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems – adopted by the Organization's Maritime Safety Committee in June this year.
To help spread knowledge and use of these high-level recommendations – IMO has taken part in the "Sub Regional Workshop on Critical Infrastructure Protection: Cybersecurity and Border Protection" in Panama City, Panama (13-15 September). IMO's Henrik Madsen participated in the event, which was organized by the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) and opened by H.E. Mr. Alexis Bethancourt, Minister of Public Security of Panama.
Search and rescue is a humanitarian process, aimed at assisting persons in distress, without regard to the nationality or circumstances of the persons in distress. IMO’s Chris Trelawny highlighted this global responsibility, during the first Coast Guard Global Summit, jointly hosted by the Japan Coast Guard and Tokyo-based Nippon Foundation, in Tokyo (14 September). He also outlined the international legal framework for SAR; the implementation of effective SAR systems; and the need for and benefit of international and inter-regional cooperation for effective SAR on a global basis. Search and rescue officials from more than 30 countries attended the summit.
What is the legal basis for removing a hazardous wreck at
sea? Who bears the liability? These and many other wreck removal questions were
addressed by IMO’s Jan de Boer at the ACI’s Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response
in London (13-14 September).
Speaking to a wide variety of stakeholders* concerned with
wreck removal, Mr. de Boer gave an overview of IMO’s Nairobi
International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, which provides the
legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten
the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine
The treaty entered into force in 2015, the instrument currently has 37
Contracting States, which represent more than 70% of the world's merchant fleet
It applies to shipwrecks, objects from ships at sea, drifting ships and
floating offshore installations. In his presentation, Mr. de Boer went into
detail on aspects such as the shipowner being strictly liable for costs of locating, marking and
removing hazardous wrecks, as well as compulsory insurance to cover shipowner
* Participants from salvage companies, tug & towage companies,
authorities, ship owners, ship managers, P&I clubs, maritime lawyers and consultants
An IMarEST workshop on practical biofouling management strategies just has concluded in Melbourne, Australia (12-15 September). Biofouling, is defined as the undesirable accumulation of aquatic organisms like, plants, algae and animals on ships’ hulls, which pose a significant problem to the world’s oceans and to the conservation of biodiversity.
IMO is working actively to address this issue by implementing practices to control and manage biofouling. One of the IMO’s main objective at the conference is to promote a new partnership project together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which seek to curb the spread of bioinvasion as well as to identify future partners for the project.
The event also looked at current and future regulations, as well as gaps hindering the implementation of effective biofouling management strategies and standards. Discussions also touched upon the balance between improved vessel fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, effective biosecurity risk mitigation and compliance with biofouling guidelines.
The workshop was attended by IMO’s John Alonso and Antoine Blonce.
Jamaica and Malta have become the latest States to sign up to IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention – the international treaty requiring ships to manage their ballast water to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic species across the globe. The Convention entered into force earlier this month (8 September) and a total of 65 signatories now represent 73.92% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.
Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, H.E. Kamina Johnson Smith and the High Commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom, H.E. Seth George Ramocan, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London to deposit Jamaica's instrument of accession to the Convention (11 September).
Today, (12 September) H.E. Mr. Ian Borg, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects of Malta met the Secretary-General and emphasized the importance of the treaty – to which Malta acceded earlier this month.
Click to see the latest IMO video and infographic to find out what implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention means for ship owners.
New research considered by IMO this week about the behaviour of an aluminium ore that featured in a high-profile shipping casualty in 2015 could lead to changes in industry rules about how such cargoes should be handled. IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 4, 11-15 September) will this week consider the latest research results on the potential instability of bauxite when carried as a ship’s cargo.
Bauxite is one of the world’s major sources of aluminium. In 2015, a bulk carrier sank while transporting bauxite - with the loss of 18 seafarers. IMO has been investigating the hazards and risks associated with the carriage of bauxite. The Sub-Committee will review the outcome of a correspondence group on the subject and the findings of a Global Bauxite Working Group, with a view to further developing and updating the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is the industry rulebook on how to deal with such cargoes.
The meeting is also expected to finalize the next set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2018) to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code, another code which is used daily by seafarers and shippers to ensure the safe carriage of pertinent cargoes.
As part of its work on the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), the Sub-Committee is also expected to further develop draft amendments to the IGF Code on requirements for fuel cells and draft technical provisions for ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. This work has particular relevance for ship looking to use alternative technologies to meet sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon reduction targets.
The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. (Photos here).
A security incident hits a passenger ship in Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico – an important port receiving more than 140 passenger ships
and hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Procedures need to be followed
and numerous national agencies need to be coordinated. This was the subject of
one of the drills and exercises that took place during an IMO workshop in
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (7 September) involving more than 100 participants from
different port facilities in the Americas region.
The workshop also included a table-top simulation describing
the procedures contained in the APEC Manual of Maritime Security Drills and
Exercises for Port Facilities. More information about the live security
exercise, conducted by the Mexican Navy (SEMAR), can be found here (Spanish only).
Regular maritime security drills and exercises are an
important requirement under IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security
(ISPS) Code. The Code helps to ensure the effective implementation of the ship
and port facility security plans and to verify that personnel involved are aware
of the relevant procedures and can respond in a timely and effective manner.
The Puerto Vallarta event comes as part of part of IMO’s
focus on the 2017 World Maritime Day theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”
to help IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to
invest in a joined-up, interagency approach to key issues. The workshop was
conducted as part of the XI International Forum on Maritime and Port Security
(4-7 September), in collaboration with the Inter-American Committee on Ports
(CIP) of the Organization of the American States (OAS) and SEMAR. IMO was
represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.
workshop in Lagos, Nigeria has helped train Nigerian officials in the necessary
skills and knowledge to plan, conduct and assess security drills and exercises
in their port facilities. The event (28 August – 1 September) focused on port
security measures of the Organization’s ISPS
participants included designated authority officials, port facilities security
officials, ISPS auditors, national regulators and ISPS inspectors. Led by an
IMO team of consultants and organized with the Nigeria Maritime Administration
and Safety Agency (NIMASA) – the workshop involved theoretical lessons,
discussions, group work and hands-on practical exercises in planning,
conducting and evaluating exercises in compliance with the ISPS Code.
training event is the third of a three-phase technical assistance programme,
designed by IMO following a 2016 needs-assessment mission, to help support NIMASA’s
maritime security programme.
Fishing continues to be considered the most
hazardous occupation in the world, and despite the improvement in technology,
the loss of life in the fisheries sector is unacceptably high.
To address the issue, IMO has held a regional
seminar in Rarotonga, Cook Islands (28 August - 1 September) on the
ratification of an important IMO legal instrument called the Cape TownAgreement, providing Member Governments with the
assistance needed to implement the treaty.
To improve the safety of fishers and
fishing vessels, IMO has, over the years, put in place, several initiatives,
culminating with the adoption of the Cape Town Agreement. It is expected that the
Agreement will eliminate difficulties encountered by a number of States with
substantial fishing fleets in implementing a previous agreement, the 1993
Torremolinos Protocol, and will provide international standards for the safety
of fishing vessels which could be implemented by all States concerned.
addition, many Member States believe that there is a link between safety at
sea, forced labour and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The
entry into force of the Agreement will improve safety at sea in the fisheries
sector worldwide but will also be a useful tool in combatting IUU fishing and
reducing pollution from fishing vessels, including marine debris.
seminar was organized by IMO in collaboration with The Food and
Agriculture Organization FAO, the
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the
Pacific Community (SPC). It was attended by participants from 10 countries in the
Pacific region. The seminar was facilitated by IMO’s Sandra Allnutt,
FAO’s Ari Gudmundsson and a consultant.
national table-top exercise on maritime security concluded in Tegucigalpa,
Honduras (28-29 August).
aim of the event was to encourage a multi-agency approach to maritime security
and maritime law enforcement issues. The exercise also highlighted the need for
an integrated approach to the implementation of SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPSCode. Broader security measures were looked at with a
view to strengthening national
implementation of the special measures to enhance maritime security.
the guidance of IMO consultants, participants reviewed and discussed a number
of possible maritime and port security scenarios and identified gaps and
opportunities for improvement, recognizing the importance of better cooperation
and communication between national agencies. The group produced a number of
recommendations that will be further considered by relevant authorities.
A number of
different national agencies, including representatives of the ISPS designated
authority, national administration, naval, military and air forces, port
authorities, national police, immigration authorities, fire-fighters, red
cross, health services, intelligence agencies, amongst others attended the
was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the
Organization’s strong commitment to helping achieve the UN SustainableDevelopment Goals and explained how shipping and ports can play a significant
role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and
stability through the promotion of maritime trade. Mr. Lim was speaking at a
seminar as part of celebrations (photos) in Veracruz, Mexico (21-22 August) focused on
IMO’s World Maritime Day theme for 2017 –"Connecting
Ships, Ports and People".
The Secretary-General also discussed IMO measures to reduce
harmful emissions from ships, the management of ballast water and goal-based
standards. He was hosted by the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR), Admiral
Commander in Chief Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, who introduced the strategy
and capabilities of the Mexican Maritime Authority.
The seminar was attended by the maritime authorities of
Argentina, Chile, Panama and the United States, as well as representatives from
Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, World Maritime
University (WMU) in Sweden, the IMO
International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI)
in Malta, and various national government ministries.
The celebrations also included an opportunity for
participants to observe a search and rescue exercise and to visit Mexico’s
IMO is helping Liberia to develop a national maritime security strategy. The initiative got underway with a week-long fact-finding exercise (14-18 August) involving senior officials from Liberian Government departments and agencies with a stake in maritime matters. Based on the findings, a proposal will be presented to Liberia suggesting the best way forward. One clear objective is to encourage collaboration and a multi-agency approach to maritime security in Liberia.
Liberia is signatory to both a code of conduct dealing with maritime crime signed in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2013 and to a memorandum of understanding between and IMO and the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa which addresses establishment of an integrated coast guard network for the area.
IMO took a major role in an important exercise to evaluate the success of code of conduct dealing with maritime crime in west and central Africa (16-17 August).
The Yaoundé Code of Conduct was signed in 2013 by 25 west and central African countries to address matters such as piracy, armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activity in the area. One of its provisions calls for its effectiveness to be evaluated, with a view to transforming it into a legally binding agreement.
IMO joined government officials from 26 African states as well as several other regional and global organisations with related responsibilities and portfolios in Yaoundé for the event, which also fostered a better understanding of the challenges involved in achieving cooperation among the signatories in the continuing fight against maritime crime.
responsible for port security in Mauritania are undergoing a week-long IMO
training course in the country’s capital of Nouakchott (7-11 August). The
course will equip designated authority officials, port security officials and
managers with the skills to carry out effective self-assessments and audits of
port facilities, in line with IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility
Code and guidance on voluntary self-assessment.
event is the second of a three-phase technical assistance programme – designed
by IMO following a needs-assessment mission, held in 2015, to help support
Mauritania’s maritime security programme.
was organized by IMO and the Maritime Authority of Mauritania (Direction de la
Marine Marchande). IMO was represented by a team of consultants.
On-board practice in assessing maritime security measures on a ship was a key feature of a recent workshop which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay (8-11 August). Some 45 participants, representing the national Administration and designated authority for maritime security, ship companies, recognized security organizations and ship security officers. The workshop was designed to equip participants with the necessary skill and knowledge to assess the effectiveness of International ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code implementation on board a ship, using as a basis IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment by administration and for ship security. The workshop was organized by IMO in collaboration with the Designated Authority of Uruguay (Prefectura Nacional Naval). IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.
the launch of IMO’s film on the IMO Polar Code, a new video focused on search
and rescue in polar regions is being published today.
second video in a series on IMO in the polar environment takes a closer
look at the challenges of search and rescue operations in polar regions, for
example, how the current lack of marine infrastructure, coupled with the
vastness and harshness of the environment, makes emergency response
significantly more difficult in the Arctic and Antarctica. The limitations of
radio and satellite communications to monitor and control ship movements in
polar waters is another issue. The new video also explores IMO’s
International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue – the SAR Convention –
which was adopted by IMO in 1979. Under the
SAR Convention, individual countries are responsible for specified search and
rescue regions, together forming the Global Search and Rescue Plan. A network
of rescue co-ordination centres and sub-centres has been established and,
together, they cover all the world’s oceans.
The video also features an
exclusive interview with Commander Rodrigo Lepe, former Chief of the Chilean
Navy base at Bahia Fildes on King George Island in Antarctica. The interview
highlights the unique challenges he and his team face to ensure sound search
and rescue practices in such a remote and inhospitable area. Watch video here
A first video explaining the Polar Code was published in May 2017 and can be re-watched here.
Cambodian officials and personnel responsible for maritime
and port security are taking part in an IMO workshop in Phnom Penh
(1-4 August). The course focuses on key IMO maritime security measures*,
particularly the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code
and the various roles and responsibilities that the
Code entails. Participants who complete the course will also
have practiced how to train others with similar responsibilities
through interactive exercises and presentations.
Some 36 participants are taking part in the event,
including maritime and port security officials of the Merchant Marine
Department and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport as well
as port security officers from the two main international ports
in the country, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port and the Port Autonomous of
IMO will also meet officials to discuss further technical
assistance in relation to Cambodia’s national procedures and processes for
oversight and implementation of maritime security measures.
The event was organized at the request of the Ministry of Public
Works and Transport, Cambodia, and opened by H. E. Leng Thun Yuthea,
Under-Secretary of State of the Kingdom of Cambodia. IMO is represented by
Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants, with the US Coast Guard’s
International Port Security Programme also contributing.
*Chapter XI-2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea; the
International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code; the
IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO) Code of Practice on Security in
Ports, and related guidance.
An audience of ship owners, fuel
suppliers, traders and maritime technology providers attending the IBC Asia Bunkering conference in
Singapore has heard about IMO’s latest work on low carbon shipping and air
pollution control. IMO’s Edmund Hughes provided an update on the work being
carried out by the Organization to support effective and consistent
implementation of the 0.50%
global limit on the sulphur content of fuel oil which will apply from 1
Preparations by the bunker
industry for complying with the sulphur limit was one of the key issues being
discussed at the conference (26-28 July). These included strategies surrounding
likely types of compliant fuel oil, use of exhaust gas cleaning systems, and
development of a bunkering infrastructure to supply gas for use as an
Mr. Hughes also highlighted
progress on the roadmap for the development of a comprehensive IMO strategy on
reduction of GHG emissions from ships.
Find out more about decisions
taken at the Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 71st session in July, here.
five-day workshop on maritime security and The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code concluded today in
Maputo, Mozambique (24 -28 July).
course provided port facility security officers with the necessary knowledge to
perform their duties in accordance with the requirements of key IMO maritime
results, participants improved their knowledge and skills of those requirements with a view to train
others with similar responsibilities. The workshop included a port visit,
various group exercises and interactive activities - providing solid grounding on the oversight roles and
responsibilities of the designated authority.
at the request of the Maritime Authority under the Ministry of Transport and
Communications of Mozambique, the training was conducted in response to the findings of a maritime
security table top exercise on contingency planning held by IMO in Mozambique in
represented by Gisela Vieira.
*Chapter XI-2 of the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea; the International Ship
and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code; the IMO/International Labour
Organization (ILO) Code of Practice on Security in Ports, and related guidance.