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Stopping stowaways

21/10/2014 An IMO-organised seminar on the prevention of stowaways in eastern and southern Africa is being held in Durban, South Africa (21 to 23 October 2014) for representatives from the region’s main stowaway-embarkation ports. The aim is to identify capacity-building needs, measures to reduce stowaway cases and information that may lead to improved IMO guidance on stowaway prevention. Security, facilitation and human rights issues will be addressed.

The seminar is being organised in collaboration with the South African Department of Transport, and supported by representatives of UNHCR, INTERPOL, the US Coast Guard, the International Group of P&I Clubs, the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), regional and local shipping companies and P&I correspondents.

A similar event for ports in West and Central Africa was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from 25– 27 March 2014. ​​(Pic: The West of England P&I Club)​​


Mexico debut

21/10/2014 Koji Sekimizu this week becomes the first IMO Secretary-General to visit Mexico in an official capacity. Today (21 October), he gives the keynote address to the Fourth National Congress of Mexican Merchant Marine. (Pic: Administración Portuaria Integral de Lázaro Cárdenas) 

New Brazilian Ambassador visits

15/10/2014 ​​The new Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Brazil to International Organizations, H.E. Mr. Fred Arruda, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters yesterday, and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Brazil is a member of the 40-strong IMO Council. 

Panama Administrator visits IMO Sec-Gen

15/10/2014 Mr Jorge Barakat Pitty, Administrator, Panama Maritime Authority, visited IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu on Monday (13 October). He presented a cheque representing the remaining part of Panama’s assessed contribution to the Organization. ​​ 

Ocean rescue blueprint

14/10/2014 At a side-event alongside IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee yesterday (13 October) delegates heard Global Ocean Committee (GOC) co-chair José María Figueres present the GOC report: From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean. Mr Figueres made specific mention of the report’s relevance to IMO and where IMO can play a specific role in order to deliver the proposals tabled in the report.

Previously, IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu had written to the GOC co-chairs welcoming the report and highlighting IMO’s active role in addressing many of the issues raised in the GOC report, noting also that IMO is working actively through several existing coordination mechanisms – such as UN Oceans, the Global Partnership for Oceans, and the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) – to ensure that joint efforts are maximized and duplication reduced.

Links: ​Photos here; GOC report here​; IMO Secretary-General's letter to GOC co-chairs; press briefing here​.​​​​​


Ballast Water Convention nudges forward

14/10/2014 Turkey today (14 October) ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention 2004, bringing the number of Contracting States to 43 countries, representing approximately 32.54% of world merchant shipping tonnage. 35% of global tonnage will trigger entry into force of the Convention, which addresses the problem of invasive species being transported around the world in ships’ ballast water.

Turkey’s instrument of accession was presented by His Excellency Mr. Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Turkey to IMO, to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu during the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) session. ​


Inside Africa

14/10/2014 “The Africa We Want: Support of the United Nations System to the African Union's Agenda 2063” is the theme for the UN’s Inside Africa Week 2014 (13 to 17 October). IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu is at UN HQ in New York for the event. Support for the special needs of Africa is one of IMO's Strategic Directions and part of the Organization’s High-level Action Plan. Click here for photos from the event​. (Pic: Bo Li-Africa Renewal) ​ 

Environment Committee starts busy session

13/10/2014 IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 67th session (13-17 October), which is being chaired by Mr. Arsenio Dominguez (Panama). Items on the agenda include the Polar Code, implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention and air pollution and energy efficiency requirements. ​​​​​ 

Safety of Life at Sea Convention: from book to web

13/10/2014 ​​The new edition of SOLAS is now available for purchase from the web shop. This 2014 edition incorporates, amongst other things, new forms of certificates and records of equipment plus amendments that took effect on 1 July 2014. The SOLAS Convention is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. 

Ballast Water Convention nears trigger point

10/10/2014 Entry into force of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention 2004 edged closer today (10 October) as Japan brought the number of Contracting States to 42 countries, representing 32.02% of world merchant shipping tonnage. 35% of global tonnage will trigger entry into force of the Convention, which addresses the problem of invasive species being transported around the world in ships’ ballast water.

Mr. Noriyoshi Yamagami, Minister, Alternate Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO (pictured, right, with IMO Sec-Gen Sekimizu), and Mr. Yasu Onishi, Alternate Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO, deposited Japan’s instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu said Japan’s accession was an important milestone, bringing the convention significantly closer to meeting its entry-into-force requirements. He hoped it would trigger further ratifications, enabling the convention to enter into force soon. ​​​​


Le Havre students complete course

10/10/2014 Twenty participants from around the world on Friday (10 October) completed the month-long 28th Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management, sponsored, amongst others, by IMO and the "Grand Port Maritime du Havre". The course was based in Le Havre, France with practical and theory classes delivered by the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER).​​ 

Technology transfer group meets

09/10/2014 The Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Working Group on Facilitation of Transfer of Technology for Ships is being held at IMO (9-10 October), to assess potential impacts and implications of MARPOL energy efficiency regulations (in particular, on developing States) and identify and create an inventory of energy efficiency technologies for ships. The group will report to the MEPC. ​​​ 

Italy hosts HNS workshop

09/10/2014 Italy is holding a regional workshop for states preparing to ratify the 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS Convention). Jan de Boer from IMO is participating in the event, taking place in Rome (10 October). ​​ 

Polar Code working group meets

07/10/2014 An intersessional meeting of the Polar Code Working Group is being held at IMO (7-9 October), to finalize proposed environmental provisions of the draft International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters and the draft amendments to the relevant Annexes of MARPOL to make the Polar Code mandatory, ahead of the forthcoming session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67, 13-17 October).  

IMO at maritime crime conference

07/10/2014 IMO’s Chris Trelawny is participating in the Conference on Maritime Crime and the effects on Growth and Development in the African Region, organized by Oceans Beyond Piracy as part of Danish Maritime Days in Copenhagen (7 October).  

Charting the future

07/10/2014 IMO’s new sub-committee structure, e-navigation and the scarcity of up-to-date hydrographic data in the polar regions were among topics covered by IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu in his keynote address to the 5th Extraordinary International Hydrographic Conference in Monaco (6-10 October) ​​(Pic: UKHO) 

IMO Sec-Gen at Danish Maritime Forum

07/10/2014 IMO Sec-Gen Sekimizu will be speaking about the challenges facing the maritime industry at the Danish Maritime Forum, in Copenhagen (8-9 October), part of the Danish Maritime Days. The Forum has the theme “Unleashing the potential of the global Maritime industry”. (Pic: Perry Nordeng/Copenhagen Malmö Port AB​)​​​​​​ 

Simulation exercise in Angola

06/10/2014 IMO’s Gisela Vieira is in Angola for a contingency-planning table top exercise (6-8 October). The exercise is being hosted by the country’s Port and Maritime Authority and is being attended by senior level personnel with decision-making authority from relevant departments within the Government of Angola. A series of table top exercises are scheduled to take place in west and central Africa during 2014, intended to stimulate discussions and demonstrate the need for co-operation amongst government departments and agencies, by using a range of evolving scenarios to determine respective roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures, and how these may develop, both with respect to routine business, and during an incident. ​​​​​ 

IMO at Mediterranean coast guard forum

02/10/2014 IMO’s Chris Trelawny is in Vilamoura, Portugal for a meeting of the Mediterranean Coast Guard Functions Forum (2-3 October). The main theme of MCGFF 2014 is “Mediterranean Natural Resources – Governance and Protection”. Topics include illegal trafficking, fisheries control, cooperation in SAR operations and maritime environment. The meeting was opened by Dr Berta Cabral, Secretary of State Assistant of the Minister of National Defense, Portugal. Further information can be found here. ​​​​ 

What lies ahead for ship efficiency

02/10/2014 IMO’s Jesper Loldrup is attending this year’s Fathom Ship Efficiency event (1-2 October), along with Arsenio Dominguez, chairman of the MEPC, and Katy Ware, Permanent Representative of the UK to IMO. As part of an IMO panel, they discussed and debated upcoming challenges within the shipping industry and the opportunities which lie ahead, while shedding light on the progress made by the industry on reducing GHG emissions. 

Ecuador reviews LRIT implementation

01/10/2014 A national seminar on long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) has been held in Guayaquil, Ecuador (29-30 Sept). The event, organized by IMO and the National Directorate of Aquatic Spaces of Ecuador (DIRNEA), was opened by Rear Admiral Oswaldo Fabian Zambrano Cueva, DIRNEA Director, who highlighted the importance of reviewing the effective implementation of the provisions of SOLAS regulation V/19-1 relating to LRIT in Ecuador. Read more here (Spanish).

Voice of freedom

​An Indian seafarer held hostage for nearly four years by Somali pirates was at IMO Headquarters yesterday (29 September). Aman Kumar Sharma, one of 11 crew members of the MV Albedo released in June this year, spoke at an event organised by the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme.

Mark the day

25/09/2014 It's World Maritime Day today! A full package of resources to help you mark the day is now available from the IMO website. Click here to find logos, a message from the Secretary-General, a background paper, a video, a podcast, infographics and a message from the UN Secretary-General; and don’t forget to let us know how you’re celebrating – tweet using the hashtag #WorldMaritimeDay​​​​ 

UK maritime minister visits IMO

24/09/2014 The Rt Hon John Hayes MP, recently appointed Minister of State at the Department for Transport (with responsibility for maritime matters) of IMO’s host country, the United Kingdom, visited IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (24 September) for a courtesy visit and handed over a letter of congratulations for World Maritime Day. The two discussed current issues on IMO’s agenda. ​ 

Combating piracy and armed robbery

24/09/2014 IMO’s Henrik Madsen is presenting at the 2nd Annual Expanded ASEAN Seafarer Training on Counter Piracy workshop in Manila, Philippines (24-26 September). The workshop is being hosted jointly by the Philippines Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the US Maritime Administration and Department of State, with participation from the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc., as well as young seafarers and cadets from the region. The workshop includes a site visit to the Maritime Academy of the Asia Pacific (MAAP). ​​​