IMO's work to protect the polar environment and the safety of seafarers and passengers navigating in polar regions has received a boost thanks to a donation by the Government of Canada.
IMO Secretary-General and Canada's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, H.E. Ms. Janice Charette, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at IMO Headquarters (23 November). The MoU aims to deliver training programmes for seafarers on board ships operating in polar waters, in line with The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, better known as the Polar Code. The Code, which entered into force on 1 January 2017, sets out mandatory standards that cover the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training and environmental protection matters for ships making polar voyages.
Under this initiative, Canada agrees to finance four regional train-the-trainer workshops on implementation of the Polar Code and assign IMO as the responsible agency for the management and execution of these activities.
The financial contribution of CAD $500,000, will also go towards activities related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14, which addresses life below water.
The IMO treaty covering the prevention of air pollution from
ships has been ratified by Iceland, bringing the total number of contracting
States to 89, and representing more than 96% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
Annex VI treaty limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust
gas, including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and prohibits deliberate
emissions of ozone depleting substances. It also includes energy-efficiency
measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
H.E. Mr Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Ambassador of Iceland to
the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters,
London (22 November) to deposit the instruments of accession.
Find out more about IMO’s work on low carbon shipping and
air pollution control, here.
IMO’s technical cooperation activities have received a boost of US$1.0 million. The funds, donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will be allocated to a range of activities, including training and supporting women in the maritime sector; as well as combating piracy and other illicit activities that threaten the safety of navigation.
The funds include:
- US$250,000 to support both the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017 that together help signatory States to counter piracy and other illicit activities that threaten safety of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean area.
- US$50,000 to combat piracy in West and Central Africa.
- US$250,000 to support the activities of the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.
- US$50,000 to support and strengthen the role of women working in the maritime sector in the Arab world.
- US$300,000 for the Endowment Fund of the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden.
- US$100,000 to the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta to support some scholarships.
The cheque for US$1.0 million was presented to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom.
The Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) has been equipped with a modern computer-based training simulator as part of IMO's efforts to promote maritime safety and security in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
Equipment installation, funded through a contribution to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund by the Kingdom of Denmark, has been completed and the first cohort of six Djibouti officers have been trained to operate it.
The simulator training room consists of 11 trainee consoles and an instructor's work station. The package includes software for many modules such as Marine Communication, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and Search and Rescue (SAR). It is capable of maritime safety and security scenario simulation and also includes animation and video clips, printed and electronic textbooks and training syllabus.
IMO's Kiruja Micheni, and Commander John Hansen, representative of Denmark, are in Djibouti to oversee the finalisation and handover formalities.
A review of the latest environmental protection measures from IMO has been provided to the Green Ship Technology North America Conference (15-16 November), New York, United States. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis outlined the key decisions from the latest session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71), including the latest work on GHG reduction from international shipping and on air pollution and on implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention. The BWM Convention entered into force in September 2017.
Transporting hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by sea
is a vital trade. Chemicals, LPG, LNG and
other products are important to many manufacturing and
energy processes and IMO regulations ensure their safe transport.
However, when incidents do happen, IMO’s HNS Convention helps to ensure that
those who have suffered damage have access to a comprehensive and international
liability and compensation regime.
To explain this treaty and why it is needed, IMO’s Jan De
Boer is participating at the LNG Ship/Shore Interface
Conference in London (16-17 November). His keynote speech covered the impacts
associated with HNS incidents, including those involving chemical and LPG
tankers, as well the overall benefits of the Convention and the next steps for
States to implement the treaty.
Find more about the HNS Convention, including digital
brochures, graphics and presentations, here.
Cooperation between academic institutions is key in ensuring the next generation of maritime professionals is well prepared. In this spirit, IMO's Juvenal Shiundu delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the International seminar on mutual cooperation between International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Maritime University (WMU) and Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU) in Busan, Republic of Korea (11 November).
In front of a full audience, Mr. Shiundu reiterated the crucial role played by IMO's technical cooperation work in enhancing the capacities of many developing countries and producing maritime leaders through the many global training institutions, such as the World Maritime University and the International Maritime Law Institute, and ultimately helping to implement IMO instruments worldwide.
Students also heard about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they offer both opportunities and challenges which IMO, WMU and KMOU are keen to explore as an area of potential collaboration for maritime research and education.
continuing work to assist ports with the highest numbers of stowaway incidents
through enhancing port security is underway at a workshop in Tema, Ghana (13-17
with key stakeholders responsible for maritime security and facilitation are
being used to gauge knowledge of national legislation, port facility security
plans, local organization of maritime security and facilitation, and
inter-agency cooperation through security and facilitation committees.
event included a visit to the port of Tema to assess the physical security
which is currently in place. Participants are also being trained to plan and
conduct effective self-assessments and internal/external audits of port
facilities, in line with IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment.
will assess the port’s compliance with stowaway provisions in IMO’s
Facilitation Convention and with recommendations adopted by a regional
conference on stowaways held in 2014. The national workshop is being funded by
the Government of Denmark and contributes to the IMO World Maritime Day theme
for 2017: Connecting Ships, Ports and People.
include representatives from the Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Ports and
Harbours Authority, UNODC, Interpol and the Port and Maritime Authority of West
& Central Africa (PMAWCA). The event was
opened by Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Hon.
Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, with the Director-Generals of the
Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr. Kwame Owusu, and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr. Paul Asare
Ansah, were also in attendance. IMO was represented by Dallas Laryea,
Regional Coordinator for Anglophone Africa.
The key IMO
treaty supporting the free flow of international maritime traffic – the
Facilitation Convention – provides a set of consistent, uniform regulations
that cover the wide range of administrative tasks required of ships coming
into and leaving port.
this process in Montenegro, IMO is holding a seminar with the Ministry of
Transport and Maritime Affairs in Bar, Montenegro (14-16 November). Thirty-five
participants from various agencies with responsibilities for clearing ships,
cargo, crew and passengers in the country’s ports, and private stakeholders are
is advising participants on both the current facilitation regulations and
recent amendments on the mandatory electronic data exchange for international
shipping, which enter into force in 2018 via the Annex
to the FAL Convention. Under the new amendments, all contracting
governments will establish means for exchanging information electronically by
are also being advised on the benefits of using a maritime single window for
ship notifications as well as on topics such as stowaways and persons rescued
at sea. IMO is represented by Cagri Kucukyildiz and a consultant.
more about the FAL Convention, what it is and why it matters, here.
International search and rescue plans are crucial, so that, no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at sea can be coordinated successfully. Therefore, the worldwide implementation of IMO's International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR Convention 1979) is a key component in efforts to ensure the safety of international shipping.
To further promote the ratification and appropriate implementation of the Convention, a seminar is being held in Bogota, Colombia, (14 to 16 November) to particularly promote the Convention in Central America and the Caribbean. This seminar also provides an opportunity for search and rescue authorities in Central America and the Caribbean to enhance their understanding of regional SAR issues and to learn about new technologies available.
The three-day workshop, which brought participants from over 20 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, encourages participants to share best practices, establish common procedures and raise awareness of their national situation. The end goal is to strengthen the national search and rescue plans in the region and to encourage the implementation of SAR services efficiently and effectively. The event is being organized by IMO in collaboration with the General Maritime Directorate of Colombia (DIMAR). IMO was represented by Carlos Salgado, Hans Van der Graaf, and Colin Young as well as experts from Chile's Directorate General of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DIRECTEMAR).
Consistent implementation is the only option when it comes to the 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil, which comes into force in 2020. Speaking at a conference for the refining and petrochemical industry in Athens, Greece (13-15 November), IMO’s Edmund Hughes reminded participants that the 2020 global sulphur limit will enter into force on 1 January 2020, without any delay. How to ensure consistent implementation will be the subject of important discussions at the next session of IMO’S Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), both at its session in February 2018 and during an intersessional working group to be held later in 2018. Compliance, enforcement and monitoring will be the remit and responsibility of both flag States and port States. The bunkering industry will also have a part to play in ensuring high sulphur fuel oil continues to be supplied to ships equipped with approved equivalent methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or “scrubbers”. Mr. Hughes reminded participants of the commercial imperative for ships to be compliant. In addition to possible detention - which would make the ship a high risk for future port State inspection decisions - a non-compliant ship could be considered as being “unseaworthy”, so affecting their charter party and also indemnity in the event of an insurance claim.
IMO has continued its participation at the Bonn climate change talks (COP 23) in a range of side- and special events, following its report on progress to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 47).
The GMN maritime technology project, run by IMO and funded by the European Union, was presented during a side-event (10 November). The project has established a network of five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs). Representatives of the European Union, IMO, MTCC-Caribbean and MTCC-Pacific participated at the event. MTCCs updated the audience on their pilot projects, including data collection on fuel oil consumption on ships. From 2019, ships over 5,000 gross tonnage worldwide – which account for 85% of CO2 emissions from international shipping - will be required to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. The pilot projects are good examples of how the MTCCS will support implementation of IMO’s energy efficiency regulations. The MTCCs will also work to help participating countries develop national energy-efficiency policies and measures for their maritime sectors and promote uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport. Presentations were followed by a panel discussion.
IMO participated alongside the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in a special event (7 November) on actions and progress made by ICAO and IMO in addressing emissions from international aviation and maritime transport. IMO’s Edmund Hughes highlighted recent progress towards developing a draft initial IMO GHG strategy. At the UN Oceans Side Event (11 November), IMO’s Jose Matheickal again highlighted IMO’s work to mitigate greenhouse gases from the shipping sector. This side event brought together various agencies from the UN system, to speak about actions that countries are taking, with the support of the UN system, to address climate related multi-stressors on the ocean. Improved scientific capacity to understand ocean change, the development of CO2 mitigation strategies and new innovative adaptation approaches were discussed. Mr. Matheickal also participated in a panel discussion on Sustainable Mobility in a Changing Climate. He noted successful public-private partnerships within the maritime sector, such as the Global Industry Alliance to support low carbon shipping (GIA) and said that new global roadmaps can ensure better synergies among key stakeholders.
A particularly sensitive sea area (PSSA) is an area of special ecological, socio-economic or scientific importance which may be vulnerable to international shipping. To date, IMO has designated 17 areas which benefit from the scheme and are protected. IMO Member Governments can submit applications for the designation of PSSAs at any time.
Representatives from IMO, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre Marine Program and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) met with national stakeholders in Nouakchott, Mauritania (6-8 November) to discuss options to possibly designate the area around the Banc d'Arguin National Park as a PSSA.
The Banc d'Arguin National Park, which is already on the UNESCO World Heritage List, hosts the largest concentration of wintering wading birds in the world and one of the most diversified communities of nesting piscivorous birds. Marine mammals are also regularly recorded and a small resident population of monk seal is found in the area, as well as important fish varieties.
The auditing of IMO Member States to assess how effectively they
administer key IMO instruments is an important part of the Organization’s work
to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is universally
adopted and implemented.
To support this process, new audit team leaders are being
trained under IMO’s Member State Audit
Scheme (IMSAS) at a course being held at IMO Headquarters, London (6-10
November). The course involves thirteen auditors* who have been part of audit
teams under the Scheme in 2016 and 2017 and are now ready to act as audit team
leaders in future audits.
The training addresses an increased demand for audit team leaders
to conduct up to 25 audits of Member States per year, which became mandatory
from January 2016 and are carried out in accordance with the overall audit
schedule. The course has been designed to further
develop skills in preparing, conducting and reporting from
audits in accordance with the Framework and Procedures for the IMO
Member State Audit Scheme (resolution
A.1067(28)) and using the IMO Instruments Implementation (III) Code (resolution
A.1070(28)) as the audit standard.
The course is the second to take place since the introduction of
the Audit Scheme. To-date, 40 mandatory
audits have been carried out, with a further 22
planned for 2018. All Member States are required to undergo a mandatory audit
within the 7-years audit cycle - in
accordance with the Scheme.
* Auditors nominated by: Canada, Cyprus, France, Italy, Lebanon,
Luxembourg, Norway, Peru, Poland, Sweden and UK
Enhanced port security can help
the in the facilitation of international maritime traffic and the prevention of
stowaways. A national workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone (6-10 November) is one
of a series assisting ports with the highest number of stowaway incidents to
address these issues.
Meetings with key stakeholders
responsible for maritime security and facilitation are being used to gauge
knowledge of national legislation, port facility security plans, local
organization of maritime security and facilitation, and inter-agency
cooperation through security and facilitation committees. This is being followed
up by port visits, to assess the physical security which is currently in place.
Five ports were visited during the exercise: the Queen Elizabeth II Quay (Water
Quay), Petrojetty Limited, Pepel (Shandong Steel), Nitti I (Vimetco) and Nitti
II (Sierra Rutile Ltd) Ports.
In addition, participants are
trained to plan and conduct effective self-assessments and internal/external
audits of port facilities, in line with IMO guidance on voluntary
Consultants will also assess the
port’s compliance with stowaway provisions in IMO’s Facilitation Convention and
with recommendations adopted by a regional conference on stowaways held in
2014. The national workshop is being funded by the Government of Denmark and
contributes to the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2017: Connecting Ships,
Ports and People.
A regional conference on women in the maritime sector is taking place in Dili, Timor Leste (6-9 November) under the theme: Transitioning from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals.
The event is gathering members of the Women in Maritime Associations for Asia (WIMAs), from 22 Asian countries. The associations aim to deliver the IMO's Programme on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS), giving visibility and recognition to the role women play as key resources for the maritime sector.
The conference is looking at ways to implementation the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Discussions have already identified challenges ahead which will need to be addressed, such as the current political and cultural mind-set as well as varying levels of development among Asian countries. But participants agreed that the exchange of experiences and best practices that are taking place at events like this are already helping to enhance women's education, competency and career development.
The outcome of the conference is expected to align goals within regional WIMAs and thereafter create a single blueprint of global advocacy for the SDGs by women in maritime.
IMO's Helen Buni is speaking at the event which is organized by IMO in cooperation with the Timor Leste's Ministry of Development, Transports and Communications, and the German Development Cooperation Agency.
training for Port State Control Officers in South and Central America is
underway at an IMO workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina (6-8 November). Port
State Control is the process, supported by IMO, by which officials in ports can
board visiting foreign-flagged vessels to verify compliance with
international safety and pollution standards.
Aires workshop is specifically focused on training officers to inspect and
enforce both air pollution and energy-efficiency provisions in IMO’s MARPOL
Annex VI treaty. The event is part of on-going work under IMO’s GloMEEP project to promote energy-efficient shipping,
and is being
hosted by the Prefectura Naval Argentina and carried out by IMO’s Astrid
Dispert and a team of consultants.
Participants from: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama
The progress made in starting to shape a draft comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships has been reported to the COP 23 climate change conference, meeting in Bonn, Germany (6-15 November) by IMO’s Stefan Micallef. He reported that more than 2,600 ocean-going ships have now been certified to the mandatory energy efficiency design requirements, which have been in force since 2013. The significant global reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships from 1 January 2020 is expected to contribute further to the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, through the anticipated resulting uptake of alternative fuels. IMO’s capacity-building and technical cooperation work was also highlighted, including the UNDP-GEF-IMO global energy efficiency project (GloMEEP) and the European-Union funded maritime technology cooperation centres network (GMN) project. Mr. Micallef was reporting on IMO’s work to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 47).
Information and communication technology
(ICT) experts from across the United Nations system have gathered to discuss
the UN’s digital vision – a vital part of efforts to deliver the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs).
Innovation in analytics, Artificial
Intelligence (AI) and machine learning were among the topics discussed at the
CEB-ICT Network meeting at the United Nations Office at
Geneva, Switzerland (31 October – 2 November) as the Network continued to
develop its digital vision paper on the future of data, security, mobility,
innovation and partnerships. Cybersecurity also came to the forefront in
the discussions and remains a priority area for the entire UN system.
IMO was represented by Vincent Job at the
CEB-ICT Network meeting, which was followed by the 100th session of the
management committee of the United Nation's International Computing Centre
(ICC) – the leading provider of ICT services within the UN.
training institutions in Argentina are the latest to benefit from IMO work to
help introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into teaching
workshop, taking place in Buenos Aires (2-3 November) under the Organization’s GloMEEP project is supporting maritime
training institutes to deliver the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers. The
course consists of a series of lectures, interactive exercises and videos
to enhance the learning experience and ensure there are properly
trained crews who can contribute to efficient shipping.
Buenos Aires workshop, hosted and organized by the Prefectura Naval Argentina, is
the most recent in a series of GloMEEP events that has seen the training
delivered in various countries, including Georgia, South Africa, Malaysia and the
Philippines. This on-going work supports IMO’s environmental protection goals
by spreading industry best practices that can reduce fuel consumption
from ships and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Find out more
about IMO's work on low carbon shipping and air pollution control, here.
IMO treaties, ships can be surveyed and certified either by officers of
the relevant flag State, or by Recognized
Organizations (ROs) acting on behalf of them. As part of this process,
countries delegating surveys and
certification to ROs
need to recognize, authorize and monitor these Organizations,
the subject of a regional IMO workshop* taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates (31 October – 2 November).
event is assisting participants from Arab and Mediterranean States to meet
their responsibilities under IMO’s RO
Code, which entered into force in January 2015. Participants are being
provided with knowledge on the harmonized, transparent and independent
mechanisms that can assist in consistent oversight of ROs.
workshop is organised in close cooperation with the Federal Transport Authority
of the UAE and Abu Dhabi Ports,
under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme to support maritime
development in the Arab States and Mediterranean region. H.E. Dr. Abdullah
Belhaif Al Naimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the
Federal Transport Authority of the UAE, opened the event.
Jonathan Pace is coordinating the workshop, with additional support coming from
host country the UAE, and the Republic of Singapore
under the Singapore-IMO Third Country Training Programme.
Regional Workshop on Assessing, Authorizing and Monitoring Recognized
A high-level workshop in Djibouti has seen an
exchange of ideas on preventing a resurgence of piracy in the West Indian Ocean
and Gulf of Aden, as well as addressing other transnational organized crimes at
threaten the security of navigation.
The event (29 October) was hosted at the
Djibouti Regional Training Centre, which is part-funded by IMO and supports
implementation of the Djibouti Code
of Conduct – the international treaty that has been instrumental in
repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region.
Co-hosted by Japan and France, the workshop
was attended by Ambassadors from France, Japan, EU, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and
by members of the diplomatic corps, senior government officials from Djibouti,
East African Standby Force and IMO.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop,
Djibouti’s Minister of Defence, H.E. Ali Hassan Bahdon invited regional
countries to take advantage of the newly completed regional training centre and
appealed to donor partners to provide assistance in providing training at the
The workshop reinforced the importance of national
strategies for developing the maritime sector and a sustainable “blue economy”
that generates revenue, employment and stability – a key factor in tackling
maritime security challenges in the region.
A gathering of navy chiefs from
around the world have heard how effective, joined-up and forward-looking
maritime security can be key to an efficient maritime sector, and, therefore,
national and regional economic development. Forty-seven navies, including 29
Chiefs of Navies, and 11 international and national organizations
participated in the XI Venice Regional Seapower Symposium in Italy (17-20
October), which was hosted by the Italian Navy under the theme of “Navies
beyond traditional roles: crewing efforts to project stability and security
from the sea”.
Addressing the sub-theme of “how
to face trans-regional challenges through traditional capabilities?” IMO’s
Chris Trelawny outlined the current trans-national threats to shipping,
highlighted how effective maritime security requires cooperation, coordination
and communication between all stakeholders at national, regional and
international level, and acknowledged the contribution of effective
civil/military cooperation to protecting international maritime transport.
Mr Trelawny also emphasized that these practices will not only support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development but could also address some of the stress
factors that lead to instability, insecurity and uncontrolled mixed migration.
Find out more about IMO’s
maritime security work, here.
The question of how to manage emergency preparedness and
response in the oil and gas sector was on the agenda at a workshop in Zanzibar,
United Republic of Tanzania (17-20 October).
Participants from countries across the East Africa region*
gathered to highlight good practices in developing national preparedness and
response systems, as well as how to improve understanding of risk assessments
related to oil and gas development and potential impacts on environment. The
group also worked to identify areas for strengthening emergency preparedness
and response at national and regional levels.
IMO’s Colleen O’Hagan helped to facilitate the workshop and
provided an overview of the Organization’s International Convention on Oil
Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC)
– the treaty covering measures for dealing with pollution incidents.
This Zanzibar workshop was funded by the Norwegian Oil for
Development (OfD) Programme and implemented through their partnership program
with UNEP in collaboration with the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, the Indian
Ocean Commission and hosted by the Zanzibar Environment Management Authority
*Participants from Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania,
Uganda, as well as resource personnel from Nairobi Convention, Indian Ocean Commission,
Norwegian Coastal Administration, East Africa Community, ITOPF, State
University Zanzibar and IMO.
Mexican port security officials have undergone training on complying with IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS
Code). Forty participants took part in the workshop in Manzanillo,
Mexico (16-20 October), focusing on the practise of self-assessing
compliance with regulations under the Code that apply to port