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What's New during 2016

 

Training for safe carriage of goods by sea

16/12/2016 

IMO measures covering the carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form (IMDG Code) and solid bulk cargoes (IMSBC Code) were on the agenda at a regional training course in Beijing, China (12-16 December). Shore-side personnel involved in managing such cargoes received training on how to identify, classify, pack, label, handle, store, load, stow, unload and transport them correctly. Participants came from countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The activity included a visit to the Port of Tianjin, which currently processes some 550 million tons of cargo per year. Participants were introduced to the port’s management strategy, and visited the vessel traffic service centre, which carefully monitors and tracks dangerous goods and solid bulk cargoes within the port’s boundaries.

The event was organized under the Memorandum of Understanding on technical cooperation between IMO and the Ministry of Communications of the People's Republic of China, and in collaboration with the China Maritime Safety Administration and the Waterborne Transport Research Institute. IMO was represented by Alfredo Parroquín-Ohlson and Bingbing Song of the Maritime Safety Division and a team of international consultants.

 

Emission policies update

16/12/2016 

An overview of worldwide emission control policies and technologies has been presented at an international workshop in Hong Kong, China (14 to 16 December 2016). IMO’s Heike Deggim outlined the current regulations and recent work in the Marine Environment Protection Committee to an audience of government officials, international shipping industry representatives, academics and environmental non-governmental organizations. The presentation covered IMO regulations to control air pollution emissions from ships, including SOx and NOx, and energy efficiency requirements, aimed at cutting CO2 emissions from international shipping. The Motor Vehicle/Vessel Emission Control (MoVE2016) Workshop was jointly organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the People’s Republic of China; the Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong, China; and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

 

Always prepared to respond

16/12/2016 

A regional workshop aimed at finalizing guidelines which will provide practical information on responding to significant marine pollution incidents, concluded in Malta this week (14-15 December). The guide also provides a comprehensive overview of the cooperation and mutual assistance in cases of emergency in the Mediterranean region as a whole. The event, organized by REMPEC, gathered representatives of the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention and other organizations interested in arrangements in the field of oil spill preparedness and response and Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS). IMO was represented by Colleen O’Hagan.

 

Translators on board

16/12/2016 

As the global regulatory body for international shipping, IMO has developed and adopted more than 50 international conventions and protocols, supported by more than 1,000 codes and recommendations. For these instruments to be properly understood and implemented globally, the Organization’s Member States rely on swift and accurate translation of the great volume of technical documents, particularly in IMO’s three working languages – English, French and Spanish.

With this in mind, IMO translators and maritime safety division staff have been given first-hand experience of facilities and vessels at the Port of Barcelona, Spain (12-14 December).The training visit included a tour of a refit shipyard for superyachts and presentations on the roles of the local maritime authority and national Spanish Maritime Safety Agency. Participants also gained valuable insight into gas-fuelled engines – with an in-depth tour of the passenger ferry Abel Matutes, the first vessel in the Mediterranean to include a [30-m3] liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine for use in port.

Indeed, the safety of gas-fuelled ships is firmly on the agenda for 2017 – with IMO’s new mandatory IGF code set to enter into force in January. The code aims to minimize the risk to ships, their crews and the environment, given the nature of the fuels involved.

 

Port State control for a clean marine environment

16/12/2016 

IMO’s latest efforts to support countries to implement air pollution and energy efficiency measures for ships were underway at a workshop in Hangzou, China this week (12-14 December). The regional event involved Port State Control Officers responsible for inspection and enforcement of the rules in IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI treaty. Thirty participants from countries that have signed up to the Tokyo MoU on Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific took part in the training – the first exercise of its kind to be carried out under IMO’s GloMEEP project.

The workshop included a visit to the Zhejiang Institute of Communications campus, including the marine college’s marine engine simulator room, bridge simulators and seafarers training centre. The workshop was hosted by the Zhejiang Institute of Communications and China Maritime Safety Administration. IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

Fishing vessel safety moves

16/12/2016 

A regional seminar for the Africa Francophone region has provided the knowledge and information countries may need to ratify and implement the IMO Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety. This key treaty sets international standards for the safety of fishing vessels. The instrument is important because currently there is no international regime in force covering fishing vessel safety, including construction, life-saving appliances and other essential safety measures. To assist in implementation of the Cape Town Agreement, IMO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has been running a series of seminars for governments. The latest seminar in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (12 to 16 December) was attended by participants from 12 countries in the Africa Francophone region. The seminar was facilitated by IMO’s Sandra Allnutt and Honorat Hoba, FAO’s Ari Gudmundsson and a consultant.

 

Policy and strategy for energy efficiency

15/12/2016 

An energy efficiency workshop for Pacific Island countries and territories has been held in Port Vila, Vanuatu (12-14 December). The event helped participants gain knowledge and tools to develop national strategies and clear policies to improve energy efficiency in maritime and port infrastructures, to use alternative and cleaner fuels and to increase awareness of energy-efficiency measures. IMO’s Edmund Hughes delivered a presentation (via remote participation) on policy and strategy for energy efficiency in maritime transport. The workshop was delivered by the Pacific Community (SPC), in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and was funded by IMO.  There were 51 participants in Vanuatu, from across the region, including nine from the SPC.   

 

Myanmar accedes to oil pollution treaty

15/12/2016 

Myanmar has become the 111th State to accede to the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC). The IMO treaty establishes measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with other countries. Mr. Kyaw Htin Lin, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Myanmar in the United Kingdom, deposited the instrument at IMO Headquarters in London, today (15 December).

 

Countering maritime terrorism

14/12/2016 

A seminar looking at maritime security issues ranging from cyber security on board ships to piracy and illegal maritime activities concluded in Copenhagen (12-13 December).

IMO`s Chris Trelawny chaired a panel on maritime terrorism, exploring how the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), could support actions against illegal maritime activities. Hosted by BIMCO, the event gathered over 60 participants from the maritime industry and  also discussed constructive proposals presenting immediate and long term solutions to counter various maritime security threats.  


 

New course for energy-efficient ship operation

09/12/2016 

Maritime educators in China are the first to undergo a newly developed course designed to assist maritime training institutes to introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into their teaching curriculums. More than 30 participants from maritime universities, shipping colleges and institutes from across China are attending the workshop, taking place in Hangzhou (8-9 December).

The course, developed under IMO’s GloMEEP project, will help maritime training institutes to deliver IMO’s Model Course 4.05 to seafarers. It consists of a series of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience and ensure there are properly trained crews who can contribute to efficient shipping. In this way the course supports IMO’s environmental protection goals by spreading industry best practices that can reduce fuel consumption from ships and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

IMO has designed a series of model courses to support implementation of IMO Conventions and to facilitate access to the knowledge and skills demanded by increasingly sophisticated maritime technology.

The GloMEEP workshop is hosted by the Zhejiang Institute of Communications and China Maritime Safety Administration. IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

Understanding wreck removal

09/12/2016 

A meeting of salvage and wreck professionals in London, United Kingdom has been introduced to IMO’s Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention. The treaty 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. IMO’s Jan De Boer outlined the Convention’s key provisions in a session on “Operating within guidelines, conventions and authorities’ requirements” at the 19th Salvage & Wreck Removal Conference (7-9 December). These provisions include uniform international rules for the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond territorial seas, and optional application of the rules in countries’ territories, including territorial seas.

 

Combating marine litter

08/12/2016 

The effective implementation of IMO garbage regulations (MARPOL Annex V) on ships and in port reception facilities was the main focus of an IMO regional workshop on marine litter for the East Asian seas region, held in Jeju, Republic of Korea (5-8 December). Participants shared experiences of implementing marine litter requirements. Site visits included the waste oil disposal facility and clean-up vessel operated by the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), which hosted the workshop. The event was also aimed at supporting the implementation of the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter under the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA RAP-MALI). Participants came from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. IMO’s Jun Sun provided an update on MARPOL Annex V requirements.  

 

IMO and ship survey body to strengthen cooperation

08/12/2016 

IMO has signed a unique agreement to strengthen cooperation with the technical body whose members undertake ship survey and certification duties on behalf of IMO Member States. The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) represents so-called Recognised Organizations (ROs) at IMO. Survey and certification is vital to the effective implementation of IMO measures and ROs must comply with a mandatory code developed by IMO in order to undertake this important technical work for the Member States. Under the terms of the agreement (signed on 7 December), IMO and IACS will exchange technical information on a regular basis and strengthen existing lines of dialogue between the two organizations.

 

Cabo Verde’s regional maritime security role discussed

08/12/2016 

A recent visit to Cabo Verde (30 November-6 December) by IMO provided an opportunity to meet various Government agencies involved with maritime security and discuss the country’s future role in regional maritime security activities. Cabo Verde has announced its intention to host the MultiNational Centre of Coordination (for Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal) under the proposed operational framework to support the wider region’s maritime security Code of Conduct, which was signed by governments, including Cabo Verde, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea and other illicit maritime activity. The framework plans for five Multinational Centres of Coordination which will each report to one of the two regional centres (one for west and one for central Africa), which will in turn report to the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre that was established in 2014 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

IMO’s Gisela Vieira held meetings with a number of Cabo Verde government agencies, including the Maritime Authority, Agencia Maritima Portuaria (AMP), which hosted the visit; the Coast Guard, Fisheries, Borders Police and Ministry of Justice. Site visits included the new Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Maritime Control Centre, located in Praia, which is due to be inaugurated in March 2017 and the VTS centre in Mindelo. 

Ms. Vieira also visited the COSMAR (Centro de Operacoes de Seguranca Maritima - Center for Maritime Security Operations), which was formed in 2010 as an interagency centre for maritime security operations, allowing authorities in Cabo Verde to enhance coordination among the various entities involved in the maritime domain. COSMAR is able to gather information related to illicit acts committed on Cape Verde jurisdictional waters, with radar and satellite images, and transfer relevant data to other national agencies.

IMO was also represented at the second annual meeting of the G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (G7++FOGG), which met in Praia, Cabo Verde on 2 December.     

 

Guinea workshop plays through maritime security measures

08/12/2016 

Piracy, armed robbery and border security scenarios are being played out in a table top exercise for officials in Conakry, Guinea (6-8 December). The IMO-led event is the latest in a long series of exercises held in the West Africa region to promote security measures in IMO treaties, particularly the SOLAS chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code. Further scenarios include threats to cruise ships, incidents potentially involving weapons of mass destruction, drugs, environmental threats such as oil spills, and maritime safety inspections.

The exercise is also covering the region’s maritime security Code of Conduct, which was signed by governments, including Guinea, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea and other illicit maritime activity. IMO is thereby continuing its efforts to promote a multi-agency, whole of Government approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues.

The event is hosted by the Direction Nationale de la Marine Marchande in Guinea. IMO is represented by a maritime security consultant.

 

Best practices in marine projects shared

08/12/2016 

​IMO was among the participants at the eighteenth international meeting on Large Marine Ecosystems, where project leaders discussed and shared best practices related to capacity-building programmes covering marine ecosystems, coastal management, biodiversity and coastal climate change adaptation. The conference was held at the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) headquarters in Paris, France (6-8 December). IMO’s Antoine Blonce represented the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-IMO project which is being executed by IMO to assist developing countries to reduce the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water and implement the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. The 18th Annual Large Marine Ecosystems Meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the contribution of GEF-funded and other marine projects to implement of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, particularly SDG 14 related to the oceans, ahead of the forthcoming UN Conference (June 2017) to support the implementation of SDG 14.

 

Preventing maritime traffic delays

07/12/2016 

Facilitation of maritime traffic is on the agenda at a national seminar being held in Manila, the Philippines (6-8 December), with thirty participants from ministries responsible for clearing ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports of the Philippines, and private stakeholders. The workshop is assisting the Philippines with the ratification process of IMO’s Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), which is designed to help prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic.

The workshop will cover recent developments in the FAL Convention that were adopted by the IMO’s FAL Committee in April 2016. The participants are also being advised on the benefits of using maritime single window and electronic data interchange in facilitating ship clearance.

The event is organized by IMO and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). IMO is represented by Julian Abril, Cagri Kucukyildiz, regional coordinator Josephine Uranza and consultant.

 

Latest IMO Member State accedes to further treaties

05/12/2016 

Belarus has acceded to three IMO treaties covering a variety of ship safety measures. The instruments include conventions on load lines and facilitation of maritime traffic. Ambassador of Belarus to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Sergei Aleinik, met IMO Secretary-General at IMO Headquarters in London (5 December) to deposit the instruments of accession. The visit comes one week after the Organization welcomed Belarus as its latest and 172nd Member State.

The treaties acceded to are:

- the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, 1965

- the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966

- the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974

 

Sustainable Development goals for the oceans

02/12/2016 

The role of the marine industry in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals was addressed at the 2016 World Ocean Council Sustainable Ocean Summit in Rotterdam, Netherlands (30 November-2 December). IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis gave an insight into how the Organization supports ocean sustainability, including work to mitigate climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions form ships and IMO’s work to address biofouling and the transport of potentially invasive aquatic species.

In line with the Summit’s theme “Ocean 2030: Sustainable Development Goals and the Ocean Business Community”, Mr. Karayannis highlighted major IMO projects that feature strong cooperation and partnership with industry and promote sustainable development. These include the GloMEEP project – a GEF-UNDP-IMO initiative that supports the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Enhancing maritime security in the Dominican Republic

02/12/2016 

​​A table-top exercise on maritime security has been held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, (1-2 December) to assist the country to effectively implement provisions that fall within the scope of IMO maritime security measures, including SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code and the SUA treaties. 

The exercise is organized within the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The exercise aims to stimulate discussions and demonstrate the need for cooperation amongst government departments and agencies using a range of evolving scenarios related to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. Scenarios covered included threats to cruise ships, border security issues involving ports, airports and land border crossings, incidents potentially involving weapons of mass destruction, security-related health crisis, environmental threats such as oil spills, maritime safety inspections and dealing with illicit drugs' consignments and the illicit trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives. 

The exercise follows a series of similar events in other countries in the Caribbean region, conducted by IMO and UNLIREC. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

Maritime surveillance on agenda in Mozambique

02/12/2016 

A project to provide a single display maritime surveillance system for Mozambique has been commissioned and handed over to the country’s Government in Maputo (1 December). The IMO-supported project is set to boost maritime situational awareness for all concerned agencies in Mozambique and enhance operational decision making and increase cooperation in dealing with maritime security issues.

The project, funded through contribution by the Government of Japan to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund, provides maritime surveillance systems including the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS), automatic identification system (AIS), and VHF radios with data link – creating an integrated system for the Mozambique National Maritime Authority (INAMAR), Mozambique Navy, Fisheries, and the Mozambique Maritime Police.

During the launch, IMO’s Kiruja Micheni called on all relevant Government agencies to support the concept of a whole of Government approach to dealing with maritime issues and to embrace a culture of information-sharing between them to reach their common goal.

 

Training workshop to boost Tunisia’s maritime security legislation

01/12/2016 

IMO is assisting Tunisia with the development of its maritime security legislation with a training workshop, taking place in the country’s capital of Tunis (30 November – 1 December).

Participating in the event are Tunisian Government officials, particularly legal experts responsible for implementing security measures set out in the IMO instruments SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code. In reviewing the current legislation in place, participants are able to identify specific areas of concern and consider legislative or regulatory strategies to address those issues – thereby helping to strengthen governance, meet ISPS Code standards and elevate ship and port security laws and regulations to prevent security incidents.

The recently adopted IMO Guidance for the development of national maritime security legislation (MSC.1/Circ.1525) forms part of the reference materials, supplemented by a compilation of legislative best practices and examples on port and ship security legislative and regulatory developments. The workshop is also covering other counter-terrorism instruments, such as the SUA Convention and Protocols.

The workshop is organized by IMO, in cooperation with the Tunisian Ports and Merchant Marine Authority, Ministry of Transport of Tunisia. IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen, with UNODC and the US Coast Guard providing legal advisors.

 

Exchange programme boosts oil spill response skills in Southeast Asia

01/12/2016 

An exchange programme for oil spill response officers in Southeast Asia has helped strengthen the skills needed to respond effectively to oil spills. The event, held in Shanghai, China (28 November – 1 December) focused on how countries could effectively discharge their spill response responsibilities as port and coastal States, including by understanding different practices and concerns in the region.

Participants from China and eight Member States of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam took part.

The event was organized by IMO and the Government of China under a Memorandum of Understanding on technical cooperation, with cooperation from the Shanghai Maritime University and International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF).

 

Jordan workshop focuses on dumping of wastes at sea

30/11/2016 

Regulations covering the dumping of wastes at sea are the focus of a national workshop in Aqaba, Jordan (28-30 November). The event is raising awareness of the London Protocol, which entered into force ten years ago and modernized the original London Convention dumping treaty (ratified by Jordan). Under the Protocol, all dumping at sea is prohibited - with the exception of wastes commonly agreed by Governments and then put on an approved list.

Thirty participants from various maritime-related institutions, academia and navy are taking part in the workshop, which is the first of its kind held in the country. It was opened by H.E. Salah Abu Afifeh, Director General of the Jordan Maritime Commission, who stressed that Jordan, as a Red Sea State, along with other neighbouring States, has an obligation to protect the marine environment from all sources and causes of pollution whether they come from land or sea.

In addition to lectures and discussions, the workshop also included a field trip to the Ayla coastal development project. The workshop was organized by IMO, in cooperation with the Regional Organisation for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), and follows a regional workshop on the same topic held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2015. IMO was represented by Fredrik Haag, with assistance coming from an expert funded by the Government of the United Kingdom.

* Including from the Jordan Maritime Commission, Aqaba Development Corporation, Marine Science Station, Universities, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the Royal Naval Forces, Jordan Shipping Association, Aqaba Maritime Training and Education Centre.

 

Belarus joins IMO

30/11/2016 

The Republic of Belarus has become the latest Member of IMO, following the deposit of an instrument of acceptance of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 29 November 2016.

With the acceptance of the Convention by Belarus, the number of IMO Member States stands at 172, with a further three Associate Members.

 

Importance of simulation

28/11/2016 

A visit to a newly established maritime training facility in Almere, the Netherlands (28 November), has seen IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim experience first-hand some of the latest technology and training methods used to equip seafarers with the skills needed for a career at sea. Simulator training forms a key part of mandatory training under IMO’s STCW Convention, which establishes international standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Mr. Lim was joined by IMO Directors Frederick Kenney and Ashok Mahapatra in a tour of the Center for Simulator Maritime Training (CSMART), which included full mission bridge simulators and engine room simulators.

 

Innovation for sustainable transport

28/11/2016 

​A UN conference has highlighted the importance of technology and innovation in ensuring sustainable transport for all. IMO was present at the UN’s first ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference, held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (26-27 November). Concluding the two-day conference with the so-called ‘Ashgabat Statement’, participants stressed the need to promote the integration of science, technology and innovation into sustainable transport systems by tapping into technological opportunities in the decades to come, in order to bring about fundamental, transformative changes to transport systems. This, they said, can be achieved through the use of energy-efficient technology, as well as information and communications technology, as they called for strengthening capacity-building support to developing countries.

IMO works with developing countries through its integrated technical cooperation programme to promote sustainable maritime transport. For example, IMO's GloMEEP project is aimed at supporting the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.

During the conference, IMO’s Jesper Loldrup participated in a panel on “Sustainable transport solutions to the climate crisis”, highlighting IMOs work on energy efficiency including recent decisions made to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

The UN Conference brought together key stakeholders from Governments, the UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society to engage in a dialogue that emphasizes the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. All modes of transport – road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime – were addressed. 

 

Enhancing search and rescue services in western Africa

25/11/2016 

IMO is supporting countries in western Africa to enhance their national search and rescue (SAR) services with a regional training course and meeting taking place in Lagos, Nigeria this week. The activities are assisting Member States under the “Nigeria SAR Region” (Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe) to develop their regional SAR Plan and to increase regional cooperation.

The training course (21-23 November) covered the duties of search and rescue “On-Scene Coordinators”, which was followed by the third meeting of the regional SAR Coordinating Committee. The activities were organized in collaboration with the International Maritime Rescue Federation and hosted by the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. IMO was represented by Captain. Dallas Laryea and Mr. Honorat Hoba.

 

Planning for ballast water management

23/11/2016 

IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention was the topic of detailed discussion at the “Planning for Enforcement” forum in London, United Kingdom (23 November). With the Convention set to enter into force in September 2017, requiring ships to manage their ballast water to help prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive aquatic species, IMO’s Markus Helavuori gave an update on the Convention’s latest developments.

Specifically, he outlined decisions taken during the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 70th session in October, which included adoption of revised guidelines to update the approval procedures for ballast water management systems (BWMS).

The forum was organized by the UK Chamber of Shipping and Fathom.

 

Islamic Republic of Iran accedes to dumping of wastes at sea treaty

23/11/2016 

The Islamic Republic of Iran has become the latest country to accede to the IMO treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea. H.E. Dr. Hamid Baeidi Nejad, newly appointed Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit the instrument of accession to the London Convention Protocol of 1996 and corresponding 2009 amendments.

The London Protocol entered into force ten years ago, modernizing the original “London Convention” dumping treaty by prohibiting all dumping at sea with the exception of wastes commonly agreed by Governments and then put on an approved list.

 

All aboard the IMO kids’ zone

21/11/2016 

A new kid-friendly website has arrived at IMO! http://kids.imo.org/ includes a specially- commissioned animation showing how IMO works to protect the marine environment and the atmosphere. By clicking on the colourful links, young people can learn more about IMO’s work. Topics include protecting the atmosphere; dealing with waste; clean oceans; invasive species; particularly sensitive sea areas; and protecting marine life from noise pollution. The development of the website was partly funded by the Global Partnership for Marine Litter (GPML), for which IMO is co-leading on activities related to sea-based sources of marine litter, together with FAO. 

 

Safe sea transfer of technicians on agenda

21/11/2016 

Technicians working in the growing offshore alternative energy sector often need to be transferred to their place of work by sea. This needs to be done safely and efficiently, and this week IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) will continue discussions on mandatory measures to cover this potentially hazardous activity. The Committee will consider interim measures ahead of the adoption of a proposed new Code.

Other important items on the agenda include the adoption of amendments to SOLAS, including those related to subdivision and damage stability. New STCW training requirements for masters and deck officers on ships operating in Polar Waters and an extension of emergency training for personnel on passenger ships will also be up for adoption. The outcome of work by various technical Sub-Committees will also be considered by the Committee. The session was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr Brad Groves (Australia). (Photos here) (opening speech here). 

 

Disposal of mining wastes at sea – new expert group

21/11/2016 

New work to assess the environmental impacts of wastes from mining operations which have been disposed into the marine environment is set to begin shortly. The work will be undertaken by a dedicated working group, established by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP). GESAMP, which is a UN advisory body, set up the working group when it met for its 43rd annual session, in Nairobi, Kenya (14-18 November). The move to assess the impacts of mining wastes at sea comes in response to a request from the Parties to the London Convention and Protocol, which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea.
GESAMP’s  annual meeting was attended by scientists and representatives of GESAMP’s UN sponsoring organizations.

The agenda covered the group’s current work, including the evaluation of the hazards of harmful substances carried by ships and the review of applications for ‘active substances’ to be used in ballast water management systems. The experts also discussed the input of chemicals to the oceans from the atmosphere. They also looked at trends in global pollution in coastal environment and the current studies on the sources, fate and effects of micro-plastics in the environment. Marine geoengineering, which is the subject of study by a another GESAMP working group, was also discussed.

GESAMP also discussed its role in and contribution to UN related processes such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its engagement with the wider international community. IMO hosts the GESAMP secretariat.

 

Opening up for safety

18/11/2016 

IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim has officially opened the new Maritime Safety Research Centre (MSRC) at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom. In his inaugural address, Mr Lim said that the centre could play an important role in the shift of maritime safety from empirical to risk-informed legislation and goal-based standards. The MSRC is an industry/university partnership, involving Strathclyde's Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, and the classification society DNV GL. It will aim to improve safety at sea through a close collaboration between industry and academia.

 

Addressing transnational crime at sea

18/11/2016 

​Maritime law enforcement officers from West and Central Africa, who may be called upon to deal with transnational crimes at sea, have undergone practical and theoretical training during an IMO-sponsored, two-week course at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (7-17 November).

The course covered investigation planning, suspect interviewing skills, collecting, handling and preservation of evidence at sea. Participants included enforcement officials from marine police, coastguard and naval forces from Cameroon; Cape Verde; Cote d'Ivoire; Democratic Republic of Congo; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Nigeria; São Tomé and Príncipe; Sierra Leone; and Togo. This was the first such course for officials from West and Central Africa. 

 

Training for better ballast water management

17/11/2016 

Work to implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention in developing countries is underway in Zagreb, Croatia this week, with two training activities under IMO’s GloBallast project. A seminar looking at risk assessment, and inventories of marine life in and around commercial ports – a concept also known as Port Biological Baseline Surveys – concludes today (17 November).

Marine biologists, Port State Control Officers and maritime authorities from Croatia, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan and Nigeria are discussing issues including exemptions, ship targeting for compliance monitoring and enforcement and the development of decision support systems. The activity is co-organized with the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of Croatia, REMPEC and PERSGA.

Earlier this week (14-15 November) the first Croatia-GloBallast National Global Industry Alliance (GIA) Seminar provided an update on the implementation status of the Convention by all stakeholders involved - including ship owners, Member States, BWM system manufacturers and testing organisations. More than 100 international participants and speakers took part in the event, which was organized by GloBallast, the GIA, the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of Croatia and the Croatian Shipowners Association - CSA Mare Nostrum.

The BWM Convention is designed to reduce the transfer of potentially harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water and will enter into force on 8 September 2017.

 

Cyber security risks highlighted

17/11/2016 

Cyber security risks and other current security challenges have been highlighted at the X International Maritime Security Forum in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (15-17 November). IMO’s Javier Yasnikouski outlined the continued need to be aware of, and prepare for, maritime security threats and to fully implement IMO’s maritime security measures - including the International ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.

IMO has issued interim guidelines on maritime cyber risk management, aimed at enabling stakeholders to take the necessary steps to safeguard shipping from current and emerging threats and vulnerabilities related to digitization, integration and automation of processes and systems in shipping. More than 150 participants from Latin-American and Caribbean countries, as well as from Angola, Spain and Portugal, attended the conference. 

 

Towards safe, clean ship recycling

16/11/2016 

Nine West and Central African countries have agreed to start working towards ratifying IMO’s ship recycling treaty, the Hong Kong Convention, following a workshop in Accra, Ghana (14-16 November).

The event allowed for in-depth discussions and provided details on the specific requirements of the Convention and its Guidelines, with representatives from Cabo Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Sierra Leone taking part.

The Ghana Maritime Authority hosted the workshop and IMO was represented by Mr. Jun Sun and Captain Dallas Laryea.

 

“Like” us on Facebook!

16/11/2016 

Increased outreach is a key element of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s vision for the Organization, and on our Facebook page you can find a rich source of news, pictures, films, comment and other information about IMO and its work. We now have more than 200,000 “likes” and the number is growing. So if you haven’t yet “liked” us, do it now to have all the latest news and features delivered automatically to your timeline. And if you already have, why not get your friends to like us too?

 

Honduras accedes to key pollution prevention treaties

16/11/2016 

Honduras has acceded to two important IMO instruments covering the prevention of pollution from ships – MARPOL Annex VI, which deals with prevention of air pollution from ships and energy efficiency, and the international treaty on oil pollution preparedness, response and cooperation (OPRC).

Honduras has also acceded to the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) Convention. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim received H. E. Mr. Ivan Romero-Martinez, Ambassador of Honduras to the United Kingdom (pictured, right), and Mr. Roberto E. Cardona, General Director of Merchant Marine (pictured, left), who deposited the instruments of accession, at IMO Headquarters, London (16 November).

 

Focus on maritime security measures at Guinea-Bissau workshop

16/11/2016 

A range of maritime security scenarios are being played out in a table top exercise for officials in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (14-16 November). Participants from Government departments and national agencies, including the Maritime Authority, are focusing on security measures in IMO treaties. These include SOLAS chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code, to which Guinea-Bissau acceded to last month, as well as the convention covering suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation (SUA treaties), which the country has also ratified.

The event is the 19th table top exercise held in West Africa as part of IMO’s continuing efforts to promote a multi-agency, whole of Government approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement. The exercise was hosted by the Instituto Marítimo e Portuário da Guiné-Bissau and run by a team of IMO consultants.

 

Environmental updates

15/11/2016 

IMO’s recent Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) completed a packed agenda, illustrating the Organization’s strong commitment to the protection of the marine environment and the atmosphere. An update on the main outcomes was provided to a wide range of stakeholders at the recent Green Ship Technology North America conference, held in Washington DC, United States (15 November). IMO’s Edmund Hughes highlighted the adoption of the revised Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8), to support the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention, which enters into force in September 2017; the key decision to confirm the 1 January 2020 date for the implementation of the 0.5% global sulphur cap; and the approval of provisions to designate Emission Control Areas for control of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the Baltic Sea and North Sea and also to exempt non-Tier III ships transiting directly from and to shipyards within a designated NOx ECA.

On IMO’s work to contribute to mitigating climate change, the audience was informed about the MEPC’s landmark adoption of a mandatory global data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships as the first in a three-step approach in which analysis of the data collected would provide the basis for an objective, transparent and inclusive policy debate by the MEPC. The MEPC also approved a Roadmap for developing a “Comprehensive IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships”, under which, and to provide long-term vision for the shipping sector, the MEPC has to address a number of important questions, such as the role international shipping sector should have in supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

 

IMO’s climate change mandate

15/11/2016 

An audience of lawyers and academics have heard that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) gives a clear mandate for IMO to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from or through the atmosphere and to address climate change. IMO’s Fred Kenney, speaking at seminar in London (14 November), said that Article 212 of UNCLOS complemented the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to give IMO Member States a clear role to continue to build on the work already done to address the energy efficiency of ships. Mr. Kenney highlighted the mandatory energy efficiency requirements under MARPOL Annex VI, the recent adoption of a mandatory data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships and the approval of a roadmap for developing a “Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships”. He also cited the decision to set 1 January 2020 as the date for a global 0.5% m/m sulphur cap for shipping as an example of IMO’s landmark work under UNCLOS Article 212. The seminar on ‘Law of the Sea: New Frontiers and Frictions’ was hosted by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

 

Recent moves on ballast water management

15/11/2016 

IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention was the topic of a panel discussion during the Marshall Islands Quality Council meeting in London, United Kingdom (15 November). With the Convention set to enter into force in September 2017, requiring ships to manage their ballast water to help prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive aquatic species, IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis gave an update on the Convention’s latest developments, outlining the decisions taken during the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 70th session in October, which include adoption of revised guidelines to update the approval procedures for ballast water management systems (BWMS).

 

East Asia environmental treaties project mulls next steps

15/11/2016 

Participating States in a highly successful IMO-Norad environmental project have wrapped up the project in a final meeting, during which they pledged to continue to forge ahead with the implementation of key IMO marine environmental conventions. During the meeting in Bali, Indonesia (9-11 November), the six east Asian beneficiary countries highlighted the major goals reached during the project, including the development of national legislation for the ratification of key treaties.

The countries expressed an interest in developing a follow-up project concept which would cover the entire ASEAN region and focus on the effective implementation of the IMO conventions that the countries have recently acceded to.  

Following gap analysis and formation of national task forces, supported by two regional consultants and national government focal points, the four-year project has directly led to the countries concerned (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) making substantial progress in terms of implementation and/or ratification of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); the Anti Fouling Systems Convention; the London dumping of wastes convention and protocol; and the Ballast Water Management Convention.  

The meeting was attended by the heads of the maritime agencies of the beneficiary countries. Norad was represented by Ms Gabriella Catharina Ylva Kossmann, Senior Policy Advisor and Project Focal Point of Norad. IMO was represented by Dr Jose Matheickal, and Ms Josephine Uranza along with the Project’s regional consultants.

 

Cruising for a better and equal world

11/11/2016 

The cruiseship MS Koningsdam, will be the backdrop of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association’s Annual General Meeting (9-13 November). Departing in Port Everglades with stops in Miami and the Bahamas, this unusual meeting location will see participants discuss topics around the theme: "Always in Motion: Ever Changing". The conference will examine the changing regulatory landscape and its impact on maritime safety, security and the environment. Topics of interest to IMO, and its work on the Sustainable Development Goals, such as women leaders in the maritime industry will also be featured. IMO’s Director of Legal and External Affairs, Fred Kenney, will be chairing a panel discussion on the future outlook of the industry and the challenges it faces. At sea, hundreds of participants from various maritime sectors will also engage in sessions ranging from LNG to regulatory affairs, shipping and trade to environmental compliance. The meeting will also take advantage of being on a ship to engage the officers and crew in their conference programme and tour the brand new vessel to learn about its technology and environmental innovations.

 

Understanding ballast water management

11/11/2016 

IMO’s efforts to help prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive aquatic species were highlighted at the ACI 16th Ballast Water Management Conference in Antwerp, Belgium (9-10 November). The Ballast Water Management Convention will enter into force on 8 September 2017, requiring ships to manage their ballast water in order to protect local ecosystems around the world.

In his keynote presentation to the conference, Markus Helavuori outlined developments related to the Convention during IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 70th session in October. The Committee adopted revised guidelines to update the approval procedures for ballast water management systems (BWMS), including more robust test and performance specifications as well as more detailed requirements for type approval reporting and control and monitoring equipment. 

 

Argentina workshop promotes energy efficiency measures

10/11/2016 

Energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships have been on the agenda at an IMO workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina (8-10 November). Officials from Argentina’s maritime administration, maritime training institutes and various ministries were in attendance as IMO experts highlighted measures in the Organization’s MARPOL Annex VI.

The event, hosted by the Prefectura Naval, is the latest in a series of workshops organized in lead pilot countries under IMO’s GloMEEP project, which supports uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping in developing countries.

IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

IMO leads table top security exercise in the United Republic of Tanzania

10/11/2016 

IMO’s whole of government approach to maritime security, as an enabler for sustainable development of the blue economy, is being played out in the latest maritime security table-top exercise. The exercise in Tanga, United Republic of Tanzania (9-10 November) is highlighting the need for a unified approach to implementation of maritime security measures, with particular reference to IMO’s SOLAS chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code

During the exercise, participants from a range of Government agencies, including the port sector,* are confronted with various threats and challenges to maritime security, involving policy decisions, crisis/emergency management and response. The evolving scenarios are designed to stimulate discussions and to demonstrate the need for co-operation amongst government departments and agencies in order to determine respective roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures, and how these may develop, both with respect to routine business, and during an incident. 

This is the seventh IMO maritime security exercise of this kind to be held in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden region since late 2015. It was launched by Director of Safety and Security, Capt. Mussa H. Mandia, of the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA). IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants.​

*Agencies involved include the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces Navy, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport, the Police, the Prime Minister’s Office, Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services, the Attorney General’s Chambers, Tanzania Ports Authority, Tanzania Revenue Authority, the Deep Sea fishing Authority of Tanzania and the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA). The port sector is further represented by the Zanzibar Port Cooperation and Tanzania International Container Terminal Services.

 

Strengthening oil spill response in Southeast Asia

10/11/2016 

Training for oil pollution preparedness, response and cooperation (OPRC) is underway in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea (7-11 November). On completion of the course, Government officials from seven* Southeast Asian countries will play a significant role in advancing their respective countries’ OPRC capability, as well as regional and international cooperation in the case of major oil spills. The course includes a focus on the OPRC capacity in the Republic of Korea as an example of the level of oil spill preparedness and response in developed countries.

The event is organized by IMO and the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), supported by the Republic of Korea through the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. IMO is represented by Yasuhiro Urano and a team of consultants.

* Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Timor‑Leste

 

Workshop promotes IMO liability and compensation regime

10/11/2016 

A national workshop on the IMO liability and compensation conventions is underway in Bangkok, Thailand (8 -11 November). The workshop is providing a comprehensive overview of the IMO liability conventions, including those covering the wreck removal, salvage, carriage of hazardous and noxious substances, CLC, Fund and Bunkers Convention. In looking at the history of the treaties’ development, their principles, implementation and practical implications – IMO is supporting the implementation and enforcement of the full liability regime in the country.

Attending participants include government legal officers and legislative drafters as well as stakeholders from the private sector. Jan de Boer and Aicha Cherif are representing IMO with representatives from the IOPC Funds and the International Group of P&I Clubs. The workshop is organized by the Marine Department of Thailand in Bangkok.

 

Next step for ship recycling in Bangladesh

09/11/2016 

IMO’s work to promote safe and environmentally sound ship recycling made further progress this week (6-8 November) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a roundtable meeting of donors discussed next steps in IMO’s SENSREC project. At the meeting, the Government of Bangladesh announced plans to take on phase II of the project, which will establish a Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) in the Chittagong region.

The facility will help to manage hazardous materials derived from ship recycling and other industries in the region. Participants also visited the ship recycling yards in Chittagong and had a practical overview of the country’s ship recycling industry.

The meeting was organized by the Government of Bangladesh, in cooperation with IMO and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS). IMO was represented by Jun Sun of the Marine Environment Division – who gave an update on the progress of the Organization’s Hong Kong Convention.

 

Shipping CO2 developments highlighted at COP 22

08/11/2016 

The recent progress made by IMO towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping has been presented to the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 45), which is meeting as part of the COP 22 Marrakech Conference. IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) recently adopted a mandatory data collection system on fuel oil consumption of ships and approved a Roadmap for developing a 'Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships'. IMO’s Edmund Hughes is also participating in a number of side events, including presenting IMO’s work as it relates to the oceans, mitigation actions, and in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

A closer look at marine casualty investigation in Seychelles

08/11/2016 

An eight-day training course on the latest tools, processes and procedures in the investigation of marine incidents is taking place in Victoria, Seychelles (7-15 November).

The course will focus in particular on how to carry out such investigations in accordance with the mandatory IMO Casualty Investigation Code.

William Azuh of the Technical Cooperation Division and Ms Purity Thirimu of IMO Regional Presence Office, Nairobi, are coordinating the training course. 

Twenty five participants are drawn from the Seychelles Marine Accident Investigation Board, Department of Transport, Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration, Marine Police, the Coastguard, Legal experts, Health professionals, Fire Service, Civil Aviation Authority, Division for risk and incident management, amongst others.

 

Shipping takes centre stage

04/11/2016 

The official World Maritime Day Parallel Event has opened in Istanbul, Turkey (4-6 November) with keynote addresses from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. Mr Lim spoke on the World Maritime Day theme of Shipping: Indispensable to the World, emphasizing that almost everyone on the planet is dependent on shipping, but relatively few are aware of it. The event includes a two-day symposium looking at the challenges and opportunities facing shipping today followed by an opportunity for delegates to experience some of Turkey’s rich maritime culture.

 

Seychelles boosts development of its National Maritime Transport Policy

04/11/2016 

A three-day National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) workshop has concluded in Victoria, Seychelles (4 November). The event provided valuable knowledge and skills to those involved in the development, adoption and review of a NMTP in the country.

The exercise is part of a series of workshops and seminars being delivered in various regions of the world to test a maritime transport policy training package developed by IMO and the World Maritime University (WMU). The goal is to provide training to interested IMO Member States in the development, adoption and updating of such policies, which are key to a coordinated and integrated approach to maritime transport. The 27 Participants, represented various government agencies and stakeholders spanning multiple sectors.

 

Winning for ship efficiency

03/11/2016 

IMO’s continuing efforts to promote environmentally sound shipping have been recognized with the ‘Lloyd’s Register Outstanding Contribution to Ship Efficiency' award, which celebrates improvements made in energy efficiency in the maritime industry through training and education. Technical Adviser Astrid Dispert received the award (2 November) for work being done under the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) project to support developing countries to prevent air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

With capacity-building at the heart of the project, this year has seen a host of training workshops in the 10 lead pilot countries as well as the development of training guides to help countries implement the key IMO regulations for preventing air pollution from ships and reducing emissions in MARPOL Annex VI.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, organized by Fathom Maritime Intelligence in London, Ms. Dispert raised the importance of promoting a global energy-efficiency culture, which should “lie at the heart of a sustainable maritime transportation system”. Ms. Dispert thanked all those involved in the project and emphasized that “a lot of excellent work has been done in the respective countries in a very short period of time. And it is encouraging to witness with how much dedication and energy these countries have embraced this project.”

Full details on the GloMEEP project and all its activities and resources can be found here.

 

Shipping – key enabler for sustainable development

03/11/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has reiterated his strong belief that maritime activity can both drive and support a growing national and regional economy. Speaking at the opening of the Dubai Maritime Summit, Mr. Lim said that efforts to promote investment, growth and improvement in the maritime sectors are to be applauded and encouraged. He added that shipping and related maritime activities are essential components of future sustainable growth for the earth’s 7 billion-plus inhabitants and key enabling factors in many of the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals.

 

No more homework

31/10/2016 

The maritime leaders and experts of tomorrow have graduated from the World Maritime University (29 October). The class of 2016, boasting graduates from over 50 countries, has been equipped to contribute to safe, environmentally sound, energy efficient and secure shipping on clean oceans. The graduates will now return to their home countries to utilize the education and training they have received at the IMO-affiliated University and contribute to the effective implementation of IMO’s goals and objectives, as well the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Click for photos.

 

Supporting maritime security in east Asia

27/10/2016 

Improving maritime security through surveillance monitoring and communication systems is on the agenda at an IMO seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (24-27 October). The event is supporting senior officials from ten east-Asian coastal states, with a wide range of responsibilities surrounding maritime surveillance monitoring and communications, coastal and port security to gain a deeper understanding of practical measures in these fields.

Security challenges such as piracy and armed robbery, terrorist fighters, organized crime and mixed migration are being discussed, as well as the maritime communication and ship tracking and monitoring systems, such as AIS, LRIT, coastal radar, monitoring control and surveillance systems. Other issues being examined include cyber security and the review of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

The attending countries will therefore be able to establish, or enhance existing, maritime situational awareness systems, as well as share information with each other and with ships navigating in the areas under their jurisdiction. Thereby, maritime security, safety of navigation, protection of the marine environment and the search and rescue of persons in distress at sea will all be enhanced.

The event is organized under IMO’s integrated technical cooperation programme, with expert participation by the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), the Norwegian Coastal Administration, INTERPOL, UNODC, Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM) and IOM.

IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen, Siti Azit, regional representative Josephine Uranza and a team of consultants.

 

Wreck removal convention ratified by Finland

27/10/2016 

Finland has become the 32nd State to ratify IMO’s Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. The treaty, which entered into force in 2015, 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.

The Convention was adopted in 2007 and its Contracting States currently represent just over 60% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. Ms. Lolan Margaretha Eriksson, Ministerial Counsellor, Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of ratification (27 October).

 

Port security training exercises underway in Argentina

26/10/2016 

An IMO workshop on advanced port security drills and exercises is underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina (25-28 October). Participants from national port facilities, recognized security organizations and various authority officials are being trained to plan, conduct and evaluate security exercises, so that IMO maritime security measures can be better implemented.

Specifically, the measures specified in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code), taking into account the recommendations contained in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Manual of Drills and Exercises.

The workshop is organized by IMO, in collaboration with the Argentine Maritime Authority (Prefectura Naval Argentina). IMO is represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

Secure ports for smoother trading

26/10/2016 

A port security training is underway in Mauritania (24-28 October) to further develop the country’s commercial activities. IMO together with the Maritime Authority in Mauritania are training government officials as well as all personnel involved in the effective implementation of the International Ship and Port FacilitySecurity Code (ISPS Code) to help them familiarize with its content. This, in turn, will help those whose responsibilities rely heavily on identifying and applying material from the Code to enhance port security. This is the first of a three-tiered training programme based on the outcomes of a needs assessment mission conducted by IMO last December.

 

Arctic indigenous leaders meet IMO Secretary-General

26/10/2016 

The safety and environmental impact of arctic shipping was on the agenda as IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim received a delegation of arctic indigenous leaders at IMO Headquarters, London (25 October). In the first meeting of its kind, a wide-range of issues surrounding climate change and the subsequent increase in number of ships operating in arctic waters were discussed (photos). Secretary-General Lim outlined IMO’s work in this field, in the form of IMO’s Polar Code, which will enter into force in January 2017.

The Code applies to ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters, provides for safe ship operation and protects the environment by addressing the unique risks present in polar waters but not covered by other treaties.

Mr. Lim expressed his appreciation to the leaders for meeting him and providing their valuable input, and iterated his support for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recent address to the Arctic Circle Assembly, in which Mr. Ban highlighted the importance of the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples as “our inspiration for how to recognize and respect indigenous peoples through our actions and initiatives”.

The delegation was formed of representatives from the Pacific Environment, WWF, Friends of the Earth International, Kawerak, Bristol Bay Native Association, Inuvik Hunters and Trappers Committee, Chukotka Marine Mammal Hunters Association and business leader. Secretary-General Lim was joined by IMO directors Frederick Kenney and Ashok Mahapatra.

Additionally, a special panel discussion in IMO’s main conference hall will see the indigenous leaders speak directly to IMO about living on the front line of expanding Arctic shipping. The “Arctic Voices” discussion takes place today (26 October) at 1.30pm, in between sessions of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70), which is taking place this week.

 

Guinea-Bissau accedes to multiple key IMO treaties

24/10/2016 

Guinea-Bissau has acceded to a number of important IMO treaties, including the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), the key IMO treaty governing the safety of shipping. Other instruments include the STCW Convention, which establishes international standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers, and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR). H. E. Mr. Fidélis Forbs, Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications of Guinea-Bissau, met IMO Secretary-General at IMO Headquarters, London (24 October) to deposit the instruments of accession.

The full list of instruments acceded to is as follows:

 

IMO climate change moves on agenda

24/10/2016 

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) is this week discussing proposals to adopt a mandatory regulation for ships to record and report their fuel consumption. The requirements for ships to record and report their fuel consumption were approved at the last session. Also on the agenda is a decision on the implementation date (2020 or 2025) for the global 0.50% m/m sulphur cap for fuel oil. With the Ballast Water Management Convention entering into force in September 2017, implementation of the treaty will be under consideration. The MEPC is expected to consider revised Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems.  Also up for discussion are proposals to designate a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in Papua New Guinea and to designate the North Sea and Baltic Sea as emission control areas for nitrogen oxides (NOx). The MEPC was opened by Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Arsenio Dominguez (Panama). Click for photos. Further information here. Follow the conversation on Twitter #MEPC70 @IMOHQ.

 

Supporting Myanmar’s search and rescue services

18/10/2016 

IMO is supporting Myanmar’s efforts to improve its national search and rescue (SAR) services with an IMO-led needs assessment mission (17-18 October). Experts are analysing the current structure of the country’s SAR organization as well as the available SAR facilities, and shore-based infrastructure of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

Under the GMDSS, all passenger and cargo ships over 300 gross tonnage on international voyages have to carry specified terrestrial and satellite radiocommunications equipment for sending and receiving distress alerts and maritime safety information, as well as for general communications. Find out more about IMO’s work relating to radiocommunications, here.

The needs assessment will be followed by a national SAR seminar on 19 October. IMO is represented by Hans van der Graaf and a team of consultants.

 

Towards a digital agenda for sustainable development

17/10/2016 

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through information and communication technology (ICT) is on the agenda at the United Nations’ ICT Network meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (17-18 October). The meeting is discussing progress on its Digital Agenda Action Plan, designed to support UN programmes and the work being done towards the SDGs. Other important issues, such as information security, are also being discussed.

With ICT playing a vital and ever-increasing 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 and the UN International Computing Centre’s Management Committee, which follows the ICT Network meeting.

IMO is represented by Vincent Job.

 

Seafarer training gets a boost in Fiji

15/10/2016 

IMO has been continuing its work to support countries in implementing key international treaties, with a national training course for seafarer training instructors and examiners – held in Suva, Fiji (10-15 October). The event was attended by officials responsible for implementing the key international treaty concerning international standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW Convention), to which Fiji is a Party.

This course was organized by IMO and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji and attended by 48 participants from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, Fiji Maritime Academy and National Training and Productivity Centre and the Pacific Community (SPC). IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen and a consultant.

 

IMO supports African maritime summit

12/10/2016 

IMO is continuing its work to support sustainable maritime development in Africa by participating in the opening of the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa, held in Lomé, Togo (11-15 October). The Summit is addressing all aspects of maritime safety and security governance and is expected to conclude with the adoption, by African Heads of State and Government, of a Charter on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa.

The Summit (website, French only), including the "Protect Our Oceans" side event, is the latest in a line of recent events at which IMO maritime security experts have emphasized how sustainable maritime development, underpinned by good maritime security, can support economic development. Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work here.

IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira and Chris Trelawny.

 

Supporting SDG implementation

10/10/2016 

​How IMO’s integrated technical cooperation programme can support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is one of the key items on the agenda of the Technical Co-operation Committee, which is meeting for its 66th session (10-12 October). Several goals have particular resonance for IMO including Goal 5 (gender equality); Goal 13 (combat climate change); and Goal 14 (use of the oceans, seas and marine resources). The Technical Co-operation Committee will also review technical cooperation activities delivered during 2015, which included 235 activities ranging from advisory and needs assessment missions and national and regional training courses through to the development of model legislation, review and updating of training packages and meetings of heads of maritime administrations. The meeting will also consider the report of the Impact Assessment Exercise (covering the 2012-2015), which looks at the impact of capacity-building exercises on, and their relevance to, the needs of beneficiary countries. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the 66th session, which is being chaired by Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub (Malaysia). (click for photos). 

 

Togo ratifies high seas intervention treaty

10/10/2016 

Togo has become the 89th State to ratify IMO’s International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties of 1969. The Convention affirms the right of a coastal State to take necessary measures on the high seas to prevent, mitigate or eliminate danger to its coastline or related interests from pollution by oil following a maritime casualty. The States that have ratified the treaty now represent 75.08% of world tonnage.

Togo also ratified the related 1973 Protocol to the Convention – which includes provisions for instances relating to substances other than oil. Ms. Abra Dackey, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Togo in the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instruments of accession (10 October).

 

Supporting Tonga’s seafarer training

08/10/2016 

IMO has assisted Tonga to implement the key international treaty concerning international standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. IMO experts visited Nuku’alofa, Tonga (3-8 October) to assess how the STCW Convention and related code and amendments were being implemented and provide relevant technical advice for improvements to Tonga’s Maritime Administration. Guidance was also given directly to the maritime training institution conducting seafarers’ training programmes in Tonga.

The mission comes under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, which, when requested, supports IMO Member States to implement IMO treaties. IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen and a consultant.

 

Counter-piracy measures still needed

06/10/2016 

​Merchant shipping should continue to take protective measures against possible piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean through diligent application of IMO guidance and Best Management Practices (BMPs). IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Operation Commander Major General Rob Magowan of the EU Naval Force Operation Atalanta, which operates off the coast of Somalia, reiterated this key message when they met at IMO Headquarters in London today (6 October).

The two agreed that naval forces are still very much required in the West Indian Ocean to help prevent a possible resurgence of piracy and Mr Lim welcomed the extension of the Operation Atalanta counter-piracy mandate to the end of 2018. They further agreed on the need to secure the release of the seafarers still remaining in captivity in Somalia. (Photos)

 

Chile accedes to Anti-fouling Systems Convention

06/10/2016 

Chile has acceded to the 2001 International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS). The Convention prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems. Under the terms of the AFS Convention, Parties to the Convention are required to prohibit and/or restrict the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships flying their flag.

The Chilean Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Rolando Drago Rodríguez met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (6 October) to deposit the instrument of accession.

 

40 years protecting the Mediterranean

04/10/2016 

IMO joined celebrations marking four decades of cooperation in the Mediterranean to prevent and combat marine pollution from ships under the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC). Speaking at the REMPEC 40th Anniversary Conference during the Malta Maritime Summit (3-6 October), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim heralded REMPEC as a vitally important but often unsung player in the battle to protect one of the world's most sensitive and vulnerable marine assets. Mr. Lim also emphasized IMO’s pride in the role it played in helping to set up REMPEC – and of its continuing work in administering the Centre.

REMPEC’s work today addresses pollution from oil and hazardous and noxious substances; surveillance for possible illegal operational discharges; ballast water discharges; emissions from ships and anti-fouling systems. It is also working with countries to ensure the provision of adequate port reception facilities in the main ports around the Mediterranean Sea.

Originally called The Regional Oil Combating Centre (ROCC), it was the first regional centre of its kind. It became known as REMPEC in 1989, following the extension of its mandate to include hazardous substances other than oil. Since then, it has contributed significantly to the development and strengthening of the Mediterranean States' capacities to prevent and deal with marine pollution incidents.

Additionally, Mr. Lim gave the keynote address during the inauguration of the first ever Malta Maritime Summit (4 October), in which he gave an insight into IMO's present and future challenges, and emphasized that IMO’s mission reaches far beyond the Organization’s immediate constituency. “I believe that a major challenge for IMO and the maritime community in the years ahead will be to assess and define their roles, and those of all the various stakeholders, in the establishment of cohesive and all-embracing ocean governance structures. IMO has its mandate and I believe is ready to do more, within the UN system, to help integrate maritime policies on a global scale,” he said.

 

Preparing for the Polar Code

04/10/2016 
IMO’s Polar Code for safe ship operation in polar waters and the protection of the polar environment is being highlighted during the TRANSTEC 2016 Russian Ports and Shipping Conference, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation (4-6 October). The development and implementation of the Polar Code, which enters into force on 1 January 2017, are being highlighted by IMO’s Mikhail Gappoev.  

 

Focus on port security

04/10/2016 

As part of its continuing efforts to promote sustainable development, IMO is actively helping governments to streamline port procedures and remove operational barriers that can hinder or delay vessel movements. Efficient port operation is founded on safety and security and both topics were under the microscope at the 5th International Symposium "Human Sea -MARISK" in Nantes, France (3-4 October).

Addressing the symposium theme of "maritime and port security, public interest or private business?", IMO's Chris Trelawny stressed the need for partnerships between national authorities, shipping, and public and private sector ports; developing and sharing best practice; and building bridges between the many different stakeholders.

 

World celebrates World Maritime Day 2016

30/09/2016 

World Maritime Day was celebrated across the globe on Thursday (29 September). From Trinidad and Tobago, where celebrations in Port of Spain involved the whole community with ship visits and maritime themed activities, to the Pacific, where school children in the Cook Islands got the chance to visit a merchant ship. Maritime training institutes, seafarers, shipping companies and organizations as well as Governments from South Africa to Canada shared their #WorldMaritimeDay stories. A stimulating debate on shipping’s future challenges took place at IMO Headquarters in London (photos), with thousands tuning in worldwide via online participation and hundreds of people submitting their questions to the panel, from Peru to New Zealand. Listen to the entire debate here. On social media, hundreds of thousands of people engaged with the theme - Shipping: indispensable to the world. The day rounded off at IMO Headquarters with the traditional evening reception (photos here). 

 

Secretary-General highlights IMO’s diverse work in Republic of Korea visit

30/09/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has given keynote addresses to two international conventions during an official visit to the Republic of Korea (RoK). At the 23rd International Maritime Pilots’ Association Congress (26 September), Mr Lim told pilots that their technical input on a wide range of issues was a valuable contribution to the work of IMO. Looking ahead, he said that existing and emerging technology is key to enhancing on-board decision making, but cannot replace the human element.

Later that day Mr Lim spoke at the Sustainable Ocean Initiative meeting, organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Mr Lim told delegates that the success and growth of the maritime sector could actually threaten the integrity of the oceans, and praised the Aichi Biodiversity Targets as a major set of conservation benchmarks. He highlighted how IMO’s work in both the regulatory arena and in terms of technical cooperation and capacity building, makes a significant contribution in the global efforts to combat environmental degradation.

 

Protecting global maritime traffic

28/09/2016 

The world economy depends on safe, protected, secure and sustainable maritime traffic. IMO’s Chris Trelawny outlined how sustainable maritime development, underpinned by good maritime security can support improved economic development, during the Offshore Patrol Vessels Middle East conference in Bahrain (28 September). Mr Trelawny noted that while piracy and armed robbery is one threat, greater strategic threats include: illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; drug smuggling; terrorism against oil and gas installations; and transport systems; and above all, the failure to develop the maritime sector. All of these issues have similar solutions, namely, political will at the highest levels, adequate legal frameworks, maritime situational awareness, law enforcement capability ashore, interdiction capability at sea, adequate training and logistic support, and inter agency cooperation.  IMO supports countries to develop capacity to address these issues, with welcome support from naval forces and coast guards.  

 

Training inspectors to boost domestic ship safety in the Pacific

27/09/2016 

IMO and the Pacific Community (SPC) are supporting enforcement of ship safety standards in the Pacific region with a two-week training exercise for flag State inspectors, in Suva, Fiji (19-28 September). Fourteen technical officers are being equipped with the skills to verify ship conditions and equipment, and to ensure compliance with the relevant international and regional ship safety standards. There are around 2000 registered domestic vessels providing transport between the many islands in the region.

The training exercise builds on IMO’s 2015 Manila Conference on domestic ferry safety, which acknowledged the urgent need to enhance the safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages and urged States to review and update national passenger ferry regulations and to apply the guidelines adopted at the Conference.

Although ships operating on non-international voyages fall outside of IMO’s remit, the Organization places great importance on the safety of passenger ships and urges countries to apply the highest safety standards possible.

 

Boosting maritime security in Sao Tome and Principe

27/09/2016 

An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place in Sao Tome and Principe (27-28 September) for participants from a range of government departments and national agencies, including the Maritime Authority. The exercise encourages a multi-agency, whole of government approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. A range of evolving scenarios are being used to stimulate discussions and demonstrate the need for cooperation amongst government departments and agencies.

This is the 18th IMO-led table top exercise to be held in West Africa and the third table-top exercise to be held in Lusophone Africa. The event is being conducted by a team of maritime security consultants and hosted by the Sao Tome and Principe Maritime and Port Authority. IMO is being represented by Gisela Vieira and a team of consultants.

 

Safe and sustainable Straits

27/09/2016 

Safety of navigation, e-navigation and marine environmental protection in what is one of the busiest waterways used for international shipping are on the agenda as representatives of littoral States (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore), user States and stakeholders of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore gather this week (26-30 September) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. They are attending their regular meetings under the Cooperative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.  IMO’s Hiro Yamada participated in the 9th Co-operation Forum (26 September) and is also attending two further meetings under the Cooperative Mechanism, the Tripartite Technical Experts Group (TTEG-41) and the Project Coordination meeting (to 30 September).  Mr Yamada encouraged donations to the IMO- administered IMO Malacca and Singapore Straits Trust Fund, set up to support capacity-building activities in the Straits.

The Cooperative Mechanism was established in 2007 to foster cooperation and communication between the littoral States, user States and stakeholders of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore under IMO's "Protection of Vital Shipping Lanes" initiative. The Cooperative Mechanism comprises three interconnected and complementary components. The Cooperation Forum serves as a platform for dialogue; the Project Coordination Committee coordinates the implementation of Straits Projects; and the Aids to Navigation Fund receives direct financial contributions for the provision and maintenance of critical navigational aids in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. 

 

Supporting port security training in Tunisia

23/09/2016 

A train-the-trainer workshop on IMO maritime security measures is taking place in Tunis, Tunisia (19-23 September). Tunisian officials are being trained to provide the knowledge required for port facility security officers to carry out their duties in line with relevant IMO regulations and guidelines to protect shipping and ports. These regulations include the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS 74 as amended and the IMO/ILO Code of Practice on Security in Ports.

General Director of Maritime Transport and Maritime Ports, Mr. Youssef Ben Romdhane, opened the workshop.

 

More plastic than fish in the ocean

23/09/2016 

Did you know that by 2050 there could be more plastics in the ocean than fish, if human habits don’t change? The India Clean Seas Conference taking place in Goa, India (22-24 September), aims to discuss what needs to be done to keep the oceans clean. IMO’s Director of Marine Environment, Stefan Micallef delivered the opening address, highlighting daunting environmental challenges facing the oceans and how to develop sustainable solutions. Mr Micallef pointed out how IMO’s marine pollution convention MARPOL has played a key role as a comprehensive, international treaty covering the prevention of both marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.  To address the  massive accumulation of plastics in the ocean,  IMO has pioneered the prohibition of plastics disposal anywhere at sea, which took effect more than 25 years ago. The conference is hosting more than 40 distinguished panellists and speakers including scientists, solution providers and government representatives, working collectively to address the need to develop action plans to protect the world's oceans.

 

Looking at marine life around commercial ports

22/09/2016 

A training seminar looking at the practical aspects of risk assessment and inventories of marine life in and around commercial ports, a concept also known as port biological baseline surveys (PBBS), took place in Kingston, Jamaica (21-22 September). Marine biologists, port state control officers and maritime authorities discussed the practical aspects of risk assessment and PBBS related to ballast water management (BWM) such as exemptions, ship targeting for compliance monitoring and enforcement (CME) or the development of decision support systems (DSS). The event was organized by IMO’s GloBallast project and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica. Antoine Blonce represented IMO.

 

IMO joins Kenya’s World Maritime Day celebrations

21/09/2016 

Kenya has marked this year’s #WorldMaritimeDay with celebrations held in Mombasa, Kenya (20 September). IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu delivered a goodwill message on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, reiterating this year’s World Maritime Day theme – “Shipping: indispensable to the world” – which emphasizes that maritime transport is the backbone of international trade, supplying people all over the world with the commodities, fuel, goods and products that they depend on.

The IMO World Maritime Day 2016 will take place on 29 September and will include an international forum, featuring a panel discussion on global shipping’s future challenges. Information about the day, forum, and resources, including a video message from Secretary-General Lim, can be found here.

Additionally, Mr. Shiundu is visiting various stakeholders in the region in relation to IMO’s technical cooperation activities. He visited the Kenya Maritime Authority, the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) and the Secretariat of the Port Management Association for Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA).

 

Strengthening maritime partnerships to enhance maritime security

21/09/2016 

Strengthening maritime partnerships to enhance maritime security was a core theme of IMO’s Chris Trelawny’s speech delivered at the International Seapower Symposium (22 September) in Newport, Rhode Island.

The symposium looked at future trends in maritime security as it hoped to harness the power of the international community in order to effectively confront common challenges within the maritime domain. Echoing this message, Mr Trelawny referred to enhancement of maritime security as a building block for greater stability on land, making the fullest use of navies as a diplomatic asset within a comprehensive strategy. He concluded his remarks by recognizing the significant contributions of ships from many of the world’s navies and coastguards, who have come to the rescue of migrants in distress at sea, passing on the thanks of IMO Secretary-General Mr Kitack Lim and the IMO membership. 

 

Focus on maritime legal regimes in the Asia Pacific region

21/09/2016 

​IMO has presented the maritime legal regimes with relevance to transnational crime and migration at the third Asia Pacific Workshop on the Law of Armed Conflict at Sea, in Surabaya, Indonesia (21 September). IMO’s Jan de Boer highlighted the importance of various international treaties, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), IMO’s key maritime safety convention SOLAS, as well as other related instruments regarding search and rescue, salvage, facilitation of maritime traffic, and unlawful acts against safety of navigation.
 
This conference is held from 19-23 September and is organized by the Indonesian Navy and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

 

Romania accedes to wreck removal treaty

20/09/2016 

Romania has acceded to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, the IMO treaty providing 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. H.E. Mr. Sorin-Dan Mihalache, Ambassador of Romania to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General and deposited the instrument of ratification (20 September).

 

​Panama accedes to ship recycling convention

19/09/2016 

​IMO's efforts to promote safe and environmentally sound ship recycling received a boost today with Panama becoming the 5th State to accede to the Hong Kong Convention. The Convention covers the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships.

H.E. Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Panama to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession to the Convention today (19 September).

 

France accedes to treaty relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea

19/09/2016 

France has acceded to the 2002 Athens Protocol, the IMO treaty providing for the compulsory insurance to cover passengers on ships. The Protocol raises the limits of liability and introduces other mechanisms to assist passengers in obtaining compensation, based on well-accepted principles applied in existing liability and compensation regimes.

The Permanent Representative of France to IMO, H.E. Nicole Taillefer met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (19 September) to deposit the instrument of accession.

 

IMO attending key UN migrants summit

19/09/2016 

IMO is at the high-level UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants being held at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States (19 September). A number of IMO treaties include provisions relating to migration by sea. These include SOLAS chapter V on Safety of Navigation, which requires the master of a ship at sea able to provide assistance to persons that are in distress at sea, to do so regardless of the nationality or status of such persons or the circumstances in which they are found. Guidance on the legal framework for rescue at sea has been prepared by IMO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and UNHCR.  IMO has produced a series of three short films examining unsafe mixed migration by sea. The films explore the following perspectives:  “The migrants’ story”, “The rescuers’ story” and “The international response”. Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation, is in New York representing IMO. The UN General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for refugees and migrants, which refers to the pledge to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.  

Addressing Round Table 6 of the summit, on “Addressing vulnerabilities of refugees and migrants on their journeys from their countries of origin to their countries of arrival”, Mr Trelawny noted that IMO Member States recognized that using the search and rescue systems enshrined in the SOLAS and SAR conventions to respond to mass mixed migration was neither foreseen nor intended. Although Governments and the merchant shipping industry would continue to rescue operations, safe, legal, alternative pathways to migration must be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea if necessary. He also asked the meeting to record the thanks of the IMO Membership to the search and rescue authorities, navies and coastguards, as well as to the Masters of the hundreds of merchant ships diverted from going about their lawful occasions to rescue mixed migrants, with attendant risks to the seafarers concerned. 

 

Addressing dumping at sea

19/09/2016 

​Parties to the treaties which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea are meeting at IMO Headquarters this week (19-23 September). The meeting is expected to finalize a strategic plan to encourage ratification of the London Protocol; consider updated and Revised Specific Guidelines for the assessment of vessels; and finalize the 25-year scientific review of all radioactive wastes and other radioactive matter. Delegates will also celebrate 20 years of the London Convention, since it was adopted in 1996. The thirty-eighth Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and the 11th Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Protocol were opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The meeting is being chaired by Dr. Gi-Hoon Hong (Republic of Korea). (photos here)

 

Understanding fouling

16/09/2016 

A national workshop on the impacts of anti-fouling systems and of ships’ biofouling has been held in Mauritius (14-16 September). The workshop raised awareness of the issues and developed capacity for the ratification and implementation of the anti-fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and the implementation of the Biofouling Guidelines. Participants gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the AFS Convention, and implementing the Biofouling Guidelines, including class-based work and a site visit. The workshop was funded by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Fund and was held on the request of the Government of Mauritius. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis was at the workshop, which was opened by the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo.

 

Jordan ratifies wreck removal treaty

16/09/2016 

IMO’s work to provide uniform international rules for the prompt and effective removal of wrecks received a boost with Jordan becoming the 30th State to ratify the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. The 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. H.E Mr Mazen Homoud, Ambassador of Jordan to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and deposited the instrument of ratification (September 16).

 

Indispensable shipping highlighted at Georgia Maritime Forum

16/09/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has emphasized the importance of shipping and the need to ensure healthy oceans at the Georgia International Maritime Forum (GIMF) in Batumi (12-16 September). Mr. Lim praised the Forum’s contribution to the global discussion taking place around IMO’s World Maritime Day theme “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, and emphasized that maritime transport is the backbone of international trade – supplying people all over the world with the commodities, fuel, goods and products that they depend on. Mr. Lim also opened a one-day Seminar on Maritime Transport Policy for Senior Maritime Transport Officials held alongside the GIMF, involving senior maritime transport officials from the littoral States of the Black and Caspian Seas and Moldova.

The IMO World Maritime Day 2016 will take place on 29 September and will include an international forum, featuring a panel discussion on global shipping’s future challenges. Information about the day, forum, and resources, including a video message from Secretary-General Lim, can be found here.

 

​Developing national maritime transport policies

15/09/2016 ​​Practical guidance on how to develop, adopt and update national maritime transport policy was the focus for a one-day seminar in Batumi, Georgia (14 September), aimed at senior maritime transport officials from the littoral States of the Black and Caspian Seas and Moldova. The seminar forms part of an on-going pilot project being rolled out by IMO on na-tional maritime transport policy development. A series of workshops and seminars have been held worldwide, to trial a maritime transport policy training package which is being developed by IMO and the World Maritime University (WMU) in order to provide training to interested IMO Member States in the development, adoption and updating of such policies, which are seen as key to a coordinated and integrated approach to maritime transport. The training package is expected to be finalized by the end of 2016. The Seminar was organized by IMO in cooperation with the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia and with the involvement of WMU. It was held in conjunction with the Georgia International Maritime Forum (GIMF) 2016 which also took place in Batumi this week. Twenty participants from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine attended the Seminar together with four other GIMF 2016 participants (from Kenya and Malaysia) who attended as observers.​ 

Next steps in IMO’s energy efficiency training

13/09/2016 

IMO is continuing its work to support developing countries to prevent air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ships with a global training exercise held in Batumi, Georgia (12-14 September). Participants are being trained to use three new draft guides, specifically developed under IMO’s GloMEEP project in collaboration with IMArEST, which cover i) rapid assessment for determining the country maritime energy efficiency and emissions status, ii) maritime energy efficiency strategy development, and iii) incorporation of MARPOL Annex VI into national law.

Thirty-seven participants from all 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries* are taking part in the exercise, which will lay the foundation for further work in the countries going forward. Countries will develop their own national reports that clarify their status on maritime energy efficiency and emissions from ships; set out national maritime energy efficiency strategies and policies; and lay out draft national legislation covering MARPOL Annex VI.

IMO is represented by Jose Matheickal, Edmund Hughes, Aicha Cherif and Astrid Dispert.

*Argentina, China, Georgia, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Morocco, Panama, Philippines and South Africa.

 

Cooperation key to enhancing maritime security in Indian Ocean

09/09/2016 

Further cooperation on maritime security in the western Indian Ocean area was discussed between members of IMO Secretariat and staff from the EU Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO).  The talk focused on cooperation with Member States to enhance information sharing in the region.

They also discussed an EU-funded project to develop an Indian Ocean regional information sharing and crisis management network (IORIS-CMN). In addition, maritime security and maritime law enforcement beyond the Djibouti Code of Conduct and joint IMO/EU support to maritime security training in the region were highlighted during the meeting.

 

Supporting maritime women of the Caribbean

08/09/2016 

Work to support women in the Caribbean maritime industry is underway with the first conference of the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC) taking place in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (5-9 September). Under the theme "Charting the course for generations of women" the conference is drafting a strategic and regional agenda to support WiMAC’s mission to foster the development and participation of women in the maritime sector and contribute to the growth of the industry within the region.

Some 75 representatives from the port and maritime authorities and shipping associations of the Caribbean are attending. The agenda includes an outreach and mentoring programme that reaches out to over 250 students from six schools in Grand Cayman. The Conference is being run by IMO and the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, and supported by the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA).

This conference is the latest in a line of IMO activities that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number five (SDG 5), which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Find out more about women in the maritime industry via the IMO website here.

 

Boosting maritime security in Cameroon

08/09/2016 

​An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place in Yaoundé, Cameroon (6-8 September) for participants from a range of government departments and national agencies, including the Maritime Authority. The exercise encourages a multi-agency, whole of government approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. A range of evolving scenarios are being used to stimulate discussions and demonstrate the need for cooperation amongst government departments and agencies.

This is the 17th IMO-led table top exercise to be held in West Africa and the ninth table-top exercise to be held in Francophone Africa. The exercise is being conducted by a team of maritime security consultants and hosted by the Cameroon Ministry of Defence. IMO is represented by Salma Hassam.

 

Nairobi wreck removal convention explained

07/09/2016 

The IMO treaty covering wreck removal is on the agenda at the 7th Maritime Salvage and Casualty Response Conference in London (7-8 September). IMO’s Jan de Boer gave an insight into the Organization’s Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention, which provides the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of navigation, the marine environment as well as the coastline or related interests.
 
The treaty also provides uniform international rules for the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond territorial seas, and optional application of the rules in countries’ territories, including territorial seas.
 
Speaking at a special session on factors affecting the overall insurance market and concerns for shipowners, Mr. De Boer also gave an overview of the strict shipowner liability for the costs of locating, marking and removal of hazardous wrecks and compulsory insurance to cover liability under the Convention.

 

Students to learn about maritime security

07/09/2016 

Students at the World Maritime University can now learn about IMO measures on maritime security as part of a three-week course (29 August-16 September) titled 'Maritime Security Issues in International Law'. The lectures are aimed at Masters and PhD students wishing to deepen their knowledge on topics such as counter-piracy law, arms on board, policy and operations and other security threats. Chris Trelawny, IMO’s special adviser on maritime security will be giving students insights on the Organization’s perspective on how to deal with such complex issues.

 

Supporting development in Africa

06/09/2016 

IMO’s efforts to build maritime capacity in Africa have been given impetus by the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration by the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), which met in Nairobi, Kenya (27-28 August). The Declaration makes specific mention of the importance of maritime issues, particularly the importance of promoting regional and international efforts related to maritime security, including piracy, illegal fishing and other maritime crimes. The Declaration also underscores the importance of strengthening maritime security and safety through international and regional cooperation, as reflected in 2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy). IMO participated actively in collaboration with the African Union in the development of the 2050 AIM Strategy, which aims to foster more wealth creation from Africa’s oceans, seas and inland waterways by developing a thriving maritime economy and realizing the full potential of sea-based activities in an environmentally sustainable manner. IMO’s William Azuh and Juvenal Shiundu attended TICAD VI. The next TICAD VII meeting will be held in Japan in 2019.

 

Addressing hazardous cargoes

05/09/2016 

The safe carriage of potentially dangerous cargoes is the focus for the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), which is meeting for its 3rd session (5-9 September) at IMO Headquarters. High on the agenda are safety concerns related to cargoes that may liquefy, such as bauxite and coal, with revised/new schedules for carriage being considered. The Sub-Committee is also expected to finalize draft interim recommendations for the carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk and further develop provisions for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel, as well as consider draft amendments to the gas and low-flashpoint fuels code (IGF Code) relating to fuel cells.

The CCC agenda includes the regular updating of two IMO codes used daily by seafarers and shippers, who depend on their provisions for the safe carriage of the pertinent cargoes: the meeting will review the set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2017) to the code for the safe carriage of solid bulk cargoes  (IMSBC Code) and initiate the next set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2018) to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code. The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. (Photos here)

 

Protecting marine biodiversity

01/09/2016 

A high-level meeting working on a legal instrument to protect marine biological diversity has heard how IMO measures are effectively implemented on the high seas.

Biological diversity in the world’s oceans is under threat from many areas today. Climate change, pollution, acidification, seabed mining, over-exploitation of fish stocks and invasive alien species all threaten marine life. The pressures are particularly high in coastal areas, but in the high seas - areas beyond national jurisdiction – although pressures are less, there can be gaps in the legal regime as well as problems surrounding compliance and enforcement.

To address this issue, the General Assembly of the United Nations is developing a legally-binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Among other things, it will cover the sustainable use of ocean resources in order to protect and preserve marine biodiversity.

During a preparatory meeting, at UN Headquarters in New York (26 August-9 September), IMO, with representatives from two Member states (Liberia and Sweden) and the shipping industry, has given a presentation on how its regulations for shipping are currently enforced in areas beyond national jurisdiction through a well-functioning structure and organisation; and how many of these regulations actively contribute to the conservation of marine biological diversity.

 

Minding your language

01/09/2016 

English is the language of the shipping industry and the ability to communicate effectively in English is therefore vital to safe ship operation and the protection of the marine environment from shipping.

IMO is currently running a week-long (29 August – 2 September) training course for instructors in maritime English at the Regional Academy of Marine Sciences and Technologies in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Training in English is a requirement of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, which sets international standards of competence for seafarers.

The course is being conducted by Associate Professor Clive Cole of the World Maritime University, based in Sweden, and Ms. Alison Noble of the Maritime Academy of Antwerp, Belgium. Participants from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Senegal, and Togo. 

 

Keeping up with MARPOL

31/08/2016 

A training seminar on the MARPOL Convention is being held in Bangkok, Thailand (29 August to 2 September), to keep stakeholders in the region aware of the latest amendments to the convention.  48 participants from 13 countries are attending the seminar which is being hosted by the Marine Department of Thailand.

Special focus will be placed on the mandatory application of the Implementation of IMO Instruments Code and the Polar Code.

The seminar is supported by the Maritime and Ports Authority of Singapore together with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. For the first time, it will feature an internet-led session, part of a new initiative pioneered by IMO to deliver more training modules in this way.

 

Marine Accident Investigators’ International Forum opens in Hamburg

31/08/2016 

A week-long meeting (25 August – 2 September) to foster cooperation and communication between international marine accident investigators has opened in Hamburg.

The meeting will examine the skills and tools necessary to carry out marine safety investigations and encourage participants to share lessons learned from the many investigations carried out over the years. Topics of discussion include: safety on passenger cruise vessels; challenges associated with very large container vessels (VLCVs); best practice developments in accident investigation; bridge communications; and, man-machine interface.

With such a variety of topics, participants will gain an invaluable opportunity to keep abreast of developments in the field of safety investigation. 

Ashok Mahapatra, Director of IMO’s Maritime Safety Division, delivered a keynote address to some 60 members representing 35 national marine investigation organizations. The meeting "which is also celebrating its 25th year" is being hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.  

 

Supporting the human element

30/08/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has delivered the keynote address at the International Safety@Sea Conference in Singapore (30 August). In his address, he referred to the central role of the human element in maritime navigation, even in the light of new technology which is steering the industry increasingly in the direction of “smart ships”.

The event, organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, is focussed on building a resilient safety at sea culture. Mr Lim said that, although technology may help seafarers by offering even greater support to their decision making, ships will always require human oversight.

 

Nigeria to train more staff on port security

30/08/2016 

A training exercise aimed at ensuring Nigeria continues its high level of compliance and implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security(ISPS) Code is underway in Lagos, Nigeria (29 August – 2 September).

The course, organized in conjunction with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), is the first of a three-phase training programme based on the outcomes of a needs-assessment mission conducted by IMO in January this year. It is aimed at officials who have a working knowledge of the ISPS Code and port operations, Port Facilities Security Officers (PFSOs) and other NIMASA staff responsible for implementation of the ISPS Code.

The course also aims to provide technical assistance in order to support NIMASA’s existing maritime security programme.


 

South Asian countries meet to finalize regional oil and chemical spill contingency plan

24/08/2016 

A meeting to update South Asia’s regional plan for oil and chemical pollution preparedness and response is underway in Male, Maldives (22-25 August). Senior officials from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are sharing their national experiences and consolidating updates to the plan with a view to finalizing it. The event includes a regional training workshop on hazardous and noxious substance (HNS) spills preparedness and response. Moving forward, the participants will also identify future training needs and develop a three-year training programme to enhance the region’s spill preparedness and response capacity.

The meeting is the final activity of a project financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), implemented by IMO through its regional partner – the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP). The project’s overall objective is to implement two key IMO treaties covering pollution prevention – the OPRC Convention and the OPRC-HNS Protocol in the South Asia region.

The event is hosted by the Maldives Transport Authority, with support from the SACEP Secretariat. The Minister of State for Economic Development of the Maldives, H.E. Mr. Abdul Latheef Mohamed, opened the meeting, and emphasized the importance of addressing oil and chemical spill issues for the region and the need for enhanced regional cooperation. Experts from ITOPF, CEDRE and OSRL are also participating, along with a team from IMO’s Marine Environment Division, which includes Jose Matheickal, Yasuhiro Urano and John Alonso. 

 

South Africa workshop promotes ship energy efficiency

23/08/2016 

An IMO workshop is raising awareness of the Organization’s regulatory regime dealing with improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships. Participants from South African governmental departments and other related bodies are in attendance at the three-day “MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Durban, South Africa (23-25 August). The event is the latest in a series of workshops organized under IMO’s GloMEEP project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping in developing countries. South Africa is one of the 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries.

A total of 25 participants from the Department of Transport, Department of Energy, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Transnet National Port Authority and others are taking part in the event.

IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

South Africa ratifies treaty covering fishing vessel safety

19/08/2016 

Efforts to increase global fishing vessel safety have received a boost with South Africa becoming the seventh State to ratify the 2012 Cape Town Agreement. The treaty, which implements the Torremolinos Protocol, covers various important safety requirements including radiocommunications, life-saving appliances and arrangements, and emergency procedures, musters and drills. The Agreement will enter into force 12 months after it has been ratified by 22 States which, collectively, have 3600 or more fishing vessels of at least 24 metres in length operating on the high seas.

Mr. Peace Kennedy, Counsellor at the South African High Commission in London, presented the instrument of ratification to IMO Senior Legal Officer Jan De Boer at IMO Headquarters, London (19 August).

 

Madagascar workshop promotes dumping of wastes at sea regulations

12/08/2016 

A national workshop promoting the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea, the London Protocol, is being held in Antananarivo, Madagascar (11-12 August). The workshop, the first of its kind held in the country, is raising awareness of the regulatory framework provided by the Protocol. It is thereby supporting Madagascar in protecting its marine environment from the dumping of wastes and other matter at sea.

The London Protocol, which this year commemorates its twentieth anniversary, has 47 contracting States to-date and is the subject of increasing interest among many countries in Africa and Asia.

The event is hosted by the Ports, Maritime and Rivers Agency of Madagascar (APMF) with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada. Edward Kleverlaan is representing IMO.

 

Website launched for GloMEEP energy efficiency project

04/08/2016 

IMO’s continuing efforts to promote environmentally sound shipping received a boost today with the launch of Glomeep.imo.org. The new website provides important information and updates on the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) project – a GEF-UNDP-IMO initiative that supports the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. A key feature of the site is an information portal on energy efficiency technologies – covering areas such as machinery, propulsion and hull improvements, and energy recovery.

The portal builds on the work undertaken by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to promote technical cooperation and technology transfer relating to improving the energy efficiency of ships.

In addition to today’s website launch (4 August), the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has joined the GloMEEP project as its third strategic partner, joining the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), (find out more here).

 

IMO’s maritime security work highlighted

03/08/2016 

Recent security exercises in the English Channel involving military personnel on board ships have sparked heightened media interest in maritime security in the region. As a result, IMO’s work in this field has been highlighted on the UK news channel Sky News (2 August) by Chris Trelawny, IMO Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation. Asked about ferry security in the context of terrorism, Mr. Trelawny told the programme that “IMO has developed a range of guidance and measures to protect shipping, and to protect the ports serving shipping – including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code”. Watch extended clips of the interview here and here.

Mr. Trelawny went on to explain that the ISPS Code sets out a series of practical measures that ships and ports can take to prevent acts of terrorism from taking place, which fits into the United Nations counter-terrorism strategy and national protection strategies.

 

Guatemala accedes to convention covering civil liability for oil pollution damage

02/08/2016 

Guatemala has become the 136th State to accede to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC 1992 Protocol). The Convention ensures that adequate compensation is available to people who suffer oil pollution damage from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships, and places liability on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged. H.E. Mr. Acisclo Valladares Molina, Ambassador of Guatemala to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (2 August) to deposit the instrument of accession.

 

Mozambique workshop supports seafarer training and assessment

28/07/2016 

An IMO-led workshop in Maputo, Mozambique is supporting countries in south-eastern Africa in implementing the STCW Convention, which establishes international standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. The workshop (25-29 July) is familiarizing maritime administrations and maritime training institutes with all recent amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, including the 2010 Manila Amendments, and supports maritime training institutions in the region to improve teaching and assessment of seafarers in accordance with the Convention.

The workshop is organized by IMO and hosted by the Mozambique National Maritime Authority (INAMAR) for 10 international delegates from Cabo Verde, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and 14 participants from Mozambique.

 

Protecting sensitive sea areas in south-east Asia

27/07/2016 

​Further progress towards identifying and designating Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) in south-east Asia has been made during a regional meeting in Lombok, Indonesia (27-28 July). Some 30 participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam and observers from Singapore met to identify any gaps in knowledge in potential areas to be selected and proposed to be designated as a PSSA by IMO. They also discussed additional assistance which may be required in developing final submissions to IMO. Participants were also introduced to the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) risk management toolbox, which is a modelling tool used to assess risk of collisions and groundings in a particular sea area.

The Third Regional Meeting on the Identification and Designation of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) in the ASEAN Sub-Region involving Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam was organized under the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and funded through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

 

Supporting maritime security in Mauritius

27/07/2016 

​​An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place in Mauritius (26-27 July) for participants from around 20 government agencies. The exercise is highlighting the need for an integrated national approach to implementation of maritime security measures, with particular reference to IMO's Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention and International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code. The exercise involves a range of security and related scenarios involving policy decisions, crisis/emergency management and response. Participants are jointly identifying areas of improvement, including future areas of assistance from IMO and other development partners.

This is the sixth in a series of IMO maritime security exercise held in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden region since late 2015, with IMO having completed similar exercises in Djibouti, Maldives, Mozambique, Kenya and the Seychelles. It was launched by the Hon. Premduth Koonjoo, Mauritius’ Minister for Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands. IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants.​

 

Mixed migration by sea on agenda at Jakarta workshop

27/07/2016 

​Migration should be managed so that migrants are not put in the dangerous position of having to be rescued at sea. This was the message of IMO’s Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation, speaking at the “Maritime Security and Migrant Protection in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea” workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia (26-27 July). Addressing the point that merchant ships are not designed for mass rescue, Mr. Trelawny said that rescues will continue, but safe, legal, alternative pathways to migration must be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea, if necessary.

Recognizing that the business model for mixed migration by sea in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea differs from that in the Mediterranean, some of the regional maritime security and counter piracy strategies developed by IMO Member States could be useful in addressing mixed migration by sea, Mr. Trelawny said.

A range of international instruments apply to migrants and refugees in the maritime domain. These come under the auspices of different United Nations bodies and international organizations, and include UNCLOS; the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and human rights and refugee law under OHCHRUNHCR and IOM.

Additionally, a number of IMO treaties include provisions relating to migration by sea. These include SOLAS chapter V on Safety of Navigation, which requires the master of a ship at sea able to provide assistance to persons that are in distress at sea, to do so regardless of the nationality or status of such persons or the circumstances in which they are found.

The Jakarta meeting was organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM)​ which will shortly become a Related Organization of the United Nations.

 

IMO workshop in Morocco promotes energy efficiency measures

21/07/2016 

An IMO workshop is raising awareness of the organization’s regulatory regime dealing with improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships. Participants from Moroccan governmental departments, port authorities and maritime training institutes are attending the three-day “MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Rabat, Morocco (19-21 July). The event is the latest in a line of workshops organized under IMO’s GloMEEP project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping in developing countries. Morocco is one of the 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries.

Additionally, Morocco is holding the First National Task Force meeting (21 July) to endorse the National Work Plan of activities under the GloMEEP project for the coming two years, which will include decisions on which bodies will be responsible for different GloMEEP activities.​

 

​Sub-Committee on implementation meets

18/07/2016 

​The third session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) has been opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The agenda includes the regular casualty analysis work to review marine safety investigation report and produce lessons learned from marine casualties; the review of port State control procedures and the updates to the survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) and the non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code). The meeting is also expected to review consolidated audit summary reports (based on voluntary Member State audits carried out before the scheme became mandatory this year). The session (18-22 July) is being chaired by Captain Dwain Hutchinson (Bahamas). Click for photos.

 

Somalia stakeholders forum reviews maritime code

15/07/2016 

​The revised Somalia Maritime Code is being finalized at a four-day Stakeholders Forum, sponsored by IMO (Kigali, Rwanda 12-15 July). The workshop is part of IMO’s ongoing technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia and regional authorities in establishing a Maritime Administration for Somalia capable of undertaking flag, port and coastal states duties in line with IMO instruments. The revised Code reflects developments in international maritime law and best practices and as such provides the necessary legal backing for the effective functioning of the Somalia National Maritime Administration.

The forum is being attended by 25 legal and maritime experts from Somalia, led by the Minister of Ports and Marine Transport of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hon. Nur Farah Hersi.

The official Launch of the review process took place in Mogadishu, Somalia (10 July) and was organised by IMO with support from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM). During the launch, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, HE Mohamed Omar Arte, hailed the move as a milestone in re-positioning the country to take full advantage of its extensive littoral heritage covering more than 3,300 kilometers of coastline, one of the longest in Africa. In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked IMO for its technical assistance thus far, and welcomed the prospect of further assistance from IMO to meet the country’s maritime capacity challenges.
 
IMO’s William Azuh (Head, Africa Section, TCD), Kiruja Micheni (Project Officer, Djibouti Code of Conduct, MSD), Purity Thirimu (Principal Progamme Assistant, TCD) and Alexander Buabeng (Maritime Legislation consultant) are in Kigali supporting the Stakeholders Forum.
 
The IMO programme for Somalia on the establishment of a National Maritime Administration started in 2014. IMO has worked with officials in Somalia to develop policy framework and draft regulations for the establishment of a national Maritime Administration and to produce the draft revised Somalia Maritime Code. Last year, IMO conducted a workshop on coastal State, flag State and port State responsibilities to prepare selected Somali officials to participate effectively during the stakeholder reviews of the Maritime Code and the establishment of the Department of Maritime Administration (Nairobi, Kenya, 19-23 Nov 2015).

 

Promoting facilitation in Fiji

15/07/2016 

​A National Seminar on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic is being held in Suva, Fiji (13-15 July). The event aims to assist Fiji to more effectively implement the Convention of Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) and to advise on the recently-adopted amendments to the Annex to the FAL Convention. The seminar has been organized by IMO and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), and is being attended by 26 participants from ministries with responsibilities in the clearance of ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports of Fiji, and private stakeholders*. IMO is represented by Julian Abril.

*Participants included those from Fiji Police Force, RFMF Navy, Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration, Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority, Ministry of Health & Medical Services, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, Safenav Maritime Pilots, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ship & Cargo Surveyors, Shipping Companies and Pacific Community (SPC).

 

​GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships listed for global award

13/07/2016 

​IMO’s GloBallast programme has been selected as a finalist in the environment category of a major global award. The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme has been working (2008-2016) to build capacity to address the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens between marine ecosystems through ships’ ballast water and sediments, one of the greatest threats to the world’s coastal and marine environments. GloBallast has been active in more than 70 countries to support national and regional capacity to ratify and implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria. The programme has also established a Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosecurity to catalyze and promote new technological solutions to the ballast water problem; raised awareness through video and other materials; organized six international R&D Fora; and facilitated training through practical workshops and online modules. The final winners of the prestigious Lloyd's List Global Awards will be announced in September 2016.   

The GloBallast programme has won a number of international awards. Most recently, IMO presented the “Glo-X” partnerships model, based on the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, which won the best Portfolio Solution Award at the 8th International Waters Conference (IWC8) organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Negombo, Sri Lanka (9-13 May). The award was given for the project with the best strategy for scaling-up investments aimed at addressing global environmental issues facing international waters, including the oceans. 

 

Eurasia transport and logistics meeting

13/07/2016 

The role of shipping and ports as part of an integrated transport system was on the agenda at the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Eurasia Expert Group Meeting on Transport and Logistics in Seoul, Republic of Korea (11-13 July). During the session on facilitation, IMO’s Chris Trelawny outlined IMO’s long term strategy, which is focussed on helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting trade by sea, enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators, and developing a sustainable blue economy, underpinned by good maritime security. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and organized by the Korea Transport Institute. 

 

Myanmar accedes to CLC Protocol

12/07/2016 

​​Myanmar has deposited its instrument of accession to the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC). The efforts to bring the legislation into national law followed the participation of Myanmar at a five-day workshop hosted by IMO in November 2015, during which Government officials from Myanmar gained insight into IMO treaties on liability and compensation and the benefits, rights and obligations of Parties to these conventions.

Mr. Kyaw Htin Lin, Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in the United Kingdom accompanied by Ms. Wai Wai Lin, 1st Secretary and Ms. Zin May Hnin, 2nd Secretary deposited the instrument with Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, acting on behalf of the IMO Secretary-General.  

 

Germany accedes to treaty covering fishing vessel safety

05/07/2016 

IMO’s work to enhance fishing vessel safety received a boost today when Germany became the sixth State to accede to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement. The Agreement involves a basic set of safety measures for larger high seas fishing vessels, covering issues such as stability, construction and protection of crews and will enter into force 12 months after 22 States express their consent to be bound by it. These States must have a minimum of 3,600 fishing vessels of at least 24 meters in length operating on the high seas.

The agreement intends to bring into force amendments to update the provisions of the 1993 Torremolinos fishing vessel safety protocol and thereby provide a mandatory global regime for fishing vessel safety. 

H.E. Dr. Peter Ammon, Germany's Ambassador to the UK and Permanent Representative of Germany to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Lim today (5 July) to hand over the instrument of accession.

 

Council meeting

04/07/2016 

The IMO Council is meeting for its 116th session (4-8 July), chaired by Mr Jeffrey G. Lantz (United States). The 40-Member Council is expected to review the work of the Organization since its last session and consider strategy and policy matters. The Council will also select the World Maritime Day theme for 2017 and choose the recipients of two IMO awards: the 2016 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea and the 2015 International Maritime Prize. (click for photos)

 

Supporting sustainable maritime security in Jamaica

01/07/2016 

A table-top exercise on maritime security has been held in Kingston, Jamaica (30 June-1 July), organized by IMO in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The exercise was aimed at stimulating discussions and demonstrating the need for cooperation amongst government departments and agencies using a range of evolving scenarios related to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. Scenarios covered included threats to cruise ships, border security issues involving ports, airports and land border crossings, incidents potentially involving weapons of mass destruction, security-related health crisis, environmental threats such as oil spills, maritime safety inspections and dealing with illicit drugs’ consignments.

The event was organized to assist the Government of Jamaica in strengthening national implementation of aspects of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) that fall within the scope of IMO maritime security measures, including those under SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code and the SUA treaties covering the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation. Resolution 1540 (2004) addresses the threat of proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, including illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, to non-State actors, their means of delivery and related materials.

The exercise follows a series of similar events in other countries in the Caribbean region, conducted by IMO and UNLIREC. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

Global celebration of Day of the Seafarer

27/06/2016 

Millions of people around the world celebrated the Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, under the campaign theme, #AtSeaForAll. Across social media, the message that seafarers are indispensable to the world gained momentum in 165 countries across all the continents. A Twitter Thunderclap reached nearly 13 million people. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim celebrated the day at a special Day of the Seafarer event in Manila, Philippines  (see photos here). Mr Lim hailed the seafarers who are the “beating heart” of the shipping world and who quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion. More than 12,000 people have taken part in a fun, interactive quiz, which is still available on the IMO website and the online “Photo Wall’ is open for new photos. IMO videos, including the Day of the Seafarer message and a series of short interviews about a day in a seafarer’s life, can be viewed here.  IMO's new Instagram account can be followed here.  

 

United Kingdom first to accept marine geoengineering amendments

24/06/2016 

The United Kingdom has become the first State to formally accept the 2013 marine geoengineering amendments to the 1996 “London Protocol”, the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea. The amendments support the precautionary approach by providing for specific marine geoengineering activities to be permitted only when the activity is assessed as constituting legitimate scientific research.  Currently, only ocean fertilization for research purposes may be permitted. 

Meanwhile, the marine scientific expert group GESAMP is currently undertaking a comprehensive study on marine geoengineering to better understand the potential impacts of proposed marine geoengineering techniques on the marine environment – including social and economic consequences.

The London Protocol entered into force ten years ago, modernizing the original “London Convention” dumping treaty by prohibiting all dumping at sea with the exception of wastes commonly agreed by Governments and then put on an approved list.

IMO Directors Frederick Kenney (Legal and External Relations Division) and Stefan Micallef (Marine Environment Division) welcomed Mr. Alan Beckwith, from the Treaty Section of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office, who handed over the instrument of acceptance of the amendment at IMO Headquarters, London, today (24 June).

This amendment forms an important part of a series of efforts by Contracting Parties to the London Convention and Protocol to address climate change. Already in 2006, the LP Contracting Parties took ground-breaking steps to provide a global regulatory framework for climate change mitigation, when they adopted amendments regulate carbon capture and sequestration in sub-sea geological formations. The 2006 amendments, which have entered into force for all Parties, created a legal basis in international environmental law to regulate carbon capture and storage in sub-seabed geological formations for permanent isolation.

 

Promoting national maritime transport policy in Saint Lucia

23/06/2016 

​A national workshop in Saint Lucia has brought together participants from various Government bodies and other stakeholders to discuss the development of a national maritime transport policy. The workshop is aimed at highlighting the promotion and development of such a policy as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and relevant legislative action. IMO is running the workshop (22-24 June) in close cooperation with the Saint Lucia Airports and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) and the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to IMO.

The workshop forms part of IMO’s initiative to assist IMO Member States, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDs) and Least Developing Countries (LDCs), to develop national maritime transport policy, with a view to ensuring a sustainable maritime transport system and facilitate the achievement of the maritime related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

World Maritime University Associate Professors Patrick Donner and George Theocharidis are delivering the workshop, with support from IMO’s Jonathan Pace and Nicolaos Charalambous.

On the margins of the workshop, Mr Charalambous and Mr Pace met the Hon Mr Stevenson King, the newly-appointed Minister of Infrastructure, Ports and Labour of Saint Lucia and Ms Allison Jean, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry. During the meeting, which was also attended by Mr Tafawa Williams, Alternate Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to IMO, the two sides discussed the maritime IMO-related priorities of Saint Lucia and possible areas where IMO may be able to assist the maritime development of the Island by providing technical assistance or fellowships for studies of qualified candidates at IMO’s international training institutes, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

The IMO team also met other officials, including Mr Julian Dubois, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Keigan Cox, General Manager of SLASPA, and Mr Christopher Alexander, Director, Maritime Affairs at SLASPA and discussed similar issues.

 

Bangladesh ship recycling project makes good progress

21/06/2016 

​Stakeholders have been updated on progress made by the safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC) project - Phase I, which is being executed and implemented by IMO and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), in partnership with the Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh and Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS). At a recent workshop (15 June), updates were given on the various parts of phase I of the project, including completion or near completion of various studies and ongoing training activities. The Dissemination Workshop was jointly organized by the IMO, Ministry of Industries, Bangladesh and Secretariat of BRS, It was followed by a meeting of the Project Steering Committee and Executive Committee, under the chairmanship of Ms. Parag, Acting Secretary, Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh (16 June).

The SENSREC project was launched in January 2015 and aims to improve safety and environmental standards within the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh. The first phase is expected to be completed by December 2016.   

 

Learning about the legal framework of wreck removal

20/06/2016 

The legal and operational aspects of wreck removal incidents are on the agenda at the “Wreck Removal Contracts & Operations Seminar” in London, United Kingdom (20-21 June). IMO’s Jan de Boer of the Legal Affairs Office gave an insight into the Organization’s Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention, which 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, and optional application of the rules in countries’ territories, including territorial seas.

Mr. De Boer covered the operational actions which led to the need for international ruling, the necessity of a unifying legal framework for States to act upon, and the duties of the shipowner and rights of the authority under the convention.  He also covered the process of filling in the legal gaps and complementing the prior legal framework.

The event is organized by Lloyd’s Maritime Academy.

 

Cooperation to enhance maritime security in west and central Africa

20/06/2016 

Maritime security experts have met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (15-17 June) to share expertise on how cooperation on maritime surveillance monitoring and communication systems in the South Atlantic can benefit countries in west and central Africa. Delegates from 11 African countries, the Brazilian Navy and various African regional organizations and other countries shared their experiences and challenges in enhancing maritime security, with a view to improving maritime security through better maritime governance, maritime situation awareness and cooperation across the South Atlantic.

The meeting also discussed the institutional framework required to foster maritime governance and security in the South Atlantic. IMO and the Brazilian Navy co-sponsored an “Experts Panel meeting on Maritime Security in the South Atlantic” – a follow-up meeting to the Situational Awareness Workshop also held in Brazil last year, which sought to identify opportunities for technical cooperation, training and assistance to countries which are part of the South Atlantic Maritime Coordination Area.

Additionally, IMO’s Chris Trelawny had the privilege of awarding the prestigious Brazilian Maritime Safety Award, to the Brazilian naval ship corvette Almirante Barroso, which was involved in rescuing 220 immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea in September last year. Gisela Vieira, Maritime Safety Division, joined Mr. Trelawny in representing IMO at the various activities.

 

Sustainable use of the oceans

20/06/2016 

IMO will have an important contribution to make to the UN 2017 Oceans Conference, which is being co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden from 5 to 9 June 2017 and aims to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development). Through the development of global standards to ensure shipping does not adversely impact the environment and through its extensive technical cooperation programme, IMO supports the aims and objectives of SDG 14.

Preparations for the 2017 Oceans Conference were discussed when Stefan Micallef, IMO’s Director, Marine Environment Division, met the representative of the co-host, H.E. Ambassador Mr Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations and President-elect for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (16 June). 

 

​IMO Secretary-General in Romania

17/06/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the crucial work of maritime training institutes to train and equip new generations of seafarers and other shipping personnel, during a visit (16 June) to the Romanian Maritime Training Centre CERONAV, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. During the formal festivities, Mr Lim congratulated CERONAV for its work in training seafarers during the past four decades and commended Romania for its active and enthusiastic participation in the IMO Maritime Ambassadors Scheme, with the appointment of three Romanian IMO Maritime Ambassadors, who are helping to promote seafaring as a career and raise the visibility of the shipping industry.

On Friday (17 June), Mr Lim met Romanian senior Government officials including the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Florin Iordache; the President of the Committee for Infrastructure and Transport in the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Mihai Lupu; the Minister of Transport, Mr Dan Marian Costescu; the State Secretary Mr. Liviu Ionut Mosteanu; along with CERONAV General Manager and Chairman of Board of Directors Mr Ovidiu Sorin Cupşa. 

 

Together towards cleaner oceans

14/06/2016 

​IMO is contributing to a United Nations meeting covering marine debris, plastics and microplastics in New York (13-17 June). Discussions are focusing on information exchange between key players involved in the protection of the marine environment – in the context of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which establishes rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division, took part in a panel on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of marine debris, plastics and microplastics.

He provided an overview of the progress made in preventing, reducing and controlling pollution in this field, including an overview of IMO’s work to address this issue. This includes IMO’s MARPOL convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, which bans the disposal of plastics into the sea from ships and generally prohibits the discharge of all garbage into the sea, except in certain very specific circumstances, and the London Convention/Protocol, which in effect bans the dumping of plastics at sea. The Organization is also a co-lead for sea-based litter in the Global Partnership on Marine Litter and manages the GESAMP group of scientific experts, which studies the impact of microplastics in the marine environment.

In addition to this week’s meeting, Stefan Micallef and Fredrik Haag will represent IMO at the annual face to face meeting of UN-Oceans, where recent progress of joint activities, and the 2016-2017 work programme is being discussed.

 

Peru becomes 51st State to accede to Ballast Water Management Convention

10/06/2016 

Peru has acceded to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention), the IMO treaty designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. This brings the number of States party to the BWM Convention to 51, representing 34.87% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. Ambassador of Peru to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Claudio de la Puente Ribeyro, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO HQ, London (10 June) to hand over the instrument of accession.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has reiterated his request to countries that have not already done so, to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible in order to establish a certain date for entry into force, which will facilitate the work to make any necessary amendments to the Convention.

 

Spreading the word at Posidonia

10/06/2016 

​IMO officials have been prominent at the biennual Posidonia shipping industry trade fair which is taking place this week (6-10 June) in Athens, Greece. Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined Greece’s Prime Minister Tsipras at the formal opening of the event, where he spoke of how shipping is essential to the sustainable development and growth of the global economy and about IMO’s work to ensure that shipping itself reflects the increasingly higher expectations that society now has regarding safety standards and environmental performance.

Later in the week, he spoke at a working lunch at the Piraeus Marine Club and at the Shipowners Forum organized by maritime media specialist Tradewinds.

Elsewhere, IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu gave an update on IMO’s work on environmental issues to a forum organized by the North American Marine Protection Association and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, and participated in a conference entitled “Where is shipping heading after COP21”, organized by the Hellenic Marine Protection Association.

 

Dominican Republic accedes to treaty covering seafarer training

09/06/2016 

The Dominican Republic has today (9 June) acceded to the IMO convention that specifies global standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (the STCW Convention). H.E. Dr. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UK, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO HQ, London to hand over the instrument of accession.

 

Legal Committee begins 103rd session

08/06/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has opened the Legal Committee, 103rd session (8-10 June). Items on the agenda include: facilitation of the entry into force and implementation of the 2010 HNS convention and discussion of future work needed to ensure the fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident. The meeting (photos) will consider a submission requesting the Committee to add to its work programme the development of a new instrument on the foreign judicial sales of ships and their recognition. Another proposal for consideration relates to the delegation of authority to issue certificates under the CLC and HNS Conventions and suggests the development of a single model certificate for all liability conventions. Also on the agenda are liability and compensation issues connected with transboundary pollution damage resulting from offshore oil exploration and exploitation activities.

 

Promoting maritime security in west and central Africa

07/06/2016 

Prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa is on the agenda at a meeting of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea in Lisbon, Portugal (6-7 June). The meeting is focusing on implementation of the Code of Conduct, which was signed by governments in the region, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea.

The meeting will assess future prospects of the implementation process, including efforts of the private sector to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. Additionally, participants will examine international initiatives in the region, including Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIM 2050), the European Union Strategy for the Gulf of Guinea, together with initiatives by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

The Portuguese Presidency of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++ FoGG) is hosting the meeting. IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira.

 

IMO contributes to international port security conference

02/06/2016 

​IMO’s aims of building on existing guidelines and tools to assist in improved implementation of security measures in ports have been outlined at the 7th annual International Port Security conference in London, United Kingdom (1-2 June). Chris Trelawny of the Maritime Safety Division highlighted how improved cooperation between ports and ships will enhance the efficiency of the maritime sector as a whole. He emphasized the importance of working with developed and developing countries, shipping, public and private sector ports in order to promote best practices and build bridges between the diverse sectors.

To-date, IMO’s range of guidance and tools surrounding security measures in ports and port facilities include: model courses for port facility security officers; guidelines on training and certification for port facility security officers; and the Guide to Maritime Security and ISPS Code.

 

Understanding biofouling

02/06/2016 

An IMO workshop in Djibouti (1-2 June) 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 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.

Thirty-four representatives from various authorities and stakeholders in Djibouti participated in the workshop. The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) facilitated the organization of the event, which was hosted by the Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and the Environment of Djibouti. IMO was represented by Markus Helavuori.

 

IMO workshop in China promotes energy efficiency measures

02/06/2016 

An IMO workshop has raised awareness of the organization's regulatory regime dealing with improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships. Participants from Chinese governmental departments, academia and other related bodies attended the three-day "MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer" workshop in Dalian, China (30 May - 1 June). The event was organized under IMO's GloMEEP project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping in developing countries. China is one of the 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries.

The workshop was co-hosted by China MSA and Dalian Maritime University (DMU). Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants represented IMO at the event.

 

International maritime law students graduate

31/05/2016 

The IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) has held its 27th annual Graduation Ceremony at the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, Malta (28 May). Thirty-eight students from 27 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. Speaking at the ceremony, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim heralded the Institute and congratulated the graduates on their achievement. He told them that there were now “oceans of opportunities before them to make their own unique waves in the maritime world as they move onto new and exciting challenges”.

Secretary-General Lim and IMLI Director Professor David Attard were joined at the ceremony by the Honourable Dr. George Vella, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta; the Honourable Mr. Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure of Malta; IMLI graduate Mrs. Joyce Mogtari, Deputy Minister for Transport of Ghana; IMO’s Nicolaos Charalambous, Director, Technical Co-operation Division and Frederick Kenney, Director, IMO Legal Affairs and External Relations Division; members of IMLI’s governing board: Mr. Jim Harrison, Mr. Kofi Mbiah and Mr. Masamichi Hasebe; Mr. Tom Birch Raynardson, Trustee, CMI Charitable Trust; and members of the diplomatic community and  judiciary.

 

Saint Lucia accedes to key marine environment protection treaties

26/05/2016 

Saint Lucia has acceded to four IMO treaties, including important conventions covering ballast water management (BWM Convention) and emissions from ship exhausts and energy efficiency (MARPOL Annex VI). Mr. Tafawa Williams, Alternate Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to IMO, met IMO’s Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, to deposit the instruments of accession, today (26 May). This brings the number of States party to the Ballast Water Management Convention to 50, representing 34.81% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.

The full list of treaties acceded to by Saint Lucia is as follows:

- the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM 2004)

- 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)

- the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (BUNKERS 2001)

- International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F 1995)

 

Viet Nam workshop promotes dumping of wastes at sea regulations

26/05/2016 

A national workshop on the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea, the London Protocol, is being held in Hanoi, Viet Nam (26-27 May). The workshop is raising awareness among stakeholders on the impacts of dumping of wastes and other matters at sea, as well as the regulatory framework provided by the London Protocol. Additionally, participants gained first-hand experience of dredging and disposal activities in a visit to the Lach Hyen Port infrastructure project near Hai Phong.

The workshop is being organized by IMO and the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VINAMARINE) and attended by some 50 participants from various Vietnamese stakeholders at the VINAMARINE headquarters in Hanoi. IMO’s Fredrik Haag is coordinating the event together with two experts from the Korean Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) of the Republic of Korea.

 

Understanding potential impacts of marine geoengineering

25/05/2016 

A new GESAMP working group on marine geoengineering held its first meeting at IMO Headquarters, London, this week (23-25 May). The overall objective of the Working Group (WG 41) is to better understand the potential impacts of proposed marine geoengineering techniques on the marine environment – including social and economic consequences. The Group will also provide advice to the London Protocol Parties to assist them in identifying those marine geoengineering techniques that may be sensible to be considered for listing in the new Annex 4 of the Protocol.

The Working Group, established at the forty-second session of GESAMP, held in Paris last year, is being led by IMO with the support from IOC of UNESCO and WMO. This first, inception meeting, under the chairmanship of Dr. Chris Vivian (United Kingdom) and Professor Philip Boyd (Australia), included scientists from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Group will deliver an initial high level assessment report to the nine UN Sponsoring Agencies which make up GESAMP, in 2017.

 

Implementing environmental treaties in Indonesia

19/05/2016 

​A national implementation workshop has been held in Jakarta, Indonesia (18-19 May), under the auspices of the IMO-Norad environmental project, which is supporting six east Asian countries to prepare for the ratification and implementation of key IMO marine environmental conventions. The Indonesian National Stakeholder Workshop and Project Monitoring Meeting discussed the National Implementation Plans for the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM) and the Anti-fouling Systems Convention (AFS), both of which Indonesia has acceded to. For the BWM convention, the meeting discussed the immediate next steps to develop detailed implementation regulations as well as plans to undertake port biological baseline surveys to support risks assessments and compliance monitoring and enforcement. More than 50 national stakeholders attended the meeting and workshop, which was facilitated by IMO’s Jose Matheickal. Support from the IMO-Norad Project has helped Indonesia to undertake necessary legal, policy and institutional reforms and prepare for the implementation of the BWM Convention, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria.   

 

IMO promotes green shipping at ITF summit

19/05/2016 

​IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted IMO’s work to promote green and sustainable shipping at the ITF Green and Inclusive Transport Summit 2016 in Leipzig, Germany (18-20 May). Mr Lim highlighted mandatory energy efficiency measures already adopted and approved, as well as two major technology programmes to help improve energy efficiency in shipping and help the industry move towards a low-carbon future. During a side event on "Reducing CO2 from shipping: Acting on the Paris Agreement"  Edmund Hughes, Head, Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency at IMO provided information on the work of the Organization to address GHG emissions from ships with a focus on the action taken by IMO to complement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Dr. Hughes reiterated that the challenge is not just one for IMO as the international regulator for shipping industry but extends to ship designers and marine engineers to develop the technological solutions, to those who operate and manage ships, to seafarers and those who educate them and, importantly, to the business of shipping, which needs to ensure that investment in innovative low carbon technologies is properly incentivised.
 
Transport ministers from ITF Member countries attending the summit agreed a declaration on green and inclusive transport. The declaration recognises that growth in the maritime industry highlights the need for enhanced cooperation among transport stakeholders in order to promote the protection of the environment alongside sound framework conditions for the sector through continued collaboration at IMO. 

 

UN meeting promotes technical cooperation

19/05/2016 

​Technical cooperation between developing countries is on the agenda at the United Nations High-Level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation, New York (16-19 May). IMO is participating in the meeting, which is reviewing progress in initiatives such as the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. The event featured a session on cooperation relating to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. IMO continues to link its technical cooperation programme to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 14 on conserving and sustainably using the oceans.

The programme focuses on capacity building and supports the exchange of ideas and networking among maritime administrations and helps foster closer collaboration in the implementation of IMO instruments. IMO is represented by Juvenal Shiundu.

 

IMO workshop promotes energy efficiency measures

18/05/2016 

An IMO workshop is raising awareness of the organization’s regulatory regime dealing with improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships. Participants from Malaysian governmental departments, academia and other related bodies are in attendance at the three-day “MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Johor, Malaysia (16-18 May). The event is organized under IMO’s GloMEEP project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping in developing countries. Malaysia is one of the 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries.

The workshop, which is co-hosted by the Marine Department Malaysia and Johor Port Authority, included an excursion to the container terminal of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, where participants learnt about the port’s energy efficiency initiatives and green policy.

IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

Co-ordinated approach to maritime crime prevention

15/05/2016 

IMO attended the 3rd Regional Ministerial Meeting for Promoting Maritime Safety and Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region (ESA-IO) (15 May). The meeting in Djibouti adopted a declaration that identifies key priorities and paves the way for long term maritime safety and security and sustainable development in the ESA-IO.  Key decisions included moving beyond piracy to address all forms of maritime threats and crimes (such as, amongst others, illegal unregulated and unreported fishing, toxic dumping, human trafficking, drug smuggling); extending the scope of the Djibouti Code of Conduct; and focussing on developing States’ national maritime capabilities. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the European Union (EU) MASE programme. Chris Trelawny represented IMO.

 

Turkey ratifies FAL Convention

13/05/2016 

Turkey today (13 May 2016) became the latest country to ratify the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, or FAL Convention.

The FAL Convention's main objectives are to prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic, to aid co-operation between Governments, and to secure the highest practicable degree of uniformity in formalities and other procedures. In particular, the Convention reduces the number of declarations which can be required by public authorities.

A revised and modernized annex to the convention was adopted in April this year and is due to enter into force on 1 January 2018. The revision is designed to ensure the FAL treaty adequately addresses the shipping industry’s present and emerging needs and serves to facilitate and expedite international maritime traffic. The objective is to prevent unnecessary delays to ships and to persons and property on board.

His Excellency Mr. Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey to IMO, deposited Turkey’s instrument of accession with Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

 

IMO environment projects win international award

12/05/2016 

A team from IMO's Marine Environment Division has won the best Portfolio Solution Award in the 8th International Waters Conference (IWC8) organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Negombo, Sri Lanka (9-13 May). The award was given for the project with the best strategy for scaling-up investments aimed at addressing global environmental issues facing international waters, including the oceans. International waters is one of the five thematic portfolios of GEF funding, with around 90 related projects being featured at IWC8 and some 300 currently underway worldwide.

IMO's team presented the "Glo-X" partnerships model, embracing two separate projects - GloBallast and GloMEEP. Glo-X is being used to accelerate legal, policy and institutional reforms in developing countries to implement the Ballast Water Management Convention and MARPOL Annex VI while, at the same time, leveraging private sector partnerships to accelerate R&D and technological innovations through forming global industry alliances and facilitating information exchange.

When the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, it set a new development agenda for the 2015 - 2030 period. Two SDGs (Ensure access to water and sanitation for all and Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources) are of particular relevance to the GEF's IW investments. The official theme of IWC8 is Scaling Up GEF IW Investments from Source to Sea and Beyond in the Context of Achieving the SDGs.

IMO's winning entry was selected from a large number of submissions made by GEF international water projects and the award was based on oral presentations from the final eight nominees. IMO's Jose Matheickal, on behalf of the IMO team, delivered the award-winning presentation during the conference, which is being attended by over 300 participants from various UN agencies, donor agencies and member Governments. This is the fourth international award won by the IMO projects team.

 

Goal-based standard audits under scrutiny at Maritime Safety Committee

11/05/2016 

The next stage in the implementation of goal-based standards for construction of oil tankers and bulk carriers is among the items on the agenda for the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which opened for its 96th session today. The MSC (photos) will be invited to consider the goal-based standards verification audit reports of 12 members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). Other important agenda items include the adoption of SOLAs amendments relating to evacuation analysis and the maintenance and testing of lifeboats and rescue boats – and the adoption of the 2016 amendments to the international Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

The committee will also consider cyber security matters and discuss how to regulate the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on international voyages. The MSC, which runs from 11-20 May, was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (opening speech) and is being chaired by Mr. Brad Groves (Australia).

 

Addressing anti-fouling systems

10/05/2016 

Flag State and port state roles in ratifying, implementing and enforcing the convention prohibiting the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships (AFS Convention) are on the agenda at a regional workshop being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (10-11 May). The environmentally sound practices for the disposal of waste generated in applying and removing anti-fouling systems will also be presented and discussed. The workshop will seek to increase awareness of Government officials and other stakeholders on the benefits and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the Convention. This Workshop has been organized under a memorandum of understanding signed between IMO and the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA). PERGSA is hosting the workshop which is being attended by 25 participants from Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis is coordinating the event. 

 

Key IMO projects featured at International Waters Conference

10/05/2016 

Two important IMO projects are being featured this week (9-13 May) at the 8th biennial International Waters Conference (IWC8) organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Globallast and GloMEEP are both aimed at building capacity in developing countries, where shipping is increasingly concentrated.

The Globallast Partnerships project helps such countries reduce the risk of invasion by alien species carried in ships’ ballast water by complying with and implementing the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. GloMEEP focuses on building capacity to implement technical and operational energy-efficiency measures for ships, and is working towards forming a public-private partnership under a Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for low-carbon shipping, within the project framework. Both projects are being executed by IMO with funding and support from GEF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

IWC8 is taking place in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Described as the “the signature learning event for the GEF IW portfolio” it has attracted more than 300 participants representing 90 active GEF projects.

 

IMO workshop in Jordan raises awareness of air pollution rules

09/05/2016 

A national workshop dealing with the international regulations covering air pollution from ships is taking place in Aqaba, Jordan (9-11 May). The IMO-run event is raising awareness of the regulations under MARPOL Annex VI, which sets limits on SOx and NOx emissions from ship exhausts, prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances and includes mandatory technical and operational energy-efficiency measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

The workshop is being organized at the request of the Jordan Maritime Commission, with IMO being represented by Masao Yamasaki and a team of consultants.

 

Working towards oceans beyond piracy

05/05/2016 

IMO’s work to address maritime piracy has been highlighted at the launch of The Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) report on “The State of Maritime Piracy 2015 – Assessing the Economic and Human Cost of Piracy” in London, United Kingdom (3 May). In his opening address, IMO’s Chris Trelawny set out the Organization’s various anti-piracy initiatives. These include IMO’s GISIS database of reports on acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships; development of a comprehensive range of guidance on prevention, repression and investigation of piracy and armed robbery, including guidance on the carriage of armed security personnel; and successful regional initiatives.

Mr. Trelawny emphasized that IMO’s long term strategy is focussed on helping its Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through enhancing the maritime sector and sustainable blue economy, underpinned by good maritime security. He went on to welcome the report, saying that it will not only address the human and economic costs attributable to piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, the western Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia, but it will also underscore the plight of seafarers who continue to be at risk of violent attacks at sea.

Find out more about IMO’s work on maritime security and piracy here.

 

IMO’s work highlighted at Asia-Pacific oil spill conference

04/05/2016 

IMO’s work to help prevent pollution of the sea by ships has been highlighted at the 2016 Asia-Pacific Oil Spill Prevention & Preparedness Conference (Spillcon) in Perth, Australia. Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division, took part in a session on preventing maritime accidents (3 May). The conference brings together regional and global environmental and shipping representatives to provide information on the latest developments and innovations for dealing with oil spills in the marine environment. Click here to find out more about IMO’s work on pollution prevention and response.

In conjunction with the conference, IMO will be supporting a workshop on "Science and innovation in oil spill response" that will be held on Friday, 6 May. This workshop will provide information on innovative technologies and approaches for spill prevention, response, mitigation and damage assessment. In addition, IMO, within its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, is sponsoring government representatives* with relevant responsibilities to participate in Spillcon. The conference is being organized by the Australia Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Institute of Petroleum.

* From the following countries:  Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

 

Secretary-General visits seafarers, coast guards and lawyers during US mission

04/05/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is in the United States this week for a series of meetings and engagements. Yesterday (3 May) he visited the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), North America’s largest seaman’s welfare agency, where he met volunteers and learnt about the SCI’s pioneering effort to develop a new, practical form of headwear for seafarers (photos). SCI has encouraged volunteers all over the world to knit hats to the unique new design and donate them to seafarers via SCI.

Later, he addresses officers and officials from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in Washington DC about the vital role played by such organizations in properly implementing and enforcing IMO’s global standards.

Yesterday, he also spoke at the 42nd International Conference of the Comité International Maritime (CMI), hosted by the Maritime Law Association of the United States in New York. Here, he highlighted the historic links between the two organizations and expressed his hope that the draft convention on the judicial sale of ships, drafted by CMI, would prove another successful collaboration.

 

Bauxite featured in bulk cargo workshop

28/04/2016 

The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code deals with the hazards associated with certain cargoes carried in bulk by ships. IMO recently (25-28 April) co-organised a workshop in Malaysia on implementing the code, with special reference to cargoes that may liquefy – which can be a serious problem.

The workshop provided an overview of the Malaysian experience with bauxite shipments from local ports. Action taken by Malaysia’s Maritime Administration to improve both crew and cargo safety was presented, with positive and constructive feedback provided on national legislation in place to deal with carrying bauxite by sea. Participants also witnessed field sampling and laboratory testing practices.

In addition to local experts, consultants from Australia, Intercargo, P&I Clubs and Bureau Veritas, among others, took part in the workshop, which was funded by the Kuantan Port Authority and co-organized by IMO and Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport.

 

Improving electronic messaging

28/04/2016 

IMO is participating in a UN/CEFACT* conference dealing with electronic exchange of information related to ship safety and security regulations, at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland (25-29 April). Officials from regulatory agencies and affected transport and logistics sectors heard Julian Abril, Head of Facilitation, share the decisions adopted by IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL 40), which recently adopted the mandatory electronic data exchange for international shipping under the revised Facilitation Convention.

UN/CEFACT develops trade facilitation standards and recommendations to help industry provide information required by regulatory and border control authorities. In the IMO context, these include UN layout aligned paper forms and UN/EDIFACT electronic message structures in respect of the Organizations Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and FAL Conventions.

* United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT)

 

Workshop promotes port security in Thailand

28/04/2016 

IMO is running a national workshop of drills and exercises dealing with international ship and port facility security, in Bangkok, Thailand (26-29 April). The event is providing participants with practical tools for improved implementation of the periodic drills and exercises required under the IMO treaties SOLAS chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code and described in the revised APEC Manual of Drills and Exercises.

The workshop is focusing on various aspects of the Manual – with the aim of providing a comprehensive approach to planning, preparation for, conduct, debrief and reporting of maritime security drills and exercises. The event is being conducted at the request of Thailand and is part of a series of workshops being jointly planned by IMO Maritime Security and the APEC Maritime Security Working Group in the region. 

IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira.

 

​Migration by sea challenges highlighted

27/04/2016 

The complex issues surrounding unsafe mixed migration by sea are being debated at a two-day symposium (26-27 April) hosted by the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden. Speaking during the opening session, IMO’s Chris Trelawny condemned the illegal people smugglers, the associated profiteers and the misery they cause by loading people onto clearly unsafe vessels, and called for safe, legal, alternative pathways to migration to be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea, if necessary.

In the long term, he challenged the symposium to look at how the maritime sector and others could contribute to alleviating the root causes of unsafe mixed migration by sea, by focusing on creating conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through enhancing the maritime sector and sustainable blue economy in developing countries. Symposium presentations available here.  

 

​Experts discuss implementing Ballast Water Management Convention

26/04/2016 

​​​An IMO-GloBallast expert workshop dealing with risk assessment and decision support tools to support the implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention is taking place at IMO Headquarters, London (25-26 April). 12 renowned international experts are discussing so-called “risk-based decision support systems” for improved implementation of the Convention. This comes as part of IMO’s efforts, under the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme, to counter the threat to ecosystems by invasive species transported in the ballast water of ships.

The experts are drawn from the fields of information technology, risk assessment, marine ecosystems protection, maritime operations and Marine Electronic Information system integration. The workshop aims to provide a set of recommendations on the feasibility and requirements of such a decision-support system (with consideration for the capacity constraints in developing countries) and on how to apply such a system on a regional or global level. IMO’s GloBallast Project Coordination Unit is coordinating the workshop.

 

ICT experts put sustainability on the agenda

26/04/2016 

​Information and communication technology experts throughout the UN system are meeting in Vienna, Austria (25-27 April) to discuss a digital agenda action plan to support programmes within UN organizations and help bring the Sustainable Development Goals to fruition. The 26th session of the CEB-ICT Network will also address how to encourage UN organizations to integrate cybersecurity into their risk management frameworks and make cybersecurity training mandatory. Other topics on the agenda will include work on the threat intelligence platform, identity management and cloud encryption.

The meeting is hosted by the United Nation's Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and will be followed by the 97th session of the United Nation's International Computing Centre (ICC) Management Committee (MC). IMO’s Vincent Job is representing the Organization.

 

Supporting Kenya’s maritime security

22/04/2016 

IMO is leading a maritime security table-top exercise in Mombasa, Kenya (21-22 April) as part of the Organization’s continuing work to implement the Djibouti Code of Conduct. National officials from all key ministries and departments are taking part in a range of evolving scenarios involving both routine business and during an incident, which aim to promote an integrated, whole-of-government approach to maritime security measures and maritime law enforcement. This includes supporting Kenya’s national capacity to perform coastguard functions through inter-agency cooperation and development of maritime strategies and contingency plans.

The workshop is the fifth maritime security exercise of this kind to be held in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden region this year, having completed similar exercises in Djibouti, Maldives, Mozambique and the Seychelles. It was launched by Kenya’s Principle Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Mrs. Nancy Karigithu. IMO is being represented by Kiruja Micheni and a team of consultants.

 

IMO’s objectives highlighted at Singapore maritime forum

20/04/2016 

​​IMO's role in implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been highlighted at the first Maritime Administrators’ Forum in Singapore (19 April). Participants were informed of IMO's continuing efforts to link its technical cooperation program to the SDGs, including SDG 14 on conserving and sustainably using the oceans and SDG 5 on gender equality. The forum took the IMO World Maritime Day theme 2016: "Shipping: Indispensable to the World" to highlight the importance of shipping and raise awareness of shipping's role in supporting sustainable development.

Two sessions covered (i) Indispensable Shipping: Country Maritime Initiatives and (ii) Indispensable Shipping: Meeting the Regulatory Requirements. The forum was attended by participants from 16 countries from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, and convened by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore within the margins of Singapore Maritime Week 2016.

IMO was represented by Juvenal Shiundu of the Technical Cooperation Division – who also emphasized IMO’s work to support the exchange of ideas and networking among maritime administrations and help foster closer collaboration in the implementation of IMO instruments.

 

Maritime integration stressed in African environmental policy summit

19/04/2016 

African coastal states have been invited to increase the integration of the maritime dimension in their national economic planning. The call came at a meeting of environment ministers and experts from more than 40 African countries in Cairo last week (16-19 April 2016). IMO’s Jonathan Pace was in attendance at the Sixth Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), to discuss the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change within the framework of the continent’s Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want”.

The meeting discussed the Africa Adaptation Initiative, which helps African countries build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, which seeks to foster renewable energy capacity on the continent by 2020. In particular, the sustainable harnessing and integration of natural capital, including within the blue economy, were discussed as ways to implement the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

 

Marine Environment Protection Committee meets

18/04/2016 

IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is meeting for its 69th session (18-22 April). Among the items on a busy agenda, the MEPC (photos) is set to consider the implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria. There will be further work on the energy efficiency of international shipping, including the development of the data collection system for ships' fuel consumption.

Following the adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and building on the discussions at its previous session, the MEPC will further consider a proposal for a work plan to define international shipping's contribution to the global efforts to address climate change. A proposal from the Philippines to designate the marine area known as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, located between the islands of the Philippines and North Borneo, as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), will be put forward.

The MEPC will also consider establishing an effective date for the application of the Baltic Sea Special Area under MARPOL Annex IV (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships). The MEPC was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Arsenio Dominguez (Panama).

 

Secretary-General supports India’s active maritime growth policy

14/04/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim shared a platform today (14 April) with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of the first Maritime India Summit in Mumbai. The event brings together stakeholders from diverse sectors of India’s maritime community to explore opportunities to promote growth and investment in the sector. Mr Lim said that a successful shipping and port sector signified that a country was thriving.

A policy to support these areas would be of great benefit to the country as a whole, not just to the maritime industry itself, he added. He stressed the need for collaborative planning and praised Prime Minister Modi for the positive steps he and his government have taken to encourage investment and development throughout India’s maritime sector. 

Later today, Mr Lim will address a special session with high-level officials from India’s maritime cluster, where he will talk about the role that shipping can play in supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and highlight this year’s World Maritime Day theme “Shipping: Indispensable to the World”.

 

New approach to maritime security needed

14/04/2016 

Good maritime security should not be seen as an end in itself, it is a means to an end as it underpins and enables sustainable maritime development which supports improved and sustainable economic development. This was the message delivered by IMO’s Chris Trelawny, who was speaking at the International Sea Power and Security Symposium 2016, held in Istanbul, Turkey (13-14 April) which focused on the theme of “Collaboration for Maritime Security”. Mr Trelawny outlined IMO’s comprehensive capacity-building programmes,  working with IMO Member States globally to enhance maritime safety, security and facilitation capabilities and to counter illicit maritime activities both bilaterally and regionally, and in cooperation with the United Nations agencies, offices and programmes, regional bodies, national development partners and other organizations. He highlighted one of the challenges, namely that maritime security and maritime law enforcement are often seen as departmental issues – issues for the navy, or the coast guard, or the police, or the maritime authority – with those agencies competing for scarce resources, rather than being part of a national, multi-agency response to developing the maritime sector. A multi-agency, multidisciplinary approach is needed, he concluded.

 

Maritime women raise Pacific profile

13/04/2016 

The Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PacWiMA) is being re-launched this week at a conference organized by IMO and the Pacific Community (SPC) (11-15 April). Hosted by Tonga and supported by New Zealand, the conference reinforces the regional commitment for a Pacific Platform for Action on Advancement of Women and Gender Equality. By developing targets and indicators on women’s rights and gender equality, this provides regional support for the global commitment for sustainable development through empowering women.

The conference will highlight women’s economic contribution and leadership in the Pacific maritime sector and help place women in the maritime sector on the agenda of the transport and energy ministers’ meeting to be held in Tonga in 2017.

PacWiMA was established in 2005, under the auspices of IMO, through the Pacific Community’s Regional Maritime Programme. Its aim was to create a regional support system to raise awareness of issues concerning women’s empowerment and gender equality. Despite the success of some national associations, it became inactive due to a lack of funding and other issues. The conference will discuss its constitution, structure, activities and the development of national chapters. Some 80 women from the Pacific region are attending the conference.

 

Young diplomats visit IMO

12/04/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has given members of the Young Diplomats in London (YDL) an insight into IMO and his life as an international civil servant, at an event (photos) hosted at IMO Headquarters, London (12 April). He outlined the importance of shipping and how IMO treaties cover every aspect of a ship’s life, from the drawing board to the recycling facility – including design, equipment, seafarer training and so on. He also talked about his background as a seafarer and technical expert, and his journey into a new life as the head of a specialized United Nations agency.

Mr. Lim went on to state his dedication to promoting a culture of good communication, both between IMO and its Member States, the media, institutions, and between the developed and developing world. He also highlighted the important work of IMO’s affiliated educational institutions: the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden and IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta.

 

Mapping to assist oil spill preparedness in Saint Lucia

08/04/2016 

IMO is funding the development of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps, an important oil spill response preparedness tool, in Saint Lucia. The Government of Saint Lucia is being assisted in the mapping by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (RAC REMPEITC-Caribe), whose experts have been touring the island this week (4-8 April 2016) to collect Geographical Information System (GiS) data and photos used to catalogue and chart coastal resources at risk. 

The final ESI Maps are expected to be delivered by RAC REMPEITC-Caribe, represented by Mr. Paul Lattanzi, to Saint Lucia this Spring. Saint Lucia's Director of Maritime Affairs, Mr. Christopher Alexander, said: “We are very grateful for the technical cooperation from IMO to develop ESI maps. ESI maps are a very important tool for contingency planners and oil spill responders and having these maps for Saint Lucia will be a great step forward for our country".

 

Training towards greater maritime security

06/04/2016 

Extensive maritime security training involving countries operating under the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) is taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (20 March – 7 April). Maritime law enforcement officials from 17 DCoC signatory States* are participating in exercises dealing with transnational organized crimes at sea – including, piracy/armed robbery against ships, drug trafficking, marine terrorism, weapons smuggling and human trafficking. The training covers theory and hands-on practical training in conducting criminal investigations at sea, boarding and searching suspected vessels, collection, handling and preservation of evidence at sea.

The course is based on best practices and recognized international standards and delivered by experts from IMO, the United States Coast Guard and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), Greece and Saudi Arabia Border Guard. It is jointly organized by Saudi Arabia and IMO and was officially launched by the Director General of Saudi Arabia Border Guard, Admiral Awwad Eid Al-Balawi and IMO representative Kiruja Micheni. His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, attended the graduation ceremony and witnessed the course graduates showcasing the skills learnt.

* the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, the Sudan, the United Arab Emirates.

 

Supporting Mozambique’s coastguard capacity

05/04/2016 

Maritime security is on the agenda at a table top exercise taking place in Maputo, Mozambique (5-6 April) aimed at supporting Mozambique’s national capacity to perform coastguard functions. The IMO-led exercise involves a range of scenarios, including policy decisions and crisis/emergency management and response, to highlight the need for an integrated, multi-agency approach in implementing maritime security measures and maritime law enforcement.

In particular, the exercise refers to the IMO instruments SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (further info). This event is the fourth in a new series of maritime security table top exercises to be conducted in East Africa – offered to the Djibouti Code of Conduct signatory States. It follows the successful series of contingency planning seminars that have been conducted in West Africa.

IMO is being represented by Gisela Vieira and a team of consultants.

 

Maritime security in the spotlight at APEC transport meeting

05/04/2016 

IMO has underlined its support for the joint capacity building efforts to implement internationally agreed standards for tackling maritime security threats at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (4-7 April). Henrik Madsen of IMO’s Subdivision for Maritime Security and Facilitation addressed the 42nd APEC Transportation Working Group (TPT WG), of which IMO is a member.

IMO and the Transportation Working Group’s Maritime Security Experts Sub-group have been collaborating on a series of joint national maritime security workshops in the region during 2015 and 2016, on topics ranging from drills and exercises mandated under IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) to self-assessment and audit. The meeting will enable coordination and planning of various future activities with participating Member States.

 

Mandatory e-data exchange set to be adopted at Facilitation Committee

04/04/2016 

The Facilitation Committee, meeting this week (4-8 April), is expected to adopt mandatory requirements for the electronic exchange of information on cargo, crew and passengers as part of a revised and modernized annex to the 1965 Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL). Important proposed changes in the revised Annex include the introduction of a new standard relating to the obligation of public authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information, within a period of three years after the adoption of the amendments. The Committee will also receive an update on the IMO maritime single window project and will consider developing voluntary maritime cybersecurity guidelines, including best practices, in order to protect the maritime transport network from cyber threats. Other matters on the agenda include revised guidelines on the use of electronic certificates and proposed amendments to the procedures for port State control, to include references to electronic certificates. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the Committee, which is being chaired by newly-elected chairman Mr. Yuri Melenas (Russian Federation). (Photos)

 

Supporting oil spill response in Dominica

31/03/2016 

A national workshop dealing with oil spill contingency planning, funded by IMO, is taking place in Dominica. It includes an IMO oil spill response awareness session (30 March) attended by officials from Dominica’s Government and petroleum industry. The workshop participants will then work with RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe and Polaris Applied Sciences to update Dominica’s national oil spill contingency plan, incorporating Environmental Sensitivity Maps, which were developed in 2012 with the help of IMO Technical Cooperation assistance.

The oil spill response awareness session was presented by the RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe in coordination with Dominica's Ministry of Public Works and Ports and hosted by the Office of Disaster Management.

 

Waste dumping treaty celebrates 10th birthday

24/03/2016 

The 1996 "London Protocol" covering the dumping of wastes at sea entered into force ten years ago today (24th March). The Protocol modernized the original “London Convention” dumping treaty, bringing in a so-called “precautionary approach” that heralded a new era of prohibition of all dumping at sea with the exception of wastes commonly agreed by Governments and then put on an approved list. Find out more in our information leaflet.

Notably, those party to the Protocol adopted amendments in 2006 and 2009 to allow carbon storage and capture in some seabed geological formations – with the aim of mitigating the impacts of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to ensure that new technologies with the potential to cause harm to the marine environment are effectively controlled and regulated.

 

Marine litter partnership meets

23/03/2016 

The Steering Committee of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter has been meeting in London (22-23 March) at IMO Headquarters to coordinate and plan future work to further reduce and better manage marine litter. The global partnership gathers together international agencies, Governments, NGOs, academia, private sector, civil society and individuals. IMO is a co-lead for sea-based litter in the global partnership, contributing to the development of the first so-called Massive Open Online Course on marine litter.

 

Women on board

22/03/2016 

Two IMO films on women in the maritime industry are being shown at the “Women on Board” exhibition at Hamburg’s International Maritime Museum, Germany (March – June 2016). The films “Women at the Helm” and “Making Waves: Women leaders in the maritime world” are part of IMO’s continuing efforts to promote the advancement of women in shipping. These latest screenings follow International Women’s Day, which saw IMO join the annual global celebration and awareness campaign on 8 March. Find out more about women in the maritime industry via the IMO website here.

 

IMO at UN counter-terrorism coordination meeting

18/03/2016 

The UN General Assembly’s Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force​ has held a one-day Inter-Agency Coordination Meeting at UN Headquarters in New York (17 March). IMO participates in the work of UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee​’s Executive Directorate and the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force​, through country assessment visits, capacity building coordination, and exchange of policy developments with other UN and partner entities involved in border management and law enforcement. IMO’s Chris Trelawny participated in the meeting.

The event brought together principals and senior representatives from CTITF entities, including a number of UN agencies, to explore the way forward on the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

 

Workshop promotes hazardous and noxious substances treaty

18/03/2016 

Representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and the shipping industry have been meeting to share lessons learned and best practices in relation to implementation of a key compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by ship. The international Workshop on the HNS Convention (17-18 March), hosted by Transport Canada in Montréal, Québec, Canada, includes practical sessions on implementation of the International Convention on Liability and compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious substances by Sea, 2010 (2010 HNS Convention), its reporting requirements and discussions on international and regional cooperation aimed at bringing the Convention into force.

IMO’s Jan de Boer is participating in the workshop. Together with the IOPC Funds and ITOPF, IMO has produced a six-page brochure that explains to States the purpose and benefit of the HNS Convention and encourages IMO Member States to take the next steps to ratify or accede to the Convention.

 

Qatar signs Memorandum of Cooperation on IMO Member State Audit Scheme

17/03/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim today (17 March) signed a “Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the State of Qatar and IMO concerning Participation in the IMO Member State Audit Scheme”. The Ambassador of Qatar to the United Kingdom, H.E. Yousef Ali Al-Khater, presented the MoC on behalf of the Minister of Transport & Communication of the State of Qatar. The IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) aims to determine the extent to which countries fulfil their obligations and responsibilities contained in a number of IMO treaties.

 

Asia-Pacific ship safety heads meet

17/03/2016 

​IMO has been participating in the Asia Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) at their annual gathering (14-17 March), which has been held in Queenstown, New Zealand. The meeting began with a workshop on domestic ship safety, including ferries operating on non-international routes, and concluded with a port visit to domestic ships. Discussions during the main part of the meeting (15-16 March) were devoted to country papers falling under each of the pillars of the APHoMSA: regional cooperation; marine environment protection; safety at sea including the human element; and marine casualty and incident response.
 
Some 55 delegates attended the meeting, including representatives from 15 out of the 20 APHoMSA members, as well as representatives from observer organizations. Support from IMO’s technical cooperation programme has helped increase the number of participating members attending, compared to previous years, and in particular the number of female attendees. Of the 14 female delegates, two are attending as heads of delegation of APHoMSA members.
 
The meeting was chaired by Maritime New Zealand and IMO was represented by the Director, Technical Cooperation Division, and the IMO Regional Coordinator for East Asia.

 

Ballast water management experts gather for R&D forum

16/03/2016 

Experts at the forefront of research and development in relation to preventing of the spread of potentially harmful species in ballast water have gathered in Montreal, Canada for a key international forum under the banner “Ballast Water Management Convention – moving towards implementation”. IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments is very close to reaching entry into force criteria. 

Some 140 participants at the 6th Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO GloBallast R&D Forum and Exhibition on Ballast Water Management (16-18 March) will share knowledge and experience on treatment technologies and alternative methods and highlight current research (photos). Compliance monitoring and enforcement including sampling and analysis will also be discussed.

The forum, which brings together scientific experts and academia with the maritime industry and leaders in technology development for ships’ ballast water management, was launched by Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Canada.  IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director, Marine Environment Division, delivered an opening speech. Mr Micallef stated that the Ballast Water Management Convention needed to enter into force for effective implementation of its provisions. But he highlighted the huge amount of collaborative work which had been undertaken since the first GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast R&D forum 15 years ago, leading to a great deal of progress in the BWM field in terms of testing and approval of ballast water management systems, ballast water sampling and analysis, and the availability of ballast water management systems.   

 

Ballast water system testers meet

16/03/2016 

The Global Ballast Water Test Organizations Network (GloBal TestNet) has been meeting in Montreal, Canada, ahead of the 6th Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO GloBallast R&D Forum and Exhibition on Ballast Water Management, which meets 16-18 March at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in Montreal. During its two-day meeting, GloBal TestNet launched its website and elected a new steering committee, while discussing further ways of collaboration amongst its members.
 
GloBal TestNet, which was formally established in 2013 with 16 signatories to a Memorandum of Understanding, aims to increase levels of standardization, transparency and openness in testing ballast water management systems.  This is intended to benefit test facility clients as well as the end-users of ballast water treatment technologies: the ship owners who need  cost-effective and environmentally-friendly systems  to meet the requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), 2004, which is close to reaching entry into force requirements.
 
The formation of GloBal TestNet has been supported by the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme. GloBal TestNet gathers organizations involved in the generation of data from land-based and/or shipboard testing for the certification of ballast water management systems, under the 2004 BWM Convention and relevant Guidelines or other test protocols.

 

IMO on show

15/03/2016 

IMO publications are being showcased at the Oceanology International marine science and ocean technology exhibition, London, United Kingdom (15 March). The recently published Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code and IMO News Magazine are some of the titles on show. Find out more about IMO publications here.

IMO is being represented by Patrizio Rossetti, Lee Ann Dell and Sally McElhayer.

 

Supporting port State control in west and central Africa

15/03/2016 

Officials from 18 west and central African countries are taking part in a training workshop to promote further coordination of regional Port State Control (PSC) activities. Port State control is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the ships’ condition, equipment and manning comply with international regulations. The workshop, taking place in Lagos, Nigeria (7-16 March), includes training for PSC officers on the New Inspection Regime (NIR) – including a practical PSC inspection at Apapa Port, Lagos.

The NIR was developed by the Paris MoU and adopted by Abuja MoU for enhanced port State control inspections. The workshop is being hosted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and jointly organized by IMO and the MoU on port State control for west and central Africa, with sponsorship from the European Union. IMO’s William Azuh and Mara Luciano are facilitating the workshop.

 

Periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats on agenda

14/03/2016 

Mandatory requirements relating to periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear are on the agenda of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), which is meeting for its 3rd session (14-18 March) at IMO Headquarters. The Sub-Committee (photos) will work towards finalizing draft amendments to SOLAS chapter III and the draft mandatory MSC resolution on Requirements for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee for adoption.

Also on the agenda are matters related to measures for onboard lifting appliances and winches, passenger ship safety, the safety of MODUs, and protection against crushing of people during the daily operation of watertight doors. The session was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Dr. Susumu Ota (Japan).

 

Students learn about IMO rules on air pollution and ship energy efficiency

11/03/2016 

Students of shipping and maritime related subjects at Southampton Solent University have learned about IMO's regulations for the control of air pollution and energy efficiency for ships, Southampton, United Kingdom (11 March). Speaking at the university’s Maritime Week, Edmund Hughes of the Marine Environment Division highlighted IMO’s important role in the governance of international shipping and the growing interest in marine protection and the mitigation of environmental risks from ships.

In particular, the presentation focused on air pollution prevention, the development of energy efficiency standards for ships and IMO's work to address greenhouse gas emissions from ships. IMO is the first organization to have adopted energy-efficiency measures that are legally binding across an entire global industry, applying to all countries. Find out more here.

 

IMO publishing distributors meet

11/03/2016 

The latest and forthcoming IMO publications were highlighted today at the annual meeting of IMO publishing’s global network of distributors, held at IMO Headquarters in London (11 March). Distributors from around the world discussed current issues and were alerted to the proliferation of counterfeit publications. Revenues from sales of IMO publications, including those which are subject to mandatory carriage requirements, help support the IMO technical cooperation programme, which builds capacity, particularly in developing countries, to implement IMO measures effectively. IMO has more than 200 titles available in English. Many are translated into French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

 

Training for marine casualty investigation

10/03/2016 

IMO is running a two-week national training course on marine casualty and incident investigation, Colombo, Sri Lanka (29 February - 11 March). It will focus on training for casualty investigators and officials involved in maritime policy-making in Sri Lanka, thereby supporting the country’s institutional capacities and human resources. Topics will include implementation of casualty-related provisions in IMO treaties, such as regulations in IMO’s key maritime safety treaty SOLAS and the related mandatory Casualty Investigation Code.

IMO guidelines to assist investigators and guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers (more info here) are also on the agenda. Additionally, the course is designed to facilitate the exchange of information between investigators, in order to promote cooperation in the conduct of investigations at the national level. The event is being run by three IMO instructors and attended by 16 participants from the Merchant Shipping Secretariat, the Department of the Attorney General’s office and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

 

Promoting ship energy efficiency in Panama

09/03/2016 

An IMO workshop in Panama City (7-9 March) is raising awareness of the Organization’s regulations on energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships. This is the latest in a series of national workshops in lead pilot countries for the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP), which was launched in September last year. The project aims to support uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping.

Participants from Panamanian governmental departments, academia and other related bodies are in attendance at the “MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop – which is being run by IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a team of IMO consultants and funded by contributions from Norway. Additionally, Panama will hold the First National Task Force meeting (10 March) to endorse the National Work Plan of activities under the GloMEEP project for the coming two years, which will include decisions on which bodies will be responsible for different GloMEEP activities.

 

Fiji accedes to key marine environment protection treaties

08/03/2016 

Fiji has today (8 March) acceded to six IMO treaties, including important conventions covering ballast water management and the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships. This brings the number of States party to the Ballast Water Management Convention to 49, with the aggregate remaining at 34.82% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage (based on global tonnage data as at end-February 2016). H.E. Mr. Jitoko Tikolevu, High Commissioner of Fiji to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instruments of accession.

The full list of treaties acceded to by Fiji today is as follows:

- the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM 2004);

- the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, (MARPOL 73/78); including acceptance of Optional Annexes IV and V to MARPOL 73/78;

- the International Convention on Salvage, 1989 (SALVAGE 1989);

- the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (BUNKERS 2001);

- the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (AFS 2001); and

- the Convention on the International Mobile Satellite Organization, as amended (IMSO C 1976).

 

Belgium ratifies ballast and recycling conventions

07/03/2016 

Belgium today (7 March) became the latest country to ratify a key international measure for environmental protection, the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, bringing the treaty within sight of meeting entry into force criteria. 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.

The BWM Convention will enter into force 12 months after ratification by 30 States, representing 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage. With the accession by Belgium, the number of States stands at 48, with an aggregate of 34.82% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage (based on global tonnage data as at end-February 2016). ​

Belgium also deposited its instrument of accession to the Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention, bringing the number of contracting States to four. The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force 24 months after the date on which 15 States, representing not less than 40 per cent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, become Party to the treaty. The combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of those States must, during the preceding 10 years, constitute not less than 3 per cent of their combined merchant shipping tonnage.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim encouraged other States that had not already done so, to ratify both the BWM and Hong Kong treaties, in order to bring them into force.

H.E. Mr. Guy Trouveroy, Ambassador of Belgium to the United Kingdom, handed over the instruments of accession during a meeting with Secretary-General Lim at the Ambassador’s residence in London.

 

Supporting the Comoros’s maritime sector

04/03/2016 

An IMO team is in the Comoros on a fact-finding and needs assessment mission to assist the country in the development of its maritime sector and to ensure the fulfilment of its flag, port and coastal State obligations. During the mission (29 February – 4 March) the team is focusing on topics such as ship registration and the effective survey and certification of ships flying the flag of the Comoros.

Activities include a Maritime Awareness Seminar (29 February), which was attended by thirty participants representing various ministries, departments and agencies involved in the administration of maritime affairs in the country.

The mission is being carried out by Nicolaos Charalambous and Jonathan Pace, Technical Cooperation Division, together with Raphael Baumler, WMU Associate Professor, and Frederic Hebert, former Director of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).

 

Jamaica workshop promotes ship energy efficiency

04/03/2016 

IMO is raising awareness of its regulations on energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships at a national workshop in Kingston, Jamaica (2-4 March). Jamaica is a lead pilot country for the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP), which was launched in September last year. The project aims to support uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping.

Participants from Jamaican governmental departments, academia and other related bodies are in attendance at the “MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop. IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a team of IMO consultants are running the event, which is being funded by contributions from Norway.

Additionally, a wide spectrum of stakeholders attended Jamaica’s first National Task Force meeting (1 March), which endorsed the National Work Plan of activities under the GloMEEP project for the coming two years.

 

Workshop raises awareness of waste dumping regulation

03/03/2016 

​The regulation of dumping of wastes and other matter at sea is on the agenda at a Pacific-region workshop being held in Suva, Fiji (2-4 March). The event aims to increase the knowledge of dumping of wastes at sea and the existing global regulatory framework amongst participating countries – with the ultimate goal of strengthening capacity in the region to implement the London Protocol and thereby increase protection of the marine environment.

The workshop is being attended by participants from: the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and a representative from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). It is hosted by the Government of Fiji and carried out in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Regional Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP). Edward Kleverlaan and Fredrik Haag are representing IMO.

Next week, the joint session of the London Convention and Protocol Scientific Groups will be held in Fiji (7 to 11 March).

 

Importance of shipping highlighted by IMO Secretary-General

01/03/2016 

Shipping is the only viable delivery mechanism that can support global trade and the global economy, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said today. Highlighting the need to sharpen the understanding and appreciation among the wider public of the shipping and port industries, Mr. Lim emphasized the importance of shipping to the world, saying that the issues the maritime industry is engaged in affect the entire global community. Mr. Lim was speaking at the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) conference in Barcelona (1 March).

The themes of the keynote speech reflected this year’s World Maritime Day theme, namely "Shipping: indispensable to the world" which was chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and global society and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping.

 

Supporting Cambodia’s implementation of IMO treaties

01/03/2016 

A national training course supporting the implementation of IMO treaties is taking place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (29 February – 4 March). The course provides an overview of the latest developments relating to the implementation of IMO instruments to officials from key governmental departments, particularly those with duties relating to flag State implementation (FSI) and port State control (PSC). The different obligations of the flag State, as required by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and various IMO instruments will also be covered.

IMO’s regional coordinator Josephine Uranza is representing IMO at the event, which is being run by a team of IMO consultants.
 

GMDSS modernization on agenda

29/02/2016 

The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), e-navigation implementation and new and amended ships’ routeing proposals are among items on a busy agenda as the third session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communication, Search and Rescue (NCSR) gets underway (29 February-4 March). The Sub-Committee will also consider the recognition of the Galileo global navigation satellite system as a component of the word wide radionavigation system and of the Iridium mobile satellite system as a GMDSS service provider. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the session, which is being chaired by Mr. Ringo Lakeman (the Netherlands). Click to see photos.

 

IMO’s role in climate change promoted at CC:Learn meeting

26/02/2016 

​IMO participated in the annual meeting of the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) in Geneva (24-25 February). IMO joined the partnership, which consists of more than 30 UN organizations that have an interest in climate change learning, last year. The CC:Learn e-Learning platform provides quality, freely available e-learning resources on climate change, with each course building on the expertise of relevant UN partners. Theofanis Karayannis represented IMO at the meeting (click to watch video).

 

Morocco ratifies salvage and dumping treaties

25/02/2016 

Morocco has ratified two important IMO treaties that help to protect the marine environment – the International Convention on Salvage (1989) and the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (1972). H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, Ambassador of Morocco to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (25 February) to hand over the instruments of ratification.

 

Supporting counter-terrorism capacity in Kenya

25/02/2016 

The UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) is in Kenya to assess progress on countermeasures put in place by the Kenyan Government to prevent and manage security incidents. In a follow-up to the committee’s last visit in 2008, meetings in Nairobi (22-25 February) are focusing on the Government’s strategic outlook and response to the terrorist threat. The delegation is also visiting the port of Mombasa and discussing issues including implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) with local and national agencies responsible for maritime security.

IMO is being represented by Kiruja Micheni and Henrik Madsen. The following international organizations are also participating: WCO, IOM, UNHCR, Interpol, ICAO, UNODC and UNCTED officials.

 

Empowering women in the maritime sector

25/02/2016 

A regional conference supporting women in the maritime sector is being held in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia (23-26 February). Under the theme “Every Mile Counts: Building a legacy by women in the maritime sector" the event is providing assistance to the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA), focusing on key achievements through constitutional, legislative and institutional reforms – both for and by women.

WOMESA was launched through IMO’s gender and capacity-building programme in 2007 and advocates for reforms that will raise recognition of women in the maritime sector and give them equal opportunities to their male counterparts. This is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number five (SDG 5), which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

 

Supporting Ghana’s maritime administration

18/02/2016 

​IMO is leading a technical advisory mission to Accra, Ghana (15-19 February) to assess the functioning of the maritime administration and assist in the review of its maritime legislation. The aim is to assist Ghana’s maritime safety administration and to look at ways to increase the effectiveness of flag, port and coastal State functions. The mission will culminate in a national seminar involving maritime stakeholders in Ghana to discuss the findings. IMO’s William Azuh is coordinating the mission, which is being carried out under the auspices of the IMO- IMO/EU/ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) project to support flag and port states in west and central Africa (Flag-Port WACAF). 

 

​Assessing the Sudan’s maritime sector needs

16/02/2016 

IMO has completed an advisory and needs assessment mission (7-11 February) to assist the Sudan in building the capacities of its maritime sector. The mission identified the priorities and the steps forward for the development of the maritime sector in the Sudan. A road map of the follow-up actions to be taken, including the development of the human resource capacity and the long and short term training needs, is now being drawn up.


During the mission, IMO’s Amr Hussein and World Maritime University Associate Professor Aref Fakhry held various high level meetings in Khartoum and Port Sudan. A one day Maritime Awareness Seminar for the maritime sector’s stakeholders in the Sudan was also organised.

 

Infographic shows how the Polar Code protects the environment

15/02/2016 

A new IMO infographic illustrating "How the Polar Code protects the environment" has been launched today (15 February) in six languages. It depicts the various environmental requirements and recommendations of the Polar Code relating to oil, sewage, garbage, chemicals and invasive species. Download the infographic in: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. This builds on a previous infographic showing what the Polar Code means for ship safety, available in six languages here.

The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) will enter into force on 1 January 2017 and applies to ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters. It provides for safe ship operation and protects the environment by addressing the unique risks present in polar waters but not covered by other treaties.

 

Ballast water manual progressing at Sub-Committee

15/02/2016 

The current draft of the "Ballast Water Management – How to do it" manual is on the table at the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), 3rd session (15-19 February), as the BWM Convention edges closer to entry into force. 

The Sub-Committee is expected to finalize draft MARPOL Annex VI amendments to the bunker delivery note relating to the supply of marine fuel oil to ships which have fitted alternative mechanisms to address sulphur emissions requirements.

The Sub-Committee will discuss a protocol for voluntary black carbon measurement studies; the proposed Code for the transport and handling of limited amounts of hazardous and noxious liquid substances in bulk in offshore support vessels; and the development of draft amendments to MARPOL Annex II to strengthen the discharge requirements for high-viscosity and persistent floating substances (such as high-viscosity PIB (Polyisobutylene)). Draft guides for oil pollution-contingency planning and oil spill response in snow and ice conditions are expected to be finalized. 

The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway).

Click for photos.

 

IMO and EC cooperation confirmed

09/02/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is in Brussels today (9 February) to meet European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. In their first meeting since Mr Lim’s appointment at the beginning of the year, the two enjoyed productive discussions about climate change, passenger ship safety and the need to promote quality shipping. Commissioner Bulc confirmed that the EC was fully behind the principle that shipping should be governed by an international regulatory framework developed by IMO and pledged her support for active cooperation between the Commission and IMO. Mr Lim goes on to meet senior EC civil servants during the remainder of his visit.

 

New video shows training on ballast water sampling and analysis

09/02/2016 

IMO has launched a video showing practical training on ballast water sampling and analysis (8 February). This is part of the organization’s efforts, under the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, to counter the threat to ecosystems by invasive species transported in the ballast water of ships. The video includes a recent training exercise that brought together scientific experts, port state control inspectors and marine biologists from various countries with a view to understanding the possible challenges of implementing IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

The GloBallast Partnerships Programme is a joint endeavour between IMO, the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme, designed to assist developing countries in reducing the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water and to implement the BWM Convention.

 

IMO joins 70th UN birthday celebrations

05/02/2016 

IMO Secretary-General Lim was in attendance as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the formation of the UN in London, UK, with a full house of students and diplomats (5 February). Speaking in Central Hall Westminster (photo gallery) where the first UN Secretary-General was appointed 70 years ago, Mr. Ban addressed issues including climate change, the need for more women in global leadership roles, and the migrant crisis. IMO contributes to these and many more global issues, and has been joining the rest of the UN family in celebrating the 70th birthday (see here).

The event was hosted by the United Nations Association UK (UNA-UK) and Chatham House, and moderated by Sir Jeremy Greenstock – chair of UNA-UK and former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations.

 

Addressing biodiversity in the high seas

05/02/2016 

The UN is developing a new treaty to address the conservation of marine life and biodiversity in the high seas, beyond national territorial waters. Ahead of a preparatory committee meeting, to be held in March-April 2016, IMO’s Ed Kleverlaan attended an international workshop in Singapore (3-4 February) and outlined existing treaties and mechanisms to protect the oceans, such as the particularly sensitive sea areas (PSSAs) designated by IMO.


The workshop was organized by the National University of Singapore - Centre for International Law. The new international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction is being developed under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

 

France ratifies wreck removal treaty

04/02/2016 

​France has ratified 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. Nicole Taillefer, Permanent Representative of France to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and deposited the instrument of ratification today (4 February).

 

Seminar looks towards sustainable ship recycling

03/02/2016 

Early ratification of the Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention will enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling. This was a key message underlying a ship recycling seminar on “Towards sustainable ship recycling”, held in London (3 February). Representatives of Governments, the shipping and recycling industries and UN Agencies shared experiences and lessons learned on ship recycling during the seminar, which was organized by the Government of Japan in cooperation with the IMO Secretariat. Representatives from IMO’s Marine Environment Division contributed to the seminar, which was attended by more than 90 people.

 

Advancing with e-navigation

02/02/2016 

E-navigation can offer enhanced safety, better environmental protection, improved traffic management and commercial benefits; and both the technological advances and the advantages they can bring are continuing to evolve. That was the message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in his keynote speech to the International E-Navigation Underway conference today (2 February). Organized by IALA and the Danish Maritime Authority, the event was, fittingly, held aboard a passenger ferry, at sea.

Pictured, left to right: Omar Fritz Eriksson, Chairman of the IALA e-Navigation Committee, Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General, IALA.

 

Fatigue guidelines under scrutiny

01/02/2016 

Draft revised and updated Guidelines on Fatigue to promote improved understanding of fatigue and fatigue risk management at sea are expected to be finalized by the third session of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) which meets this week (1-5 February). Other items on the agenda include the validation of a number of model courses; the development of revised training requirements for personnel serving on board passenger ships; revisions to the guidelines on the Implementation of the International Safety (ISM) Code by Administrations; implementation of the STCW convention and initiation of the comprehensive review of the STCW-F Convention.

The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Vice-Chairman Ms. Mayte Medina (United States). Photos here.

 

Germany accedes to treaties covering unlawful acts at sea

29/01/2016 

​Germany has today (29 January) acceded to the 2005 SUA Protocols, which cover the criminalization of behaviour that threatens the safety of maritime navigation. The Protocols extend and strengthen the SUA Convention (and its related Protocol), which covers acts including the seizure of ships by force, acts of violence against persons on board ships, and the placing of devices on board a ship which are likely to destroy or damage it. H.E. Dr. Peter Ammon, Germany's Ambassador to the UK and Permanent Representative of Germany to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Lim to hand over the instrument of accession.

 

Oil spill convention celebrates 20 years

28/01/2016 

​A symposium marking the 20 year anniversary of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) is being held in Tokyo, Japan (28-29 January). Under the theme “Maintaining Future Effective Preparedness against Oil Spills”, industry experts are presenting the latest technologies available to fight major oil spills. IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division, addressed the symposium via video message – reiterating the importance of maintaining an appropriate level of readiness against oil spills.

The event, organized by the Petroleum Association of Japan, aims to provide a platform for sharing experiences and discussing the optimum level of future oil spill response preparedness in order to aid compliance with the OPRC Convention.

 

Assessing security needs in Nigeria

27/01/2016 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is hosting a team of IMO maritime security specialists for a needs assessment mission (25-29 January) focusing on physical security and the implementation of IMO maritime security measures (SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code). The week includes meetings with the main players involved in the enforcement of maritime security and visits to various port facilities, including ENL Terminal, APM Terminal and Folawiyo Energy Terminal. The mission will help establish how IMO and other partner agencies can provide targeted assistance to Nigeria in the future. The mission follows a national table top exercise conducted by IMO in Lagos in May 2014.

 

Supporting the World Maritime University

27/01/2016 

​IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is undertaking his first official visit to the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden (26-27 January). Addressing students, Mr. Lim emphasized the value of his own WMU education from 1989 to 1991 and noted a sense of responsibility as the first WMU graduate to hold the office of IMO Secretary-General. He also stated his intention to support the important capacity-building mission of the University and to promote its financial sustainability. Read the full WMU press briefing here.

 

Women in port management

22/01/2016 

​Eighteen high-level officials and decision-makers from around the world have completed a two-week training course in port management, aimed at female managers. The course at the Port Institute for Education and Research (IPER) in Le Havre, France (11 to 22 January) is run by IMO in collaboration with the Le Havre Port Authority on a regular basis as part of IMO’s global programme on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector. 

The 8th training course “Women in Port Management” included lectures on various aspects of port management (e.g. port planning, port security and safety, intermodal transportation, port-city relationship management) , providing participants with a global understanding of present and future challenges of ports. Eighteen female officials from Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines and Viet Nam attended the course.

 

Blue economy discussed at international summit

19/01/2016 

The “blue economy”, a global vision for economic growth through the sustainable development of oceans and coasts, is being discussed at the second Blue Economy Summit, in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (19 January 2016). The Summit is deliberating how to build on outcomes of the UN climate change summit (COP 21) and UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).

IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu informed the Summit on IMO's work to address greenhouse gas emissions from ships as well as the Organization's continued efforts to link its technical cooperation program to the Sustainable Development Goals. The summit is hosted by the Governments of Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates in partnership with the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

 

“Indispensable shipping” theme launched

18/01/2016 

The critical link between shipping and global society is the main focus for this year’s World Maritime Day theme: "Shipping: indispensable to the world". The theme for 2016 was launched by IMO Secretary-General Lim as he opened the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (18 January).

Mr. Lim said that without shipping, importing and exporting goods on the scale necessary to sustain the modern world would simply not be possible. He encouraged Member States and the entire shipping community to join in this opportunity to promote shipping to a global audience and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping.
 

Offshore service craft in focus

18/01/2016 

​Defining “industrial personnel”, such as workers transported on offshore service vessels, is among the topics on the agenda of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) (18-22 January). People travelling on these vessels are likely to have had specific training and abilities and may differ from ordinary “passengers”, therefore defining “industrial personnel” is important when it comes to setting safety standards for vessels such as wind farm service craft.

Other topics on the agenda include the revision of subdivision and damage stability regulations in SOLAS chapter II-1; passenger ship matters, including making evacuation analysis mandatory for new passenger ships and reviewing the recommendation on evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships; revising and updating guidance on wing-in-ground craft; and review of the guidelines for use of fibre reinforced plastic within ship structures, in particular with regards to fire safety issues.

The SDC Sub-Committee was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Kevin Hunter (United Kingdom). Click for photos.

 

Fighting migrant smuggling

12/01/2016 

​IMO is joining experts on human trafficking at an EU conference (12-13 January) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The conference is focusing on the benefits of multidisciplinary cooperation to counter migrant smuggling. Chris Trelawny from IMO is a panellist on a workshop on “Engaging the private sector in the fight against migrant smuggling: transport and shipping”. The conference will also consider the European Commission’s Action Plan Against Migrant Smuggling (2015-2020) and a study by the European Migration Network on routes used to smuggle migrants. IMO will continue to monitor unsafe mixed migration by sea during 2016, including at meetings of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (in March), the Facilitation Committee (April)  and the Maritime Safety Committee (May). 

 

Energy-efficiency training course now online

12/01/2016 

A complete package of training materials on IMO’s energy efficiency requirements is now available to download free of charge from the IMO website. The package, including presentations, posters, exercises and assignments, will be of interest to anyone wanting to understand how to implement the regulations in Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI and what the technical and operational implications are for ship designers, shipbuilders, companies and seafarers.

The course has been designed to train individuals to become trainers themselves. This is to encourage the development of a pool of people who can participate in capacity-building activities under either the auspices of IMO technical cooperation activities or in any other formal education and training scenario.

The package includes a trainers manual and modules on: Climate Change and the Shipping Response; Ship Energy Efficiency Regulations and Related Guidelines; From Management to Operation; Ship Board Energy Management; Ship Port Interface for Energy Efficiency; Energy Management Plans and Systems. Download here.  

 

IMO and WCO partner on e-business compendium

06/01/2016 

IMO and the World Customs Organization (WCO) have signed a partnership agreement to maintain, update, publish and distribute the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business. The compendium provides essential guidance and standardised forms for electronic exchange of information on cargo, passengers and crew, for ships, carriers, port authorities, customs, terminals, consignees and other parties in the supply chain.

Under the agreement, signed on 22 December, the WCO takes responsibility for the technical maintenance of the compendium, including liaison with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/EDIFACT).

The scope of responsibilities and procedures for the maintenance of the Compendium are detailed in the annex of the Agreement, and the Compendium is under the purview of the Maritime Safety Division of IMO and the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate of the WCO.

WCO and IMO worked during 2015 on the maintenance of the Compendium, and taking into account the suggestions of the WCO's Data Model Project Team (DMPT), WCO will present a new version of the Compendium to the Facilitation Committee, which meets in April 2016,  for approval.