A new mentorship scheme to encourage the next generation of women into the maritime sector has been launched at the annual conference of the Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean (WiMAC), which is being held in Belize City, Belize (16-19 October). This type of scheme is consistent with IMO’s Women in Maritime programme, which supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, in line with the goals outlined under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". The mentorship model will be used as a blueprint throughout the IMO-supported regional Women in Maritime Associations.
The WiMAC meeting also discussed ways to increase the visibility of the network, how to promote career progression, maritime education of women and how to increase equal opportunities for women in the industry. As well as SDG 5 on gender equality, the association has pledged its commitment to achieving the targets under SDG 14 on the oceans – which has particular relevance to the Caribbean region – and SDG 17 on partnerships. WiMAC plans to increase awareness of the maritime sector in the next generation by working to get maritime topics added to the curriculum for high schools in the region. Female high school students had the chance to attend part of the conference where they were introduced to maritime career options.
The WiMAC annual conference is meeting under the theme “Charting the course for generations of women”. Group workshops looked at gender mainstreaming and how to empower women. Participants come from 15 Caribbean countries and territories, including cadets, coast guard officials, port state control officers, maritime lawyers and other positions within the maritime private sector. The conference elected a new Governing Council for WiMAC.
The new logo for IMO’s Women in Maritime programme was unveiled during the conference. The 2019 World Maritime Day theme "Empowering Women in the Maritime Community" will give additional impetus to all the Women in Maritime Associations to raise awareness of their activities.
IMO has supported the creation of seven regional associations for women in the maritime sector in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. These associations are made up of female maritime professionals and provide a forum for networking, exchange of ideas and initiatives on industry developments, while motivating and empowering women through training.
Maritime security is a key element of IMO's work and, over many years, the Organization has developed a number of measures to help promote and sustain it. The focus is now on helping countries build their capacity to put these measures into practice.
IMO regularly partners with other agencies to do this. As part of a continuing collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a national contingency-planning exercise for the government of the Philippines was recently held in Manila (18-19 October). The objective was to help them implement and enforce maritime safety and security legislation, with an emphasis on countering terrorism, piracy and armed robbery against ships.
The so-called "table top exercise" was designed to highlight the importance of co-operation among different government departments and agencies. Through a range of evolving scenarios it enabled roles, responsibilities, processes, procedures - and how these may develop - to be determined. Gaps in current policies, plans, processes and procedures were identified, as well as areas where IMO, UNODC and other agencies might be able to help in the future.
The exercise in the Philippines followed a 2014 assessment by the UN Counter Terrorism Committee. Three other countries in South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam) will host similar exercises during the coming months.
in how to develop a National Maritime Transport Policy (NMPT) is underway for
officials from various government entities in Yangon, Myanmar (17-19 October).
The concept is being promoted by IMO as a good governance practice to guide
planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime sector, and as a key
driver for a country's sustainable development.
from various ministries, departments, agencies and other stakeholders whose
mandate and activities impact on the maritime sector are being trained on
formulating such policies, with emphasis on the need for an integrated and
workshop is the latest in a series under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation
Programme, which, in cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU), is
assisting countries to plan, develop and adopt their National Maritime
the recently-launched video,
which explains what a NMPT is – and how it can give a country the tools it
needs to become an effective participant in the maritime sector.
Reducing the amount of time ships spend waiting outside port and at anchor could significantly reduce ship emissions, according to studies carried out by members of the IMO GloMEEP Global Industry Alliance (GIA). Ships can spend hours or days waiting at anchor outside ports, but providing ships with regular updates about the availability of berths, especially in the last twelve hours prior to port arrival, can support significant reductions in ship and port emissions.
Implementing “Just-In-Time” ship operations means ships receive information in advance so they can time their arrival at the berth. This can also allow ships to slow down, providing further reduction in the carbon footprint of shipping as well as saving fuel costs. The GIA is looking into the operational and contractual barriers to implementing Just-In-Time operations in order to identify measures that could be taken by all stakeholders (including ships, port authorities, terminal operators, and others) to make Just-In-Time ship operations a global reality.
A new GIA video explaining the Just-In-Time concept was shown at IMO Headquarters, during a presentation to delegates on the sidelines of the IMO Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (15-19 October). The video can be viewed here. Presentations on Just-In-Time and barriers to its implementation can be found here.
The GIA is a public-private partnership initiative of the IMO under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloMEEP Project. It brings together maritime industry leaders to support an energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system. Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports have joined hands under the GIA to collectively identify and develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures.
An intersessional working group to develop a programme of follow-up actions to IMO’s Initial strategy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships opened at IMO Headquarters (15 October). The initial strategy, adopted in April this year, sets out a vision to continue to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible - in this century. The strategy provides clear direction to the shipping sector and its partners to stimulate investment in developing low- and zero-carbon fuels and innovative energy-efficient technologies. Opening the session, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim told the meeting that “it is now time to turn the page and embark together in implementing the Initial IMO Strategy…You are cordially encouraged to engage with determination this week, setting up a clear programme, in line with the vision, principles and levels of ambition of the Initial Strategy to make it alive, so that a programme of follow-up actions can be approved next week when the (Marine Environment Protection) Committee meets.” The intersessional group will report to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73), which meets next week (22-26 October). MEPC 73 is expected to further develop and approve the proposed action plan. The intersessional meeting is chaired by Mr. Sveinung Oftedal (Norway).
IMO-administered pollution emergency response centre in the Mediterranean, has
agreed to coordinate its 2019 technical assistance activities with the European
Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), at a
meeting in Jordan of the EU-funded SAFEMED
Following presentations by project beneficiaries
highlighting their technical assistance needs, EMSA agreed on project
activities until the end of 2019. REMPEC will coordinate its own activities in
the Mediterranean with EMSA’s actions - on port reception facilities, ship
emissions and national ballast water management strategies, among others.
The SAFEMED project, managed by EMSA, provides technical
assistance to eight southern and eastern Mediterranean countries and territories*. It’s aimed
at enhancing flag and port State capacities, the human element in shipping,
ship and port security and marine environment protection in the Mediterranean.
Underlining IMO’s firm commitment to regional cooperation as
a means to promote safe and sustainable shipping, REMPEC is involved in a
number of SAFEMED IV activities - particularly those which relate to marine
environment protection. This involvement complements REMPEC’s own work on
helping states to ratify and implement of IMO’s environmental conventions in
the Mediterranean - including regulations on air
pollution control and energy efficiency, ballast
water management and treaties on oil
spill response and cooperation.
*Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco
and Tunisia. Palestine is also a project beneficiary.
An important strategic objective for IMO is improve the way
its treaties and conventions are implemented, at the national level. Domestic
implementing legislation is required but audits carried out by IMO reveal that,
in many countries, it either doesn’t exist or is incomplete.
To address this need, IMO offers an intensive 5-day workshop
for lawyers and legislative drafters. It provides them with the tools they need
to understand IMO treaties and how they are developed and adopted. The most
recent such workshop was held at IMO Headquarters (1-5 October).
Participants from 16 countries* learned the general
principles of drafting national legislation to implement IMO conventions, with
special emphasis on the amendment process, in particular the tacit acceptance
procedure. Guidance was provided on drafting techniques, and the workshop also
offered an opportunity for networking and sharing experiences, particularly
with regard to the challenges countries may face in implementing IMO's
technical regulations into national law.
Watch a short video on last year’s workshop here.
* Argentina, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Malawi,
Maldives, Montenegro, Nigeria, Palau, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Solomon
Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Viet Nam and two participants from the
Pacific Community (SPC).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim visited the Islamic Republic of Iran to participate in the country's national celebration of World Maritime Day (8 September). The Secretary-General met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, and participated in a ceremony to commemorate seafarers who lost their lives aboard the Iranian-owned oil tanker Sanchi earlier this year.
Africa's Blue Economy, job opportunities, mentorship, marine environmental protection and addressing gender-based violence, were at the core of the 9th regional conference of the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA) held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, (26-28 September 2018).
Under the theme "Opportunities and challenges facing African women in advancing the maritime sector", some 60 participants from the region discussed and exchanged ideas on the empowerment of women in the African maritime sector.
IMO's Helen Buni, leader of the IMO gender programme, reiterated how promoting women's access to quality employment and senior management level within the maritime sector is a key priority. IMO continues to support the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, in line with the goals outlined under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".
One of the main objectives of the IMO strategy is to give much- needed visibility to women. "If they can't be seen they can't be applauded –and they can't been seen as a resource" Mrs. Buni said.
She also highlighted the fact that next year's World Maritime Day theme "Empowering Women in the Maritime Community" will give additional impetus to all the Associations to raise awareness of their activities.
The event concluded with a series of concrete actions, such as the creation of national chapter for Madagascar, which will bring the number of national chapters to ten. The election of a new Governing Council. A pledge to organize beach clean-ups every year around African Day of Seas and Oceans was also adopted.
The next WOMESA meeting is set to take place next year in Zambia.
IMO has supported the creation of seven regional associations for women in the maritime sector across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands.
IMO treaty countering the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive
species transported in ships' ballast water entered into force globally in
September 2017. One year on, the number of ratifying States stands at 77,
representing just over 77% of world gross tonnage, and the issue of
implementing the regulations is in the spotlight.
engage and support those in charge of applying the regulations, IMO’s Theofanis
Karayannis is taking part in a number of events at the BWMTech North America conference in
Fort Lauderdale, United States (25-27 September). Mr. Karayannis highlighted how
IMO is moving towards uniform and effective implementation of the BWM
Convention, with particular emphasis on the experience-building phase. He also
contributed to discussions on various regulatory aspects of the treaty.
out more about implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention, including
F&Qs, video and infographic, here.
The Code developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden – the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.
It covers 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.
To support National Focus Points involved in implementing the Code's provisions, a training workshop was held at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC), Djibouti (24-26 September). The IMO-led workshop was the second in a series of regional maritime security courses, funded by the Government of Japan.
Formally launching the course, H.E. Koji Yonetani, Japan's Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti, thanked IMO for spearheading initiatives to combat piracy and other illicit maritime activities that threaten security and safety of navigation in the West Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. He expressed Japan's commitment to continue supporting regional capacity building efforts through the Djibouti code of conduct.
Following the training, participants* agreed on a plan of action, for each signatory State to achieve clearly defined and measurable outcomes that will help them to meet their obligations under the Code and, by extension, those IMO and other international Conventions with respect to maritime security, facilitation and maritime law enforcement to which they are parties. This will better enable and ensure the sustainable development of the maritime sector in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The focus will be on building firm foundations at national level that then form the basis for stronger regional cooperation. Key to this will be the establishment of multi-agency, multi-disciplinary national maritime security and facilitation committees, national maritime information sharing centres and the development of a national maritime strategy, underpinned by a national maritime security strategy achieved through a whole of Government approach.
The workshop was led by IMO's Mr. Kiruja Micheni and a team of consultants.
*The workshop was attended by 22 officials from Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
The new lower 0.50% limit on sulphur in ships’ fuel oil will be in force from 1 January 2020, under IMO’s MARPOL treaty, with benefits for the environment and human health. This was the message delivered to the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) (24-26 September) by IMO’s Edmund Hughes. The new limit will be applicable globally - while in designated emission control areas (ECAS) the limit will remain even lower, at 0.10%. The 1 January 2020 implementation date was confirmed by IMO in October 2016, giving certainty to refineries, bunkering and shipping sectors. IMO has been working with Member States and the industry to support implementation of the new limit. The upcoming IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) (22-26 October) is expected to approve ship implementation planning guidance as well as best practice guides for Member States/coastal States and for fuel oil suppliers. The MEPC is also expected to adopt a complementary MARPOL amendment aimed at supporting implementation of the 1 January 2020 0.50% limit. This amendment will prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil - unless the ship has an exhaust gas cleaning system (“scrubber”) fitted.
Most ships are expected to utilize new blends of fuel oil which will be produced to meet the 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil. Currently, the maximum sulphur limit in fuel oil is 3.50% globally (and 0.10 % in the four ECAS: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands)). The sulphur regulation also allows for ships to meet the requirement by alternative means, such as scrubbers, which allows the ship to continue using high sulphur fuel oil as the scrubber “cleans” the emission on the ship.
Maritime transport is a central part of the “Blue Economy”, which
has enormous potential to promote economic growth and improve peoples’ lives –
while addressing many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
But many countries are unprepared to take advantage of this
potential. What they lack – what they need – is a coherent and coordinated
National Maritime Transport Policy. A newly launched video (watch video) explains what
exactly a National Maritime Transport Policy is – and how it
can give a country the tools it needs to become an effective participant
in the maritime sector.
Through its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, IMO
organizes activities to assist countries plan, develop and adopt their
National Maritime Transport Policies. To help this process, IMO, in conjunction
with the World Maritime University, has developed a training package for
government officials and other senior personnel, which is being rolled out
globally, along with the video. For more details, please click
The first consolidated audit summary report from mandatory audits conducted under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme will be considered this week, when the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments meets for its fifth session (III 5, 24-28 September). The mandatory audit of all Member States commenced in 2016, with the aim of determining the extent to which they give full and complete effect to their obligations and responsibilities contained in a number of IMO treaty instruments. The first summary report will provide vital information to assist the regulatory work of IMO as well as helping to identify capacity building or technical assistance needs. The Sub-Committee will also continue its regular work to review marine safety investigation reports and produce lessons learned from marine casualties.
Other items on the agenda include the expected finalization of a draft Model agreement for the authorization of recognized organizations acting on behalf of the Administration, in line with the requirements of the Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code); and the updating of the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification, the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO instruments implementation Code (III Code), and Procedures for port State control, for adoption by the IMO Assembly at its thirty-first session next year. The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. III 5 is being chaired by Rear-Admiral Jean-Luc Le Liboux (France). Click for photos.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has expressed his great sadness over the recent casualty of the Nyerere, a domestic ferry flying the flag of the United Republic of Tanzania and sailing on Lake Victoria. “On behalf of the IMO membership, the Secretariat and myself, I would like to send our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the crew members and passengers who perished in the accident, as well as those who remain missing. I would also like to commend all those involved in the rescue operations,” Mr. Lim said. “While it is too early to fully evaluate the extent of the incident, I look forward to knowing about the investigation process and reporting thereon, in due course, so that the Organization can do whatever may be necessary with regard to the safety of passenger ships not covered by SOLAS, in order to reduce the chances of such a tragic event happening again,” he said.
Secretary-General Lim was speaking to delegates at the opening of the IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) (24 September). IMO has commissioned a one-minute animated IMO ferry safety video, which can be shown in ferry terminals and on national TV channels.
IMO’s comprehensive liability and compensation regime covers
issues such as pollution incidents, wreck removal, carriage of passengers and
luggage – providing vital protection in the event of a maritime incident. Countries
need to ratify and implement rules and regulations in order for them to be
effective. But how does a country go about implementing these obligations
into national legislation?
four-day workshop in Bali, Indonesia (18-21 September) provided lawyers, policy
makers and legislative drafters with a meaningful insight into IMO processes
and procedures in developing international rules and examining how to
effectively implement IMO conventions into domestic legislation.
event also included a case study on Indonesia’s experience of drafting national
maritime legislation with a focus on civil liability and compensation issues,
including the implementing of IMO instruments. To-date, Indonesia has ratified
the Bunkers Convention (2001) and Civil Liabilities Conventions (1969 and 1992)
and plans to ratify the 1992 Fund Convention, the Nairobi Wreck Removal
Convention, the Salvage Convention (1989) and the Transport of Hazardous and
Noxious Substances (HNS) Convention.
The event was run by IMO’s Jan
De Boer in collaboration with members of the IOPC Funds Secretariat and of the
International Group of P&I Clubs. It was organized by IMO and the Coordinating Ministry of
Maritime Affairs of Indonesia.
When a ship
comes into port it may be the end of a voyage, but just the beginning of a
range of administrative tasks that need to be completed. The port is unlikely
to be the final destination for the cargo – which will need to be unloaded and
forwarded in a variety of ways. This requires logistics and infrastructure that
connects the port to other inland places and regions – known as ‘hinterland
This was the
issue under the spotlight at the first regional conference of The International
Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH)
in Abuja, Nigeria (17-19 September), inaugurated by the President of Nigeria.
The conference brought
together African ports, port operators, corridor management organisations and
international organisations* to discuss the subject in the context of Africa –
a continent in which 15 of 54 countries are landlocked. Africa is the world's
second largest and second most-populous continent, with six of the ten
fastest-growing economies in the world.
IMO took part
in the event, as part of the Organization’s on-going efforts to strengthen its
cooperation with ports and to encourage their participation in the work of IMO.
A key IMO
treaty concerning Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL)
regulates and streamlines the administrative tasks as ships come into port.
These include declarations of cargo, import and export permits and many more.
When properly applied, FAL helps shipments move more quickly, easily and
* International organizations including
the WTO, World Bank, UNCTAD, European Commission, African Union, African
Development Bank and Pan-African Association for Port Cooperation, together
with ports from Asia, Europe and the US.
High-level officials and decision-makers from maritime and port authorities around the world are undergoing intense training in port management and operational efficiency at the annual Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management based in Le Havre, France (10 September to 12 October). The opening of the course coincided with Le Havre's celebration of World Maritime Day and its theme: IMO 70 Our heritage – better shipping for a better future.
The course includes class-based training and site visits, including to the port of Le Havre. The thirty-second Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management, organized by the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER) and the Grand Port Maritime du Havre (GPMH) has 20 participants from around the world*.
IMO's Chris Trelawny delivered the opening address and lectured on the role of IMO, with a focus on IMO and maritime development.
*Participants are being funded or part-funded by IMO and are from Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Togo, and Tunisia.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim travelled to Georgia this week for a series of events and high-level meetings with ministers and officials. First, he delivered a keynote address at the Georgia International Maritime Forum (GIMF) in Batumi, Georgia (13 September). Mr. Lim emphasized that communication and collaboration between the shipping, port and logistics sectors are crucial to enable the maritime industry to reach its full potential.
Secretary-General Lim also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Georgia, H.E. Mr. Mamuka Bakhtadze. During the meeting, special emphasis was placed on the importance of developing maritime transport and Georgia's role as an international investment, communications, transport and logistics hub. Mr Lim continued with his trip with a visit to Tbilisi (14 September), where he met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia H.E. Mr. David Zalkaliani.
IMO´s work was widely covered during the Georgia International Maritime Forum. A panel about the partnership between IMO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was held and one of the key goals of the event was raising awareness of the World Maritime Day theme, "IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better shipping for a better future". Two IMO workshops addressing port emissions and IMO Liability and Compensation Conventions were also organized alongside the forum (10-12 September).
Every year, more than 800 landmark buildings in London throw their doors open to the general public in a scheme called Open House London. The scheme enables the public to witness at first hand buildings of architectural, cultural or other significance that are normally off-limits to them. This year, for the first time, IMO is participating.
The IMO headquarters was purpose-built for the Organization by the UK Government to a design by architects Douglas Marriott Worby & Robinson and opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1983. Among its most significant original design features is the effective and extensive use of wood, for which it won the prestigious Carpenters’ Award from the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in 1983.
Perhaps the most striking internal feature is the main debating chamber, in which delegations from IMO’s 174 Member states regularly meet to decide safety and environment policies for international shipping. Externally, the building is notable for the 7m high, ten-tonne bronze statue by Michael Sandle, which was added in 2001. It depicts a lone seafarer keeping lookout on the prow of a merchant ship.
The building underwent a major internal refurbishment in 2007 before being re-opened in 2008 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.
IMO is the only UN agency to be headquartered in London. Its iconic headquarters building, on the south bank of the River Thames, will be open to the public on 22-23 September.
IMO’s work to promote better understanding of - and steps to reduce - emissions in ports has reached Georgia, at a workshop for regional participants from Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey.
The event, in Batumi (10-12 September) focused on how to undertake emissions inventories and calculate emissions, including GHGs and air pollutants. Participants were also introduced to strategies to address emissions from different sources – such as from seagoing vessels, cargo handling equipment and trucks.
The workshop benefited from a training package, specially developed under the strategic partnership between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on energy-efficiency and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). The package is being rolled out in pilot countries around the world, aimed at personnel from maritime administrations, ministries and port authorities and port/terminal operators.
The Batumi workshop was hosted by the Georgia Maritime Transport Agency alongside the country’s International Maritime Forum, and part-funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It is the 9th instalment in the series of GLOMEEP port emissions workshops, which will conclude in Panama later this month (25-27 September).
Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous occupations. Literally thousands of fishers lose their lives at sea each year. An international treaty addressing safety in the fishing industry (the Cape Town Agreement) has been developed and adopted through IMO but is not yet in force because it lacks sufficient ratification at national level.
As part of a major global effort to encourage ratification and implementation of the Cape Town Agreement, IMO and The Pew Charitable Trusts organised a roundtable event during the Global Fishery Forum in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation (13 September).
IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety provides a solid platform for improving fishers’ safety at sea and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. It currently has 10 Contracting States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of aggregate fishing vessels.
Panellists at the roundtable highlighted the need for a global, fishing vessel safety agreement to be in force. Participants confirmed that the Cape Town Agreement would make a significant contribution to safety in the fishing industry, and could also support the FAO’s 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA). The Russian fishing industry supported Russia’s ratification of the Cape Town Agreement, and it was agreed that a roadmap to ratification and implementation would be developed.
The roundtable, entitled "Course for 2050: The safety of fishermen and fishing vessels" was organized in cooperation with the Russian Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It was attended by representatives of IMO, FAO, the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Transport and Federal Agency for Fisheries, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the fishing industry. IMO was represented by Mikhail Gappoev.
The Cape Town Agreement is one of four important treaties for the fishing sector which are aimed at achieving higher levels of safety and better compliance and enforcement. These are IMO’s 2012 Cape Town Agreement (not yet in force); IMO’s STCW-F Convention on training of fishers (which entered into force in 2012); ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention 2007 (Convention No. 188) (in force since November 2017); and FAO’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), 2009 (entered into force in 2016).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the need for effective communication between fisheries and transport ministries in order to achieve ratification of the Cape Town Agreement.
A country's maritime security enforcement relies on effective cooperation between various government agencies. To support this process in Nigeria, a workshop was held in Abuja (11-12 September) as part of a project strengthening the Nigerian criminal justice response to maritime crime threats. The event was run by IMO and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and supported by funding from the Government of the United Kingdom. The exercise will inform future work on a maritime security strategy.
Find out more about IMO's maritime security work, here.
IMO’s comprehensive liability and compensation regime covers
issues such as pollution incidents, wreck removal, carriage of passengers and
luggage – providing vital protection in the event of a maritime incident. But
for these rules and regulations to be effective, countries need to ratify and
To help ensure prompt and adequate compensation in the Western
Asia and Eastern Europe, a regional IMO workshop is underway in Batumi, Georgia (11-14
September). Taking part are senior managers from maritime administrations and
legislative drafters specialised in maritime and shipping related legislation
from 11 countries in the region.
They are gaining an overview of the international liability
and insurance requirements and schemes, including the responsibilities of the
various stakeholders involved, including governments, ship-owners,
international funds and insurance companies.
The event is being run by IMO’s Jan De Boer and Ivaylo
Valev, organized with the Georgian Maritime Transport Agency and held in
conjunction with the Georgia International Maritime Forum.
The classification of certain potentially hazardous cargoes is on the agenda of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 5, 10-14 September). The Sub-Committee will consider a newly identified phenomenon which affects some bauxite cargoes, known as dynamic separation, which can cause instability of the cargo and ship.
Also up for discussion is carriage of ammonium-nitrate based fertilizer. Potential problems have been identified following accidents involving the MV Purple Beach (2015) and MV Cheshire (2017). The recommendations arising from the investigation into the MV Cheshire will be presented to the Sub-Committee. Proposals to amend the relevant schedules will be considered, for future inclusion in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is the industry rulebook on how to deal with such cargoes.
On other matters, the Sub-Committee is expected to consider matters relating to further development of the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), including the development of draft technical provisions for ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel and draft requirements for fuel cells. Also under development are draft interim guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for use in cryogenic applications such as cargo tanks, fuel tanks and piping of LNG carriers and LNG-fuelled ships. The Sub-Committee will also discuss developing draft amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) related to weather-dependent lashing, aimed at ensuring the highest level of cargo securing, taking into account expected weather and other factors.
The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. (Photos here).