A national workshop on advanced port security drills and exercises has taken place in Valparaiso, Chile (15-18 December). Port security, coast guard, navy and police officials took part in simulated security exercises in order to test skills and knowledge gained in theoretical lessons, discussions and group work. The aim was to equip participants for future planning, conduct and evaluation of security exercises, in order to improve the implementation of IMO maritime security measures such as SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code). Tracy Peverett represented IMO at the event, which was organized by IMO in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) Maritime Security Working Group, the Organization of American States the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (OAS-CICTE) and the Chilean Maritime Administration, Dirección General del Territorio Marítimo y Marina Mercante (Directemar).
IMO participated in a high-level meeting on maritime security under the auspices of the G7 in Berlin, Germany (14 December). The G7 meeting on “Enhancing Maritime Security – Connecting Regions – Governing the Commons” focused on maritime domain awareness and surveillance; peaceful dispute settlement; illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and networking maritime security. IMO has a global maritime security technical cooperation programme and is actively working with countries in west and central Africa and with Djibouti Code of Conduct signatories in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to boost capacity with regards to maritime security. IMO recently hosted a joint IMO-Food and Agriculture Organization meeting on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
IMO’s project to improve safety and environmental standards in Bangladesh’s ship-recycling industry is making good progress, according to the project’s governing bodies, which met recently in Dhaka, Bangladesh (13 December). The safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC) project is executed and implemented by IMO and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The project was launched in April and aims to improve safety and environmental standards within the industry. The Project Steering Committee and Executive Committee met under the chairmanship of Mr Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Secretary, Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh and IMO’s Jose Matheickal, respectively.
A national seminar and workshop focusing on the development, adoption and review of national maritime transport policies have been held in in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (8-11 December). The seminar and workshop were delivered by the World Maritime University’s Professor Neil Bellefontaine and Associate Professor Dean Patrick Donner with support from IMO’s Josephine Uranza, Jonathan Pace and Nicolaos Charalambous. Prior to the seminar, the WMU/IMO team met Mr Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia. Mr Tram Iv Tek spoke about Cambodia’s vision for the maritime sector and requested further technical assistance from IMO.
The major legal issues of Arctic shipping have been discussed at a conference in Singapore (9-11 December). A special session on the role of IMO was chaired by IMO’s Jan de Boer, featuring experts on maritime and international law, and the polar regions. Other issues discussed included the role of Arctic States, user States and international organisations in Arctic shipping governance. IMO’s Polar Code will enter into force on 1 January 2017, providing for safe ship operation and environmental protection by addressing the unique risks present in polar waters.More information on the International Conference on the Governance of Arctic Shipping ‘Balancing Rights and Interest of Arctic States and User States’, hosted by the Centre for International Law of the University of Singapore, can be found here.
Indonesia is working towards establishing its first particularly sensitive sea area (PSSA), with assistance from the IMO-Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (Norad) marine environment project on PSSAs in South East Asia. PSSAs are marine areas that need special protection due to ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. A PSSA may be designated by IMO following a submission from a country (or countries) and can be protected by ships routing measures, such as an area to be avoided. A national PSSA workshop is being held in Lombok, Republic of Indonesia (7-8 December), jointly organized by IMO and the Indonesian Directorate General of Sea Transportation with financial assistance from the IMO-Norad project. More than twenty-five participants (including organizers) are attending the workshop, including from the DGST, environment, fisheries and port interests as well as participants from the newly- formed Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.The IMO-Norad PSSA project is supporting Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Viet Nam in the identification and establishment of PSSAs in the South East Asia Region.
The IMO Assembly has called on Member States to accept the
2012 Cape Town fishing vessel safety agreement, to address the high casualty
rate in the sector. Meeting for its 29th session at
IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom (23 November to 2 December), the
Assembly adopted a number of resolutions, including one commending the role of
merchant shipping in rescuing mixed migrants at sea. It adopted the budget and
strategic plan for 2016-2017, endorsed the appointment of Mr. Kitack Lim as
Secretary-General from 1 January 2016 and elected the 40-Member Council. Read the full details here.
IMO has taken part in a committee of emergency preparedness
and response (EPR) experts in Vienna, Austria (30 November – 2 December). The committee
is tasked with making recommendations on the International Atomic Energy Agency
programme for the development and review of EPR standards. Colleen O’Hagan
outlined IMO’s related activities, focussing on the International Convention
on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation and its Hazardous and
Noxious Substances Protocol.
The meeting was the first of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Standards
Climate change experts meeting
in Paris this week will today (2 December) hear about IMO’s extensive efforts
to address GHG emissions from shipping. IMO has adopted the only
global legally-binding energy efficiency measures for an industry sector
that will require ships built in 2025 to be 30% more energy efficient
than those built last year. At a side event on international transport, IMO
will report on its work to support their implementation, particularly in
developing countries. Delegates will hear about the GloMEEP project to promote
partnerships in maritime energy-efficiency technology and other important
initiatives. World leaders are in Paris for the 21st annual Conference of
Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Ghana has acceded to the
Ballast Water Management Convention, which is a key treaty in the fight
against harmful impacts of invasive species in the marine environment. H.E. Ms.
Dzifa Ativor, Minister of Transport, Ghana, handed over the instrument of accession
to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu today (26 November).
Antigua and Barbuda (24 November) have deposited a number of IMO treaties, including the 2005 Protocols to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the safety of Maritime navigation (SUA Convention). The main purpose of that Convention is to ensure that appropriate action is taken against people committing unlawful acts against ships. HE. Prime Minister Gaston Brown, presented the instruments to IMO Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu. The full list of treated acceded to is as follows:
Indonesia today (24 November) became the latest country to ratify a key international measure for environmental protection, the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. Aimed at preventing the spread of harmful and invasive aquatic species in ships' ballast water, the BWM Convention requires ships to have procedures in place for ballast water management. Indonesia’s accession comes after capacity-building projects undertaken by IMO in collaboration with the Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (Norad) and with the support of the Globallast project. Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, H.E. Mr. Ignasius Jonan, deposited the instrument of acceptance during the 29th session of the IMO Assembly.
Maritime law-enforcement officers from countries bordering the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden are undergoing training to deal with organised transnational crimes at sea. Piracy, robbery, drug trafficking, marine terrorism, weapons’ smuggling and human trafficking are being covered during the IMO-sponsored, two-week course at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (16-27 November). The practical and theoretical course will help develop skills in countering maritime crimes, operational planning, investigating crimes at sea, interviewing suspects, and collecting, handling and preserving evidence at sea.
The course has been organised jointly by IMO and NMIOTC, the United States of America’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the East African Standby Force (EASF). Under this arrangement, further practical training will be provided in the region during Exercise Cutlass Express (January-February 2016). IMO’s Kiruja Micheni is representing IMO during the training course. Participants include maritime law-enforcement officers and prosecutors from Comoros, Djibouti, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Morocco today (23 November) ratified the Ballast Water Management treaty, bringing the total number of ratifications to 45 States, with 32.93% of world tonnage (35% of world tonnage is needed to meet entry into force criteria). The convention is key in the fight against harmful impacts of invasive species in the marine environment. Mr. Rebbah, Transport Minister of Morocco and H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui handed over the instrument of ratification to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu.
The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) has agreed to continue to preserve certain radio frequencies for use by maritime radar and not allocate them to mobile services. Radar is vital to safe navigation and the deployment of new mobile applications in those bands could have caused interference. An IMO paper advocating that position was presented to the conference, which is also expected to decide favourably on allocation of other frequencies that might impact on maritime communication and navigation equipment. It will also develop a draft agenda for the next WRC, to take place in 2019. IMO is supporting proposals for new agenda items to protect navigational safety and the integrity of the global maritime distress and safety system. IMO’s Hans van der Graaf has been attending the conference, held by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland (2-27 November).
A regional seminar focusing on the development, adoption and review of national maritime transport policies in the Pacific region has been held in Suva, Fiji (23 November), ahead of a regional meeting for senior transport officials (24-27 November). The seminar, organized by IMO and the Pacific Community, was delivered by the World Maritime University’s Patrick Donner. IMO’s Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu has been representing IMO at the seminar and regional meeting.
Address navigational hazards and marine pollution problems caused by abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear is among a series of recommendations considered by a working group on Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/IMO working group, meeting at IMO Headquarters (16-18 November), also recommended continued efforts to support and facilitate the entry into force of IMO’s 2012 Cape Town agreement on fishing vessel safety, as well as the FAO’s Port State Measures Agreement.
It also proposed that FAO and IMO consider developing international guidelines on marking fishing gear and suggested considering further expansion of the IMO Ship Identification Number Scheme with a view to achieving phase 1 of the Global Record for Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels, while exploring potential future expansion of the scheme to fishing vessels of less than 100 GT.
Recommendations from the joint group will be forwarded to IMO’s Maritime Safety and Marine Environment Protection Committees and the FAO Committee on Fisheries. Representatives of 26 States participated, as well the Secretariats of IMO, FAO, the International Labour Organization and several other stakeholders.
The Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom, H.E. Ms. Nataliia Galibarenko, has been appointed Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to IMO. Ms. Galibarenko presented her credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (20 November). Ukraine has been a Member of IMO since 1994.
Oil spill response strategies and challenges have been addressed at a regional conference in Accra, Ghana (16-19 November) which concluded today. The objectives were to raise awareness of the importance of oil spill preparedness as well as identifying gaps in how to deal with them. Participants from West, Central and Southern Africa were also encouraged to share information and lessons learned on dealing with oil spills in their countries. IMO together with global oil and gas industry stakeholders, is helping the region to enhance its capacity to better prepare and respond to potential marine oil spills. It does so, by organizing training, seminars and deployment exercises. The meeting also approved priority actions for the next biennium with key features to emphasize the promotion of public and private partnership.
IMO is contributing to discussions on implementing a global
action plan to combat marine litter, at a G7 workshop in Berlin, Germany (18-19
November). The plan aims to deal with worldwide challenges faced by marine
ecosystems by addressing research, land- and sea-based sources of marine
litter, removing litter from the sea, and public relations. The talks between G7
countries and relevant stakeholders are focusing on financing the ‘G7 Action
Plan to combat Marine Litter’, which was adopted at the G7
summit in June this year.
More information on the action plan can be found here.
Fredrik Haag, Marine Environment Division, is representing IMO at the workshop.
IMO helps to address the issue of marine litter in a number
of ways, including as a co-lead for sea-based litter in the Global Partnership on
Marine Litter, contributing to the development of the first so-called Massive Open Online
Course on marine litter.
The new Ambassador of Peru to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Claudio
de la Puente Ribeyro, has been appointed Peru’s Permanent Representative to IMO.
Mr. de la Puente Ribeyro presented his credentials to IMO Secretary-General
Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (18 November). Peru is a long-standing
Member of IMO, having joined the organization in 1968.
An IMO workshop in Swakupmund, Namibia (10-12 November), has addressed ways to reduce the effects of biofouling, which occurs when aquatic organisms accumulate on ships’ hulls with potentially harmful effects for marine ecosystems.Officials involved in protecting the east African marine environment discussed how to manage the issue, including how to implement IMO’s 2011 Biofouling Guidelines, which provide a globally consistent approach to managing biofouling, and reducing the transfer of invasive aquatic species by ships. Representatives from the Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania participated in the event.
from 10 southeast Asian nations have met in Bangkok, Thailand (11-13
November) to review the latest developments regarding implementation of
the Ballast Water Management Convention. The regional meeting was held with funding from IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and with the
support of the GloBallast Project Coordination Unit. The meeting
updated the draft regional ballast water management strategy for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, which was developed at the first such regional meeting in 2012. The
countries taking part were: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao
People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. IMO’s Antoine Blonce, Jose Matheickal
and Josephine Uranza attended the meeting, which was also supported by
two consultants provided by the Maritime and Port Authority of
Parliamentarians joined senior officials from various
sectors of the Liberian maritime sector in a five-day
national workshop and seminar in the capital Monrovia (9-13 November) to
address a raft of maritime related issues. IMO is supporting the event as part
of its capacity-building activities in partnership with the European Commission
and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States under the so-called FlagPort
WACAF Project. Project manager William Azuh is coordinating IMO’s
capacity-building efforts in Liberia.
National and regional needs being identified during a two-day meeting this week (11-12 November) will form the basis of a programme of activities for a newly-completed training centre in Djibouti. National focal points representing signatory states to the 2009 Djibouti Code of Conduct will also look at ways to seek further support and funding. The meeting will build on the success of the Code in contributing to the reduction of piracy in the western Indian Ocean. IMO continues to support Member States implementing the Code through its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and through the Djibouti Code Trust Fund. It also maintains a presence in the region, focussed on the Code, with two staff members based in Nairobi, Kenya, whose primary role is training. The meeting is taking place at the centre, which will be formally opened on Thursday (12 November).
Officials from different regions have shared their experiences of ocean governance in order to develop better strategies for the future at two-day (9-10 November) workshop in Brussels. IMO also used the event to discuss how to implement its conventions in those regions and thereby contribute to sustainable ocean development. The workshop followed the adoption in September by the UN of a set of Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, is of particular importance for IMO as it works to protect the marine environment. The event was hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission.
Ecuador has become the 101st country to join the
International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO),
the inter-governmental body that oversees the provision of certain
satellite-based maritime distress communication services. The IMSO Convention was adopted by IMO in
1976 to establish and oversee satellite communications for shipping. H.E. Mr. Carlos Abad Ortiz (centre) Ambassador of Ecuador to
the United Kingdom, today (11 November) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu and
IMSO Director General Capt. Moin Ahmed (right) to deposit the instrument of
accession to the Convention.
Senior officials from the six south-east Asia countries benefiting from an IMO-Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (Norad) marine environment project are meeting for their second high-level meeting in Bangkok, Thailand (9-10 November) to review progress and discuss the next steps. The project is supporting the participating countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) in the legal, policy and institutional reforms and associated capacity building needed for effective ratification and implementation of a number of IMO's environmental treaties. High-priority treaties identified by the participants include the
Ballast Water Management Convention, the
Anti-fouling Systems Convention, the
MARPOL Convention and the
London Convention and its Protocol. IMO's Jose Matheickal and Josephine Uranza are representing IMO at the meeting.
A national table top exercise on maritime contingency planning is being conducted in Djibouti (9-10 November), as part of a series of events leading up to the official opening of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre on Thursday (12 November). The aim of the exercise is to improve procedures and policies when faced with complex maritime security incidents. The table top exercise follows the successful model of table top exercises carried out in west and central Africa and is the first of a planned series in east Africa. Some 24 participants from relevant government departments and agencies are participating in the exercise, which is intended to stimulate discussion and demonstrate the need for co-operation amongst government departments and agencies. A range of evolving scenarios are utilised, to determine respective roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures, and how these may develop, both with respect to routine business, and during an incident. Discussions are being facilitated by IMO's Henrik Madsen and Kiruja Micheni with a team of consultants.
IMO has participated in celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. This includes sending the UN’s digital
ambassador Elyx, the cartoon character specially developed by renowned French
artist Yak, to see IMO’s headquarters and work in the field. Elyx’s virtual
journey around the world in 70 days
shed light on the work of the UN, with UN agencies and other bodies
contributing to show Elyx interacting with different areas of their work, and sharing
the results via social media. Additionally, around 200 iconic monuments,
buildings, museums, bridges and other landmarks in nearly 60 countries around
the world were lit up in UN blue. See IMO’s contributions here.
A review of South Asia’s regional plan for oil and chemical pollution preparedness and response has been completed in Colombo, Sri Lanka (2-6 November). Participants from five countries in the region took part in a table-top exercise – testing the plan and developing a roadmap for its future implementation. The activity comes under a Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (NORAD) project promoting cooperation on marine pollution preparedness and response in South Asia. The participants represented the coastal Member States (Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP). IMO and SACEP facilitated the event, which was hosted by the Marine Environment Protection Authority of Sri Lanka. IMO was represented by Colleen O’Hagan.
The role of maritime heritage in raising awareness of modern
shipping has been a strong theme for IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu in
recent years. It was echoed at the annual meeting of the International Congress
of Maritime Museums in Hong Kong today (5 November) in a presentation by IMO’s
Fred Kenney, which also touched on the complementary role modern shipping can
play in lending a contemporary relevance to museum collections.
This year, IMO
has collaborated with the National Maritime Museum in its host nation, the
United Kingdom, by producing three films exploring current aspects of migration
by sea, to give a modern perspective to an exhibit examining this phenomenon
throughout the ages. Watch the films here.
A national workshop on advanced port security drills and exercises is taking place in Hanoi, Viet Nam (3-6 November). Port security officials, managers and officials designated by the national authority to deal with security incidents are getting the opportunity to take part in simulated security exercises in order to test the skills and knowledge gained in theoretical lessons, discussions and group work. The aim is to equip the participants for future planning, conduct and evaluation of security exercises, in order to improve the implementation of IMO maritime security measures such as SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. Tracy Peverett is representing IMO at the event, which has been organized by IMO in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) Maritime Security Working Group and the Viet Nam Maritime Administration (VINAMARINE).
A three-day national workshop on the London Protocol is concluding today (2-4 November) in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. The workshop is focussing on raising awareness of the Protocol amongst relevant national agencies and organisations as well as setting out the key elements of implementing and enforcing the Protocol. The Islamic Republic of Iran is finalising its process to accede to the London Protocol. Dr.Parvin Farshchi, Deputy of Marine Environment, emphasised the importance of the London Protocol to the Islamic Republic of Iran stating that its long coastlines need to be protected from the harmful impacts of land-based wastes dumped at sea. The training workshop was attended by more than 45 high-level officials from various government departments and academia and was facilitated by IMO’s Edward Kleverlaan with assistance from a consultant provided by the UK government. The workshop has been jointly organized by IMO, the Department of Environment (DOE) and the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
IMO’s Stefan Micallef has opened the International Forum on Ballast Water Management Technical Cooperation 2015, which is being held in Busan, Republic of Korea (3-4 November). The Forum is focusing on type approval of ballast water management systems and the ongoing revision of the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8). The Forum is being hosted by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea.
Government officials from Myanmar are attending a five-day workshop at IMO Headquarters (2-6 November). The 10 participants will gain insight into IMO treaties on liability and compensation and the benefits, rights and obligations of Parties to these conventions. A second component of the workshop is dedicated to the review of the draft Myanmar Merchant Shipping Law in the framework of the assistance provided by IMO to Myanmar in the development of their national maritime legislation. A third component of the workshop covers fair treatment of seafarers. The workshop is being supported by IMO, ITF, Seafarer Rights International and the IOPC funds.
The prestigious annual graduation ceremony for students at the World Maritime University (WMU) took place on Sunday (1 November) in Malmö, Sweden, when WMU Chancellor and IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu conferred postgraduate degrees on the class of 2015. In total, there are 202 graduates in the class of 2015, including the M.Sc programmes in Malmö, and Dalian and Shanghai, China, as well as the distance-learning Postgraduate Diploma graduates. Overall, the 2015 graduates represent over 40 countries. In his graduation message, Mr Sekimizu urged the students to continue to support the ideals and objectives of IMO. The Guest of Honour was Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General elect, who is an alumnus of WMU and will become the first Chancellor and first IMO Secretary-General to hold an M.Sc degree from the University.
A one-day workshop focusing on the goal-based standards safety level approach has been held in Hamburg, Germany (30 October). Expert participants from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden exchanged views on a draft proposal for functional requirements for SOLAS chapter III on life-saving appliances and arrangements. IMO’s Bingbing Song attended the workshop as an observer.
A two-day (27-29 October) regional seminar on the enhancement of safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages concluded today in Penang, Malaysia. The seminar provided an update on the latest developments undertaken by IMO in addressing safety of passengers' ships engaged in domestic services. The seminar also highlighted the need to develop a structured approach in the form of fact finding and scoping studies. In addition to the seminar, IMO held a one-day training course to teach participants how to conduct a Hazard identification (HAZID) exercise as well as learn more on the use of Formal Safety Assessment processes. The seminar, organized within the framework of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), was co-funded by the Governments of Malaysia and Norway and hosted by the Maritime Department, Ministry of Transport of Malaysia. Two IMO consultants, Interferry, IACS and the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association provided expertise to the seminar which was attended by Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam.
The auditing of IMO Member States
to assess how effectively they administer and implement key IMO instruments
becomes mandatory on 1 January 2016. As part of the preparation for that
process, the first training course for audit team leaders under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme is now being held at IMO Headquarters (26-30 October).
has been designed to further develop specific skills in audit planning, audit team and auditee management,
effective in-audit communication, audit reporting and assessment of a
corrective action plan. Experienced auditors from 16 IMO Member States* are
participating, along with five members of IMO’s own Member State Audit
and Implementation Support team. Up to 25 Member State audits per year are
expected under the mandatory scheme.
*Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Morocco, Maldives,
the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.
Maritime safety and security are on the agenda at the Safer Seas
conference in Brest, France (26-30 October), where IMO’s Frederick Kenney has
provided an overview of international regulations – contributing to discussions
on piracy, shipping in the polar regions and developments in the increasing
scale and technical sophistication of cargo, container and passenger ships.
A regional workshop in the Pacific is focusing on ways to strengthen cooperation between States and move towards a harmonized system for flag State implementation and port State control. A total of 24 participants representing 13 Pacific Island Countries and Territories and New Zealand are meeting in Suva, Fiji (26-29 October) to determine the terms of reference for a proposed Memorandum of Understanding on flag State implementation and port State control in the Pacific region. The workshop has been jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and IMO. IMO’s Jonathan Pace is participating in the workshop.
Ratification and implementation of international instruments requires a great deal of preparation at the national level, from both a technical and a legislative perspective. An important part of IMO’s engagement with its Member States is to provide assistance with that process. Today (23 October) a delegation from the Mexican Congress met representatives from IMO’s Legal Office to discuss the ratification process for several IMO instruments, in particular some of the Organization’s important environmental conventions.
IMO, as one of the co-leads for sea-based litter in the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, has contributed to the development of the first so-called Massive Open Online Course on marine litter. The course is being launched by the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP), in collaboration with The Open Universiteit in the Netherlands, on 26 October. This free course (either a two-week or eight-week track) provides lectures, examples and case studies that will inspire leadership at all levels, thereby increasing awareness of and stimulating creative solutions to the challenge of reducing marine litter. Sign up here.
With information and communication technology (ICT) playing such a vital role in the modern world, the United Nations system continually assesses how it uses ICT to best advantage in contributing to its own institutional efficiencies and helping to meet its external objectives. It does this through the ICT Network of its Chief Executives Board, which is meeting this week (21-23 October) at UNHQ in New York, followed immediately by the 96th session of the UN International Computing Centre’s Management Committee. A focused discussion on the global digital agenda of the UN system and the ability to predict the effect of an action through so-called machine learning will be among the topics considered. IMO’s Vincent Job is representing the Organization at both meetings.
IMO is participating in the Global Emergency Preparedness
and Response conference
(19-23 October), joining a host of international organizations in an exchange
of information on dealing with, and preparing for, nuclear and radiological
incidents. Held in Vienna, Austria, and organized by the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), the conference is covering topics such as protection
strategies, training and communications. IMO publishing was also in attendance,
promoting the publications of key IMO instruments, including the International
Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG)
Code, which deals with the transport of dangerous goods by sea, including the safe packaging and transport of radioactive material.
IMO’s Dandu Pughiuc, Marine Environment Division, addressed
the conference. Mark Combe and Kushal Jaijee represented IMO publishing.
A four-day workshop is being held in Suva, Fiji (20-23 October), aimed at boosting the knowledge and skills needed to develop, adopt, implement and update national maritime transport policies in relation to IMO instruments and with respect to shipping engaged in international trade. The workshop also aims to support wider regional and national maritime-related needs and objectives and show that these can be addressed while pursuing IMO-related goals. IMO pays special attention to the shipping needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the least developed countries, under its strategic plan. Of all the SIDS around the world, more than a third are located in the Pacific region and all but one are either IMO Members States or territories of IMO Member States. Some 26 participants from Pacific Island countries are attending the workshop, which is being delivered by World Maritime University (WMU) Associate Professor and Associate Academic Dean Patrick Donner, alongside IMO’s Jonathan Pace and Nicolaos Charalambous. The workshop was jointly organized by IMO and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Participants got up close and personal with some potentially invasive species in ballast water during a practical workshop on sampling and analysis of ballast water, held in Duluth, United States (19-21 October). The IMO-GloBallast “Train-the-Trainer” workshop provided training for port State control officers and marine biologists from South America and the wider Caribbean region, in preparation for the implementation of the Ballast Water Convention. The workshop was hosted by the Great Ships Initiative (GSI) of the Northeast Midwest Institute (NEMWI), a ballast water management system testing facility located on the Great Lakes. A total of 14 participants from Argentina, Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago gained hands-on experience of sampling and analysis onboard a ship and at the NEMWI marine laboratory. Antoine Blonce and Theofanis Karayannis from IMO Headquarters attended the workshop, along with Vassilis Tsigourakos, GloBallast's regional coordinator for the wider Caribbean region, who is based at the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (REMPEITC-Caribe) in Curaçao.
IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention is ready for implementation – that is the message delivered by IMO’s Markus Helavuori at the 13th Ballast Water Management Summit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands (21 October). In a keynote speech addressing shipowners, operators and other stakeholders, an update on the convention was provided, including the points that the main obstacles for ratification have been removed and that early entry into force would have several benefits for all stakeholders – minimizing the risk of invasions by alien species and providing a level playing field from a regulatory perspective.
The BWM Convention will enter into force 12 months after ratification by 30 States, representing 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage. To date, 44 States with an aggregate of 32.89% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage have ratified it.
The Djibouti Regional Training Centre is in the final stages of building work before its scheduled opening on 12 November 2015. IMO’s Chris Trelawny made a site visit on Wednesday (21 October), accompanied by H.E. Tatsuo Arai, Ambassador of Japan to Djibouti and Djibouti’s Minister of Equipment and Transport, Mr. Moussa Ahmed Hassan. The centre, envisaged as a vital component in the provision of maritime training in the Gulf of Aden and West Indian Ocean region, is being built by the Government of Djibouti with funds provided by IMO. The Government of Japan is the primary donor.
Officials from Bangladesh are in Turkey to learn from the country’s ship recycling sector (19-22 October), in a programme facilitated by IMO under the project dealing with the safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC). Hosted by the Government of Turkey in Ankara and Izmir, the visit consists of technical site visits, including waste management centres; a seminar including sessions on IMO’s ship recycling convention (Hong Kong Convention) and legislation issues; and meetings with ship recycling industry representatives.
IMO is represented by Simone Leyers and a team of
A national workshop on ‘International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code Training for Port Facility Personnel with Designated Security Duties’ is being conducted in Bridgetown Port, Barbados (19-22 October). The workshop will train such personnel to perform their duties in accordance with relevant IMO maritime security measures, including chapter XI‐2 of SOLAS, the ISPS code and the IMO/ILO code of practice on security in ports. Held at the request of the Ministry of International Business and Transport of Barbados, it will also equip participants to train others with similar responsibilities.
IMO’s Hélio Vicente and Henrik Madsen are facilitating the workshop with a team of consultants. Bridgetown is the major port of entry for the majority of materials and goods used in Barbados’s manufacturing and retail sectors, and all visiting cruise vessels also berth there.
IMO representatives will be among climate change experts meeting in Bonn this week (19-23 October) to continue work on the draft negotiating text for a legally-binding agreement to be adopted at December’s Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France (COP 21). Click here for more info about IMO at COP 21.
A regional seminar on maritime surveillance monitoring and communication systems has been held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (13-16 October). More than 70 participants from countries in the region attended the seminar and shared their experiences on maritime communications and ship tracking and monitoring systems for maritime security, safety of navigation, protection of the marine environment and search and rescue of persons in distress at sea. The event was organized by IMO in collaboration with the Colombian Maritime Authority (DIMAR). IMO’s Tracy Peverett and Javier Yasnikouski participated in the seminar.
As part of IMO's maritime capacity building programme for Somalia, a high level meeting aimed at harmonizing IMO's work for Somalia with the work of other UN agencies working for and in Somalia, was held in Nairobi, Kenya (16 October), hosted by the Kenya Maritime Authority. The meeting was briefed by the Honourable Nur Farah Hersi, Minister of Ports and Marine Transport of Somalia, representing the Federal Government of Somalia, and was also attended by representatives of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), EU-CAP NESTOR and INTERPOL. IMO was represented at the meeting by Juvenal Shiundu, William Azuh, Kiruja Micheni and Purity Thirimu. IMO initiated a programme aimed at assisting Somalia establish a Maritime Administration in 2014, involving workshops, the review of the 1959 Somalia Maritime Code and the creation of a stakeholders’ forum.
IMO is among organizations participating in a global forum aimed at addressing the migrant smuggling challenge, which is being held at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France (15-16 October). As the United Nations specialized agency with the remit for safety of life at sea, IMO closely monitors the global crisis involving the unsafe transport of mixed migrants by sea and strongly condemns the criminals involved in people smuggling, who send completely unseaworthy ships to sea without the slightest consideration for the safety of those on board. The forum brings together participants from some 50 source, transit and destination countries affected by irregular migration flows, as well as representatives from international and regional organizations and the private sector. Chris Trelawny is representing IMO at the forum.
A regional ‘train the trainer’ workshop on maritime security is being held by IMO in Kingston, Jamaica (12-16 October). The participants, from 15 countries, include Port Facility Security Officers and officials from nationally designated authorities, responsible for approving port facility security plans. For participants from the Designated Authority, the workshop will provide a solid foundation on their oversight roles and responsibilities with the primary focus on the shore side aspect of maritime security. As well as providing instruction in how to train others holding similar responsibilities, the workshop is addressing present practices and policies in maritime security, to strengthen wider national and regional efforts to implement maritime security provisions contained in IMO measures such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. IMO’s Hélio Vicente, Henrik Madsen and Colin Young are leading the workshop, which has been organized in collaboration with the Jamaica Maritime Authority.
The control of harmful anti-fouling systems is on the agenda at a national workshop, led by IMO, in Dar es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania (14-15 October). Since the adoption of the convention prohibiting the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships (AFS Convention) in 2001, IMO has been holding national and regional workshops to encourage and assist countries in the ratification of the convention and in the development of relevant national legislation. As a result, the number of States signing up to the convention continues to rise, thereby improving protection of both the marine environment and workers involved in the maintenance of ships' hulls.
Environmentally-sound practices for the disposal of waste generated in applying and removing anti-fouling systems will also be presented and discussed at the workshop, which is being run by IMO’s Markus Helavuori, Marine Environment Division, and a team of consultants.
A visit to the Saigon Premier Container Terminal provided an opportunity for participants on a national container safety workshop (12-15 October) to engage in hands-on mock container inspections and to see and participate in practical demonstrations of testing, inspection, examination, maintenance and control of containers. The class-based part of the workshop on container safety was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. The workshop covered all aspects of the International Convention for Safe Containers, the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) and relevant parts of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), including the amendments which will make mandatory the verification of the mass of containers, from 1 July 2016. The workshop was held at the request of the Viet Nam Maritime Administration and IMO was represented by Loukas Kontogiannis and two consultants.
For countries dependent on maritime trade, effective clearance processes for the arrival and departure of ships are highly important. At a national seminar on facilitation of international maritime traffic in Papua New Guinea (12-14 October), participants from maritime, customs and immigration authorities, alongside industry representatives, took part in exercises to simulate a national maritime facilitation committee – recommended under IMO’s Facilitation (FAL) Convention to encourage the adoption and implementation of facilitation measures across government departments and other entities such as port authorities and ship owners.
The seminar highlighted the importance of ratifying the FAL Convention and effectively implementing its standards and recommendations. Participants were also updated on IMO’s ‘Maritime Single Window’ project and on proposed amendments to the FAL Convention, set to be adopted in April 2016. These will include a mandatory requirement for electronic information exchange and a recommendation to use 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 without duplication.
A three-day national workshop on compliance monitoring and enforcement aspects of the Ballast Water Management Convention has been held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran (10-12 October). The workshop focussed on port and flag State control, including sampling and analysis of ballast water for compliance purposes. The Islamic Republic of Iran acceded to the BWM treaty in 2011 and was one of the pilot countries which participated in the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Pilot Project from 2000. Opening the workshop, jointly organized by IMO and the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Jalil Eslami, Member of Board and Deputy Managing Director of PMO, emphasised the importance of the BWM Convention to the Islamic Republic of Iran which has long coast lines which need to be protected from the harmful impacts of marine invasive species as well as an important and growing shipping fleet. The training workshop was attended by high-ranking officials of various government organizations, academia, class societies and the shipping industry and was facilitated by a team of IMO staff and consultants.
To help celebrate World Maritime Day, IMO invited some inquisitive young students from schools in London to visit IMO headquarters and find out for themselves how everyday things get transported around the world, how much it costs, and what it’s like to work on a ship. After a series of presentations, games and activities, we asked them what they’d learnt - and, as our latest video release reveals, the answers aren’t always what you might expect! (Watch the video here)
Djibouti has today (12 October) acceded to a number of IMO treaties, including international conventions covering maritime search and rescue, and standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Mr. Ali Mirah Chehem Daoud, Directeur des Affaires Maritime Djibouti, met IMO’s Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, to deposit the instruments of accession to six treaties and acceptance to annexes III, IV and V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
The full list of treaties acceded to are as follows:- International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969- International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended- International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979- International Convention on Salvage, 1989- Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000- International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001- MARPOL Annex III- MARPOL Annex IV- MARPOL Annex V
Parties to the treaties which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea are meeting at IMO Headquarters this week (12-16 October). The meeting is expected to agree updated guidelines for the application of the de minimis (exempt) concept when it comes to radioactive wastes, to include recognition of effects of radiation on marine fauna and flora. The meeting (click for photos) will also review ongoing work in relation to the disposal of mine tailings, marine geoengineering, development of a strategic plan to encourage ratification of the London Protocol and the 25-year scientific review of all radioactive wastes and other radioactive matter. The Thirty-seventh Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and the tenth Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Protocol were opened by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. The meeting is being chaired by Captain Ibraheem Olugbade (Nigeria).
A two-day national workshop on maritime legislation review, flag State implementation and port State control is being held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, (8-9 October) following a three-day needs assessment exercise, under the IMO/ACP/EU FlagPort WACAF Project. The workshop and the needs assessment exercise are aimed at building human and institutional capacities in the maritime sector and assisting Cote d'Ivoire to prepare for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme, which becomes mandatory from January 2016. IMO's Honorat Hoba and two consultants are facilitating the workshop.
The Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution, which is an IMO observer and implementing partner for capacity-building activities in the Black Sea, held its 31st Regular Meeting of Commissioners in Istanbul, Turkey (8 October). The longstanding collaboration between IMO and the Black Sea Commission has encompassed a wide array of workshops and training courses, at both national and regional levels, to develop capacity for the implementation of various IMO instruments aimed at protecting the marine environment from any adverse effects of shipping. Such activities have covered the development of national and regional contingency plans to deal with pollution incidents, supporting the ratification and implementation of the Ballast Water Management convention and work on the harmonization of the Black Sea Dumping Protocol with the London Protocol, aimed at the protection of the Black Sea against pollution by dumping. IMO’s Ivaylo Valev participated in the meeting and pledged IMO’s continued support and commitment to working with Black Sea administrations and the Black Sea Commission.
An industry consultation seminar to discuss the implications of ratification and implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) has been held in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam (8 October), hosted by the Viet Nam Maritime Administration (VINAMARINE). The meeting was attended by senior shipping industry representatives. Discussions centred on the various options available to meet the BWM standards, the benefits of international standards and the possibility of a regional cooperation arrangement, as allowed for under Article 13 of the BWM Convention. The seminar was organized by VINAMARINE under the framework of the IMO-Norad Project to assist east Asian countries to ratify and implement IMO’s environmental conventions. IMO’s Jose Matheickal delivered two technical lectures during the seminar.
World Maritime Day continues to be celebrated around the world, with events highlighting the 2015 theme: “Maritime Education and Training”. This week (5-7 October), the North American World Maritime Day conference was held at the State University of New York Maritime College. Individual speakers, plenary sessions, and a series of workshops addressed three separate interest groups: educators, industry and administrators. IMO’s Fred Kenney gave a keynote address and participated in panel discussions on topics related to the theme.
The new Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Simon J.H. Smits, has been appointed the Netherlands’ Permanent Representative to IMO. Mr. Smits presented his credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (8 October). The Netherlands is one of the longest standing Members of IMO, having joined the organization in 1949.
Observers from Martinique’s neighbouring island States and Territories have been supported via IMO’s technical cooperation programme to participate in an exercise on oil pollution preparedness, response and cooperation, conducted by the Martinique Prefecture in Fort de France, Martinique, France (6-8 October). The observers from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago were able to participate in the practical exercises and demonstration of the response equipment. They also visited the Fort de France Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. The exercise illustrated the benefits, constraints and difficulties of different response strategies and provided an opportunity to develop improved coordination and communication in the region. The participation of the observers was coordinated by the IMO/UNEP Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (REMPEITC-Caribe).
Littoral States and stakeholders of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), one of the busiest waterways used for international shipping, have been meeting in Singapore for the 8th Co-operation Forum (5-6 October) to discuss the application of technology in navigational safety and sustainable port and shipping initiatives. The Co-operative Mechanism is the key platform for the littoral States of the SOMS, user States, the industry and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue, exchange information and share perspectives on important issues relating to the SOMS. The Co-operative Mechanism was launched at an IMO-Singapore Meeting in 2007 following a series of IMO-sponsored meetings on the SOMS under IMO's "Protection of Vital Shipping Lanes" initiative. IMO’s Ashok Mahapatra is participating in the 8th Co-operation Forum and will also attend two further meetings under the Cooperative Mechanism, the Tripartite Technical Experts Group (7-8 October) and the Project Coordination meeting (9 October). IMO administers the IMO Malacca and Singapore Straits Trust Fund, set up to support capacity-building activities in the Straits.
The processes for ratification and implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) have been discussed during a national seminar held in Indonesia (5-6 October). Information on the convention, management options and the latest developments in BWM research and development were outlined during the seminar, which was facilitated jointly by the IMO's Marine Environment Division and the Directorate General of Sea Transportation (DGST) of the Ministry of Transportation of Indonesia. The seminar was held under the auspices of the IMO-Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (Norad) project to support participating countries in south-east Asia to ratify and implement key IMO treaties. The seminar was conducted by IMO’s Jose Matheickal and was opened by Captain Sahattua Simatupang, Director for Marine Safety, DGST, who emphasised the importance of the Convention for the protection of Indonesia's marine and costal environment and the value of regional cooperation in this area.
A national workshop aimed at raising awareness on matters related to garbage from ships and port reception facilities is being held in Colombo, Sri Lanka (5-6 October). Maritime Administration officials are attending the workshop and receiving training on the implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V. IMO’s Jun Sun is attending the workshop, which has been organized by Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority and is being attended by more than 40 participants.
Supporting countries to ratify and implement key IMO treaties is an essential part of IMO’s capacity building activities under the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. One example of this is the IMO-Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (Norad) project to support six participating countries in south-east Asia in the legal, policy and institutional reforms and associated capacity building needed for effective ratification and implementation of a number of IMO marine environmental conventions. Senior officials of the merchant marine department (MMD) of the Government of Cambodia met with IMO officials last week (2 October) to take stock of progress made and decide the next steps, ahead of a planned regional meeting of high-level decision makers from the IMO-Norad project countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam), scheduled to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2015.
IMO has highlighted the importance of providing support for GEF-UNDP international waters projects (such as the GloBallast Partnerships Programme) at a two-day meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France( 2 October). Aimed at building a global and regional network of partners to enhance ecosystem-based management, the meeting, organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), also focused on strengthening capacity and partnership building through projects twinning, learning exchanges and training.
A two-year plan to implement legal, policy-related, institutional-development and capacity-building activities in the ten Lead Pilot Countries (LPCs) participating in the GloMEEP project was agreed at the project conception meeting which took place this week (30 September-1 October) in Singapore. Launched on 28 September at the IMO-Singapore Future-Ready Shipping 2015 conference, the GloMEEP project aims to support increased uptake and implementation of energy-efficiency measures for shipping. Also agreed at the meeting were the next steps in the formation of a Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for low carbon shipping, within the project framework. GloMEEP is a joint project of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IMO.
IMO is supporting the development of a regional plan for joint oil-spill preparedness and response at a workshop in Singapore (29 September – 2 October) in a continuation of the organization’s on-going work to enhance marine environment protection measures in Southeast Asia. Representatives from all ten Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are participating in the event. Colleen O’Hagan and the IMO regional coordinator for Asia Pacific, Josephine Uranza, are representing IMO at the workshop, which is organized under the Singapore-IMO Third Country Training Programme and co-hosted by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Academy.
World Maritime Day has been celebrated around the world in the last week of September, with events highlighting the 2015 theme: “Maritime education and training”. The relevance of the theme to sustainable maritime development was highlighted at the national World Maritime Day celebrations in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran (30 September). IMO’s Vincent Job attended the event and joined Government representatives to present awards to outstanding employees from the country’s maritime sector.
IMO is facilitating a week-long workshop in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (28 September - 2 October), aimed at helping countries in the region prepare for the IMO Member State audit scheme, which becomes mandatory from January 2016, by enhancing the human and institutional capacities of their maritime administrations. Ten Francophone countries from west and central Africa are participating in the workshop, which is hosted by the Ivorian Maritime and Ports Administration (DGAMP) and implemented under the framework of the FlagPort WACAF project. Funded by the European Union (EU) through the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the FlagPort WACAF project seeks to enhance safety and security, port efficiency and protection of the marine environment, and improve the working and living conditions of personnel on board ships. The overall objective is to support Africa’s economic growth, connectivity and the promotion of regional integration. Mara Luciano and Honorat Hoba from IMO are facilitating the workshop.
Maritime leaders and professionals are meeting to review and debate the latest technologies available for improved energy efficiency of ships at the two-day inaugural Future-Ready Shipping 2015 Conference (28-29 September). This joint IMO-Singapore international conference on maritime technology transfer and capacity building will also focus on how to facilitate successful technology transfers between countries and increase the take-up of maritime technologies worldwide. IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu opened the conference, which is being held in Singapore, and emphasised the need to institutionalize technology-transfer and capacity-building efforts to meet the unique needs of the maritime industry
IMO measures concerning the protection of the marine environment have been highlighted at the 3rd International Green Marine Summit held in Shanghai, China (24-25 September). Ballast water management, air pollution and energy efficiency, greenhouse gases, black carbon, the Polar Code and ship recycling were all covered in a regulatory update delivered by IMO’s Edmund Hughes.The focus of the conference reflected IMO’s continuing commitment to the development of energy-efficiency technology. Among the topics examined were gas-fuelled main engines for ships, after-treatment systems for emissions’ control and hull and propulsion design to improve energy efficiency including the increasing use of continuous monitoring and engine control systems to optimise ship fuel consumption. The conference also highlighted the growing impact that these new technologies are having on the operation and management of ships, and that the technologies are likely to require highly trained and motivated crew, whose decisions are supported by shore staff, to ensure that the potential energy-efficiency savings that these technologies offer are fully realised.
Encouraging women to advocate for domestic ferry safety was the central theme of a regional conference held in Manila, Philippines this week. (21-25 September). Participants from Asian countries gained knowledge and looked at how to step up measures to promote safety consciousness among the players and stakeholders in domestic ferry operations. The conference was organized by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Women in Maritime Philippines Association (WIMAPHIL), in collaboration with IMO and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea. As part of the celebrations of World Maritime Day, under the theme “Maritime education and training”, 34 female cadets from three maritime training schools in the Philippines attended the opening day of the conference. The cadets enjoyed an interactive session where they were given the opportunity to ask a panel of experts questions on topics such as mentorship, life onboard ship and future career opportunities in the maritime world.
To promote safe and environment-friendly navigation in polar regions, IMO has developed the Polar Code. The code covers a broad range of matters related to polar navigation, including ship design, construction and equipment; operational and training concerns; search and rescue; and the protection of the unique environment and eco-systems of the polar regions. A technical overview of the code was presented by IMO’s Mikhail Gappoev to the NEVA 2015 maritime conference in in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation(22 -25 September). Mr. Gappoev also delivered the conference opening address.
Opportunities in the maritime sector, from officer cadet training, maritime law and marine biology, through to transport logistics, were outlined to young people who attended an open morning at IMO today (23 September), as part of the Headquarters’ celebrations of World Maritime Day, under the theme “Maritime education and training”. The students, from local and international schools based in London, heard speakers from Southampton Solent University (Warsash Maritime Academy); the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST); Plymouth University (School of Marine Science and Engineering and Plymouth Business School); and from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. The 120 students then enjoyed trying out ship simulators, loaned by ARI World, and were able to quiz people working in the maritime field on maritime training and careers. Some 32 cadets from 16 different IMO Member States were in attendance to answer questions and share their experiences. The event was supported by Careers at Sea, Institute of Chartered shipbrokers, IMarEST, Plymouth University and Southampton Solent University (Warsash Maritime Academy). (See photos here.)
School children from local and international schools based in London attended an informative session at IMO today (22 September), as part of the Headquarters’ celebrations of World Maritime Day, under the theme “Maritime education and training”. The pupils enjoyed an interactive session where they learned about ships, the cargoes they carry, regulations for ships and the whole range of careers in the maritime world. They then took turns on ship simulators, loaned by ARI World, and were interviewed about what they had learned. (See photos here.)
A regional workshop to assist maritime Administrations in preparing for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme is being held in Suva, Fiji (21-25 September). Participants from Pacific Island countries will gain knowledge of the process of preparing for audits under the scheme, the conduct of an audit, and how to go about implementing post-audit work to address findings from the audit. The workshop has been organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with IMO and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The IMO Member State Audit Scheme becomes mandatory from 1 January 2016. IMO’s Tatjana Krilic is in attendance.
An IMO workshop on effective shoreline clean-up and waste management operations concludes today (18 September) in Libreville, Gabon. Participants from ten French-speaking countries in the region, as well as the oil and gas industry, covered topics such as incorporating shoreline clean-up and waste management into national oil spill contingency plans, spill management and related decision-making processes and waste management and shoreline clean-up techniques. The workshop was organised within the framework of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (the GI WACAF Project), a partnership between IMO and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues. It was hosted by Gabon’s Department of Environmental Affairs.
IMO has been helping some of its Member States with the task of drafting national legislation to reflect the provisions of key IMO instruments. A regional workshop on legislative drafting has been held in Kingston, Jamaica (14-18 September), aimed at government lawyers, parliamentary drafters and legal advisers to ministries. The overall objective was to assist IMO Member States in the region to implement their rights and duties as States Parties to various IMO treaty instruments, including those dealing with maritime safety, security, protection of the marine environment and liability and compensation. The workshop was attended by
36 participants from 15 countries. Dorota Lost-Sieminska, Eva Huehne
and Aicha Cherif represented IMO at the event.
Mr. Carlos Abad Ortiz, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom, has been
appointed Ecuador’s Permanent Representative to IMO. Mr Ortiz presented his
credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (18
September). Ecuador has been a Member of IMO since 1956.
National officials from the port Administration and maritime transport directorate of Timor-Leste have participated in a national training course on implementation of IMO instruments (14-18 September). The course aims to inform on the obligations of States to effectively implement IMO conventions and provide preparatory work ahead of the entry into force on 1 January 2016 of the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme. IMO’s Regional Coordinator for East Asia, Ms. Josephine Uranza, is coordinating the course.
South Africa today (17 September) completed its accession to all the annexes of IMO’s main pollution prevention treaty MARPOL, by becoming a Party to both Annex IV, concerning the discharge of sewage into the sea, and Annex VI, which addresses energy efficiency and air pollution from ships. H.E. Mr. Obed Thembinkosi Mlaba, High Commissioner of South Africa and Permanent Representative to IMO, deposited the instruments of accession.
H.E. Mrs Päivi Luostarinen, the new Ambassador of Finland to the United Kingdom, has been appointed Finland’s Permanent Representative to IMO. Mrs Luostarinen presented her credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (17 September). Finland has been a Member of IMO since 1959.
A national workshop aimed at boosting port State control and flag State implementation of the Anti-Fouling Convention is being held in Egypt (16-17 September). The workshop aims to raise awareness of the implications of implementing and enforcing the convention. Technical issues, such as environmentally sound practices for the disposal of waste generated in applying and removing anti-fouling systems, will also be discussed. The workshop is being hosted by the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). It has been organized under a Memorandum of Understanding between IMO, the Government of Egypt and the AASTMT. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis is delivering the technical content. Egypt became a party to the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships in 2012.
H.E. Mr Girish Nunkoo, High Commissioner for the Republic of Mauritius to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Mauritius to IMO, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (16 September) and presented his letter of credentials to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. Mauritius has been a Member of IMO since 1978.
A regional workshop on the management of biofouling is being held in Egypt (14-16 September). The workshop, which also aims to raise awareness of the biofouling guidelines, is organized in cooperation with The Regional Organization of the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, (PERSGA). Around 23 participants are attending the workshop from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Djibouti and the Sudan. IMO’s Markus Helavuori is representing IMO at the event.
This week (14-18 September) sees IMO at the World Customs Organization's (WCO) headquarters in Brussels for a meeting of the WCO Data Model Project Team. This follows agreement by IMO's Facilitation Committee that WCO and IMO should cooperate on the technical maintenance of the "IMO Compendium of Facilitation and Electronic Business". The outcome of this work will be presented to the next session of the Committee, in April 2016. Alper Keceli is representing IMO.
The Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), opened its 2nd session today (14 to 18 September) at IMO Headquarters. The meeting is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. Topics on the agenda include: the implications and potential risks associated with the use of low-flashpoint fuels (IGF Code); safety concerns that have emerged with regard to the transport of bauxite in bulk; amendment of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code with a view to adoption at the next meeting of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee.
A revised version of the IMO Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) is set to be adopted in April 2016. It will include an important new standard relating to the obligation of public authorities to establish systems to exchange arrival and departure information electronically when ships enter or leave port. An IMO project is underway to develop a so-called “single window” for such exchanges, and it was presented at the first Logistics Information Standardization Forum by IMO’s Julian Abril. Held on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea (9 Sept), the forum was organized by the Korea Maritime Institute and attended by participants from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
IMO’s Chris Trelawny has been instructing international students at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö (7-9 September) on maritime security issues, including implementation of regional codes of conduct on repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships, arms on board ships, maritime security threats, and IMO maritime security regulations and guidance. Participants on the elective Maritime Security Issues in International Law course, part of WMU’s MSc programme on Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration, are from Argentina, Chile, Egypt, India, Japan, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, the United States and Viet Nam.
A regional workshop in Qatar (6 – 8 Sept) is bringing together participants from Member States of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) to review preparedness for responding to oil spills and incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances (HNS). The workshop, attended by more than 60 participants from six countries, has been organized by ROPME’s Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC) in cooperation with IMO. Participants will review the status of the ROPME regional HNS spill contingency plan and consider the different response techniques for HNS and oil. IMO’s Murat Korcak is in attendance. The Member States of ROPME are Bahrain, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A 10-day workshop for port security officials, managers and designated maritime authority officials is being held in Salalah, the Sultanate of Oman (30 Aug-10 Sep). The workshop includes intense table top exercises and drills to help officials prepare for maritime security incidents and to ensure they are able to fully implement IMO measures to enhance maritime security, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code). It has been jointly organised by IMO and Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications. IMO’s Kiruja Micheni is coordinating the workshop.
South Africa has become a State Party to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. Adopted in 2007, this convention provides the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine environment. It also provides uniform international rules for the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond territorial seas. H.E. Mr. Obed Thembinkosi Mlaba, High Commissioner of South Africa and Permanent Representative to IMO, deposited the instrument of accession today (4 September).
A two-week course on criminal investigations at sea concludes today (4 September) in Crete, Greece. The course, designed for national maritime law enforcement officials such as the marine police, coast guard and navy, focused primarily on the investigation of piracy and other criminal acts. This initiative was developed thanks to a fruitful partnership between IMO and the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC) and gives the chance to Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) signatory States to be trained in diverse disciplines at the centre. For the first time this year, the course is also being offered to West African States and DCoC States as a joint programme. IMO’s Gisela Vieira, Programme Manager of the West and Central Africa Maritime Security Project, represented IMO at the event.
When it comes to environmental protection, the UN system relies on scientific advice from an advisory body known as GESAMP. GESAMP’s role is to bring issues of concern to the attention of Governments, sponsoring organizations and the scientific community at large. IMO has provided the secretariat for GESAMP since its inception in 1969, and hosts the GESAMP Office as part of its Marine Environment Division. The 42nd session of this body is now underway at UNESCO HQ in Paris (31 August - 3 September). A review of the current working groups of GESAMP, discussion of possible new and emerging issues, establishment of new working groups, and a side-event on desalination and the marine environment are all on the agenda. GESAMP is the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection.
HE Dr. Yassin Saeed Noman Ahmed,
Ambassador of Yemen to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland and Permanent Representative of Yemen to the IMO, paid a
courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (1 September) and presented his
letter of credentials to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. Yemen has
been a Member of IMO since 1979.
A four-day meeting concluded today (28 August) in Accra, Ghana, where IMO, as part of its West and Central Africa Maritime Security project, has been assisting Ghana to develop a framework for its national maritime security strategy. IMO also took the opportunity to help improve collaboration among departments and agencies with an interest in maritime security to encourage a broader implementation of IMO instruments as well as to build more robust maritime security measures in the region. The Ghana Maritime Authority and the Ghana National Maritime Security Committee (NMSC) also took part in the meeting. The objectives of this meeting are based on a UN Security Council Resolution (2012) which urges States of the Gulf of Guinea region to take prompt action at national and regional levels, with the support of the international community, to implement national maritime security strategies, including development of legal frameworks for the prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery at sea.
The United States has today (28 August) ratified two key legal instruments, the 2005 Protocols to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the safety of Maritime navigation (SUA Convention). The main purpose of the Convention is to ensure that appropriate action is taken against people committing unlawful acts against ships. It is the first international instrument to address certain types of terrorism at sea and the illicit transport on board of ships of weapons of mass destruction. The United States was one of the original proponents of amendments to the SUA Convention considered by IMO’s Legal Committee in 2002. Edward P. Heartney, Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Counselor at the U.S Embassy in London, deposited the instruments of ratification with IMO’s Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division.
Pavel Bobek, Head of Economic & Commercial Section at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, met IMO's Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division today (27 August) to deposit instruments of accession to the treaty that addresses air pollution and emissions from shipping (MARPOL Annex VI). Among other things, MARPOL Annex VI sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ships’ exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances. It entered into force on 19 May 2005.
The presentation comes as part of a range of topics being discussed at the UNODC
Expert Group Meeting on the Development of a Training Module on the
International Legal Framework against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and
A workshop on advanced port security drills and exercises is taking place in Lima, Peru (25-28 August). Attended by port security officials, managers and designated authority officials, the workshop is designed to improve the implementation of special IMO measures to enhance maritime security and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) by encouraging drills and exercises to be held and promoting the concept of emergency preparedness.
IMO’s Javier Yasnikouski is representing IMO at the event, which is organized by the IMO, the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) Maritime Security Working Group, the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States (CICTE-OAS) and the National Port Authority of Peru (APN). Find out more about the workshop here www.apn.gob.pe (Spanish only).
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has today (25 August)
delivered the opening address at the ShipArc
2015 conference on “Safe and Sustainable Shipping in a Changing Arctic
Environment” at the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden. Mr Sekimizu said
that the opening up of the Arctic to greater maritime activity provides both a
unique challenge and opportunity, and that IMO measures such as the recently
Code will help to ensure the safety of ships operating in polar areas and
the protection of the polar environment.
The conference is being attended by over 300 participants
from the maritime community, including representatives from international
organizations, industry, IMO Member States and students.
Panama has become the 24th Contracting State to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. H.E. Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Panama to IMO, today (18 August) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu to deposit the instrument of accession to the Convention.The Convention, which entered into force in April this year, places strict liability on owners for locating, marking and removing wrecks deemed to be a hazard and makes State certification of insurance, or other form of financial security for such liability, compulsory for ships of 300 gross tonnage and above. The 24 Contracting States now represent 58.08% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
IMO experts are attending a workshop dealing with the regulation of dumping of wastes at sea, under the London Protocol, in Bangkok, Thailand (10-11 August). The workshop is designed to help protect against unregulated disposal of wastes at sea by encouraging cooperation among the participating countries and stressing the need to accede to the protocol.The participating countries (Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Viet Nam and Thailand) have yet to accede to any international dumping agreement – as required under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Fredrik Haag and Ruijun Sun are representing IMO at the event, which is hosted by the Marine Department of Thailand and funded by the Republic of Korea.
Protection of important marine areas from the impacts of international shipping was on the agenda at a workshop in Nadi, Fiji (29-31 July). The workshop assisted Pacific island representatives in identifying potential marine areas that could be designated as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs). PSSAs are areas that need special protection due to ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. Edward Kleverlaan, Marine Environment Division, was representing IMO at the event, which was run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in collaboration with IMO. Further details, including a full list of participating countries, can be found here.
The period 2015-2025 has been declared as “Africa’s Decade of the Seas and Oceans” by the African Union Heads of State and Government meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (25 July). Attention will be focused on Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM-Strategy), to which IMO’s work to support Africa through technical cooperation will contribute. The formal launch was attended by IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu and William Azuh of the Technical Cooperation Division.The African Union’s Maritime Charter and the 2050 AIM-Strategy were developed with the collaboration of IMO and formally adopted by the 22nd African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government in January 2014. The 25 July will be marked on each year, throughout Africa, as the “African Day of Seas and Oceans”.
An IMO-led seminar on maritime security, focusing on the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), is taking place in Johore Bahru, Malaysia (27-31 July), with participants from 17 countries, including port facility security officers and officials responsible for approving port facility security plans.A practical security exercise is taking place alongside a visit to Tanjung Pelepas Port. Participants will also be given instruction on training others with similar responsibilities. IMO’s Henrik Madsen and Josephine Uranza are leading the event, which has been organized in collaboration with the Malaysian Ministry of Transport, the Marine Department of Malaysia, Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology and the Johore Port Authority.
The Government of Djibouti has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring timely completion of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre in Doraleh, Djibouti, which will be a vital component in provision of security training in east Africa. IMO’s Kiruja Micheni was in Djibouti to monitor progress (27-28 July). Mr Said Nouh Hassan, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Transport and Equipment, reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the centre is completed in line with the amended Memorandum of Understanding signed between IMO and the Government of Djibouti on 3 June 2015. This requires the centre to be completed by 31 October this year, prior to an inauguration ceremony no later than 18 November 2015, at which representatives of all signatory states of the Djibouti Code of Conduct, key donors and implementing partners are expected to participate.
IMO's Chris Trelawny has visited the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre (MTISC-GoG), located in the Regional Maritime University of Accra, Ghana (24 July). The multinational centre provides advice and information to merchant shipping operating in the Gulf of Guinea. At the time of the visit over 630 ships were exchanging information with the centre. In recent months the centre has provided support to ships and authorities to assist in countering piracy and illegal fishing, as well as supporting search and rescue operations. The watchkeeping staff who operate this centre come from the navies of Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo, the Liberian Maritime Authority and from private companies and are supported by Merchant Navy liaison officers. The centre is funded by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, IMO Member Governments and by the IMO West and Central Africa Maritime Security Trust Fund.
As part of IMO's efforts to give effect to this year's World Maritime Day theme of Maritime Education and Training, IMO has carried out a fact-finding mission to the Ethiopian Maritime Training Institute (EMTI), with a view to helping the institute upgrade its facilities (21 July). EMTI provides specialised training for deck, engineer and electro-technical officers for ships, in compliance with the IMO convention that specifies global standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (the STCW Convention).Juvenal Shiundu and William Azuh from IMO’s Technical Co-operation Division undertook the mission, assisted by officials from the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority and from EMTI. EMTI operates as a faculty within the University of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
IMO is in attendance at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Assembly meeting in Kingston, Jamaica (21-22 July), at which future collaboration between the two organizations is on the agenda.
The Assembly approved the proposed IMO/ISA Agreement of Cooperation, which details how the two organizations could cooperate across a number of areas, particularly offshore exploration and exploitation activities and the impact of these activities on the safety of navigation and the marine environment. The IMO Council approved the agreement in July, pending endorsement by the IMO Assembly later this year.
Also under discussion is the contribution by the Office for the London Convention/Protocol and Ocean Affairs, administered by IMO, to ISA’s Draft Framework for the Regulation of Exploitation Activities relating to seabed mining. Andrea Garcia, IMO External Relations Office, is representing IMO at the meeting.
As part of a programme of continual infrastructure improvements at IMO HQ in London, a major upgrade to the simultaneous interpretation and audio system in the main debating chamber, where the technical committees and sub-committees perform their vital work, is well underway. A team from the Organization’s Conference Division is overseeing the project, ensuring suppliers meet stringent requirements to complete the work before the IMO Assembly meets in November this year. Multi-lingual interpretation is a crucial enabling factor behind much of IMO’s work and many of its activities.
Maritime education and training needs - now and in the future - have been the focus of a high-level international symposium held during the 2015 World Maritime Day Parallel Event (20-21 July), hosted in Japan’s port city of Yokohama and its capital Tokyo. IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu stressed the importance of quality training and education for the world’s future seafarers and highlighted the need to attract young people to maritime professions.
The relevance of maritime security as a prerequisite for sustainable development was outlined by IMO’s Chris Trelawny at the Gulf of Guinea Security Summit in Accra, Ghana (20-22 July 2015). IMO has actively worked with Member States, other UN agencies and regional bodies to enhance maritime safety, maritime law enforcement and maritime security capabilities in the region. The aim is improved economic development, supported by sustainable maritime development and underpinned by good maritime security.
A group of IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) auditors are today (15 July) receiving their first hands-on training on a new online module relating to the IMSAS auditing process, at IMO Headquarters, London. The GISIS Module is expected to go live in August 2015 and is designed to help with the planning through to the reporting phases of IMO Member State audits.
The Audit Scheme itself comes into effect on 1 January 2016 and is expected to bring about benefits such as the ability to identify where difficulties in the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments are most acute and which capacity-building activities (e.g. technical assistance by IMO to a Member State) would have the greatest effect.
Today (14 July) the Chairman of the Committee of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding on port State control (Med MoU), Captain Mark A. Chapelle, and IMO’s Jo Espinoza-Ferrey, Director of the Administrative Division, signed an agreement to renew the existing protocol and include an automatic renewal procedure. These agreements alleviate administrative burdens so that reports on port State inspections are sent electronically by port State inspection regimes on behalf of their members, thereby allowing IMO Member States to comply with PSC-related reporting requirements.The signing took place in the margin of the second session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) and was also attended by a representative of the Secretariat of the Med MoU.
H.E. Mr Guy Hewitt, High Commissioner for Barbados to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Barbados to IMO, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (14 July) and presented his letter of credentials to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. Barbados has been a Member of IMO since 1970.
Today (13 July) Mr Ki-tack Lim, IMO Secretary-General elect, visited IMO Headquarters upon invitation from IMO Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu, beginning the process of a smooth transition. Mr Lim was elected by the IMO Council in June 2015 and will take up the post on January 1 2016.
IMO Sec-Gen Sekimizu has opened the second session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III), (13-17 July), which is being chaired by Captain Dwain Hutchinson (Bahamas). Items on the agenda include casualty analysis, harmonization of port State control activities and review of the GlobalReg set of generic safety general principles and functional requirements for the safety of passenger ships not covered by SOLAS.
The heads of maritime administrations of French-speaking west and central African countries have gathered in Abidjan, Cote d' Ivoire, for their first regional meeting (9-10 July), which is being facilitated by IMO and hosted by the Ports and Maritime Affairs Directorate of Cote d'Ivoire. Opening the meeting, Mr Daniel Duncan, Prime Minister of Cote d' Ivoire, reiterated the need for maritime administrations in the region to redouble their efforts in taking full advantage of the resources of their maritime domain for the economic benefits of the region. The meeting aims to create a forum for the exchange and sharing of experiences and ideas by decision makers of the maritime sector in the region and to the heads of Maritime Administrations on the current work of IMO with a view to encouraging and enhancing their involvement and participation. Some of the issues scheduled for discussion include the forthcoming IMO Mandatory Audit Scheme, Country Maritime Profiles, the African Union 2050 AIM Strategy and the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. Nicolaos Charalambous, IMO's Director, Technical Cooperation Division, William Azuh, Head, Africa Section, and Honorat Hoba, Regional Coordinator for the region, are participating in the meeting.
IMO is holding a two-week training programme on advanced criminal investigations at sea for maritime law enforcement officers (29 June to 10 July) at NATO’s Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC) in Crete, Greece. The course is designed for officers from training institutions of marine police, coast guard, naval forces or equivalent, employed as trainers in maritime law enforcement or those earmarked to become trainers. The training is developed in close cooperation with East African Standby Force (EASF) and the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC). Participants from Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Saudia Arabia, Tanzania and Somalia are attending the course. IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira, Maritime Safety Division.
A workshop dealing with the regulation of dumping of wastes at sea, under the London Protocol, is being held in Mexico City (8-10 July). The three-day workshop brings together a host of countries to boost protection of the marine environment by focusing on the regulation of dumping of wastes at sea in the sub-region and on how increased cooperation and exchange of experiences can strengthen the implementation of the London Protocol.The workshop is being attended by Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama and hosted by the Mexican Navy through the Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR) at the Centro de Estudios Superiores Navales (CESNAV). IMO is represented by Fredrik Haag, Marine Environment Division.
Building work on the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) in Doraleh, Djibouti is moving forward in earnest, with a view to completion by the end of September 2015. IMO’s Chris Trelawny and Kiruja Micheni made a site visit on Tuesday (7 July), accompanied by Mr Said Nouh Hassan, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Equipment and Transport, Djibouti. During the visit to Djibouti, the IMO team also met Mr Moussa Ahmed Hassan, Minister of Equipment and Transport and representatives of the construction company.
An amended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between IMO and the Government of Djibouti in June agreed that the DRTC would be completed by 31 October this year prior to an inauguration ceremony no later than 18 November. The centre, envisaged as a vital component in the provision of maritime
training in the Gulf of Aden and West Indian Ocean region, is being built by the Government of Djibouti with funds provided by IMO. The Government of Japan is the primary donor.
Juvenal Shiundu is representing IMO at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (6-10 July), at UN Headquarters in New York, United States. The Forum is being held under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and aims to foster debate between governments, the UN system and other organizations, scientists, major groups and other stakeholders of civil society on all aspects surrounding the implementation of the new sustainability agenda and push to eradicate global poverty. In September, UN Member States will adopt a set of sustainable development goals that build on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which had a deadline of 2015. The UN is working with governments, civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and carry on with an ambitious post-2015 development agenda.
The official World Maritime Day Parallel Event is to be held in Japan on 20 and 21 July 2015. IMO’s Ashok Mahapatra was in Tokyo for a pre-event (2 July), during which the banner for the event was unveiled. (Please click here for the Parallel Event website).
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu speaks about the need to ensure the highest safety standards on domestic ferries in the latest IMO News. The issue also includes a feature on the World Maritime University as it enters a new era in a landmark building. IMO’s Chris Trelawny writes about maritime security and how maritime transport can play a part in tackling the trafficking of illegal wildlife products. IMO News also reports from the IMO Meetings.
Another successful Day of the Seafarer was celebrated on 25 June, with millions of people worldwide engaging on social media under the campaign theme, rCareerAtSea with hundreds of people sharing photos of their life at sea. The result is a mosaic of what a career at sea looks like through the eyes of many maritime professionals around the globe, helping to inspire people to consider a maritime career. The campaign also saw many countries organize events and celebrations to honour those who have chosen a Career at Sea. Material produced by IMO, including a video animation illustrating how stimulating seafaring can be, reached more than 26,000 views on YouTube alone. IMO also collaborated with UN radio to produce radio interviews in eight languages, which are still available to listen on the IMO website.
The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, which entered into force internationally in April this year, provides another tool in the armoury of global treaties adopted by IMO which are intended to help prevent pollution from ships and minimize any damage caused. IMO’s Jan De Boer gave a presentation on the “Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention: A new marine pollution instrument” at a seminar on marine pollution in London (25 June) organized by Lloyd’s Maritime Academy. The presentation included an overview of the Convention, details on the criteria for determining the hazard posed by wrecks and the aim of ensuring effective removal of hazardous wrecks located in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of States. States may also opt in to include application in their territory, including the territorial sea.
IMO’s Assistant Secretary-General Andy Winbow, a former seafarer himself, is in China on the Day of the Seafarer, delivering a keynote speech at a Competition of Seafarers’ Skills. The competition involves some 500 competitors taking part in various events, from life-boat manoeuvring and engine breakdown recovery to a triathlon. The event is being held in Zhoushan City, Zhejiang Province, China (25-27 June) and has been jointly organized by the China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) and the National Committee of the Chinese Seaman & Construction Workers Union.
A project to identify potential sea areas in South East Asia which could be put forward for designation as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) is gaining traction with the holding of a second regional meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam (24-25 June). A PSSA can gain extra protection through the adoption of associated protective measures, such as ship routeing systems. IMO’s Ed Kleverlaan is facilitating the meeting, which is being held under the auspices of a co-operation agreement between IMO and the Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency, NORAD. The meeting is being attended by around 20 participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam.
IMO has partnered with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, United Kingdom, to take a closer look at issues surrounding migration at sea. The RE•THINK space allows visitors to discover and reflect on a given theme from a different perspective. The current exhibition on migration features three short films produced by IMO. The films explore the following perspectives: “The migrants’ story”, “The rescuers’ story” and “The international response”. This special exhibition runs through to November 2015 at the Museum and the films can also be viewed here.
Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the Technical Co-operation Committee (TC) 65th session (22-24 June), which is being chaired by Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub (Malaysia). Items on the agenda include the review of activities delivered during 2014 and the proposed Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) for the 2016-2017 biennium. The Committee will also receive a report on the April 2015 meeting in Manila on the safety of passenger ships on non-international voyages and consider the sustainable financing of the World Maritime University. Click here for photos..
A national workshop on the implementation of the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships, 2001, has been held in Hai Phong, Viet Nam (18-19 June), jointly organized by the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VINAMARINE) and IMO. A second national workshop, on the management of biofouling, is being held in Manila, the Philippines (22-23 June), organized jointly by IMO with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) of the Philippines. IMO’s Markus Helavuori is in attendance. Each workshop has attracted nearly 50 participants.
What does a career at sea look like? In the run up to Day of the Seafarer on 25 June IMO has launched an online photo wall inviting people around the world to post their best photos of careers at sea and other maritime professions. On board ship, in port or in training – post photos of yourself, colleagues or amazing seascapes. Be inspired and join the campaign to inspire young people to consider a career at sea. Find out more about the campaign here.
How to build consistent and compelling messages on cross-cutting issues like climate change and sustainable development were among key topics examined at the annual meeting of the UN Communication Group. IMO`s Lee Adamson joined fellow heads of media and communication from more than 40 agencies and programmes across the UN system at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (17-18June).
H.E. Dr. Dalhatu S. Tafida, High Commissioner for Nigeria to the UK and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to IMO, today (18 June) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu to deposit instruments of accession to five IMO treaties, including MARPOL Annex VI relating to air pollution requirements and energy efficiency of ships.The full list of treaties acceded to are as follows: Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS PROT 1988); Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (LL PROT 1988); Protocol of 1997 to amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, (MARPOL PROT 1997); Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf, 1988 (SUA PROT 1988); and Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA 2005).
IMO’s Edmund Hughes has presented an update of international regulatory developments for prevention of air pollution and the energy efficiency of ships to the 11th Integer Emissions Summit (16-18 June) in Brussels, Belgium. The presentation to the marine vessels stream focused on providing information on the outcome of the recent IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee session (MEPC 68), including the decision to initiate the fuel oil availability review. Other issues highlighted were fuel oil quality, amendments to the NOx Technical Code 2008, the approval of a definition for Black Carbon, and the recent adoption of the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). An overview of the findings of the Third IMO GHG Study 2014 and the current state of negotiations for a new climate change agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was also provided.
On 15 June, RAC/REMPEITC, the regional centre in charge of marine protection in the Caribbean, celebrated 20 years of service. During this time, the centre has assisted countries in the region to ratify and implement international conventions to protect the marine environment, including IMO conventions. Some 180 activities have been attended by more than 4500 participants throughout the Caribbean.
IMO was in attendance as an observer at the 25th Summit of the African Union in Sandton, Johannesburg , South Africa (7-15 June). African Heads of State and Government resolved to intensify efforts towards the achievement of "The Africa We Want" as part of the wider African Union Agenda 2063, which includes maritime development as an integral part of the agenda. Amongst other issues, the Summit deliberated on the ‘Blue Economy’ and its potentials for job and wealth creation for Africa. The theme of the AU Summit was 2015 Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063. IMO has a long-running programme for the integration of women in the maritime sector.
IMO was represented at the AU Summit by Juvenal Shiundu and William Azuh of the Technical Cooperation Division.
As part of its annual Day of the Seafarer campaign, IMO today launches a new video animation which aims to inspire young people to consider a career at sea. In order to address the predicted global shortage of seafarers this brand new video shows how diverse and exciting a career at sea can be. We invite people from around the world to watch and share the video to engage as many young people as possible. To find out more about this year`s campaign, visit us here.
IMO’s Fred Kenney participated in the 3rd International Maritime Congress held in Szczecin, Poland (8-11 June). Speaking on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at the opening session, Mr Kenney stressed the need for coordinated, uniform, global regulation of shipping through the IMO system of shared responsibilities. He also spoke about this year’s World Maritime Day theme “Maritime education and training” and the new IMO Maritime Ambassador Scheme. Mr Kenney later participated in a panel discussion on “The future of the sea”, where, in addition to re-emphasising the IMO system of global regulation, he addressed recent developments with the Polar Code, MARPOL Annexes IV and VI, the Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention, and the HNS Protocol.
The Congress attracted over 900 participants from around Europe and North America and was also addressed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and the Minister of Transport.
The next five-year strategy (2016-2021) for prevention and response to marine pollution from ships in the Mediterranean is being discussed at the Eleventh Meeting of the Focal Points of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), at the centre’s headquarters in Malta (15-17 June). Mr Dandu Pughiuc is attending from IMO, which administers REMPEC on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP-MAP). The meeting will also discuss and agree the proposed programme of work of REMPEC for the biennium 2016-2017.
The draft strategy and work programme will be submitted to a meeting of the MAP Focal Points (October 2015) and the 19th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (February 2016) for adoption. Attending the meeting in Malta are official Governmental Focal Points for UNEP-MAP as well as representatives from relevant United Nations Organizations, other Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, the shipping industry and international professional organizations and associations.
A regional workshop aimed at boosting ratification and implementation of MARPOL Annex VI requirements relating to air pollution from ships and energy efficiency is being held in Sri Lanka (16-18 June). Participants are receiving practical information on the implementation and enforcement of Annex VI, including rights and obligations of Parties, as well as address further capacity building needs of the Member States, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis is coordinating the workshop, which is being funded by the Government of Canada. Participants are attending from Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Iran, Maldives, Mauritius, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
The first international meeting on the impacts of mine tailings disposal in the marine environment is being held in Lima, Peru (10-12 June) under the auspices of the UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), supported by the Parties to the London Convention and Protocol. The GESAMP International Workshop on the Impacts of Mine Tailing in the Marine Environment aims primarily to increase the scientific understanding of impacts on the marine environment of the disposal of mine tailings. A number of large-scale mines worldwide use marine or riverine disposal for mine tailings, under Government permits. The international workshop followed a two-day national workshop (8-9 June) on the implementation of the 1996 London Protocol.
H.E. Mr. Mohammed A. Eltom, Ambassador of the Republic of the Sudan to the United Kingdom, has been appointed the Sudan’s first Permanent Mission to IMO. Mr Eltom presented his credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (10 June). The Sudan has been a Member of IMO since 1974.
H.E. Mr Pekka Huhtaniemi, Ambassador of Finland to the United Kingdom, has been appointed Finland’s first Permanent Representative to IMO. Mr Huhtaniemi presented his credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (10 June). Finland has been a Member of IMO since 1959.
IMO is running a workshop to improve preparedness and response to pollution incidents by hazardous and noxious substances (HNS), in Hurghada, Egypt (8-10 June). Hosted by the Regional Organization for the Conservation of Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), the workshop will help to develop national and regional contingency plans for HNS spills in the PERSGA region, which is an important shipping route known for its unique and diverse ecosystem.The workshop also introduces participants to the specific requirements of, and differences between, oil and HNS spill response techniques. This forms part of IMO’s continuing work to improve the implementation of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC Convention) and related protocol dealing with pollution incidents by hazardous and noxious substances (see OPRC-HNS Protocol). IMO is being represented by Murat Korcak from the IMO Marine Environment Division.
Urgent action is needed to prevent huge losses of life at sea given the forecast increase in unsafe mixed migration by sea, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) agreed, following a special session on the issue (9 June). The MSC commended the efforts of rescue services, merchant vessels and others in saving lives. But it condemned the actions of the people smugglers. The MSC agreed that greater focus needs to be placed on addressing unsafe migration by sea through more safe and regular migration pathways. It was agreed that the issue of unsafe mixed migration by sea should be placed on the agenda of the MSC and other IMO bodies in order to further discuss the matter and develop actions.
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu told the MSC the situation was a truly humanitarian crisis which was not sustainable. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, addressing the MSC via video message, said this global issue required everyone to work together with a comprehensive approach, which would protect human rights, uphold international law and recognize the benefits of migration. Also addressing the special session were representatives of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). (click for photos )
The Bahamas has become the 22nd Contracting State to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. High Commissioner H.E. Eldred Bethel, Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to IMO, today (5 June) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu to deposit the instrument of accession to the Convention.The Convention, which entered into force in April this year, places strict liability on owners for locating, marking and removing wrecks deemed to be a hazard and makes State certification of insurance, or other form of financial security for such liability, compulsory for ships of 300 gross tonnage and above. The 22 Contracting States now represent 37.64% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
IMO’s role and responsibilities in relation to ocean governance and the “blue economy” were highlighted by Stefan Micallef, Director of the IMO Marine Environment Division, during a panel discussion at the World Ocean Summit 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal (3-5 June). The session “Tug-of-war? The trade-offs in building a blue economy” centred on how to build a fully functioning blue economy, including the key challenges and possible conflicts.The blue economy is a new global vision of the ocean and coasts as a source of economic growth, job creation and investment, and offers the balance of responsible investment in a sustainable ocean economy. The panel also featured a representative from the Summit’s organizers, The Economist, as well as the European Environment Agency, Royal Dutch Shell, and The Nature Conservancy.
A training workshop on sampling and analysing ballast water is being held in Gebze, Turkey (2-4 June). Taking part are Port State Control officers and marine biologists from several Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs) of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme (GloBallast), which aims to address the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water, thereby reducing the negative impact on marine ecosystems. The training involves shipboard sampling followed by practical laboratory analysis of the sampled ballast water. It aims to equip participants with the skills to replicate the training at a national level.
The joint European Union/African,
Caribbean and Pacific Group of States project on "Support to Maritime
Transport Sector in Africa" is to run to the end of 2016, beyond its
planned March 2016 completion date, due to implementation delays in some
of the beneficiary countries caused by the Ebola crisis. IMO is one of
three implementing partners in the programme, through its FlagPort WACAF
project team. The decision to extend was taken at a two-day meeting of
the project steering committee in Brussels (2-3 June) at which IMO’s
project team presented progress reports on flag state implementation of
IMO conventions and on port state control.
Firm dates have been set for the completion and inauguration of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) in Doraleh, Djibouti. In an amended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between IMO and the Government of Djibouti (03 June), it was agreed that the DRTC would be completed by 31 October this year prior to an inauguration ceremony no later than 18 November. The centre, envisaged as a vital component in provision of security training in the East African region, is being built by the Government of Djibouti with funds provided by IMO. The Government of Japan is the primary donor. The MoU was signed in Djibouti by Mr Moussa Ahmed Hassan, Minister of Equipment and Transports and by IMO’s Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor the Secretary-General on Maritime Security and Facilitation after negotiations led by Mr Fred Kenney, Director Legal Affairs and External Relations Division. The IMO team also met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, HE Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, who reaffirmed Djibouti's commitment to the rapid completion of the training centre.
Passenger ship safety and unsafe mixed migration by sea were highlighted by IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu as two key areas of work as he opened the 95th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which meets 3-12 June. A special session of the MSC will be held on Tuesday 9 June, on unsafe mixed migration by sea. Looking to the future, Mr Sekimizu said the MSC should encourage innovation and new technology to enhance the safety of ships. Other important items on the MSC agenda include the adoption of a mandatory safety code for ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels and consideration of cyber threats to maritime security. The MSC is being chaired by Mr Christian Breinholt of Denmark. (see photos here).
A sub-regional training programme on maritime incident response is underway in Khartoum, the Republic of Sudan (1-12 June). Run by IMO, with the East African Standby Force (EASF) and Nordic Advisory and Coordination Staff (NACS), the programme is focused on on-scene search and rescue coordination, with special emphasis on incidents involving piracy and robbery against ships. The programme is being conducted under the auspices of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre. Participants are from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and the Republic of Sudan. Kiruja Micheni, from IMO’s Maritime Safety Division, is facilitating the training, alongside experts from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Graduates of previous courses from Kenya and Sudan are also assisting.
The IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) has held its 26th annual Graduation Ceremony in Valletta, Malta (30 May). Thirty-nine students from 28 countries graduated from programs covering all areas of international maritime law, including international law of the sea, shipping law, marine environmental law, international maritime security law and maritime legislation drafting. The Ceremony was presided over by IMO’s Mr Frederick Kenney, Director of the Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, representing IMO Secretary-General and Chairman of the IMLI Governing Board Mr Koji Sekimizu.
IMO's work to mitigate climate change through mandatory energy efficiency requirements for international shipping has been outlined during the Bonn UN Climate change Conference (1-11 June), where 190 countries are meeting to work on the text of the Paris 2015 universal climate agreement. IMO's Astrid Dispert has presented IMO's ongoing work to the 42nd session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 42) under Agenda item 8(c)"Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport".
IMO’s Kiruja Micheni, Project Officer (Training) Maritime Safety Division and Ms Purity Thirimu, Principal Programme Assistant, IMO Regional Presence Office, Nairobi, are coordinating the workshop. The two events are being hosted by the Surface Maritime Authority of Tanzania (SUMATRA).
To date, the programme, conducted under the auspices of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre, has trained some 261 personnel from 19 Djibouti Code of Conduct States. A graduate of previous courses is assisting NMIOTC staff in delivering the current course. Consideration is being given to extending this programme to support countries in west and central Africa.
The decline of piracy off the coast of Somalia more than ever before presents a good opportunity to implement sustainable shore-based interventions to support reform of the Somali maritime sector in building a safe and secure maritime environment, thus opening up the maritime economy in the country and contributing to the prevention of a resurgence of piracy.
Two ministers from the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and other top officials from the FGS, Puntland and Galmudug, are attending the workshop, which is being funded under IMO’s technical cooperation programme. Also attending are observers from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the European regional capacity building mission EU-CAP NESTOR and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
IMO’s William Azuh, Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, Kiruja Micheni, Counter Piracy Training Officer, Maritime Safety Division and Ms Purity Thirimu, Principal Programme Assistant, IMO Regional Presence Office, Nairobi, are coordinating the workshop.
The workshop aims to improve maritime preparedness, focusing on more effective search and rescue legislation, mechanism, planning and operation, by providing a forum for sharing best practices and knowledge and exchanging lessons learned to enhance understanding of regional search and rescue issues and the magnitude of the search and rescue effort, from preparedness and patrolling to mass rescue operations.
Mr Osamu Marumoto, Technical Officer, Maritime Safety Division, is representing IMO at the workshop, which is also being attended by experts from Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States. (Photo: New Caledonia Navy Base)
IMO’s Heike Deggim has delivered a presentation featuring the key issues on the agenda of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee at the Greentech Shiptech China Congress, Shanghai, China (9-10 April). Topics presented to national decision makers and industry experts included the Polar Code, energy efficiency and ballast water management (BWM).
The closing ceremony for the course was timed to coincide with a graduation ceremony for 1,600 Border Guard officers. Speaking on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu, Chris Trelawny, Special Adviser to the IMO Secretary-General on Maritime Security and Facilitation, said that the course was an excellent example of the multi-disciplinary, multi-agency approach necessary for long-term stability and sustainability, with the coming together of civil/military cooperation, IMO working in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, NATO, and the European Union, for the benefit of all signatory States (to the Djibouti Code of Conduct), in a state-of-the-art training centre.
His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, presided over the ceremony, which also featured a night-time exercise by Border Guard air and sea assets.
The course covered internationally-recognised best practices for planning and conduct of law enforcement operations at sea, from a regional perspective and includes theory and practice in planning and ex-ecution of maritime law enforcement using simulators, with instruction delivered by trainers from Saudi Arabia, the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), and the EU MARSIC Project.
IMO has taken part in the Pacific Forum on Domestic Ferry Safety in Suva, Fiji (25-27 March), which considered the progress of Pacific Island countries and territories following the last meeting of the Forum in 2012, at which a 12-point Action Plan to improve domestic ferry safety had been developed. Nicolaos Charalambous, Director Technical Cooperation Division, represented IMO at the event, which was jointly organized by IMO and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and funded by IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).
The UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) is conducting a visit (25-26 March) to Tunisia to assess progress on countermeasures put in place by the Government to prevent and manage security incidents since the committee’s last visit in 2010. IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen as part of the delegation of UN and partner agencies with mandates in border management and law enforcement.Meetings are scheduled with authorities responsible for implementation and enforcement of maritime security measures to assess the level of implementation, provide recommendations, and identify technical assistance needs in relation to the provisions of key UN Security Council Resolutions that fall within the scope of IMO measures.
Underwater-radiated noise from commercial ships may have both short and long-term negative consequences on marine life, especially marine mammals. IMO’s Edward Kleverlaan, Head, Office for LC/LP & Ocean Affairs, has outlined IMO’s work on measures to reduce underwater noise, including the Guidelines for the reduction of underwater noise from commercial shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life (MEPC.1/Circ.833), at the World Organisation of Dredging Associations (WODA) Workshop on Underwater Sound in Relation to Dredging, in Paris, France (26 March).
A regional workshop organized by IMO, in cooperation with the Government of Angola, is being held in Luanda, Angola (24-27 March), to discuss the implementation of the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa, through the establishment of the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC), to be based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The ICC is expected to play a strategic role in enhancing maritime security in west Africa, where IMO is also targeting capacity-building efforts. The function of the ICC is to put in place a “permanent mechanism of national points of contact in order to foster cooperation and avoid duplication of efforts” amongst the multitude of donors and initiatives.
The ICC will therefore provide a means for establishing cooperation, coordination and communication between Member States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) at the strategic level, including the exchange of information on maritime security issues, best practice and cooperation on capacity building, as well as contributing to countering piracy, armed robbery and other illicit activities at sea such as fisheries crime.
The workshop brings together senior officers from 18 countries at management level, who are responsible for maritime issues and are familiar with international maritime instruments, regional agreements, and their country’s policies on the maritime sector. ECOWAS, the Gulf of Guinea Commission and the ICC are also attending. IMO is represented by Mr. Chris Trelawny, Special Adviser to the IMO Secretary-General on Maritime Security and Facilitation.
The Inter-regional Coordination Centre was initially mandated by the Declaration of Heads of State, at the meeting held in Yaoundé in June 2013, which also adopted the Code of Conduct. The establishment of the ICC took a step forward when, in June 2014, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) signed an Additional Protocol to establish the centre.
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu on Tuesday (24 March) continued his central America tour with a visit to Guatemala, where he met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso (pictured). The two discussed the development of Guatemala’s national maritime policy and Guatemala’s intention to meet “white list” status in terms of the STCW seafarer training and certification convention. Mr. Sekimizu also spoke to foreign policy university students, and outlined the IMO Maritime Ambassador scheme.
During his stay in Guatemala, Mr. Sekimizu will also meet representatives from Guatemala’s Maritime Administration Commission, Maritime Authority, Port Authority, and other organizations involved with maritime activity in the country.
IMO has delivered a regional seminar in Bahrain on the benefits of the IMO Facilitation (FAL) Convention, which deals with the various clearance procedures required when ships enter or leave ports. Designed to encourage more states to ratify the Convention, the seminar focused on the practical use of electronic data exchange between ships and shore, using the so-called “single-window” concept. IMO’s Alper Keceli led the event, which was attended by representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE and Bahrain (23-25 March).
Current issues and challenges in oil spill response will set the context at the Interspill 2015 conference in Amsterdam (24-26 March). IMO is taking part in many discussions on the changing landscape of spill preparedness and response and its impact on shipping activities. IMO is also speaking at a seminar to share its positive experience in working together with industry to improve international oil spill preparedness. In addition, a stand manned by the IMO publishing team also features at the Conference where participants can learn more about the latest titles and digital products. (watch video on this topic)
IMO’s Jan De Boer has delivered a presentation on the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks at the Interspill 2015 conference in Amsterdam (23 March). The presentation formed part of a short course on Salvage, Wrecks and Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS), which examined the issues surrounding casualty response from a salvor’s viewpoint and addressed the challenge of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) cargos. In particular, cost recovery under international legislation relevant to salvage, wreck removal and HNS was considered.The Nairobi Convention was adopted at an IMO international conference held in Kenya in 2007 and is set to enter into force on 14 April 2015. The Convention will provide the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may have the potential to affect adversely the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine environment.The short course also included presentations by the salvage industry and IOPC Funds.
A new agreement on supporting the Republic of El Salvador to implement IMO treaties was signed in San Salvador on Monday (23 March). IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, who is on a visit to central America, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Hugo Martinez, signed the Letter of Understanding on technical cooperation between the Government of El Salvador and IMO, which outlines the intention of IMO to assist El Salvador in implementing important IMO international conventions, including the MARPOL, OPRC and STCW treaties. (View photos and video here.)
During his visit to El Salvador, Secretary-General Sekimizu paid a courtesy visit to the Vice President of the Republic, Oscar Ortiz, and held meetings with officials from the El Salvador Maritime and Port Authority and the Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affairs. Mr. Sekimizu also visited a seafarer training centre and the UNESCO World Heritage Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site.
Secretary-General Sekimizu is continuing his central America tour with visits to Guatemala and Honduras.
IMO Assistant Secretary-General Andy Winbow opened the second session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) (23-27 March) which is being chaired by Dr. Susumu Ota (Japan). The meeting will finalize and further its work on a number of items, including requirements for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear; in-service testing of auto sprinkler systems; performance standards and requirements for smoke management systems; and consideration of the need for measures for onboard lifting appliances and winches. (Click for photos)...
The implications and benefits of acceding to the 1996 “London Protocol” to the 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter are being discussed at an IMO-led national workshop in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania (23-24 March), hosted by the Tanzania Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA).
The workshop is being attended by some 30 participants from Government agencies, private sector and academia, with the participation of IMO’s Fred Haag. Tanzania is currently a Party to the 1972 Convention. While the 1972 treaty prohibits the dumping at sea of wastes on a “black” list, and grey-listed materials require a special permit, the 1996 Protocol is seen as more beneficial in terms of protecting the environment, as it is more restrictive, prohibiting all dumping of wastes at sea, except for possibly acceptable wastes on the so-called "reverse list".
Experts from UN agencies and the International Seabed Authority are gathering at IMO headquarters today for a meeting of UN Oceans, the international mechanism for cooperation on a wide range of ocean issues. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu spoke of the importance of adopting a collaborative approach to cross-cutting issues and delivering as one.
The training course was officially opened by Staff General Badr Bin Hamdi Al-Jabri, Commander of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Border Guards in the Mecca region and is the fourth
course sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Djibouti Code of Conduct is
entering a new phase with countries in the region taking greater responsibility for implementing and coordinating its counter piracy activities.
In building on the success in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia through the combined efforts of international partners, IMO’s counter piracy programme is repositioning itself towardsdeveloping sustainable measures to prevent re-emergence of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region. Towards this endeavour, 15 officers from Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Tanzania are receiving training to prepare them to conduct courses on maritime law enforcement in their own countries.
IMO collaboration with NMIOTC to deliver regional training started in 2012 and to date 200 officers from 18 DCoC signatory countries have received training at the Centre. The strength of IMO’s capacity building model for DCoC, will be replicated in West and Central Africa and arrangements are in place for NMIOTC to extend its training support to the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa.
His Excellency Mr Guy Hewitt, recently-appointed High
Commissioner for Barbados to the United Kingdom, paid a courtesy call to
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (February 26). Barbados has been a
Member of IMO since 1970.
The compendium aims to encourage the use of modern information and communication technology and, in particular, electronic exchange of information, including Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), to transmit information related to maritime transport. The procedures for the technical maintenance of the IMO Compendium were discussed during the meeting and will be taken forward by the next WCO Data Model Project Team (DMPT) meeting at WCO headquarters in Brussels (9 to 13 March), in which the IMO Secretariat will participate.
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has delivered two addresses at the Kenya National Maritime Conference (23-24 February). In his keynote speech, on the theme of "Maritime Education and Training: A catalyst for development of Africa's blue economy”, Secretary-General Sekimizu spoke about the importance of maritime education and training, which is the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day. In his opening remarks, Mr Sekimizu noted that the huge potential of the oceans of the blue economy to assist in the development of the African continent and help strengthen African integration and unity had already been recognised in three key documents; namely: the African Maritime Transport Charter, 2010; the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy); and the Africa Union Agenda 2063. Secretary-General Sekimizu highlighted the importance of developing a national maritime policy for Kenya, in order to identify consistent steps to be followed in improving the status of Kenya as a maritime nation, mapping out its maritime clusters and working in harmony to achieve a blue economy. In his opening address to the Conference, H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H , President and Commander in Chief of Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya ,stated that the principal aim of the conference was to begin the development of a clear national plan, central to which was infrastructure and human resource development, in order to better harness the potential of Kenya's "blue economy". The President stated that technical assistance provided by IMO had helped Kenya to develop a curriculum that had since been used to train maritime experts. The President expressed his appreciation to Secretary-General Sekimizu for his support to Africa and Kenya, specifically in relation to the development and implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct through which piracy in the Indian Ocean had been brought under control.
Also present during the courtesy visit were Mr Nduva Muli,the Principal Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Nancy Karigithu, Director General, Kenya Maritime Authority, Mrs Geraldine Maingi , Director Maritime Services of the Ministry, William Azuh, Head, Africa, Anglophone Section, Technical Cooperation Division, IMO and a number of other officials including Mr John Paul Muindi, IMO Regional Coordinator, based in Nairobi.
The Cabinet Secretary informed the Secretary-General that Kenya has made significant progress in the development of maritime and economic infrastructure, especially in rail linkages to ports, in order to facilitate the movement of goods and services, while there has also been progress in developing and expanding economic activities in Lake Victoria. The Japanese Government has been an important partner in supporting maritime infrastructural development in Kenya.
Secretary-General Sekimizu congratulated the Kenyan Government on progress made so far and stated that IMO is poised to redouble its efforts to support, not only Kenya, but African countries in their quest for maritime development. Mr Sekimizu said that there was a need to establish an African Maritime Development Plan, against the backdrop of the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy). Mr Sekimizu said that maritime transport policy was at the core of maritime development for any country, but especially in developing countries, adding that IMO stood ready to assist countries in the development of their maritime policies.
IMO’s Fredrik Haag, Technical Officer,
Marine Environment Division has today (18 February) given a remote presentation
“Shipping: The Lifeblood of World Trade” to a
workshop on “Linking Global and Regional Levels in the Management of Marine Areas
Beyond National Jurisdiction”, held at the Food and
Agricultural Organization Headquarters in Rome, as part of
the GEF-funded Global sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity
conservation in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Program (ABNJ).
programme is an effort to promote a broad-scale,
innovative approach to achieve efficient and sustainable management of
fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in marine areas that do not
fall under the responsibility of any one country.
to view a live video feed of the session at the headquarters of the Food and
Agricultural Organization. (Picture: FAO)
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu was today (16 February) presented
with a cheque representing Liberia’s assessed contribution to the Organization.
The Liberian delegation consisted of (pictured left to right) Mr David Pascoe,
Senior Vice-President, Head, Maritime Operations & Standards Liberia
International Ship & Corporate Registry; Mr Harry T. Conway, Maritime
Attache, Liberian Permanent Mission to IMO; Cllr. Margaret Ansumana, Alternate
Permanent Representative to IMO and Dr Barnard Gustav, Senior Advisor to the
Liberian Permanent Mission to IMO.
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (11 February) received
a courtesy call from H.E. Mr Maurizio Lupi, Italian Infrastructure and
Transport Minister (pictured, 2nd left from front) and H.E. Mr Pasquale Q.
Terracciano, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent
Representative of Italy to IMO (pictured, front left). Points of discussion included
the issue of irregular migration by sea and passenger ship safety.
The local project management office is hosted within the premises of the Ministry of Industries in Dhaka. IMO will be implementing this project in close cooperation with the Ministry of Industries of the Government of Bangladesh.
The project aims to enhance the development of safe and environmentally sound ship recycling inBangladesh, with the aim of improving the standards and, therefore, the sustainability of the industry. The project also aims to facilitate the ratification/accession and effective implementation of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, to ensure safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh.
The new Ambassador of Kazakhstan,
H.E. Mr Erzhan Kazykhanov, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (30 January)
and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Kazakhstan
has been a Member of IMO since 1994.
H.E. Mr Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzedeh, Non-resident Chargé d'Affaires of the Islamic Republic of Iran, paid
a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (28 January) and presented his letter
of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a member of IMO
Maritime education and training was a key theme during
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu’s official visit to Egypt (23-26 January), which
included courtesy visits to the President, the Prime Minister, the Transport
Minister, the Interior Minister and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab
States. The Secretary-General toured the facilities of the Arab Academy for Science,
Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) and addressed students graduating
from the Academy’s College of Maritime Transport and Technology. (read
the Secretary-General’s blog on the visit here)
Click here for full photo gallery.
H.E. Mr Mohammed A. Eltom, Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Sudan, today (21 January) met IMO
Secretary-General Sekimizu to present the Sudan’s instruments of accession to the
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has today (20 January)
received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr Daniel Fábrega, new Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Panama. Panama has been a Member State of IMO since 1958.
They noted the two highly successful multi-million dollar Partnerships Projects, executed by IMO in partnership with the UNDP, to address the threat of invasive species in ships’ ballast water.
The first project was initiated in 2000 and this evolved into a second project – GloBallast Partnerships. The aims of the projects are to assist developing countries and their maritime industries in implementing international regulations on ballast water management and preventing risks arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ships’ ballast water. Both projects have mobilized some US$13 million in financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and leveraged many times this in cash and in-kind co-finance.
IMO is currently working with UNDP and the GEF on developing new comprehensive global partnerships on energy efficiency in the maritime transport sector and marine biodiversity protection.
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu spoke about the World Maritime Day theme for 2015 - “Maritime education and training” - at a
reception for delegates to the PPR Sub-Committee (on 19 January). He said that
the theme provided an opportunity to encourage seafaring as a career for young
people and to promote awareness of the maritime sector to the general
public. This year would also see an emphasis on renewed support for IMO’s
World Maritime University (WMU), which moves to new premises in Malmö, Sweden,
The Ambassador of Albania, H.E. Mr Mal Berisha, has met with
IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu (19 January) to deposit its instrument of accession to the Protocol on
Preparedness, Response and Cooperation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and
Noxious Substances, 2000 (OPRC/HNS
2000). The Protocol aims to establish national systems for preparedness and
response and to provide a global framework for international cooperation in
combating major incidents or threats of marine pollution, specifically with
incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances.
Preparations are underway in Portugal for the country’s
maritime administration to undergo the IMO Member State Audit. Manuel Pinto de
Abreu, Portugal’s Secretary of State of the Sea, visited IMO today (January 8)
to inform the Secretary-General of the progress. He also expressed Portugal’s
willingness to participate in technical assistance activities involving