Third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control
Vancouver, Canada, 3-4 May 2017
Safeguarding Responsible and Sustainable Shipping
Speech by Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General
Ministers, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here at this historic occasion, the third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control, and the first since 2004. And there could be nowhere more appropriate to hold this meeting than Canada, one of only two countries to be a member of both MoUs.
Shipping is still enduring slow and difficult market conditions. But, as the only really cost-effective way to transport the vast majority of international trade, it will be central to sustainable global development and growth in the future. A safe, secure, clean and efficient international shipping industry is vital for the delivery of the global Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs – which were adopted in 2015.
IMO regulations create the level playing field shipping needs to operate effectively and ensure its own sustainability. But for IMO measures to be properly effective, they need early entry into force, widespread ratification, effective implementation, stringent oversight of compliance and vigorous enforcement.
IMO may develop and adopt the regulatory framework for international shipping, but that's only the first link in a long safety chain – a chain that includes flag States, ROs, the industry itself and, of course, Port State Control.
A chain needs all its links to be strong. And Port State Control gets much of its strength from collaboration and harmonization. By working together and joining forces with IMO in your capacity as intergovernmental organizations and partners in data sharing, you collectively ensure that, through access to information, transparency and an inclusive approach to uniform and effective implementation, you help leave no hiding place for sub-standard shipping.
Even those conventions that command almost universal coverage of the global fleet, such as SOLAS and MARPOL, only have teeth if they are backed up by an effective implementation infrastructure, and Port State Control is a vital part of that.
The success of Port State Control depends to a great degree on the skill, expertise and diligence of individuals – the human factor. For Port State Control officers, the challenges are continually changing and developing as new and more stringent regulations come into force, reflecting modern expectations regarding safety and environmental protection. The Ballast Water Convention and new regulations surrounding air pollution are obvious examples.
But the success of Port State Control depends ultimately on the harmonization of PSC inspections among various port States, which implies unified PSC procedures and technical cooperation programmes for training PSC Officers from diverse PSC regimes. This is absolutely vital if the objective of eliminating sub-standard shipping is to be achieved.
To this end, IMO has actively supported and promoted strong and collaborative Port State Control, both through an Assembly resolution and by arranging and hosting workshops to improve communication among the PSC regimes. These both further enhance the harmonization and coordination of PSC activities among the regimes and help build capacity on an individual level. We hope very much to revive IMO's PSC workshop later this year.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the meantime, you come to this Ministerial Conference with the stated intention of signing a new declaration to reaffirm your commitment to eliminating sub-standard shipping around the world and establishing a framework for new global policies and programs to facilitate these efforts. I have every confidence that you will succeed in this and I look forward to our continued collaboration in the years ahead.