The issue of biofouling has been under the microscope at a series of national workshops delivered by IMO, most recently, a national workshop held in Antananarivo, Madagascar (25-27 April). All ships can experience a build-up of aquatic organisms on their underwater hull and structures, which is known as biofouling. This can impact on the ship speed and energy use, but it could also potentially see aquatic organisms transferred to new areas, where they could become invasive species. IMO has acted to regulate anti-fouling systems in order to prevent adverse impacts from the use of anti-fouling systems and the biocides they may contain. And IMO has also adopted guidance to focus on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
The recent workshop on the impacts of anti-fouling systems and of ships’ biofouling raised awareness of the issues and developed capacity for the ratification and implementation of the anti-fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and the implementation of the Biofouling Guidelines. Participants gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the AFS Convention, and implementing the Biofouling Guidelines. The workshop was funded by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Fund and implemented by IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis.
Seafarers need to be properly trained if they are to operate ships safely and competently, and the standards they must attain are set out in IMO’s STCW Convention. It is also vital that seafarers are properly assessed and examined to make sure they really do reach the required levels of skill and competency. A regional training course on how to assess and examine seafarers is being held in Shanghai, China (24-28 April). The course will provide knowledge and skills, enabling trainees to administer, supervise and monitor training and assessment of seafarer competence, as required by the STCW Convention.
The course is hosted by Shanghai Maritime University. Forty participants from seven countries across east and south-east Asia* attended the course, which was held under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the Ministry of Communications of China on technical cooperation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and the Maritime Safety Administration of Shanghai. IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen.
*China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.
Adverse climate changes, sea level rising and extreme weather
patterns are causes of great concern for the Pacific community. IMO has
joined more than 100 high-level delegates and experts in Nuku’alofa,
Tonga (26 April) for the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport
Ministerial Meeting, under the theme of "Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy and Transport
Services for All".
Energy and transport sectors are vital at national, regional and
global levels for the survival and sustainability of the Pacific region. IMO’s
Juvenal Shiundu delivered an opening address and outlined the
technical assistance provided by IMO to
assist member States to implement IMO regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse
gas from maritime transport sectors. He also acknowledged the long-standing
cooperation between IMO and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in
the implementation of technical cooperation activities in the region.
Mr. Shiundu also touched upon maritime transport in the context
of the 2030 Agenda
for Sustainable Development.
Maritime educators from Panama and Jamaica are taking part
in an IMO training workshop to introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship
operation into their teaching curriculums. The workshop, taking place in Panama
City, Panama (25-26 April) was developed under the Organization’s GloMEEP project and supports maritime
training institutes to deliver the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers.
The course consists of lectures, interactive exercises and
videos to enhance the learning experience for crews being trained in the two
countries, and, thereby, to help them contribute to reducing fuel consumption
on ships and cutting associated greenhouse gas emissions.
In total, 30 participants from across Panamanian and
Jamaican maritime universities, shipping colleges and institutes are attending.
The event is hosted by the Panama Maritime Authority and carried out by a team
of IMO consultants.
IMO’s Legal Committee is expected to consider adopting a resolution to encourage the ratification and implementation of the 2010 HNS Convention, when it meets for its 104th session (26-28 April). Norway recently became the first country to become a Contracting State to this key compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by ship. Also up for consideration is a draft Assembly resolution to allow for the delegation of authority to issue insurance certificates under the CLC and the HNS Convention. The Committee is also expected to confirm the addition of mandatory insurance certificates into the consolidated draft list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017. (Photos here.)
Submissions relating to the provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers, fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident and maritime piracy are also being tabled at LEG 104. The Committee will be tasked with considering advice to the Facilitation Committee regarding interpretation of the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which supports international maritime traffic by providing a set of consistent, uniform regulations to facilitate the free flow of commerce. Revised rules of procedure for the FAL Committee will be reviewed, under efforts to harmonize the rules of procedure for all IMO Committees.
On Tuesday (25 April), the Legal Committee and the International oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Legal Committee. Within its mandate, the Legal Committee has, for the past five decades, provided the machinery for cooperation among Governments to consider any legal matters within the scope of IMO.
The Organization established an ad hoc Legal Committee in June 1967, in the wake of the grounding of the Torrey Canyon on 18 March 1967 – an incident which raised many legal questions.
Hydrogaphy, the science of surveying and charting bodies of
water, is essential to the safe, sustainable and cost-effective use of the
world’s oceans. This was IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s message at the 1st
Assembly of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in Monaco (24
Around 90% of the world’s oceans and 50% of coastal waters
have never had their depth measured. And there are higher resolution maps of
the Moon, Mars and Venus than for most of the world’s maritime areas.
In this context, hydrographers make a valuable contribution
to the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on conserving
and sustainably using the oceans – whether in support of navigational safety,
protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, defence and
security, resource exploration.
Mr. Lim highlighted that, since 2002, governments signed up
to IMO’s International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
are required to provide and maintain hydrographic services and products. New
generations of ships with exceptionally deep draughts, new ports and coastal
zone management plans are being developed due to changing trade patterns. This,
coupled with the global mandate to protect the marine environment all combine
to emphasise the importance of this obligation under SOLAS.
From Master to deck hand, seafarers operate increasingly complex and highly technical ships, bringing cargos safely to their destinations every hour of every day, keeping to the schedules, regardless of the conditions they may have to face. Seafarers are at the heart of sustainable and safe shipping. Therefore, proper training is a key component of that success.
IMO, the organization responsible for seafarer training standards, attended the International Forum on Seafarers' Education, Training & Crewing held in Odessa, Ukraine (19-21 April). IMO's Hiro Yamada participated in the Forum by opening the event, he also gave a lecture and a presentation on IMO and the human element.
The Forum discussed many issues related to seafarers' education, training & crewing, particularly the importance of cadets; the use of simulators; fatigue and human element; effect of e-navigation (digital technology) and possible autonomous ships to shipping; and future amendments to STCW.
IMO has been continuing to support countries in implementing
the key international convention on seafarer training, certification and
watchkeeping, with a regional seminar in Dalian, China (19-21 April). Thirty
participants from seven countries across east and south-east Asia* attended the
event. They were made up of government officials and representatives from
training institutions responsible for seafarer assessment and certification. The seminar covered the development, review and use of IMO model courses –
designed to help implement the provisions in the STCW Convention.
The event was held under the IMO Integrated Technical
Cooperation Programme, the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the
Ministry of Communications of China on technical cooperation – in collaboration
with Dalian Maritime University. IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen.
*China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea,
Singapore and Viet Nam.
IMO’s support for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building in Africa was highlighted at the 3rd conference of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), in Abuja, Nigeria (19-21 April). Delivering a goodwill message on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, IMO’s William Azuh said IMO was committed to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade, he said. He noted that, in Africa, the importance of the port sector extends beyond the borders of African coastal States, as ports also serve the trade and contribute to the socio-economic development of landlocked African countries. The conference was organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in collaboration with IMO. During the meeting, the 32 participating African Maritime Administrations agreed to develop an integrated human-resource strategy for the maritime sector taking into account gender balance in the entire sector. The AAMA also agreed to institutionalise and observe 25 July of every year as Africa's Day of the Seas and Oceans. The day will be dedicated to outreach programmes highlighting the importance of maritime activities and shipping to the economy and well-being of all African countries. The 4th conference of AAMA will be hosted by Egypt in 2018, with IMO’s support. The IMO team attending the 3rd conference included Mr Azuh and Amr Hussein from IMO Headquarters and the three regional coordinators based in Africa: Honorat Hoba, west and central Africa(Francophone), based in Abidjan, Cote d' Ivoire; Dallas Laryea, west and central Africa (Anglophone), based in Accra, Ghana; and Purity Thirimu, Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Addressing over 300 industry experts at the Green Shiptech China
Congress 2017 (20-21 April), IMO`s Heike Deggim briefed the audience on the
latest IMO regulations. She drew attention to the global 0.50% sulphur
limit from 2020 as a key item on IMO’s
environmental agenda. She also outlined other key regulatory moves at IMO which
will be the focus in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC),
including the forthcoming entry into force of the Ballast Water Management
Convention in September 2017; the mandatory fuel oil consumption data
collection process under MARPOL Annex VI; and the Roadmap for development of a
‘Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships’. The event generated in-depth discussion on
the issues and challenges shared by the wider shipping industry.
Belgium has become the 112th State to accede to IMO's International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC). The treaty establishes measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with other countries. Mr. Laurent Preud'homme, First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium in the United Kingdom, deposited the instrument at IMO Headquarters in London, today (19 April).
Mr. Preud'homme also deposited the instrument of accession for the Protocol to the OPRC relating to hazardous and noxious substances.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has spoken
about the importance of exploiting the full potential of electronic information
and digital resources in ongoing global efforts to improve the safety of maritime
navigation and protect the marine environment. Addressing the Preparatory
Diplomatic Conference of the International Association of Marine Aids to
Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)
in Paris, France (18 April) – Mr. Lim praised IALA’s contribution to IMO's work,
including the development of e-navigation.
E-Navigation, Mr. Lim said, “is the future. But it has been ‘the
future’ for a long time. The challenge now is to turn ‘the future’ into ‘the
present’ so that all the benefits and advantages of e-navigation can be fully
To help achieve this aim, IMO, IALA and other stakeholders
are working under the e-navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP), approved
at IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee in 2014. The Plan contains tasks to be conducted
to address five prioritized e-navigation solutions, including for improved,
harmonized and user-friendly bridge design, and means for standardized and
As part of his visit to France, Mr. Lim discussed protection
of the marine environment with H.E. Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology,
Sustainable Development and Energy. He also spoke about climate change with French
Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Jean-Marc Ayrault, and toured the English Channel in a French
Navy helicopter –
accompanied by H.E. Nicole Taillefer, Permanent Representative of France to
IMO has joined countries and stakeholders concerned with
protecting the Caspian Sea from oil pollution at a regional meeting in Bandar-e
Anzali, Islamic Republic of Iran (16-20 April). Participants* are discussing
the implementation of the Aktau
Protocol on Regional Preparedness, Response and Cooperation in Combating
Oil Pollution Incidents and, in particular, finalization of the Regional
Caspian Sea Plan on cooperation in combating oil pollution in emergencies.
In addition to the meeting, IMO’s Colleen O’Hagan joined
participants to observe a comprehensive response exercise combining elements of
search and rescue, firefighting and pollution response – undertaken by the
Ports and Maritime Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The meeting is taking place under the Teheran Convention and
is chaired by Dr. Parvin Farshchi, Deputy for Marine Environment, at the
Department of Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
* Participants include delegations for the five littoral
States of the Caspian (Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the
Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan), representatives from the oil, gas and
shipping industries operating in the Caspian, and the Tehran Interim
Secretariat from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Maritime pilots are a strong and essential link in the
structure that underpins the safety of international shipping. This was the
message delivered by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to the 70th national assembly of
the Italian Maritime Pilots Federation (Fedepiloti) in Rome, Italy (11 April).
Addressing an audience that included Italian pilots and
Members of Government, Mr. Lim spoke about pilots as a vital part of the
shipping’s human element – who use their local knowledge to help ships navigate
safely into and out of ports or through dangerous waters. He also emphasized that
just as pilots have a responsibility for the safety of shipping, so shipping
has a responsibility for pilots’ safety.
During his visit to Rome, Secretary-General Lim met Italy’s
Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, H.E. Mr. Graziano Delrio, and will
visit the Italian Ship-owners Association tomorrow (12 April).
The importance of employing qualified pilots in approaches
to ports and other areas where specialized local knowledge is required was
formally recognized by IMO in 1968. The Organization adopted an Assembly
resolution on pilotage, recommending that Governments organize pilotage
services where they would be likely to prove more effective than other measures
and to define the ships and classes of ships for which employment of a pilot
would be mandatory.
IMO Publishing is attending East Med Marine and Oil & Gas Exhibition in Limassol, Cyprus (6-7 April). The stand is being manned by Bianka Ochs-Fawzy and Victor Mackenney. The exhibition provides an opportunity for the marine, offshore and oil & gas industries' lead players and stakeholders to interact and to learn about important industry updates and technological advancements. IMO Publishing will be promoting the latest regulations available to purchase.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined German Chancellor
Angela Merkel at Germany’s 10th National Maritime Conference in Hamburg (4
April), which focused on issues including sustainable growth and the importance
of new technologies for the future of the shipping industry (photos).
Addressing Chancellor Merkel, the Mayor of Hamburg, German
Government ministers and other stakeholders in his keynote speech, Mr. Lim
emphasized that shipping, supported by IMO’s global regulatory regime, will be
central to sustainable global development and growth in the future. He said that
Germany provides ample proof that maritime activity can both drive and support
a growing national and global economy, and that efforts to promote
investment, growth and improvement in the maritime sectors can have benefits
that reach far beyond shipping itself.
Speaking about digitization in the industry, both leaders
emphasized that new technologies will be key to efficiency in the maritime
sector and protection of the environment. Mr.
Lim said that “with opportunities afforded by new technology, shipping
is, potentially, on the brink of a new era”.
In her remarks on the marine environment, Chancellor Merkel
thanked IMO and the Secretary-General for agreeing a roadmap
for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships and welcomed IMO’s work to
protect the marine environment from micro plastics in particular.
Find out more about IMO’s work on marine
litter and low
carbon shipping and air pollution control.
“The news that the search for
survivors from the Stellar Daisy has not yet proven successful is sad indeed.
Reports from the Uruguayan Navy indicate that fuel, debris and empty lifeboats
have been found but, so far, nothing else. Twenty-two of the ship’s 24 crew
members are missing but we always live in hope that a miracle may happen.
At this stage, the most important
thing to say is that our thoughts and prayers are with the seafarers still missing, and with their
families and loved ones. And I would also like to offer my commendation to all
those who have been involved in the search and rescue operations. Such
operations are never without risk yet those who undertake them do so readily
and without fear of the consequences to their own lives. They deserve our
appreciation and gratitude.
It is expected that there will be a
full investigation into this accident and that the results and findings will be
brought to IMO so that we can do whatever may be necessary to reduce the
chances of such an incident happening again. Thankfully these occurrences are
rare; but when they do happen, they serve to remind everyone that the
seafarers, on whom we all depend, do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job;
and that those of us responsible for making the industry safer can never stop striving
IMO participated in the annual meeting of the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) in Bonn, Germany (4 April). The partnership consists of more than 30 UN organizations that have an interest in climate change learning. The partners discussed the next 2017-2020 phase of the project (beginning 1 September 2017) and reviewed the success of the project to date. CC:Learn currently has more than 81,000 registered users and has issued more than 8,700 certificates for courses completed. Eight courses are currently available, in several languages, starting with an introductory e-course providing “everything you need to know” about the basics of climate change, from climate change science to governance.
The CC:Learn e-Learning platform provides quality, freely available e-learning resources on climate change, with each course building on the expertise of relevant UN partners. Theofanis Karayannis represented IMO at the meeting.
The issue of protecting captive seafarers' wages is on the agenda at an International Labour Organization (ILO) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (3-5 April). IMO has taken part in the ILO Working Group of the Special Tripartite Committee, established under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) – the international treaty covering minimum working and living standards for seafarers.
The Group is considering proposals on the protection of a seafarer's wages when the seafarer is held captive, on or off the ship, as a result of acts such as piracy or armed robbery against ships. These proposals include an amendment to the MLC Code.
Speaking at the meeting, Jan de Boer welcomed the discussions and expressed IMO's appreciation for previous amendments to the MLC (that came into force as of 18 January 2017), which better protect abandoned seafarers, and provide financial security for compensation to seafarers and their families in cases of seafarers' death or long-term disability. Mr de Boer also relayed concern expressed by the IMO Council for innocent seafarers still in captivity, and highlighted the 2011 IMO Assembly Resolution on piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia.
As part of the Resolution, the Assembly strongly urges Governments to keep relevant States informed about welfare measures for seafarers in captivity on ships entitled to fly their flag, as well as measures being taken for the early release of such seafarers and the status of payments of their wages.
The theme for World Maritime Day 2017 "Connecting ships, ports and people", provides an opportunity to highlight the value of integration in the maritime and logistics sectors. The theme has particular resonance for IMO’s Facilitation Committee, which is meeting (4-7 April) at IMO Headquarters. The Committee will discuss matters relating to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which supports international maritime traffic by providing a set of consistent, uniform regulations to facilitate the free flow of commerce. At its last session, in 2016, the Committee adopted a revised Annex to the FAL Convention, which includes mandatory requirements for the electronic exchange of information on cargo, crew and passengers and encourages the use of the “single window” concept, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal without duplication. The Committee will focus during the current session on the implementation of the new requirements, including the development of a revised explanatory manual. The Committee will also discuss the way forward for IMO’s Maritime Single Window project, under which the IMO Secretariat has been looking at ways to develop a Maritime Single Window prototype. The Committee will discuss the harmonization and standardization of data formats.The Facilitation Committee 41st session was opened by Ashok Mahapatra, Director, Maritime Safety Division, on behalf of Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The chair is Mr. Yury Melenas (Russian Federation). Click for photos.
the new video explaining everything you need to know about the IMO database of
instruments – the one stop shop for IMO regulations. The IMO-Vega Database,
developed by IMO and DNV GL, is a
comprehensive database of IMO instruments that includes major instruments such
as the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and the International
Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), as well as
historical and legal texts.
The Database is available in three digital formats:
electronic download, subscription and download bundle. Find out more about
subscriptions and free trials here.
Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined Ministers responsible for shipping from
various EU States and other countries to discuss the future of shipping, at a
conference in Valletta, Malta (28 March).
at the High Level Ministerial Stakeholder Conference on Maritime Affairs, Mr.
Lim highlighted IMO’s key role as the global regulator for international
shipping (Click for full speech). He emphasized the importance of the industry for future sustainable
development around the world, and that the key to this will be the roadmap,
agreed at IMO’s MEPC
70 meeting last October, to consider and develop a comprehensive IMO
Strategy for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships.
Mr. Lim welcomed the support for a global
approach, through IMO, to regulating international shipping contained in the
Valletta Declaration, adopted by ministers during the meeting. The Declaration identifies
three key themes: competitiveness, digitalisation, and decarbonisation and
reduction of air emissions.
event took place under Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union,
and attendees included European Commissioner Violeta Bulc – responsible for maritime
Tuesday’s meeting, Secretary-General Lim also took the opportunity to address future
leaders of the maritime world – students at the IMO International Maritime Law
Institute in Malta (IMLI) (29 March), in which he hailed the Institute’s record
of providing a steady influx of highly trained legal professionals. They have
been, and will continue to be, instrumental in enacting appropriate domestic
legislation in countries around the world in order to implement and enforce IMO
treaties that govern almost every facet of the shipping industry – from the drawing
board to the scrapyard.
IMO joined other United Nations agencies supporting
Senegal’s maritime and port security, in an assessment visit to Dakar (27-29
March). IMO acted as the lead agency for maritime security provisions during
the assessment of Senegal’s implementation of important Security Council
resolutions addressing counter-terrorism*. Border management was a main focus
of the mission, which included meetings with maritime authorities and border
The visit, led by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism
Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), was a follow-up to a similar mission
in 2009, which focused on border control and police cooperation.
UNCTED counter-terrorism missions of this kind embrace
security in all its forms. IMO
participates in a team focussing on law enforcement-related matters (with IOM,
WCO, ICAO, UNODC and Interpol) that conducts site visits of facilities to help assess
their compliance with various international security instruments.
Find out more about IMO treaties and codes on maritime
security and piracy here.
IMO was represented in Dakar by Gisela Vieira.
* Security Council resolutions 1373
(2005) and 2178 (2014).
The development of the IMO fuel oil consumption database, to support the implementation of mandatory MARPOL annex VI requirements, was outlined at the Marshall Islands Quality Council meeting, Stamford, United States (21 March). Under the MARPOL regulations, adopted in October 2016, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above will have to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. These ships account for approximately 85% of CO2 emissions from international shipping. Aggregated data will be reported to a ship’s flag State after the end of each calendar year. The data collected, on an anonymized basis, will provide a firm basis on which future decisions on any additional measures, over and above those already adopted by IMO, can be made. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis outlined the work being done by the IMO Secretariat to develop the database and explained its proposed features. A prototype version of a proposed module within the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform is expected to be available to Member States later this year.
IMO has contributed to the latest meeting of United Nations bodies working in Africa – the RCM-Africa forum. The forum, which held its 18th session in Dakar, Senegal (25-26 March), provides a platform for all UN programmes and agencies to share information about their work in the continent and coordinate strategies to support African Union programmes. IMO shared information about its technical assistance activities in Africa, which form part of its work to promote safe and secure shipping on clean oceans – particularly in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s RCM-Africa meeting was part of activities marking "Africa Development Week" (23-28 March) and focused specifically on harnessing the talents of Africa’s youth for achieving sustainable development. The meeting was strengthened by the participation, for the first time, of the Regional United Nations Development Group. The forum was organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission, in collaboration with the Government of Senegal. IMO was represented by William Azuh and officers responsible for IMO’s regional presence offices in Africa.