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What's New during 2017

 

Training for port security staff in Guinea

24/11/2017 

Port security officials in Guinea have undergone training on complying with IMO’s maritime security measures. They are being trained in how to perform their duties in line with SOLAS Chapter XI-2, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and related guidance.

The event in Conakry, Guinea (20-24 November) is being organised in conjunction with Guinea’s Maritime Authority and the Ministry of Transport. The training involves Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and representatives of the Designated Authority (DA).

Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work, here.

 

Addressing invasive species

24/11/2017 

The spread of invasive species is recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. These species are causing enormous damage to biodiversity and the damage to the environment is often irreversible. Moreover, significant economic impact occurs to industries that depend on the coastal and marine environment, as well as costly damage to infrastructure. Direct and indirect health effects are also becoming increasingly serious. Ships have been identified as a vector for invasive aquatic species. This could be through species hitching a ride in the ballast water of ships; or by adhering to the ship’s hull and external structures - a process known as biofouling. IMO addresses invasive aquatic species carried in ballast water through the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which requires ships to manage their ballast water to limit the spread of aquatic organisms.

The BWM treaty entered into force in September 2017. This landmark step was recognized at the latest meeting of the Inter-agency Liaison Group on Invasive Alien Species, which held its 8th session in Brussels, Belgium (22-23 November). IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis provided an outline of the main provisions of the BWM Convention and explained aspects of its implementation and enforcement. Biofouling was also on the agenda and Mr. Karayannis updated the group on IMO’s latest Glo-Fouling project to address bioinvasions via ships’ hulls through the effective implementation of IMO's Biofouling Guidelines.

Addressing invasive species is listed as a target under the UN Sustainable Development Goal 15, which calls on States, by 2020, to introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species. 

IMO's work also has relevance under SDG 14, which calls on States, by 2020, to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.  
 
The Liaison Group meeting was hosted by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

 

Financial support for the Polar Code and the Sustainable Development Goals

23/11/2017 

IMO's work to protect the polar environment and the safety of seafarers and passengers navigating in polar regions has received a boost thanks to a donation by the Government of Canada.

IMO Secretary-General and Canada's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, H.E. Ms. Janice Charette, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at IMO Headquarters (23 November). The MoU aims to deliver training programmes for seafarers on board ships operating in polar waters, in line with The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, better known as the Polar Code. The Code, which entered into force on 1 January 2017, sets out mandatory standards that cover the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training and environmental protection matters for ships making polar voyages.  

Under this initiative, the financial contribution of CAD $500,000, will also go towards four regional train-the-trainer workshops on implementation of the Polar Code and assign IMO as the responsible agency for the management and execution of these activities.


 

Iceland accedes to air pollution treaty

22/11/2017 

The IMO treaty covering the prevention of air pollution from ships has been ratified by Iceland, bringing the total number of contracting States to 89, and representing more than 96% of world merchant shipping tonnage.

The MARPOL Annex VI treaty limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas, including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances. It also includes energy-efficiency measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

H.E. Mr Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (22 November) to deposit the instruments of accession.

Find out more about IMO’s work on low carbon shipping and air pollution control, here.

 

US$1 million boost for IMO technical cooperation activities

20/11/2017 

IMO’s technical cooperation activities have received a boost of US$1.0 million. The funds, donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will be allocated to a range of activities, including training and supporting women in the maritime sector; as well as combating piracy and other illicit activities that threaten the safety of navigation.

The funds include:   

- US$250,000 to support both the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017 that together help signatory States to counter piracy and other illicit activities that threaten safety of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean area.

- US$50,000 to combat piracy in West and Central Africa.

- US$250,000 to support the activities of the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

- US$50,000 to support and strengthen the role of women working in the maritime sector in the Arab world.

- US$300,000 for the Endowment Fund of the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden.

- US$100,000 to the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta to support some scholarships.

The cheque for US$1.0 million was presented to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom. 

 

Modern simulator to enhance delivery of regional training

20/11/2017 

The Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) has been equipped with a modern computer-based training simulator as part of IMO's efforts to promote maritime safety and security in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

Equipment installation, funded through a contribution to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund by the Kingdom of Denmark, has been completed and the first cohort of six Djibouti officers have been trained to operate it.

The simulator training room consists of 11 trainee consoles and an instructor's work station. The package includes software for many modules such as Marine Communication, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and Search and Rescue (SAR). It is capable of maritime safety and security scenario simulation and also includes animation and video clips, printed and electronic textbooks and training syllabus.

IMO's Kiruja Micheni, and Commander John Hansen, representative of Denmark, are in Djibouti to oversee the finalisation and handover formalities. 


 

​Environmental update

17/11/2017 

A review of the latest environmental protection measures from IMO has been provided to the Green Ship Technology North America Conference (15-16 November), New York, United States. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis outlined the key decisions from the latest session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71), including the latest work on GHG reduction from international shipping and on air pollution and on implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention. The BWM Convention entered into force in September 2017.

 

Why cover liability for transport of hazardous and noxious substances by ship?

17/11/2017 

Transporting hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by sea is a vital trade. Chemicals, LPG, LNG and other products are important to many manufacturing and energy processes and IMO regulations ensure their safe transport. However, when incidents do happen, IMO’s HNS Convention helps to ensure that those who have suffered damage have access to a comprehensive and international liability and compensation regime.

To explain this treaty and why it is needed, IMO’s Jan De Boer is participating at the LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference in London (16-17 November). His keynote speech covered the impacts associated with HNS incidents, including those involving chemical and LPG tankers, as well the overall benefits of the Convention and the next steps for States to implement the treaty.

Find more about the HNS Convention, including digital brochures, graphics and presentations, here.

 

Cooperation key among maritime universities

17/11/2017 

Cooperation between academic institutions is key in ensuring the next generation of maritime professionals is well prepared. In this spirit, IMO's Juvenal Shiundu delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the International seminar on mutual cooperation between International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Maritime University (WMU) and Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU) in Busan, Republic of Korea (11 November).

In front of a full audience, Mr. Shiundu reiterated the crucial role played by IMO's technical cooperation work in enhancing the capacities of many developing countries and producing maritime leaders through the many global training institutions, such as the World Maritime University and the International Maritime Law Institute, and ultimately helping to implement IMO instruments worldwide.

Students also heard about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they offer both opportunities and challenges which IMO, WMU and KMOU are keen to explore as an area of potential collaboration for maritime research and education. 


 

Supporting port security in Ghana

17/11/2017 

IMO’s continuing work to assist ports with the highest numbers of stowaway incidents through enhancing port security is underway at a workshop in Tema, Ghana (13-17 November).

Meetings with key stakeholders responsible for maritime security and facilitation are being used to gauge knowledge of national legislation, port facility security plans, local organization of maritime security and facilitation, and inter-agency cooperation through security and facilitation committees.

The event included a visit to the port of Tema to assess the physical security which is currently in place. Participants are also being trained to plan and conduct effective self-assessments and internal/external audits of port facilities, in line with IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment.

Consultants will assess the port’s compliance with stowaway provisions in IMO’s Facilitation Convention and with recommendations adopted by a regional conference on stowaways held in 2014. The national workshop is being funded by the Government of Denmark and contributes to the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2017: Connecting Ships, Ports and People.

Attendees include representatives from the Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, UNODC, Interpol and the Port and Maritime Authority of West & Central Africa (PMAWCA). The event was opened by Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, with the Director-Generals of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr. Kwame Owusu, and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr. Paul Asare Ansah, were also in attendance. IMO was represented by Dallas Laryea, Regional Coordinator for Anglophone Africa.

 

Free-flowing maritime traffic in Montenegro

15/11/2017 

The key IMO treaty supporting the free flow of international maritime traffic – the Facilitation Convention – provides a set of consistent, uniform regulations that cover the wide range of administrative tasks required of ships coming into and leaving port.

To support this process in Montenegro, IMO is holding a seminar with the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs in Bar, Montenegro (14-16 November). Thirty-five participants from various agencies with responsibilities for clearing ships, cargo, crew and passengers in the country’s ports, and private stakeholders are taking part.

The seminar is advising participants on both the current facilitation regulations and recent amendments on the mandatory electronic data exchange for international shipping, which enter into force in 2018 via the Annex to the FAL Convention. Under the new amendments, all contracting governments will establish means for exchanging information electronically by April 2019.

Participants are also being advised on the benefits of using a maritime single window for ship notifications as well as on topics such as stowaways and persons rescued at sea. IMO is represented by Cagri Kucukyildiz and a consultant.

Find out more about the FAL Convention, what it is and why it matters, here.

 

Worldwide implementation of maritime search and rescue

15/11/2017 

International search and rescue plans are crucial, so that, no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at sea can be coordinated successfully.  Therefore, the worldwide implementation of IMO's International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR Convention 1979) is a key component in efforts to ensure the safety of international shipping.

To further promote the ratification and appropriate implementation of the Convention, a seminar is being held in Bogota, Colombia, (14 to 16 November) to particularly promote the Convention in Central America and the Caribbean. This seminar also provides an opportunity for search and rescue authorities in Central America and the Caribbean to enhance their understanding of regional SAR issues and to learn about new technologies available.

The three-day workshop, which brought participants from over 20 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, encourages participants to share best practices, establish common procedures and raise awareness of their national situation. The end goal is to strengthen the national search and rescue plans in the region and to encourage the implementation of SAR services efficiently and effectively. The event is being organized by IMO in collaboration with the General Maritime Directorate of Colombia (DIMAR). IMO was represented by Carlos Salgado, Hans Van der Graaf, and Colin Young as well as experts from Chile's Directorate General of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DIRECTEMAR).


 

2020 sulphur limit - no exceptions

15/11/2017 

Consistent implementation is the only option when it comes to the 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil, which comes into force in 2020. Speaking at a conference for the refining and petrochemical industry in Athens, Greece (13-15 November), IMO’s Edmund Hughes reminded participants that the 2020 global sulphur limit will enter into force on 1 January 2020, without any delay. How to ensure consistent implementation will be the subject of important discussions at the next session of IMO’S Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), both at its session in February 2018 and during an intersessional working group to be held later in 2018. Compliance, enforcement and monitoring will be the remit and responsibility of both flag States and port States. The bunkering industry will also have a part to play in ensuring high sulphur fuel oil continues to be supplied to ships equipped with approved equivalent methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or “scrubbers”. Mr. Hughes reminded participants of the commercial imperative for ships to be compliant. In addition to possible detention - which would make the ship a high risk for future port State inspection decisions - a non-compliant ship could be considered as being “unseaworthy”, so affecting their charter party and also indemnity in the event of an insurance claim.    

 

IMO activities showcased at Bonn climate talks

14/11/2017 

IMO has continued its participation at the Bonn climate change talks (COP 23) in a range of side- and special events, following its report on progress to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 47). 

The GMN maritime technology project, run by IMO and funded by the European Union, was presented during a side-event (10 November). The project has established a network of five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs). Representatives of the European Union, IMO, MTCC-Caribbean and MTCC-Pacific participated at the event. MTCCs updated the audience on their pilot projects, including data collection on fuel oil consumption on ships. From 2019, ships over 5,000 gross tonnage worldwide – which account for 85% of CO2 emissions from international shipping - will be required to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. The pilot projects are good examples of how the MTCCS will support implementation of IMO’s energy efficiency regulations. The MTCCs will also work to help participating countries develop national energy-efficiency policies and measures for their maritime sectors and promote uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport. Presentations were followed by a panel discussion.

IMO participated alongside the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in a special event (7 November) on actions and progress made by ICAO and IMO in addressing emissions from international aviation and maritime transport. IMO’s Edmund Hughes highlighted recent progress towards developing a draft initial IMO GHG strategy. 
 
At the UN Oceans Side Event (11 November), IMO’s Jose Matheickal again highlighted IMO’s work to mitigate greenhouse gases from the shipping sector. This side event brought together various agencies from the UN system, to speak about actions that countries are taking, with the support of the UN system, to address climate related multi-stressors on the ocean. Improved scientific capacity to understand ocean change, the development of CO2 mitigation strategies and new innovative adaptation approaches were discussed.
 
Mr. Matheickal also participated in a panel discussion on Sustainable Mobility in a Changing Climate. He noted successful public-private partnerships within the maritime sector, such as the Global Industry Alliance to support low carbon shipping (GIA) and said that new global roadmaps can ensure better synergies among key stakeholders.

 

Protecting Mauritania’s marine park

13/11/2017 

A particularly sensitive sea area (PSSA) is an area of special ecological, socio-economic or scientific importance which may be vulnerable to international shipping. To date, IMO has designated 17 areas which benefit from the scheme and are protected. IMO Member Governments can submit applications for the designation of PSSAs at any time.

Representatives from IMO, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre Marine Program and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) met with national stakeholders in Nouakchott, Mauritania (6-8 November) to discuss options to possibly designate the area around the Banc d'Arguin National Park as a PSSA.

The Banc d'Arguin National Park, which is already on the UNESCO World Heritage List, hosts the largest concentration of wintering wading birds in the world and one of the most diversified communities of nesting piscivorous birds. Marine mammals are also regularly recorded and a small resident population of monk seal is found in the area, as well as important fish varieties. 


 

New audit team leaders trained

10/11/2017 

The auditing of IMO Member States to assess how effectively they administer key IMO instruments is an important part of the Organization’s work to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is universally adopted and implemented.

To support this process, new audit team leaders are being trained under IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) at a course being held at IMO Headquarters, London (6-10 November). The course involves thirteen auditors* who have been part of audit teams under the Scheme in 2016 and 2017 and are now ready to act as audit team leaders in future audits.

The training addresses an increased demand for audit team leaders to conduct up to 25 audits of Member States per year, which became mandatory from January 2016 and are carried out in accordance with the overall audit schedule. The course has been designed to further develop skills in preparing, conducting and reporting from audits in accordance with the Framework and Procedures for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (resolution A.1067(28)) and using the IMO Instruments Implementation (III) Code (resolution A.1070(28)) as the audit standard.

The course is the second to take place since the introduction of the Audit Scheme. To-date, 40 mandatory audits have been carried out, with a further 22 planned for 2018. All Member States are required to undergo a mandatory audit within the 7-years audit cycle - in accordance with the Scheme.

* Auditors nominated by: Canada, Cyprus, France, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Norway, Peru, Poland, Sweden and UK

 

Preventing stowaways

10/11/2017 

Enhanced port security can help the in the facilitation of international maritime traffic and the prevention of stowaways. A national workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone (6-10 November) is one of a series assisting ports with the highest number of stowaway incidents to address these issues.

Meetings with key stakeholders responsible for maritime security and facilitation are being used to gauge knowledge of national legislation, port facility security plans, local organization of maritime security and facilitation, and inter-agency cooperation through security and facilitation committees. This is being followed up by port visits, to assess the physical security which is currently in place. Five ports were visited during the exercise: the Queen Elizabeth II Quay (Water Quay), Petrojetty Limited, Pepel (Shandong Steel), Nitti I (Vimetco) and Nitti II (Sierra Rutile Ltd) Ports.

In addition, participants are trained to plan and conduct effective self-assessments and internal/external audits of port facilities, in line with IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment.

Consultants will also assess the port’s compliance with stowaway provisions in IMO’s Facilitation Convention and with recommendations adopted by a regional conference on stowaways held in 2014. The national workshop is being funded by the Government of Denmark and contributes to the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2017: Connecting Ships, Ports and People.

 

Women in maritime Asia strengthen their network

09/11/2017 

A regional conference on women in the maritime sector is taking place in Dili, Timor Leste (6-9 November) under the theme: Transitioning from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals.

The event is gathering members of the Women in Maritime Associations for Asia (WIMAs), from 22 Asian countries. The associations aim to deliver the IMO's Programme on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS), giving visibility and recognition to the role women play as key resources for the maritime sector. 

The conference is looking at ways to implementation the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.  

Discussions have already identified challenges ahead which will need to be addressed, such as the current political and cultural mind-set as well as varying levels of development among Asian countries. But participants agreed that the exchange of experiences and best practices that are taking place at events like this are already helping to enhance women's education, competency and career development.

The outcome of the conference is expected to align goals within regional WIMAs and thereafter create a single blueprint of global advocacy for the SDGs by women in maritime.

IMO's Helen Buni is speaking at the event which is organized by IMO in cooperation with the Timor Leste's Ministry of Development, Transports and Communications, and the German Development Cooperation Agency.


 

Inspection training for cleaner shipping

07/11/2017 

Inspection training for Port State Control Officers in South and Central America is underway at an IMO workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina (6-8 November). Port State Control is the process, supported by IMO, by which officials in ports can board visiting foreign-flagged vessels to verify compliance with international safety and pollution standards.

The Buenos Aires workshop is specifically focused on training officers to inspect and enforce both air pollution and energy-efficiency provisions in IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI treaty. The event is part of on-going work under IMO’s GloMEEP project to promote energy-efficient shipping, and is being hosted by the Prefectura Naval Argentina and carried out by IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

* Participants from: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay

 

IMO updates COP23 on climate change work

06/11/2017 

​The progress made in starting to shape a draft comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships has been reported to the COP 23 climate change conference, meeting in Bonn, Germany (6-15 November) by IMO’s Stefan Micallef. He reported that more than 2,600 ocean-going ships have now been certified to the mandatory energy efficiency design requirements, which have been in force since 2013. The significant global reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships from 1 January 2020 is expected to contribute further to the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, through the anticipated resulting uptake of alternative fuels. IMO’s capacity-building and technical cooperation work was also highlighted, including the UNDP-GEF-IMO global energy efficiency project (GloMEEP) and the European-Union funded maritime technology cooperation centres network (GMN) project. Mr. Micallef was reporting on IMO’s work to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 47).  

 

Digital technology for sustainable development

03/11/2017 

Information and communication technology (ICT) experts from across the United Nations system have gathered to discuss the UN’s digital vision – a vital part of efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Innovation in analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning were among the topics discussed at the CEB-ICT Network meeting at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland (31 October – 2 November) as the Network continued to develop its digital vision paper on the future of data, security, mobility, innovation and partnerships. Cybersecurity also came to the forefront in the discussions and remains a priority area for the entire UN system.

IMO was represented by Vincent Job at the CEB-ICT Network meeting, which was followed by the 100th session of the management committee of the United Nation's International Computing Centre (ICC) – the leading provider of ICT services within the UN.

 

Teaching energy-efficient ship operation in Argentina

03/11/2017 

Maritime training institutions in Argentina are the latest to benefit from IMO work to help introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into teaching curriculums.

A workshop, taking place in Buenos Aires (2-3 November) under the Organization’s GloMEEP project is supporting maritime training institutes to deliver the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers. The course consists of a series of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience and ensure there are properly trained crews who can contribute to efficient shipping.

The Buenos Aires workshop, hosted and organized by the Prefectura Naval Argentina, is the most recent in a series of GloMEEP events that has seen the training delivered in various countries, including Georgia, South Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines. This on-going work supports IMO’s environmental protection goals by spreading industry best practices that can reduce fuel consumption from ships and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Find out more about IMO's work on low carbon shipping and air pollution control, here.

 

Who certifies ships?

02/11/2017 

Under IMO treaties, ships can be surveyed and certified either by officers of the relevant flag State, or by Recognized Organizations (ROs) acting on behalf of them. As part of this process, countries delegating surveys and certification to ROs need to recognize, authorize and monitor these Organizations, which is the subject of a regional IMO workshop* taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (31 October – 2 November).

The event is assisting participants from Arab and Mediterranean States to meet their responsibilities under IMO’s RO Code, which entered into force in January 2015. Participants are being provided with knowledge on the harmonized, transparent and independent mechanisms that can assist in consistent oversight of ROs.

The workshop is organised in close cooperation with the Federal Transport Authority of the UAE and Abu Dhabi Ports, under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme to support maritime development in the Arab States and Mediterranean region. H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Naimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority of the UAE, opened the event.

IMO’s Jonathan Pace is coordinating the workshop, with additional support coming from host country the UAE, and the Republic of Singapore under the Singapore-IMO Third Country Training Programme.

 * Regional Workshop on Assessing, Authorizing and Monitoring Recognized Organizations

 

Focus on piracy prevention at Djibouti workshop

30/10/2017 

A high-level workshop in Djibouti has seen an exchange of ideas on preventing a resurgence of piracy in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, as well as addressing other transnational organized crimes at sea that threaten the security of navigation.

The event (29 October) was hosted at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre, which is part-funded by IMO and supports implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the international treaty that has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region.

Co-hosted by Japan and France, the workshop was attended by Ambassadors from France, Japan, EU, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and by members of the diplomatic corps, senior government officials from Djibouti, East African Standby Force and IMO. 

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Djibouti’s Minister of Defence, H.E. Ali Hassan Bahdon invited regional countries to take advantage of the newly completed regional training centre and appealed to donor partners to provide assistance in providing training at the centre.

The workshop reinforced the importance of national strategies for developing the maritime sector and a sustainable “blue economy” that generates revenue, employment and stability – a key factor in tackling maritime security challenges in the region.

 

Maritime security for sustainable development

26/10/2017 

A gathering of navy chiefs from around the world have heard how effective, joined-up and forward-looking maritime security can be key to an efficient maritime sector, and, therefore, national and regional economic development. Forty-seven navies, including 29 Chiefs of Navies, and 11 international and national organizations participated in the XI Venice Regional Seapower Symposium in Italy (17-20 October), which was hosted by the Italian Navy under the theme of “Navies beyond traditional roles: crewing efforts to project stability and security from the sea”.

Addressing the sub-theme of “how to face trans-regional challenges through traditional capabilities?” IMO’s Chris Trelawny outlined the current trans-national threats to shipping, highlighted how effective maritime security requires cooperation, coordination and communication between all stakeholders at national, regional and international level, and acknowledged the contribution of effective civil/military cooperation to protecting international maritime transport.   

Mr Trelawny also emphasized that these practices will not only support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development but could also address some of the stress factors that lead to instability, insecurity and uncontrolled mixed migration.

Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work, here.

 

Training for spill response in East Africa

20/10/2017 

The question of how to manage emergency preparedness and response in the oil and gas sector was on the agenda at a workshop in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania (17-20 October).

Participants from countries across the East Africa region* gathered to highlight good practices in developing national preparedness and response systems, as well as how to improve understanding of risk assessments related to oil and gas development and potential impacts on environment. The group also worked to identify areas for strengthening emergency preparedness and response at national and regional levels.

IMO’s Colleen O’Hagan helped to facilitate the workshop and provided an overview of the Organization’s International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) – the treaty covering measures for dealing with pollution incidents.

This Zanzibar workshop was funded by the Norwegian Oil for Development (OfD) Programme and implemented through their partnership program with UNEP in collaboration with the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, the Indian Ocean Commission and hosted by the Zanzibar Environment Management Authority (ZEMA).

*Participants from Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, as well as resource personnel from Nairobi Convention, Indian Ocean Commission, Norwegian Coastal Administration, East Africa Community, ITOPF, State University Zanzibar and IMO.

 

Spotlight on maritime security at Mexico workshop

20/10/2017 

Mexican port security officials have undergone training on complying with IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code). Forty participants took part in the workshop in Manzanillo, Mexico (16-20 October), focusing on the practise of self-assessing compliance with regulations under the Code that apply to port facilities.

The workshop included theoretical lessons, presentations on self-assessment processes and techniques, practical exercises, role playing and a visit to a port facility in Manzanillo.
 
The event is part of a series of activities coordinated with the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) following the reorganization of maritime security responsibilities in Mexico this year. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

Arab Women in Maritime Association launched

19/10/2017 

A ground breaking event took place in Alexandria, Egypt (15-19 October) when 30 women from nine Arab countries officially launched The Arab Association for Women in the Maritime Sector (AWIMA). The new network joins the IMO family of regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs), giving visibility and recognition to the role women play as key resources for the maritime sector. 

Ships’ surveyors, harbourmasters, marine engineers and maritime lawyers, to name a few, came together at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) to set a framework for the new network. The goal is to provide training and knowledge-sharing to facilitate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.  

Female cadets studying at the AASTMT also joined the opening ceremony to demonstrate the changes taking place in the industry and to encourage other young women to join the maritime sector, which offers the many benefits of a maritime career, particularly in seafaring careers.

 

Training for port security officials in Tunisia

13/10/2017 

An IMO workshop has provided training for Tunisian port security officials to design and undertake drills and exercises in ports. The training course (10-13 October) helped to reinforce and improve existing security measures in the country by training participants to conduct drills and exercises in line with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and recommendations in the APEC Manual of Maritime Security Drills and Exercises for Port Facilities.

Activities included live simulation exercises in which participants were assigned various roles, including responders to occurring events and as controllers of incidents, as well as theoretical lessons and discussions.

The workshop was arranged at the request of the General Directorate of Ports and Maritime Transport of Tunisia. Following the closing of the event, the Directorate’s Director-General, Mr. Youssef Ben Romdhane, congratulated participants and the IMO team facilitating the training for their engagement in the course – which followed a contingency planning workshop on maritime security measures at the national level, conducted by IMO from 28-29 September.

 

Antigua and Barbuda gets set for single window

13/10/2017 

Antigua and Barbuda is getting ready to implement a maritime single window for ship notifications relating to stay and departure of the vessel, under a project facilitated by IMO technical cooperation programme. Norway is financing the project as well as providing technical expertise.

The first phase of the project has been initiated with a kick-off week in St. John's (9-13 October). This week provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the scope of the project, identify existing facilities and conduct a needs assessment. The aim is to install a fully functional system based on SafeSeaNet Norway (SSNN), an internet-based maritime single window reporting system focused on FAL Forms. This single window - like other single window concepts - will connect all terminals for stakeholders such as customs, defence, police, maritime authorities, and ports in the country. Vessels will be able to register mandatory arrival and departure information via the single window and this information will be forwarded to individual authorities and ports in accordance with international and national regulations.

Amendments to IMO’s Facilitation Convention adopted in 2016 require Parties to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information by 8 April 2019. The intention is that the Antigua and Barbuda Single Window will provide a system for maritime transport clearance, including the clearance of the ship electronically, by the deadline.

 

Busy agenda for IMO chief in Cyprus

13/10/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim was in Cyprus this week (9-11 October) for a series of high-level meetings with ministers and officials. First, he delivered a keynote address at the Maritime Cyprus event under the theme: "Future Shipping Strategy: Regulators vs. Industry". He said, "an industry where standards of safety, security and environmental stewardship are high is far better placed to attract both the financial investment and the high-calibre personnel it needs to sustain itself in the long term". The event operates as a forum where important and current issues relating to international shipping are presented, attracting over 800 shipping executives from around the globe.

Mr Lim then continued with his busy trip to attend the 20 years anniversary since the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Mediterranean Region. Known as the Mediterranean MoU, the original agreement was signed in Valletta, Malta - on 11 July 1997. Port State Control is the process, supported by IMO, by which officials in ports can board visiting foreign-flag vessels to verify compliance with international safety and pollution standards. In a speech to the meeting, Mr Lim praised Port State Control officers who have worked tirelessly to harmonize and coordinate PSC activities which are essential as the second line of defence against non-compliance with international standards.

Mr Lim's last stop in Cyprus involved a much younger audience, as he visited an elementary school of Limassol along with EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. There, he learned more about the Cyprus Chamber of Shipping's Adopt a Ship programme from the students themselves. He later declared how impressed he was by the programme saying, "the inspirational initiative connects young people to the shipping world in a really tangible way, improving their knowledge and firing their imagination. I really think this is a wonderful scheme and all those involved in it deserve great credit". This visit was part of the IMO Maritime Ambassador scheme which Cyprus has been actively engaged in. Under the scheme, spokespersons are nominated by IMO Member States or NGOs to advocate on behalf of the maritime and seafaring professions, especially among younger audiences.

 

​Maritime policy for good governance

11/10/2017 

The latest in a series of workshops around the world to provide training in the development, adoption and updating of a National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) has been held in Bangkok, Thailand (9-11 October). The event highlighted the importance of a national maritime transport policy as a good mechanism for improved maritime governance in a sustainable manner.

The Marine Department of Thailand hosted the workshop, which was facilitated by Jonathan Pace and Josephine Uranza from IMO and Professor Max Mejia and Associate Professor George Theocharidis from the World Maritime University (WMU). Forty participants with a role to play in the preparation of a NMTP were exposed to the objectives, development process, content, implementation, and updating of such a policy.

On the margins of the workshop, the IMO/WMU team met H.E. Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport of Thailand, and discussed the benefits of developing a NMTP and other matters of mutual interest. During the meeting, Minister Termpittayapaisith reiterated Thailand’s commitment to implementing IMO global maritime standards.

 

​IMO regional pollution centre assists Greece oil spill clean-up

10/10/2017 

​The IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is providing technical expertise to help clean up beaches in Greece affected by an oil spill.

Two experts are in Greece (8 to 14 October) to give technical support on sunken oil assessment, removal techniques and efficient oil removal from sandy beaches. This follows the sinking of the AGIA ZONI II, off Piraeus, on 10 September. The experts are from the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre) based in Brest, France, and from the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) based in Rome, Italy. Both centres are members of the Mediterranean Assistance Unit (MAU), which was established in 1993 and can be mobilized by REMPEC to assist in the event of an emergency situation.

The MAU was established by the Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean.  IMO administers REMPEC, based in Malta, under the Protocol to the Barcelona Convention Concerning Co-operation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, 2002. Read more.

 

Learning about port management and efficiency

10/10/2017 

High-level officials and decision-makers from maritime and port authorities around the world are undergoing intense training on port management and operational efficiency at the annual Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management based in Le Havre, France (11 September to 13 October). The IMO World Maritime Day theme of “Connecting ships, ports and people” has been particularly relevant to the course this year. 

The course includes class-based training and site visits, including to the port of Le Havre. The thirty-first Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management, organized by the Institut Portuaire d’Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER) and the Grand Port Maritime du Havre (GPMH) has 17 participants sponsored by IMO. They are from Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Haiti, Jamaica, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, Suriname and United Republic of Tanzania.

 

The fibreglass vessel problem

09/10/2017 

A large number of abandoned or no-longer usable fibreglass vessels - including fishing vessels and leisure craft - are dumped at sea each year, possibly due to a lack of land-based disposal facilities. This was a concern raised by Pacific delegations to the Parties to the treaties which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea. However, full data on the scale of the problem is lacking. This week, the Parties to the London Convention and London Protocol are meeting at IMO Headquarters in London (9-13 October). The meeting is expected to commission a study into the disposal of fibreglass vessels, in order to gain a better understanding of the scale of the issue, the options for disposal and recycling, and the potential impacts of fibreglass in the marine environment. Such a study could provide important advice on how the dumping treaties might address the problem.

Also during this week, the Parties will review progress in updating specific guidelines for assessment of platforms or other man-made structures at sea, which were originally adopted in 2000. Another issue on the agenda is the development of further guidance on action lists (set of chemicals of concern) and action levels (thresholds used in the decision making process that determine whether sediments can be disposed of at sea) for dredged material. On average, 500 million tonnes of permitted dredged material are dumped annually in waters of countries which have signed up to the London Convention or London Protocol. Some 10% of dredged material is contaminated by shipping, industrial and municipal discharges, or by land run-off. It is therefore important to assess if the material is suitable for dumping at sea, before a permit is given.

The thirty-ninth Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and the 12th Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Protocol will also look at issues related to compliance and to implementation of the 2016 Strategic Plan. The meeting was opened by IMO Director Stefan Micallef on behalf of Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The chair is Dr. Gi-Hoon Hong (Republic of Korea). (photos here).

 

An ocean for life

06/10/2017 

Over the last few decades, marine environments have undergone widespread deterioration. To help turn this tide, the Our Ocean Conference 2017 held in Malta (2-3 October) brought together world leaders looking to commit to actions to reduce marine pollution, manage aquatic resources sustainably, mitigate climate change, and set up marine sanctuaries. IMO attended the conference and reaffirmed its commitments made at the UN Oceans Conference in New York in June 2017 to develop, maintain and implement a set of global regulations to ensure shipping's sustainable use of the oceans.  

The event, which took place under the theme "An Ocean for Life, held discussions on four main issues: marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean. This year's event also discussed the newly added topics of maritime security and the blue economy. IMO joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in a side-event, organized by the One Earth Foundation, which launched a newly developed "maritime security index". The index aims to measure and map a range of threats to maritime governance and the capacity of nations to counter these threats.

Find out more about IMO's work to protect the world's oceans, here


 

Safe and sustainable Straits of Malacca and Singapore

05/10/2017 

A series of the meetings under the Cooperative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore have been held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia this week (2-6 October 2017). Safety of navigation, including e-navigation, and marine environmental protection in one of the busiest waterways were on the agenda of the meetings, attended by representatives of the littoral States (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore), user States and other stakeholders. 

IMO’s Hiro Yamada participated in the 10th Co-operation Forum (CF10), the 10th Project Coordination Committee (PCC10) and the 42nd Tripartite Technical Experts Group (TTEG42) meetings.  He explained about the IMO Malacca and Singapore Straits Trust Fund, set up to support capacity-building activities in the Straits, and said that IMO would continue to contribute to the Cooperative Mechanism. The Cooperative Mechanism was established in 2007, under IMO's "Protection of Vital Shipping Lanes" initiative, to foster cooperation and communication between the littoral States, user States and stakeholders of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. 

The 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.  The Tripartite Technical Experts Group supervises the activities of the Cooperative Mechanism.

 

Oil spill preparedness for the wider Caribbean

05/10/2017 

Any state with offshore oil interests needs to be ready to respond to an oil spill. With this in mind, an IMO workshop (2-5 October) in Cartagena, has covered how to assess, identify and acquire oil spill response equipment. A simulated table-top exercise provided hands-on practical experience in how an incident might play out. Participants also gained knowledge in how to develop and implement national and regional exercise programmes. Lessons learned from the exercise and workshop may be incorporated into future revisions of the Wider Caribbean Island and Central American Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Plans.

The workshop was conducted by the Regional Marine Pollution, Emergency, Information and Training Center - Wide Caribbean Region (RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe) and attended by representatives from The Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. It was hosted by the Colombian Maritime Authority (SIMAR) and support including course materials and equipment demonstration was provided by representatives from:  Oil Spill Response Limited; Shell Exploration and Production Co.; Exxon Mobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc; T&T Salvage; LAMOR Corporation AB; VARICHEM de Colombia G.E.P.S.; and RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe.

 

​Safe and green cargo shipping

03/10/2017 

The collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure the safe and environmentally sound transport of goods was a key message delivered by IMO’s Jack Westwood-Booth at the recent International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA) 65th Anniversary Conference, Las Palmas, Gran Canarias, Spain (2 October).
 
Reflecting the World Maritime Day Theme – “Connecting, ships, ports and people” - IMO’s work in collaboration with government and industry to develop and implement regulations specific to the entire cargo supply chain, including goods packed in containers, was outlined. “The first step in preventing unsafe conditions at sea and in port starts with the shipper of the goods to be transported. Whether designing a ship, boarding passengers, training ship crews and shoreside personnel, inspecting safety equipment or packing and loading a sea container, how well these and other shoreside activities are carried out will directly affect the safety of those involved well before a ship ever sets sail. This is why, after nearly 60 years, the IMO regulatory framework for shipping is comprehensive and logically addresses matters related to shoreside activities,” Mr. Westwood Booth said.
 
On behalf of IMO, Mr Westwood Both accepted the John Strang A.O. Memorial Award, which recognizes IMO for its achievements related to cargo handling operations. 

 

Empowering maritime women in east and southern Africa

03/10/2017 

Promoting women's access to quality employment and senior management level within the maritime sector is a key priority for IMO's gender and capacity-building programme and was at the core of the 8th regional conference to support the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA), held in Mahé, Seychelles (26 to 29 September).

Under the theme "A Decade of empowering Maritime Women - What does the future hold for Africa's Blue Economy?", the event, supported by the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), focused on the key achievements made by the Association over the last decade, as it celebrates its milestone 10th anniversary.

Since its establishment under the auspices of IMO in Kenya in 2007, WOMESA has established strong governance and strategic principles aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular (SDG 5) which aims to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls", as well as IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).  

IMO is encouraging its Member States to place a greater emphasis on incorporating women in the maritime field. The setting up of these networks and regional associations is key, as it provides a platform for women to discuss gender issues and help each other climb the professional ladder. At the end of the conference, WOMESA launched its latest local chapter in the Seychelles, joining others in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, and the United Republic of Tanzania.  

The conference also adopted a resolution, setting out WOMESA's obligations and responsibilities to achieving the SDGs and related targets, to ensure that the purpose of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is realized through the Association's work programme.

This resolution also calls for strengthened strategic partnerships between WOMESA and organizations, including the African Union (AU) Commission (through its Women, Gender and Development Directorate), the African Ship Owners Association (ASA), the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) and IMO. The aim of such partnerships is to build cooperation in pursuance of programmes to empower maritime women for visibility, networking, linkages and implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

The conference was attended by maritime officials from Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.


 

Maritime matters – a global celebration

29/09/2017 

World Maritime Day (28 September) has been marked around the world in a series of events and celebrations led by IMO from its London headquarters. Seafaring nations, coastal states and the shipping industry staged conferences, seminars and public events under the 2017 theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”.

At IMO, the traditional diplomatic reception was preceded by a special visit for maritime students and young professionals from the maritime industries (photos). After a tour of the headquarters building they received presentations on some of the key topics IMO is dealing with, including safety, security and humanitarian issues. This was followed by a discussion on the interaction between IMO Member States, ports, seafarers and ship operators – and how this might be improved.

A meeting of the IMO Maritime Ambassadors (photos) was also held; these are spokespersons nominated by IMO Member States or NGOs to advocate on behalf of the maritime and seafaring professions, especially among younger audiences.

World Maritime Day also featured heavily in on-line and social media. It was supported by the United Nations in New York, which carried the message about the importance of IMO and shipping to the sustainable development goals on its home page.

In his annual World Maritime Day message, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said “Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade.”

World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. Each World Maritime Day has its own theme (2017 photos).

 

Spotlight on liability treaties at Pacific Islands workshop

28/09/2017 

An IMO/SPC workshop in Fiji is supporting Pacific Island countries* to implement treaties dealing with liability and compensation. The workshop, taking place in Suva (26-29 September), is providing a comprehensive overview of the IMO liability regime, including treaties covering wreck removal, salvage, carriage of hazardous and noxious substances, passengers, CLC, Fund, Bunkers Convention and limitation of liability.

The history of the treaties’ development, their principles and practical implications are all being covered, with a view to supporting officials to implement relevant obligations in national legislation.

The workshop is being run by IMO’s Jan de Boer in collaboration with the IOPC Funds Secretariat and the International Group of P&I Clubs.

* Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

 

Global standards for sustainable shipping

27/09/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has stressed the importance of global standards and regulations developed by governments at IMO, as the foundation for shipping to become safer, more efficient, cleaner and greener, during a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (23-24 September).

Mr. Lim was addressing officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Border Guard, the Ministry of Transport and the shipping fraternity at the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security Studies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He highlighted the accomplishments of IMO’s environmental work, noting that international shipping was the first industry to be subject to global, mandatory, energy-efficiency measures designed to address greenhouse gas emissions. He also applauded the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention earlier this month, as an important step towards addressing further global threats to marine environment.  

Secretary-General Lim also met the Saudi Minister of Transport, Mr. Suliman Al-Hamdan. The Minister hailed the cooperation between IMO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia before announcing a donation of US$1.0 million to support the work of IMO technical cooperation programme, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

Mr. Lim later attended a celebration to mark this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the theme: "Connecting Ships, Ports and People".

 

IMO welcomes new delegates

27/09/2017 

​To provide new delegates with a flavour of what IMO does and how it works, IMO hosted an orientation seminar at its Headquarters in London (21-22 September). The two-day event provided a packed agenda looking at a broad range of IMO activities from the functioning of the Organization's governing and technical bodies and the Secretariat to campaigns and award ceremonies. The information provided an opportunity for all delegations to be better informed about the work of IMO as well as encouraging the participation of all Member States in the work of the Organization.  

 

Collaboration for Future Ready Shipping

26/09/2017 

"No stakeholder, alone, can deal with the complexities the planet faces in addressing the challenge of climate change", said IMO's Director of the Marine Environment Division, Stefan Micallef, as he opened the joint Singapore-IMO International Conference on Maritime Technology Transfer and Capacity-Building also known as Future-Ready Shipping Conference 2017, held in Singapore (25-26 September). The Conference looked at future collaborations that can drive discussions towards identifying opportunities that can have an impact on the shipping industry as it moves towards decarbonization. The event also included sessions covering the latest trends in maritime and port energy efficient technologies; the regulatory framework; and market access and potential solutions to meeting countries' needs in capacity-building and technology transfer.

During the conference, it was announced that the Global Industry Alliance (GIA), a group of maritime stakeholders supporting transitioning shipping and its related industries towards a low carbon future, has welcomed two new members: Bureau Veritas and the Port of Rotterdam.  

Following the Conference, the GloMEEP project  - executed by IMO to support the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for ships - will hold a workshop on the "Development of maritime energy efficiency and emissions strategies and their implementation".  

 

​Implementation matters

25/09/2017 

Once technical standards have been developed by IMO and adopted into national laws, the next step is implementation on board ships. This is the role of both flag States, who issue surveys and certificates, as well as port States, who can inspect all ships in their ports. The Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments, meeting this week for its fourth session (III 4, 25-29 September) provides a forum where all matters relating to implementation are discussed.

This week’s agenda includes the finalization of revised and updated Procedures for Port State Control, including updated guidelines on the certification of seafarers, hours of rest and manning. Preparations for the seventh IMO Workshop for PSC MoU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers, to be held in October, will be discussed.  The expert casualty analysis that is a mainstay of the Sub-Committee will continue at this session, to review marine safety investigation reports and produce lessons learned from marine casualties. 

The meeting will also look at joint work with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN bodies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Other items on the busy agenda include: updating survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification to incorporate aspects of the 2004 Ballast Water Management Convention, which entered into force recently; and work to begin reviewing the model agreement for authorization of recognized organizations which act on behalf of the Administration (for example, in carrying out surveys and issuing certificates), in line with the IMO Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code).

The meeting was opened on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim by Assistant Secretary-General Lawrence Barchue. III 4 is being chaired by Rear-Admiral Jean-Luc Le Liboux (France). Click for photos.

 

Training for port security officials in Mexico

22/09/2017 

Mexican port security officials, managers and designated authority officials have undergone maritime security training in Manzanillo, Mexico (19-22 September) run by IMO in collaboration with the Mexican Navy (SEMAR).

The practical 4-day workshop equipped participants with the necessary knowledge and skills for planning, conducting and evaluating security drills and exercises, in order to review and improve implementation of IMO maritime security measures.

These measures include provisions in SOLAS Chapter XI-2, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and recommendations in the APEC Manual of Drills and Exercises.

The event is part of a series of activities coordinated with SEMAR following the reorganization of ISPS responsibilities in Mexico this year.

 

China workshop discusses oil pollution response

22/09/2017 

Current research and technical developments in oil spill preparedness and response were in the spotlight at a major seminar in Tianjin, China (20-21 September). The International Oil Spill Response Technical Seminar brought together over 150 representatives of national government, oil industry and oil spill response companies.

IMO’s Colleen O’Haghan presented on the Organization’s International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) – the treaty covering measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with other countries. The seminar was organized by Yantai MSA and CNOOC Energy Technology and Service Safety and Environmental Protection Co. under the GI China Project.

The GI China Project is an initative led by the China Maritime Safety Administration, supported by IMO and the oil industry body IPIECA, to enhance China’s capacity to prepare for and response to oil spills, through the promotion of government and industry collaboration. Prior to the Tianjin seminar, a meeting of the GI China Technical Consultative Group met to plan the project activities for 2018–2019, which will include a number of training courses, workshops and seminars to further the national spill response capability. IMO participated in the meeting to establish how IMO can continue to support these activities in the future.

 

Asia technology cooperation centre up and running

22/09/2017 

Maritime administrators from over 20 countries across Asia have gathered at the first regional event of Asia’s Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC-Asia) to discuss ways to bring shipping into a low carbon future.

More than 50 participants joined representatives from the EU and IMO at the Shanghai Maritime University (18-22 September) to discuss national priorities and barriers relating to topics such as greenhouse gas control, ship energy-efficiency and technologies applied for fuel consumption data collection.

MTCC-Asia is part of the global network for energy-efficient shipping under the GMN project, funded by the European Union and run by IMO. The network of five regional centres are promoting technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector.

 

The impact of mine tailing

22/09/2017 

​The impacts of wastes and other matter in the marine environment from mining operations is at the core of a working group from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) which is meeting at IMO Headquarters in  London (20-22 September). This is the group's first formal meeting and it aims to provide independent advice on what environmental impacts could arise from the marine disposal of mine tailings around the world both from land based and marine minerals mining. A report is being prepared by the group which will inform the discussions taking place in the context of the London Convention and Protocol, the treaties which regulate the dumping of waste at sea. (LC/LP).  The event is co-sponsored by IMO and UN Environment and the meeting is being chaired by Dr Tracy Shimmield. 

 

Enhancing maritime security in Peru

20/09/2017 

A national table-top exercise on maritime security in Lima, Peru (18-19 September) has supported the country to implement the United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which imposes binding obligations on all States to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery and establish appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking.

The Lima exercise focused on the 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 covering the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation.

Participants from different government departments and agencies reviewed a range of evolving scenarios related to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues and identified opportunities for improvement and the need for better collaboration and sharing of information and procedures between national agencies.

The exercise, conducted by IMO and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), followed a series of similar events in other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America region in recent months. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

IMO talks Polar matters in Russia

20/09/2017 

An IMO film showing how the IMO Polar Code supports safe and environmentally-friendly shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic waters is being screened at the NEVA 2017 International Maritime Exhibition and Conference (19-22 September), in St Petersburg, Russia. IMO's Assistant Secretary-General Lawrence Barchue delivered the opening address, updating the audience on regulatory standards affecting the safety of international shipping, fishing and offshore operations and the protection of the marine environment. Mr Barchue also spoke of the importance of sharing a common understanding on the issues that affect the maritime community today.

IMO`s Mikhail Gappoev also attended the event, to take part in the Arctic Round table looking at issues and opportunities associated with, Arctic ecology, transport development and the application of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters.  

 

IMO chief praises “front line” officers

20/09/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is in Russia this week (16-20 September) for a series of high-level meetings with ministers and officials. After talks in Moscow with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Transport and the Head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency, Mr Lim moved on to Vladivostok. There he visited the sail training ship "Nadezhda" (pictured) and the Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University before speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control.

Port State Control is the process, supported by IMO, by which officials in ports can board visiting foreign-flag vessels to verify compliance with international safety and pollution standards. In a speech to the meeting, Mr Lim praised Port State Control officers as being the “front line” of effective implementation for IMO’s global shipping regulations and hinted at an expanded role embracing education and advocacy.

 

Keeping Asia abreast of IMO activities

19/09/2017 

​IMO is attending the 34th session of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in in Bohol Island, Philippines (19-21 September) to update the Maritime Transport Working Group on its latest activities. IMO is looking forward to enhancing cooperation with ASEAN members, particularly in pursuing the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan which seeks to ensure a sustainable transport network, including low carbon modes of transport. IMO also wishes to further promote the implementation of ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan (OSRAP). IMO will share the outcomes of a workshop held in the region in May 2017 on a key IMO treaty supporting the free flow of international maritime traffic – the Facilitation Convention (FAL) which has the potential to reduce transport costs and contribute to sustainable development in the region. 

 

Spreading cyber security

18/09/2017 

Cyber security awareness on board ships plays an important role in ensuring the safety and security of shipping around the globe. IMO has issued Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management, in addition to a resolution on Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems – adopted by the Organization's Maritime Safety Committee in June this year.

To help spread knowledge and use of these high-level recommendations – IMO has taken part in the "Sub Regional Workshop on Critical Infrastructure Protection: Cybersecurity and Border Protection" in Panama City, Panama (13-15 September). IMO's Henrik Madsen participated in the event, which was organized by the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) and opened by H.E. Mr. Alexis Bethancourt, Minister of Public Security of Panama.

 

Search and rescue – an international responsibility

18/09/2017 

​Search and rescue is a humanitarian process, aimed at assisting persons in distress, without regard to the nationality or circumstances of the persons in distress. IMO’s Chris Trelawny highlighted this global responsibility, during the first Coast Guard Global Summit, jointly hosted by the Japan Coast Guard and Tokyo-based Nippon Foundation, in Tokyo (14 September). He also outlined the international legal framework for SAR; the implementation of effective SAR systems; and the need for and benefit of international and inter-regional cooperation for effective SAR on a global basis. Search and rescue officials from more than 30 countries attended the summit.

 

How to legally remove a hazardous wreck

15/09/2017 

What is the legal basis for removing a hazardous wreck at sea? Who bears the liability? These and many other wreck removal questions were addressed by IMO’s Jan de Boer at the ACI’s Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response conference in London (13-14 September).

Speaking to a wide variety of stakeholders* concerned with wreck removal, Mr. de Boer gave an overview of IMO’s Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 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.

The treaty entered into force in 2015, the instrument currently has 37 Contracting States, which represent more than 70% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.

It applies to shipwrecks, objects from ships at sea, drifting ships and floating offshore installations. In his presentation, Mr. de Boer went into detail on aspects such as the shipowner being strictly liable for costs of locating, marking and removing hazardous wrecks, as well as compulsory insurance to cover shipowner liability.

* Participants from salvage companies, tug & towage companies, authorities, ship owners, ship managers, P&I clubs, maritime lawyers and consultants

 

Biofouling management for sustainable shipping

15/09/2017 

An IMarEST workshop on practical biofouling management strategies just has concluded in Melbourne, Australia (12-15 September). Biofouling, is defined as the undesirable accumulation of aquatic organisms like, plants, algae and animals on ships’ hulls, which pose a significant problem to the world’s oceans and to the conservation of biodiversity. 

IMO is working actively to address this issue by implementing practices to control and manage biofouling. One of the IMO’s main objective at the conference is to promote a new partnership project together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which seek to curb the spread of bioinvasion as well as to identify future partners for the project.  

The event also looked at current and future regulations, as well as gaps hindering the implementation of effective biofouling management strategies and standards. Discussions also touched upon the balance between improved vessel fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, effective biosecurity risk mitigation and compliance with biofouling guidelines. 

The workshop was attended by IMO’s John Alonso and Antoine Blonce. 


 

Jamaica and Malta accede to Ballast Water Management Convention

12/09/2017 

Jamaica and Malta have become the latest States to sign up to IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention – the international treaty requiring ships to manage their ballast water to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic species across the globe. The Convention entered into force earlier this month (8 September) and a total of 65 signatories now represent 73.92% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.

Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, H.E. Kamina Johnson Smith and the High Commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom, H.E. Seth George Ramocan, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London to deposit Jamaica's instrument of accession to the Convention (11 September).

Today, (12 September) H.E. Mr. Ian Borg, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects of Malta met the Secretary-General and emphasized the importance of the treaty – to which Malta acceded earlier this month.

Click to see the latest IMO video and infographic to find out what implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention means for ship owners.

 

Hazards of bauxite on cargoes Sub-Committee agenda

12/09/2017 

New research considered by IMO this week about the behaviour of an aluminium ore that featured in a high-profile shipping casualty in 2015 could lead to changes in industry rules about how such cargoes should be handled. IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 4, 11-15 September) will this week consider the latest research results on the potential instability of bauxite when carried as a ship’s cargo.

Bauxite is one of the world’s major sources of aluminium. In 2015, a bulk carrier sank while transporting bauxite - with the loss of 18 seafarers. IMO has been investigating the hazards and risks associated with the carriage of bauxite. The Sub-Committee will review the outcome of a correspondence group on the subject and the findings of a Global Bauxite Working Group, with a view to further developing and updating the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is the industry rulebook on how to deal with such cargoes.

The meeting is also expected to finalize the next set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2018) to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code, another code which is used daily by seafarers and shippers to ensure the safe carriage of pertinent cargoes.

As part of its work on the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), the Sub-Committee is also expected to further develop draft amendments to the IGF Code on requirements for fuel cells and draft technical provisions for ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. This work has particular relevance for ship looking to use alternative technologies to meet sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon reduction targets.

The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. (Photos here).

 

Practising port security drills

07/09/2017 

A security incident hits a passenger ship in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – an important port receiving more than 140 passenger ships and hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Procedures need to be followed and numerous national agencies need to be coordinated. This was the subject of one of the drills and exercises that took place during an IMO workshop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (7 September) involving more than 100 participants from different port facilities in the Americas region.

The workshop also included a table-top simulation describing the procedures contained in the APEC Manual of Maritime Security Drills and Exercises for Port Facilities. More information about the live security exercise, conducted by the Mexican Navy (SEMAR), can be found here (Spanish only).

Regular maritime security drills and exercises are an important requirement under IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The Code helps to ensure the effective implementation of the ship and port facility security plans and to verify that personnel involved are aware of the relevant procedures and can respond in a timely and effective manner.

The Puerto Vallarta event comes as part of part of IMO’s focus on the 2017 World Maritime Day theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” to help IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach to key issues. The workshop was conducted as part of the XI International Forum on Maritime and Port Security (4-7 September), in collaboration with the Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) of the Organization of the American States (OAS) and SEMAR. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

Training for port security drills in Nigeria

04/09/2017 

A workshop in Lagos, Nigeria has helped train Nigerian officials in the necessary skills and knowledge to plan, conduct and assess security drills and exercises in their port facilities. The event (28 August – 1 September) focused on port security measures of the Organization’s ISPS Code.

The participants included designated authority officials, port facilities security officials, ISPS auditors, national regulators and ISPS inspectors. Led by an IMO team of consultants and organized with the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) – the workshop involved theoretical lessons, discussions, group work and hands-on practical exercises in planning, conducting and evaluating exercises in compliance with the ISPS Code.

The training event is the third of a three-phase technical assistance programme, designed by IMO following a 2016 needs-assessment mission, to help support NIMASA’s maritime security programme.

 

Addressing fishing vessel safety

04/09/2017 

Fishing continues to be considered the most hazardous occupation in the world, and despite the improvement in technology, the loss of life in the fisheries sector is unacceptably high.

To address the issue, IMO has held a regional seminar in Rarotonga, Cook Islands (28 August - 1 September) on the ratification of an important IMO legal instrument called the Cape TownAgreement, providing Member Governments with the assistance needed to implement the treaty. 

To improve the safety of fishers and fishing vessels, IMO has, over the years, put in place, several initiatives, culminating with the adoption of the Cape Town Agreement.  It is expected that the Agreement will eliminate difficulties encountered by a number of States with substantial fishing fleets in implementing a previous agreement, the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol, and will provide international standards for the safety of fishing vessels which could be implemented by all States concerned.

In addition, many Member States believe that there is a link between safety at sea, forced labour and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The entry into force of the Agreement will improve safety at sea in the fisheries sector worldwide but will also be a useful tool in combatting IUU fishing and reducing pollution from fishing vessels, including marine debris.

The seminar was organized by IMO in collaboration with The Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Community (SPC). It was attended by participants from 10 countries in the Pacific region.  The seminar was facilitated by IMO’s Sandra Allnutt, FAO’s Ari Gudmundsson and a consultant.

 

Honduras explore implementation of maritime security

30/08/2017 

A national table-top exercise on maritime security concluded in Tegucigalpa, Honduras (28-29 August).

The aim of the event was to encourage a multi-agency approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. The exercise also highlighted the need for an integrated approach to the implementation of SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPSCode. Broader security measures were looked at with a view to strengthening national implementation of the special measures to enhance maritime security.

Under the guidance of IMO consultants, participants reviewed and discussed a number of possible maritime and port security scenarios and identified gaps and opportunities for improvement, recognizing the importance of better cooperation and communication between national agencies. The group produced a number of recommendations that will be further considered by relevant authorities.

A number of different national agencies, including representatives of the ISPS designated authority, national administration, naval, military and air forces, port authorities, national police, immigration authorities, fire-fighters, red cross, health services, intelligence agencies, amongst others attended the exercise.

IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

Mexico events focus on connecting ships, ports and people

22/08/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the Organization’s strong commitment to helping achieve the UN SustainableDevelopment Goals and explained how shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through the promotion of maritime trade. Mr. Lim was speaking at a seminar as part of celebrations (photos) in Veracruz, Mexico (21-22 August) focused on IMO’s World Maritime Day theme for 2017 –"Connecting Ships, Ports and People".

The Secretary-General also discussed IMO measures to reduce harmful emissions from ships, the management of ballast water and goal-based standards. He was hosted by the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR), Admiral Commander in Chief Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, who introduced the strategy and capabilities of the Mexican Maritime Authority.

The seminar was attended by the maritime authorities of Argentina, Chile, Panama and the United States, as well as representatives from the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden, the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta, and various national government ministries.

The celebrations also included an opportunity for participants to observe a search and rescue exercise and to visit Mexico’s Naval Academy.

 

IMO and Liberia looking to enhance maritime security

22/08/2017 

IMO is helping Liberia to develop a national maritime security strategy. The initiative got underway with a week-long fact-finding exercise (14-18 August) involving senior officials from Liberian Government departments and agencies with a stake in maritime matters. Based on the findings, a proposal will be presented to Liberia suggesting the best way forward. One clear objective is to encourage collaboration and a multi-agency approach to maritime security in Liberia.

Liberia is signatory to both a code of conduct dealing with maritime crime signed in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2013 and to a memorandum of understanding between and IMO and the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa which addresses establishment of an integrated coast guard network for the area.

 

Maritime security code under review

21/08/2017 

IMO took a major role in an important exercise to evaluate the success of code of conduct dealing with maritime crime in west and central Africa (16-17 August).

The Yaoundé Code of Conduct was signed in 2013 by 25 west and central African countries to address matters such as piracy, armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activity in the area. One of its provisions calls for its effectiveness to be evaluated, with a view to transforming it into a legally binding agreement.

IMO joined government officials from 26 African states as well as several other regional and global organisations with related responsibilities and portfolios in Yaoundé for the event, which also fostered a better understanding of the challenges involved in achieving cooperation among the signatories in the continuing fight against maritime crime.

 

Port security training for Mauritanian officials

11/08/2017 

Officials responsible for port security in Mauritania are undergoing a week-long IMO training course in the country’s capital of Nouakchott (7-11 August). The course will equip designated authority officials, port security officials and managers with the skills to carry out effective self-assessments and audits of port facilities, in line with IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code and guidance on voluntary self-assessment.

The training event is the second of a three-phase technical assistance programme – designed by IMO following a needs-assessment mission, held in 2015, to help support Mauritania’s maritime security programme.

The workshop was organized by IMO and the Maritime Authority of Mauritania (Direction de la Marine Marchande). IMO was represented by a team of consultants.

 

Getting to grips with ship security

11/08/2017 

On-board practice in assessing maritime security measures on a ship was a key feature of a recent workshop which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay (8-11 August). Some 45 participants, representing the national Administration and designated authority for maritime security, ship companies, recognized security organizations and ship security officers. The workshop was designed to equip participants with the necessary skill and knowledge to assess the effectiveness of International ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code implementation on board a ship, using as a basis IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment by administration and for ship security. The workshop was organized by IMO in collaboration with the Designated Authority of Uruguay (Prefectura Nacional Naval). IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.

 

IMO in the polar environment: Search and Rescue

02/08/2017 

Following the launch of IMO’s film on the IMO Polar Code, a new video focused on search and rescue in polar regions is being published today.

The second video in a series on IMO in the polar environment takes a closer look at the challenges of search and rescue operations in polar regions, for example, how the current lack of marine infrastructure, coupled with the vastness and harshness of the environment, makes emergency response significantly more difficult in the Arctic and Antarctica. The limitations of radio and satellite communications to monitor and control ship movements in polar waters is another issue. The new video also explores IMO’s International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue – the SAR Convention – which was adopted by IMO in 1979. Under the SAR Convention, individual countries are responsible for specified search and rescue regions, together forming the Global Search and Rescue Plan. A network of rescue co-ordination centres and sub-centres has been established and, together, they cover all the world’s oceans.

The video also features an exclusive interview with Commander Rodrigo Lepe, former Chief of the Chilean Navy base at Bahia Fildes on King George Island in Antarctica. The interview highlights the unique challenges he and his team face to ensure sound search and rescue practices in such a remote and inhospitable area. WAtch video here. 

A first video explaining the Polar Code was published in May 2017 and can be re-watched here.

 

Training for improved port security in Cambodia

02/08/2017 

Cambodian officials and personnel responsible for maritime and port security are taking part in an IMO workshop in Phnom Penh (1-4 August). The course focuses on key IMO maritime security measures*, particularly the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code and the various roles and responsibilities that the Code entails. Participants who complete the course will also have practiced how to train others with similar responsibilities through interactive exercises and presentations.

Some 36 participants are taking part in the event, including maritime and port security officials of the Merchant Marine Department and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport as well as port security officers from the two main international ports in the country, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port and the Port Autonomous of Sihanoukville.

IMO will also meet officials to discuss further technical assistance in relation to Cambodia’s national procedures and processes for oversight and implementation of maritime security measures.

The event was organized at the request of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia, and opened by H. E. Leng Thun Yuthea, Under-Secretary of State of the Kingdom of Cambodia. IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants, with the US Coast Guard’s International Port Security Programme also contributing.

*Chapter XI-2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea; the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code; the IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO) Code of Practice on Security in Ports, and related guidance.

 

Bunker industry prepares for sulphur limit in ship fuel

28/07/2017 

An audience of ship owners, fuel suppliers, traders and maritime technology providers attending the IBC Asia Bunkering conference in Singapore has heard about IMO’s latest work on low carbon shipping and air pollution control. IMO’s Edmund Hughes provided an update on the work being carried out by the Organization to support effective and consistent implementation of the 0.50% global limit on the sulphur content of fuel oil which will apply from 1 January 2020.

Preparations by the bunker industry for complying with the sulphur limit was one of the key issues being discussed at the conference (26-28 July). These included strategies surrounding likely types of compliant fuel oil, use of exhaust gas cleaning systems, and development of a bunkering infrastructure to supply gas for use as an alternative fuel.

Mr. Hughes also highlighted progress on the roadmap for the development of a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

Find out more about decisions taken at the Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 71st session in July, here.

 

Mozambique gets fresh training on port security

28/07/2017 

A five-day workshop on maritime security and The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code concluded today in Maputo, Mozambique (24 -28 July).

The course provided port facility security officers with the necessary knowledge to perform their duties in accordance with the requirements of key IMO maritime security measures*.

As a results, participants improved their knowledge and skills of those requirements with a view to train others with similar responsibilities. The workshop included a port visit, various group exercises and interactive activities - providing solid grounding on the oversight roles and responsibilities of the designated authority.

Organized at the request of the Maritime Authority under the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Mozambique, the training was conducted in response to the findings of a maritime security table top exercise on contingency planning held by IMO in Mozambique in April 2016.

IMO was represented by Gisela Vieira.

*Chapter XI-2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea; the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code;  the IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO) Code of Practice on Security in Ports, and related guidance.

 

IMO Council meets

24/07/2017 

​The IMO Council is meeting for its 118th session (24-28 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, including the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 biennium. Several new applications for consultative status from international non-governmental organizations will be considered. The Council will also select the recipients of two IMO awards: the 2017 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea and the 2016 International Maritime Prize. (click for photos)

 

Port cooperation and maritime security in Belize

21/07/2017 Identifying and dealing with potential threats to port security operations was at the core of a three-day workshop in Belize City, Belize (18-20 July). The event took a closer look at security needs and associated risks. Through interactive presentations and discussions between participants the workshop helped identify opportunities for increased collaboration between government agencies and port owners/operators as well as assessing port security training priorities. The workshop also discussed specific issues around Port Facility Security Assessments (PFSAs) in keeping with the international requirements in IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, for example, identification and evaluation of important assets and infrastructure which are to be protected.

The event was organized by IMO in conjunction with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), based on the framework of the Agreement of Cooperation between IMO and the Organization of the American States (OAS), signed in 2009. 

The workshop was based on the results of a preliminary needs assessment by OAS-CICTE, and came as the request of the Belize Port Authority and National Security Council. 

 

Looking at long range identification and tracking

21/07/2017 

The Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system provides for the global identification and tracking of ships. During a recent workshop in Tunis, Tunisia, (17-18 July), held on the request of the Government of Tunisia, participants were briefed on the functioning, operation and use of the LRIT system, taking into account the provisions in IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and relevant standards and guidance. The obligations of ships to transmit LRIT information and the rights and obligations of Governments and of search and rescue services to receive LRIT information are established in the SOLAS Convention under regulation V/19-1.

 

Oil spill response workshop in Senegal

20/07/2017 

The use of oil spill dispersants, which can be used to break down an oil slick into smaller droplets as part of response efforts, is the subject of a workshop taking place in Dakar, Senegal (17-20 July). Participants from 11 countries* are attending the sub-regional workshop, which will analyse national policies on dispersant use and provide training on further development and implementation of these policies.

The event is also looking at how the Net Environmental Benefit Analysis – a decision-making concept used to help ensure that the response to an incident does not result in greater harm to the environment than may have already occurred.

The Dakar workshop was organized under the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF) – a joint IMO-IPIECA project. IMO's Julien Favier of the GI WACAF project, Clement Chazot, Project Manager of the GI WACAF, and a team of consultants are facilitating the event, which is hosted by HASSMAR – the Senegalese authority in charge of maritime safety and security, and the protection of the marine environment.

Watch IMO’s film “Oil. Spill. Response” to find out more about IMO-IPIECA collaboration.

* Benin, the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Togo

 

Addressing the migrant crisis

19/07/2017 

​The loss of life of migrants at sea is a humanitarian tragedy that needs to be addressed through appropriate and effective action at the United Nations. IMO recognizes the crucial role played by both Government and non-governmental organizations in search and rescue operations, as well as the part played by merchant ships in coming to the aid of persons in distress at sea. During the second workshop of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM), held in Geneva (18-19 July), IMO’s Julian Abril told the meeting that the number of merchant ships involved in rescue operations has remained relatively constant since 2015. The average number of persons rescued by each merchant ship remains over 110. In 2016, a total of 381 merchant ships were diverted from their routes and 121 ships were involved in the rescue of 13,888 people. Of particular concern is the upward trend in migrants reported dead or missing at sea in 2016 and during 2017 to date, which, based on current statistics, can be expected to continue during the rest of 2017 and beyond.

The Geneva meeting offers a global platform to discuss and analyse migrant’s vulnerabilities and capacities, guide appropriate policy programmatic and operational responses to address them, and enhance resilience through protection and assistance services.  The meeting is expected to identify challenges and propose what should be included in the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

The Global Compact on Migration is a UN Member State-led process that emanated from the 19 September 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants approved by Heads of State during the UN General Assembly. This two-year long process is expected to culminate in the adoption of the GCM at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018. The outcomes of the Geneva workshop, along with those of the first workshop organized in New York in April 2017, will be included in a comprehensive report that will feed into the GCM.

Rescue at Sea: A guide to principles and practice as applied to refugees and migrants, prepared jointly by IMO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is available to download

 

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

18/07/2017 

IMO has a key role in implementing a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which relate directly or indirectly to the oceans, protection of the environment and the maritime industry. How to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and implement the UN SDGS is therefore a key theme which underpins the work of IMO's Technical Co-operation Committee, which oversees IMO's integrated technical co-operation programme (ITCP).

The Committee is meeting for its 67th session (17-19 July). The Committee will be invited to approve the proposed ITCP for 2018-2019, which includes 10 global programmes. Two of these are new proposed programmes, to support IMO's response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the blue economy; and to support the implementation of the technical cooperation aspects of IMO's new Strategic Plan for 2018-2023.

The ITCP also includes five regional programmes covering: Africa; Arab States and Mediterranean; Asia and Pacific Islands; Western Asia and Eastern Europe; and Latin America and Caribbean. The Committee will review activities during 2016; discuss funding issues; and consider three draft Assembly resolutions covering: the linkage between IMO's technical assistance work and the 2030 Agenda; guiding principles to support the 2030 Agenda; and financing and partnership arrangements. 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the 67th session, which is being chaired by Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub (Malaysia). (Photos)

 

A maritime security strategy for Cameroon

13/07/2017 

Work to assist the Government of Cameroon to develop a national maritime security strategy is underway in Yaoundé (5-14 July). Senior Government officials from departments and agencies concerned with maritime matters are attending meetings with an IMO consultant with a view to setting up a maritime security committee. This committee will set the course for a draft programme and strategy to enhance the country’s maritime security.

These efforts fall under IMO’s Strategy for Implementing Sustainable Maritime Security Measures in West and Central Africa. Find out more about the strategy and IMO’s work to support maritime security in the West and Central Africa region here.

 

IMO gets a visit from the next generation of maritime workers

13/07/2017 

Students from the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) visited IMO Headquarters for their student forum (11-12 July). Its theme was that of IMO’s World Maritime Day - “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”. The visit, which brought over 60 students from all over the world, provided a unique opportunity for young people to learn more about IMO and the maritime industry. The students also took part in workshops where they tackled real industry issues such as attracting and retaining seafarers, quality training on board and gender equality in the maritime industry. They then had to write short reports on the topics discussed during each workshop. These reports will form an official student forum publication. The students also had the chance to listen to IMO’s Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s own testimony during his opening remarks, as he shared insightful anecdotes of his student days and what led him to choose a maritime career. The visit was supported by the Nippon Foundation. (Photos)

 

​The integral role of the human element

12/07/2017 

The human element lies at the heart of IMO’s work on safety, maritime security and pollution prevention. The integral role of people is set out in the “Human element vision, principles and goals for the Organization” and in the guidelines for the work of IMO committees and sub-committees. During the China Maritime Forum and International Conference on Seafarers and Services, Ningbo, China (11-12 July), held to celebrate China’s Maritime Day, IMO’s Hiro Yamada provided an overview of IMO’s activities which relate to seafarers and the human element. He outlined the latest IMO training requirements under the STCW Convention, highlighted new and updated model courses and explained how the proposed strategic directions for IMO will take into account the human element. 
 
The draft proposed strategic plan for the next six years – set to be adopted by the IMO Assembly in late 2017 – will call on IMO to take into account the human element in the review, development and implementation of new and existing requirements, including skills; education and training; human capabilities, limitations and needs. Furthermore, IMO, throughout its work, will take into account the needs and wellbeing of the seafarers and, in doing so, will always attach the utmost importance to education and training, as well as the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

 

Ocean sustainability in focus

11/07/2017 

Protecting and sustaining the world’s oceans are once again in the spotlight at the United Nations in New York this week (10-14 July). Moves to develop a legally binding international treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – known as ‘BBNJ’ – are continuing with the 4th meeting of a preparatory committee to work on the draft elements of a future text. And this week also sees a high-level political forum (the HLPF) which will review, in depth, progress being made towards a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 14 – “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. The IMO Secretariat is presenting an overview of the Organization’s work in these key areas to both meetings.

 

Wreck removal treaty ratified by Croatia

11/07/2017 

IMO’s Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks has been ratified by Croatia, bringing the total number of States to accede to the treaty to 37. The Convention, 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 treaty was adopted in 2007 and its Contracting States currently represent just over 70% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. Mr. H.E. Mr. Ivan Grdešić, Ambassador of Croatia to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession (11 July).

 

Honduras accedes to Ballast Water Management Convention

10/07/2017 

The number of States signed up to IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention has reached 61, with Honduras being the latest country acceding to the treaty. The signatories now represent 68.46 % of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. Under the treaty, ships are required to manage their ballast water, which can contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes, plants and organisms, which are then carried across the globe.

H.E. Mr. Ivan Romero Martinez, Ambassador of Honduras to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Honduras to the IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (10 July) to deposit the instrument of accession.

Find out more about the Ballast Water Management Convention, including videos, infographics and more, here.

 

Empowering port women

07/07/2017 

An IMO training course for female officials from maritime and/or port authorities of developing countries to improve management and operational efficiency of their ports has taken place in Le Havre, France (26 June – 7 July). Participants from 20 countries* took part in the two-week “Women in Port Management” course, which included lectures on subjects such as port management, port security, port marine environment, facilitation of maritime traffic, the ship/port interface and organization of a container terminal.

Visits were organized to the Port of Le Havre, the Port of Rouen and the Harbor Master’s Office, enabling the participants to experience for themselves the day-to-day operations of a port with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.

The event was held under IMO’s gender and capacity-building programme, in collaboration with the Le Havre Port Authority, and held at the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER). It comes as part of IMO’s ongoing efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal number five: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

*Twenty female officials from Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Viet Nam.

 

Low-carbon shipping alliance gains momentum

07/07/2017 

Just days after the announcement by IMO of the ground-breaking Global Industry Alliance (GIA), another commercial company has joined the initiative to help shipping and related industries transition towards a low-carbon future.

The Grimaldi Group, a global shipping and logistics company, has become the fourteenth company to join the GIA, a public-private partnership initiative in which 'industry champions' from various sectors of the industry come together to tackle the challenges of decarbonizing the shipping sector. The GIA members will identify and develop innovative solutions to barriers holding back the uptake and implementation of energy-efficiency technologies and operational measures in shipping.

The GIA has been established under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project, a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO project aimed at supporting developing countries implement energy efficiency-measures for shipping.

 

Thailand accedes to conventions covering oil pollution damage

07/07/2017 

Thailand has become the latest State to accede to the international conventions on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC) and the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (Fund).

The CLC Convention ensures that 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.

The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds) provide additional financial compensation for oil pollution damage that occurs in Member States, resulting from spills of persistent oil from tankers.

H.E. Mr. Pisanu Suvanajata, Ambassador of Thailand to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (7 July) to deposit the instruments of accession.

 

Security for sustainability

07/07/2017 

How can human security help achieve the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? That’s one of the key issues being examined at a high-level event today (7 July) at UN Headquarters in New York. Organised by the UN Human Security Unit, the event will feature a panel discussion providing global, regional, UN system and civil society perspectives on applying human security to Agenda 2030. Delegates will take the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned on how a human security approach can help strengthen strategies, tools and partnerships to accelerate integrated and preventive actions towards achieving the SDGs. IMO’s Chris Trelawny is in attendance.

 

Marine Environment Protection Committee opens

03/07/2017 

A busy Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) is now under way at IMO Headquarters in London (3-7 July). A key item on the agenda is the implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which will enter into force on 8 September 2017. The Committee will consider draft amendments to the BWM Convention which will determine the implementation schedule for installations of ballast water management systems. Following ratification by Greece last week (on 26 June), the BWM Convention has been ratified by 60 countries, representing 68.46% of world merchant shipping tonnage. The Committee is also set to address the prevention of atmospheric pollution from ships, including the reduction of GHG emissions and the implementation of the 0.50% global sulphur limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships. The MEPC was opened by Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Arsenio Dominguez (Panama). Click for photos. Further information here.

 

Oil spill preparedness

29/06/2017 

Dealing with an oil spill requires effective management of waste created by a spill. A national workshop in the Republic of the Congo (27-29 June) has provided an opportunity for officials who may be involved in dealing with a spill under national contingency plans to get updated on the latest technical and regulatory knowledge and best practices to establish and manage effective waste management operations. The workshop was organized under the auspices of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF) – a joint IMO-IPIECA project.  

IMO's Julien Favier of the GI WACAF project and a team of consultants facilitated the event, which was hosted by the Ministry of Transport, Aviation and Merchant Marine.

 

Port co-operation and maritime security

29/06/2017 

A regional workshop focusing on this year’s World Maritime Day theme - Connecting Ships, Ports and People – has been held in Buenos Aires, Argentina (26-29 June). The event, organized by IMO in collaboration with the Argentine Maritime Authority (Prefectura Naval Argentina), aimed to promote cooperation between ports and designated authorities of participating countries through an open discussion and by sharing experiences and best practices related to maritime security. The workshop also reviewed the implementation of maritime security in the region and evaluating new or evolving threats. Specific subjects addressed included the establishment of national maritime security committees; application of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in areas other than port facilities; training and certification of port facility security officers (PFSOs); drills and exercises;
maritime cyber risk management; and best practices and recommendations related to the implementation of security measures in port facilities.
 
The workshop included a security exercise in a port facility with participation of different national authorities, organized as part of activities related to the national day of the Argentine Coast Guard. A representative of the Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States (OAS-CIP), the President of the International ISPS forum based in Mexico (RED PBIP) and the Head of the International Port Security Program of the United States Coast Guard are participating, along with national representatives of 17 States from the region. IMO was represented by Chris Trelawny and Javier Yasnikouski.

 

Caribbean cooperation for low-carbon shipping

28/06/2017 

Work to promote energy-efficient shipping is underway at the newly-established Caribbean Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) with a conference at the Centre’s headquarters at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (27-28 June). The Centre is part of the global network for energy-efficient shipping under the GMN project, funded by the European Union and run by IMO.

The conference is the first regional event to take place under the project, which has established a network of five such regional MTCCs. Together, they are promoting technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector and help navigate shipping into a low-carbon future.

The Trinidad and Tobago event brings together senior maritime administrators, legal officers and technical specialists from twelve Caribbean States including Trinidad and Tobago. Speakers will provide an overview of MTCC-Caribbean and its mandate for climate change mitigation, and the role of national maritime administrations. It is also focusing on the region’s ratification and implementation of IMO regulations for preventing air pollution from ships (via the MARPOL Annex VI treaty). A regional steering committee is being established to help achieve the MTCC-Caribbean’s goals.

 

Supporting maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea

27/06/2017 

​IMO was represented at the recent meeting in Rome, Italy (26-27 June), of the G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (G7++FOGG). The meeting focused on the fight against piracy; illicit trafficking of narcotics, weapons, human beings and goods; illegal fishing; marine litter; and on the development of the maritime economy. IMO has been supporting countries in the region to implement all of the key areas identified in the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa. IMO was represented by Gisela Vieira at the meeting, which was hosted by the Italian Presidency of the G7++ FoGG. 

 

Focus on GHG emissions

27/06/2017 

Nearly 300 delegates from IMO Member States, international NGOs and intergovernmental organizations have gathered at IMO Headquarters in London for the first meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships (26-30 June). Click here for photos. The group, which is meeting in a closed session, will provide a report to next week’s session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) (full preview here). The working group report will form the basis for further deliberation in relation to the elements set out in the Roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, which was agreed at MEPC 70. An initial IMO GHG strategy is set to be adopted at MEPC 72 in spring 2018, including, inter alia, a list of candidate short-, mid- and long term further measures with possible timelines.

Also this week, a new Global Industry Alliance to support Low Carbon Shipping will be launched on Thursday (29 June), under the auspices of the GloMEEP project, the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO project aimed at supporting the implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. For further information please see http://glomeep.imo.org/global-industry-alliance-gia/.

 

Seafarers’ rights

23/06/2017 

Seafarers’ rights to be treated fairly in all circumstances was the focus for an international workshop hosted at IMO (23 June). Addressing the Workshop on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers, organized by the International Transport Workers' Federation and Seafarers' Rights International, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident adopted by IMO in 2006. They were developed by a Joint Working Group with the International Labour Organization and apply to all instances where seafarers may be detained by public authorities in the event of a maritime accident. (click for Mr. Kitack Lim’s speech).

The Guidelines aim to ensure that seafarers are treated fairly following a maritime accident and during any investigation and detention by public authorities and that detention is for no longer than necessary. During the workshop, participants from more than 50 States discussed guidance on implementing the Guidelines on the fair treatment of seafarers into national laws and highlighted the need to mutually cooperate to ensure the fair treatment of seafarers at a time when they are most vulnerable. The morning session was chaired by IMO’s Fred Kenney. The afternoon session was chaired by Dr. Kofi Mbiah, Chair of the IMO Legal Committee.

The workshop came ahead of the Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, which focused on the theme #SeafarersMatter.

 

Inspection training for energy-efficient shipping

23/06/2017 

​IMO’s work to support countries to implement air pollution and energy efficiency measures for ships was underway at a workshop in Durban, South Africa this week (22-23 June). The event involved Port State Control Officers from South Africa and Kenya responsible for inspection and enforcement of the provisions in IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI treaty. This is the latest training workshop delivered under IMO’s GloMEEP project, and was carried out by a team of IMO consultants and hosted by the Department of Transport of South Africa.

 

Abandonment of seafarers on the agenda

23/06/2017 

Seafarer abandonment was the subject of a seminar held at IMO Headquarters, London (22 June) – a joint IMO-Consular Corps of London event. Diplomats and consular officers involved in dealing with abandonment cases heard speakers provide a variety of perspectives on the subject, including on the legal framework, seafarer support, the representation of seafarers' interests, and the flag State perspective. Click for photos.

In his opening remarks, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim emphasized that continued cooperation between IMO, organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), flag States, port States and shipowner groups was essential. "We have a human duty to protect seafarers, and we must not hide from it" Mr. Lim said.

The legal framework surrounding seafarer abandonment was presented by members of the IMO legal team, headed by Director Fred Kenney. Topics included a system overview by Jan de Boer focusing on the joint IMO-ILO database on reported incidents of abandonment of seafarers – a tool that is helping to provide a basis for solving abandonment cases.

Additionally, IMO guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers were introduced by Aicha Cherif. IMO strongly encourages States to implement these guidelines, which cover a series of measures covering seafarers' rights in the event of an accident, including in cases where a seafarer is detained by public authorities.

The abandonment seminar came ahead of Sunday's International Day of the Seafarer (25 June) taking place under the theme #SeafarersMatter. This year, the event is funded by the ITF Seafarers' Trust. ITF were represented at the abandonment seminar by Katie Higginbottom, who gave an insight into the reality of dealing with abandonment cases on the ground, and how ITF inspectors work to help abandoned seafarers with issues such as collecting back pay.

Participants also learned about the unique role of the port chaplain from representatives of the Mission to Seafarers.

The full list of speakers and topics of the seminar can be found here.

 

Keeping abreast with IMO standards

21/06/2017 

To keep abreast of the latest IMO standards, a three-day workshop to update Nigeria's National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) was held in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria  (19-21 June). Through IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), the event highlighted relevant legislative and administrative actions to be taken in order to ensure that the maritime sector continually contributes to the country's sustainable development.

The workshop also discussed the importance of strengthening the existing platform for improving maritime governance, inter-governmental cooperation and coordination amongst all stakeholders in the maritime sector. Forty participants attended the workshop including relevant ministries, maritime agencies as well as the host agency, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

William Azuh, Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, Dallas Laryea, IMO Regional Coordinator based in Accra, Ghana and Professors Max Mejia and Henning Jessen of the World Maritime University, facilitated the workshop.

 

Africa Maritime cooperation centre holds first workshop

21/06/2017 

The newly established GMN project on maritime technology cooperation, run by IMO and funded by the European Union, has held its first ever national workshop in Mombasa, Kenya (19-20 June). The event brought together 67 participants to discuss ways to bring shipping into a low carbon future. The event also allowed stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the project’s mission, vision and goals as well as gain deeper understanding of the project’s benefits and the different roles each will play in making the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre of Africa (MTCC-Africa) a success.

Among the objectives set for the meeting was the very important concept of seeking support from other actors of the maritime industry to carry out pilot projects such as voluntary data collection on fuel oil consumption and other projects relating to low carbon technologies. The workshop also emphasised the importance of engaging with national players in climate change mitigation to secure future collaboration and enable the project to live beyond the three-year timeline set by the EU funding. The workshop also served as an educational opportunity to learn about interventions by IMO and the EU on climate change, low carbon and energy efficient technologies, the effect of carbon dioxide emissions, costs and mitigation measures.

 

GMN maritime technology project seeks stakeholder participation

21/06/2017 

The GMN maritime technology project, run by IMO and funded by the European Union, has issued a call for expressions of interest from individuals within specified organizations to become members of the GMN Project’s Global Stakeholder Committee (GSC).

The GMN project has established a network of five regional Maritime Technologies Cooperation Centres (MTCCs). Together, they are promoting technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector and help navigate shipping into a low-carbon future.

The Global Stakeholder Committee will meet to share ideas and provide long-term strategic guidance. Participation in the stakeholder committee is on a voluntary basis and no fees are paid. Further information and an online form is available on the GMN website: http://gmn.imo.org/stakeholder-participation/.

 

Promoting wreck removal

21/06/2017 

The IMO treaty covering the removal of wrecks has been part of discussions at the Wreck Removal Contracts and Operations Seminar in London (20-21 June). IMO’s Jan de Boer gave an overview of the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 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.

The treaty applies to shipwrecks, objects from ships at sea, drifting ships and floating offshore installations. Having entered into force in 2015, the instrument currently has 36 Contracting States, which represent just over 70% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.

 

Beyond maritime security

21/06/2017 

Economic stability and sustainable development can be driven by an integrated approach to the maritime sector, including ports, maritime security and facilitation of maritime traffic. Joined-up government policies covering the whole of the maritime sector are critical for the port sector to flourish. These were among key messages delivered by IMO’s Chris Trelawny, who was speaking at the Port Security Technology conference, London, United Kingdom (20 June), which provided an opportunity to build on this year’s World Maritime Theme, “Connecting ships, ports and people”. The importance of IMO’s International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code and the IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO) Code of Practice on security in ports were highlighted as measures which went beyond the security angle, since ports support trade and development. 

Mr. Trelawny encouraged governments to increase the representation of the port sector, border control authorities and related organizations at IMO meetings in order to enhance inter-agency cooperation and to foster better understanding of the implications and impact of IMO regulations on the port sector and vice versa.  

 

Energy-efficient shipping on the curriculum

20/06/2017 

Maritime educators from South Africa are taking part in an IMO training workshop to introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into their teaching curriculums. The workshop, taking place in Durban (19-20 June) was developed under the Organization’s GloMEEP project and supports maritime training institutes to deliver the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers.

The course consists of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience for crews being trained and, thereby, to help contribute to a reduction in fuel consumption on ships and cutting associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The training is being carried out by a team of IMO consultants and hosted by the Department of Transport of South Africa. It is the latest in a series of IMO national workshops of this kind – the previous one having taken place in Georgia in May this year.

Find out more about IMO's work on low carbon shipping and air pollution control, here.

 

Ten days to Day of the Seafarer 2017

15/06/2017 

With only ten days to go until Day of the Seafarers, IMO encourages everyone to join the campaign and show that #SeafarersMatter. Under this theme, the campaign is engaging people responsible for the world’s ports and seafarer centres to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them by featuring great initiatives that support and promote seafarer welfare. These efforts are presented on a new virtual world map, which showcases best practices and helps celebrate seafarers. If you are organizing a Day of the Seafarer event or have facilities for seafarers at the port you work in - don’t miss the chance to feature on the map, here.

In addition, to kick off our ten day countdown, IMO is launching a brand new Day of the Seafarer quiz, testing your knowledge of ports, maritime affairs and IMO instruments. As in previous years, the Day of the Seafarer campaign is centered on social media, so join the movement and show your support online using the hashtag #SeafarersMatter and remember to check out and use our newly designed logo.

Find all campaign materials, including a seafarer photo wall, IMO Secretary-General video message and more, here.

 

Ukraine ratifies salvage and fouling treaties

15/06/2017 

​Ukraine has ratified two important IMO treaties that help to protect the marine environment – the International Convention on Salvage and the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention). H.E. Natalia Galibarenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (15 June) to hand over the instruments of ratification.

 

Practice makes perfect in fight against oil spills

12/06/2017 

A tanker collides with an unknown ship off the Ivorian coast, causing a major oil spill. This was the scenario of an oil spill training exercise that took place in Abidjan and Assinie, Côte d’Ivoire (8-9 June). The deployment exercise involved more than 100 participants from various public institutions and the private sector, working together to fight the simulated spill, first at sea and then ashore.

The event tested Côte d’Ivoire’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, which has been developed over recent years with support from the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF) – a joint IMO-IPIECA project.

Following the training, which was organized by the Centre Ivoirien Anti Pollution (CIAPOL), GI WACAF will draft an evaluation report, which will help Ivorian authorities to further improve the Plan by identifying strengths and potential areas for improvement.

IMO’s Julien Favier of the GI WACAF project and a consultant from the French Navy, Lieutenant Charles-Henri Thouaille, participated in the exercise as observers on request of CIAPOL.

 

Caribbean committed to ballast water management

09/06/2017 

A meeting of countries in the Wider Caribbean Region is renewing regional coordination to help implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention and thereby minimize the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships' ballast water.

Topics discussed at the workshop, being held in Panama City (5-9 June), include ways for moving ratification and implementation forward throughout the region; exchanging information; a revised regional strategic action plan; reestablishment of a regional task force; and lessons learned from the GloBallast project – set up to help implement the Convention. Read the GloBallast story here.

Seven thousand species are transferred in ballast water every hour of every day – find out about more via the ballast water in numbers infographic, here.

The regional meeting is organized by RAC/REMPEITC, through IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, with funding from the Malaysian Government.

 

Ballast Water Management treaty ratifications boost

09/06/2017 

​This week has seen four more States become Party to IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. The Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017 and will require ships to manage their ballast water, which can contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes, plants and organisms, which are then carried across the globe.

The Bahamas deposited its instrument of accession on Thursday (8 June), following accession by Singapore (8 June), ratification by Australia (7 June) and accession by United Arab Emirates (6 June). Saudi Arabia became a Party in April. This brings the number of States party to the BWM Convention to 59, representing 65.18 % of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. (See photos).

In accordance with article 18 of the Convention, the Convention will enter into force on 8 September 2017 for these 59 States; for States depositing their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession after 8 June 2017, the Convention will enter into force three months after the date of deposit of instrument.

 

Saving marine ecosystems – the ballast water story

07/06/2017 

During the 20th century, tiny organisms carried in the ballast water of ships began to be recognized as alien invasive species. These aquatic species were hitching a ride across the oceans and some were embedding themselves in new areas, multiplying and becoming harmful invasive aquatic species. The impacts on native species, local ecosystems and sea-based economies have, in some cases, been devastating. The story of how global partnerships, governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders came together to tackle this problem is told in a new publication, The GloBallast Story, launched (6 June) during a side event at the UN Ocean Conference in New York.

The publication outlines the key achievements of the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, executed by IMO in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project was launched in 2007 after an initial 4-year phase and has been assisting 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 10 most invasive species that can be transferred through ships’ ballast water are profiled in the publication, which also provides infographics, diagrams and detailed case histories. 

The book was launched by Chris Severin from the GEF, Andrew Hudson from UNDP and Stefan Micallef from IMO, in the presence of Rear Admiral Brady from the Maritime Authority of Jamaica.

 

Passenger ship safety amendments set for adoption

07/06/2017 

Revised safety requirements to ensure new-build passenger ships remain afloat after a major incident are among a set of amendments set for adoption by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), 98th session, which meets from 7-16 June. The revisions to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter II-1, relating to subdivision and damage stability, follow a substantive review of SOLAS chapter II-1, focusing in particular on passenger ships. The review has taken into account recommendations arising from the investigation into the 2012 Costa Concordia incident.

Also up for adoption is the latest set of amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code); as well amendments to a number of other Codes. Other items on the busy agenda include goal-based standards; maritime security, including cyber security; and adoption of new and amended ships’ routeing measures.

The MSC will also consider proposals for IMO to begin a scoping exercise to determine how the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of autonomous ships might be introduced into IMO instruments. The MSC was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim  and is being chaired by Mr. Brad Groves (Australia). (Click for photos.)

 

Cooperation on unsafe mixed migration by sea

06/06/2017 

IMO's work within the UN system on unsafe mixed migration by sea was part of discussions at an event* at London's Queen Mary University as part of the 2nd Annual Conference of the Refugee Law Initiative (6 June). The safety of life at sea and maritime search and rescue are key remits which fall within IMO's competence.

IMO has jointly with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Chamber of Shipping issued the guide to principles and practices as applied to persons rescued at sea, including migrants and refugees. The guide is available in six languages.

IMO's Jan de Boer provided an update on discussions at IMO on the subject, including at the Legal Committee, Maritime Safety Committee and Facilitation Committee. He also gave an overview of discussions at the 2015 High level Meeting to Address Unsafe Mixed Migration by Sea, hosted by IMO.

* Launch of the book 'Boat Refugees' and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach – edited by Violeta Moreno-Lax (Queen Mary University of London) and Efthymios Papastavridis (Democritus University of Thrace, the Academy of Athens and Oxford University).

 

Kenya signs amendment to regional maritime piracy agreement

06/06/2017 

Kenya has become the 13th signatory* to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.

The Amendment significantly broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code when it was adopted at a high-level meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in January 2017. It covers measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste.

H.E. Mr. Lazarus Ombai Amayo, High Commissioner of Kenya to the United Kingdom, and Permanent Representative of Kenya to IMO, deposited the instrument at IMO Headquarters in London, today (6 June).

* Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.

 

Connecting ships, ports and people for sustainable development

02/06/2017 

More efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people. This was the message of IMO’s Chris Trelawny in his speech to the European Sea Ports Organisation’s annual conference in Barcelona, Spain (1-2 June).

Mr. Trelawny highlighted how IMO’s World Maritime Day theme for 2017, ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’, focuses on helping Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses a wide range of issues. These issues include the facilitation of maritime transport, increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.

Key objectives include improving cooperation between port authorities and the shipping industry and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors; raising global standards and setting norms for the safety, security and efficiency of ports and for port and coastal State authorities; and standardizing port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials.

The audience at the Barcelona conference included senior figures from the European Commission, European Parliament, persons involved in managing various European ports, as well as European academics and relevant non-governmental organizations.

 

A game-changer for ocean health

02/06/2017 

Monday sees the opening of a historical United Nations conference in New York that will set the course for implementation of the ocean-related Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Ocean Conference (5-9 June) will feature a high-level plenary session, several “partnership dialogues” and many more side events during which all aspects of SDG 14 and its sub-targets will be analysed and discussed. Among the expected outcomes of the conference will be a concise and focused declaration, agreed by governments, in the form of a "Call for Action" to support the implementation of Goal 14 and a list of “voluntary commitments” to reinforce that objective.

IMO’s delegation is headed by Secretary-General Kitack Lim, who will be speaking in several fora during the conference about IMO’s strong commitment to SDG 14. IMO has also registered a number of its own voluntary commitments, and will be hosting its own side event (alongside the Maritime Authority of Jamaica) which will explore how partnerships are transforming shipping to achieve SDG 14.

The Ocean Conference coincides with World Oceans Day (June 8) and is billed by the organisers as the “game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity.”

 

Learning how to combat organized crime at sea

02/06/2017 

Skills necessary in dealing with maritime transnational organised crimes at sea, including, piracy, armed robbery against ships, drug trafficking, marine terrorism and more were at the core of a two-week training course which concluded today in Mombasa, Kenya (22 May – 2 June 2017). The course was conducted under the auspices of the JeddahAmendment to Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017, as a joint initiative between the East African Standby Force (EASF), Nordic Advisory and Coordination Staff (NACS) and IMO.

15 participants from the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) signatory states attended the event, namely: Comoros, Kenya, Seychelles and Sudan as well as Burundi and Uganda from the East African Standby Force.

Three experts from Norway and Sweden, three regional trainers from Kenya, Uganda and Sudan and IMO’s Kiruja Micheni, facilitated the training.

 

Partnerships for protecting the marine environment

01/06/2017 

IMO’s highly successful collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) to deliver technical cooperation activities was in the spotlight in Oslo this week (30-31 May).

In addition to the annual IMO-Norad projects review meeting, IMO presented the Organization and its technical cooperation programme to senior officials from Norwegian ministries and NGOs*, highlighting in particular the IMO-Norad East Asia Project, which helped build capacity to implement IMO environment-protection conventions in six participating countries – with a view to identifying further cooperation opportunities. 

IMO and Norad have a continuing and fruitful arrangement under which Norad has funded a number of important marine environment projects within the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

IMO was represented in Oslo by Jose Matheickal, Jonathan Pace, Helen Buni, Youngso Kim and Jun Sun.

* Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Climate and Environment, and WWF Norway

 

Reducing the environmental footprint

01/06/2017 

IMO's work on environmental issues, including energy efficiency, GHG emissions, global sulphur cap and data collection system for fuel oil consumption, formed part of the keynote speech delivered by IMO's Heike Deggim at the Green Tech Conference in Florida, USA (30 May – 1 June). Ms Deggim reiterated IMO's strong commitment to ensuring that shipping meets its environmental obligations, pointing out the approval of a roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, among other things. The conference also looked at how to make the maritime transportation industry more sustainable by sharing information about emerging issues, improved benchmarking, greener technologies, and evolving best practices. A special presentation focused on clean ship innovations, underwater noise, and port air emission.

Green Marine is a voluntary environmental programme for the North American marine industry which encourages its participants to reduce their environmental footprint by taking concrete actions.

 

Protecting Fiji’s marine environment

31/05/2017 

Fiji will be better able to identify areas of the sea which are at risk and protect them, thanks to a workshop held in Suva, Fiji (30 May – 1 June)

The event raised awareness and improved technical knowledge of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) among officials and other stakeholders in Fiji who may be involved in preparing to submit PSSA proposals in Fiji to IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee.

IMO’s Edward Kleverlaan highlighted that PSSAs are similar to marine protected areas essentially areas that need special protection through action by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) because of their significance for recognised ecological, socioeconomic or scientific reasons. The PSSA scheme fits perfectly within the objective of the Sustainable Development Goal 14, the so-called ‘Ocean Goal’ of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Mr Kleverlaan also added that the event was very timely as Fiji prepares to co-host, with Sweden, the Ocean Conference at the UN General Assembly, where progress towards delivering on the SDG 14 will be made (5-9 June 2017).

Co-organized by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji and the Office for the London Convention/Protocol and Ocean Affairs, IMO, the event was attended by more than 30 participants from various Fijian agencies and organizations.

 

Putting energy-efficient shipping on Georgia’s curriculum

31/05/2017 

Georgia is the latest country to receive IMO support to promote energy-efficient shipping – with a workshop taking place in Batumi (31 May – 1 June). Run under IMO's GloMEEP project, the workshop is training 23 maritime educators from across the country to introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into their teaching curriculums.

The focus is on delivering the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers, which consists of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience. Crews trained in Georgia will then have the necessary knowledge to contribute to reducing fuel consumption on ships and cutting associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The training, hosted by the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia, is the latest in a series of IMO national workshops of this kind – the previous one having taken place in Panama in April 2017.

Find out more about IMO's work on low carbon shipping and air pollution control, here.

 

Conducting maritime security expertise

31/05/2017 

The key IMO instrument helping to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden – the Djibouti Code of Conduct – is part of discussions at an international conference in Morocco.

The West African Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit 2017 (AFSEC 17), being held in Casablanca (30 May – 1 June) has heard IMO’s Chris Trelawny present the latest developments of the Code, which is part of IMO’s on-going maritime security work.

Mr. Trelawny gave an insight into the recently adopted Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code. The Amendment includes measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities. These include piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste. In this regard, IMO works in partnership with UNODC, FAO, INTERPOL and other relevant agencies who lead within their various competences.

Further critical measures in the Amendment involve establishment of a national maritime security committee involving all key maritime stakeholders; as well as developing national and local maritime security plans, practices and procedures to implement a country’s national maritime security strategy.

 

All about fouling

26/05/2017 

Biofouling – the build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures – was again on the agenda at the latest in a series of IMO workshops. The regional workshop in Accra, Ghana (24-26 May) was attended by participants from nine countries*. Participants gained a greater understanding of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the anti-fouling systems (AFS) convention and implementing biofouling guidelines. The AFS convention regulates anti-fouling systems in order to prevent adverse impacts from the use of anti-fouling systems and the biocides they may contain. The biofouling guidelines focus on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species. The workshop was funded by the Government of China, with additional funding by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Fund and led by IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis. 


* Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Sierra Leone

 

Supporting free-flowing maritime traffic in South-East Asia

26/05/2017 

The key IMO treaty supporting the free flow of international maritime traffic – the Facilitation Convention – is the subject of a regional seminar in Bangkok, Thailand (22-26 May).

The so-called “FAL Convention” provides a set of consistent, uniform regulations that cover the wide range of administrative tasks required of ships coming into and leaving port. These include customs declarations, immigrations clearance, import and export permits and many others. Implementing these regulations can both help reduce transport costs and contribute to sustainable development.

The Bangkok seminar involves 53 participants from 11 countries* across Southeast Asia involved in the clearance of ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports. The aim is to support a more effective implementation of the Convention as a whole, as well as the maritime “single window” concept on data exchange. The single window, encouraged under FAL, focuses on the many agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact.

IMO is represented by Julian Abril and Cagri Kucukyildiz.

* Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam

 

Global regulations for a level playing field

25/05/2017 

The relationship between global shipping regulation, through IMO, and regional implementation can be strong and very effective. This was the message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, speaking at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon, Portugal (24 May).

Mr. Lim highlighted that EU Member States have made an invaluable contribution to IMO’s work, which, over several decades, has laid the foundation for shipping to become progressively safer, more efficient, cleaner and greener. And, moving forward, EU countries have an equally strong influence over ensuring that IMO measures are universally adopted and implemented – thereby helping to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot gain an unfair advantage by cutting corners.

Mr. Lim also pointed to important EMSA contributions to IMO's work. These include the EMSA-hosted International Data Exchange Centre, which ensures the smooth operation of the​​ Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system, and third-party audits carried out in countries supplying seafarers – in order to support compliance with the international treaty covering seafarer training (STCW Convention).

Pictured: IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (left) with EMSA Executive Director, Markku Mylly (right).

 

Keeping up with oil spill preparedness and response

25/05/2017 

IMO joined States* and organizations with an interest in oil spill preparedness and response at a meeting of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), in Malta (23-25 May). The meeting focused on REMPEC’s current and future work programme, and endorsed draft guidelines to provide practical information on responding to significant marine pollution incidents, including the Mediterranean ‘Principles and Guidelines on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance’.

The event was opened by the Honourable Mr. Joseph Mizzi, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure of Malta. IMO was represented by Colleen O’Hagan (pictured).

Find out more about IMO’s and its role in protecting the world’s oceans, here.

* Eighteen Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention

 

When searching is not enough

25/05/2017 

The Pacific’s wild weather and vast distances make it a challenging location for search and rescue, said Keith Manch, Director Maritime New Zealand, in his opening address at the Pacific Regional Search and Rescue workshop in Auckland, New Zealand (22-26 May). The objective of the workshop is to provide Pacific Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinators and responders with the tools to improve coordination between national SAR agencies. The event also aims to improve regional collaboration through formal protocols and communication ensuring a uniform SAR response throughout the Pacific. IMO's Carlos Salgado echoed the importance of shared experiences: “This regional workshop is vital as it provides an opportunity for those who have responsibilities in search and rescue, to discuss their common issues and share some best practices on how to resolve them”. He also highlighted key aspects of international standards: “The work done at this workshop will improve Pacific SAR responders’ ability to comply with international rules and standards around search and rescue activities.”

The workshop, attended by more than 100 participants, saw a mock search and rescue operation, featuring a sinking boat firing flares, a US Coastguard C-130 Hercules dropping a life raft and an Auckland Rescue Helicopter winching a person from the water.

The workshop is jointly organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) and IMO, and co-hosted by the Government of New Zealand.

Pacific Island governments continue to be challenged by search and rescue cases, despite ongoing efforts to prevent them. Between 2015 and early 2017, there were some 680 search and rescue cases reported in Guam, 213 in Papua New Guinea, 86 in Kiribati, 72 in Solomon Islands and 25 in Cook Islands and 25 in Tuvalu.

 

Liability cover for Antarctic waters

25/05/2017 

The issue of liability arising from environmental emergencies in Antarctic waters is part of discussions at the 40th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Beijing, China (23 May – 1 June). Amongst other maritime safety and environmental protection issues, IMO is contributing to discussions on the legal aspects of the Antarctica Treaty and Protocol versus the applicability of IMO's liability and compensation regime.

This regime includes the Civil Liability ConventionFund Convention, Bunkers Convention, Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention and Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Convention. The Antarctic Treaty was set up by countries with an interest in the region, in 1959, to ensure peaceful use of, and freedom of scientific investigation in, the Antarctic.

Pictured: Jan de Boer of the Organization's Legal Division (right), with Dr. Manfred Reinke, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty (centre) and José Maura, Director of the IOPC Funds (left).

 

Studying the London Protocol

24/05/2017 

The core functions of the treaty regulating dumping of wastes at sea - the London Protocol - have been presented to some 30 participants at a workshop in Accra, Ghana (22-24 May). The workshop provided relevant examples and experiences on the implementation of the Protocol. Participants from nine countries* also received information on various legal and technical aspects, including lessons on waste assessment guidance, the permitting and reporting procedures, as well as possible steps to ratification. The workshop was hosted by the Ghana Maritime Authority. IMO’s Fredrik Haag led the event, which is being followed by a regional workshop on the anti-fouling convention and biofouling guidelines.

*Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Sierra Leone.

 

National maritime transport policy training in Antigua and Barbuda

22/05/2017 

​A three-day National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) workshop has been held in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda (16-18 May). 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 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 participants represented various government agencies and stakeholders spanning multiple sectors. The workshop was hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping and facilitated by IMO, with consultants representing both IMO and the World Maritime University (WMU). Ahead of the workshop, the IMO/WMU team met the Honourable Mr Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and discussed and discussed the benefits of developing a National Maritime Transport Policy and other maritime matters of mutual interest.  

 

Oil spills: prevent, prepare, respond, restore

18/05/2017 

International experts have been sharing experiences, new technologies and scientific advancements relating to oil spill response at the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Long Beach, United States (15-18 May). The theme of the conference is “prevent, prepare, respond and restore”, which fully aligns with IMO’s regulatory work to prevent oil spills from occurring and also its work to support countries to be prepared to respond to such incidents. IMO`s capacity-building activities include training for oil pollution preparedness and response through simulation of oil spills.

IMO is a co-sponsor of the triennial conference alongside the oil industry body IPIECA, the United States Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAAA) and other US entities. Patricia Charlebois was attending the conference for IMO, while the Organization’s technical cooperation programme sponsored seven attendees from the Caribbean region under the conference’s scholarship programme

IMO Publishing was also in attendance at the conference, showcasing the latest editions relevant to parties to the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), 1990, and other stakeholders, including Response to a Marine Oil Pollution Incident, Manual on oil Pollution and other publications.  Watch IMO’s oil spill response film here

 

Asia centre launches on low-carbon shipping mission

16/05/2017 

​A new regional centre, which will provide leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships, has been launched at Shanghai Maritime University, China (15 May). The centre will cater to the needs of the Asia region under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Network (GMN) – a project funded by the European Union (EU) and run by IMO. The GMN initiative unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting developing countries in activities including development of national energy-efficiency policies for their maritime sectors.

The MTCC-Asia centre was officially opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and H.E. Mr. He Jianzhong, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Transport, China and Mr. Chen Yin, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government. Ms. Vicky Pollard, First Counsellor- Environment and Climate Change, Delegation of the European Union to China and Mongolia, represented the EU. The launch event was also witnessed by Mr. Xu Ruqing, Director General of China Maritime Safety Administration and Mr. Huang Youfang, President of SMU. (Click for photos.)

Mr. Lim said the new MTCCs in the GMN network would form part of IMO’s two-pronged approach to addressing GHG emissions from international shipping.  “I see our regulatory work and our capacity-building initiatives as a double-headed assault on the problem of shipping emissions. Together, they send a clear signal about how seriously this Organization treats this issue, how determined it is to address it, and how prepared we are to roll up our sleeves and take practical measures to do so,” Mr Lim said. 

Ms. Pollard said that tackling climate change and implementing Paris agreement commitments were a top priority for EU-China cooperation. ”We are delighted to be supporting the IMO to set up this new Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre in Shanghai, so that together we can support Least Developed Countries in the region to limit greenhouse gas emissions from their maritime shipping sector, and to reap the wider benefits this will bring in terms of reduced costs, jobs and sustainable development,” she said. 

Also present at the launch was IMO’s Jose Matheickal, who outlined the GMN project aims. 

The launch event was held alongside an International Maritime Forum, attended by SMU students, officials and representatives of the maritime industry in China. Secretary-General Lim spoke to the forum about IMO’s role in ensuring that shipping continues to make its contribution to the global economy, while ensuring its sustainability in a world which demands that its services and activities are increasingly safe, green and clean.

SMU is a multi-disciplinary, maritime-specific university that encompasses such areas as engineering, management, economics, law, arts and sciences. Since 2010, SMU has specialised in researching technology related to ships’ energy efficiency and controlling GHG emissions. The Asian MTCC will have two offices in Shanghai. The MTCC-Asia forms a network with centres in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific. GMN website:  http://gmn.imo.org/. Find out more about the European Union’s capacity building work here.

 

Saudi Arabia ratifies BWM treaty

15/05/2017 

Saudi Arabia has become the latest State to become a Party to the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. The treaty will enter into force on 8 September 2017 and aims to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. The number of contracting Parties to the BWM Convention now stands at 55, representing 53.67% of world merchant shipping tonnage. 
 
Saudi Arabia deposited its instrument of accession with IMO on 27 April 2017. 

 

New website launched for GMN energy-efficiency project

15/05/2017 

News and information about a major project to support low-carbon shipping can now be found on GMN.IMO.org – the newly-launched website for the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) project.

The initiative, funded by the European Union and run by IMO, unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting capacity building and technology cooperation by the shipping industry.

Find out more about IMO’s work on low carbon shipping here. For information on the European Union’s capacity building work, click here.

 

Turkey’s Prime Minister visits IMO

12/05/2017 

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited IMO Headquarters on Thursday (11 May).  During the visit, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Prime Minister Yildirim discussed maritime matters and reflected on this year’s World Maritime Day theme,  "Connecting Ships, Ports and People".

This has great resonance for Turkey, which, as a significant maritime nation, has an interest in the whole range of issues linked to the theme, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.

During his visit, Mr. Yildirim toured the IMO Headquarters building and met senior staff. 

Photos of Prime Minister Yıldırım’s visit to IMO can be downloaded here

 

Pollution response at Panama workshop

12/05/2017 

The need to ratify and implement various marine pollution conventions has been highlighted at a regional workshop in Panama City, Panama (8-12 May). The workshop focused on the oil spill response convention (OPRC) and its related protocol, and liability and compensation conventions related to oil caried as cargo (FUND 1992) and bunkers.  

In attendance were 31 participants from the Member States of the Operative Network for Regional Cooperation among Maritime Authorities of the Americas (ROCRAM). The event was led by IMO’s Carlos Salgado. It was organized by ROCRAM and the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP), under the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the General Secretariat of ROCRAM’s Secretariat (SECROCRAM), currently held by Mexico, within the framework of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).

 

IMO catalyst for more efficient ships

11/05/2017 

"IMO regulations will be a driver and catalyst for a generation of new, more efficient ships" said Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division at IMO, as he concluded his remarks at the 2017 Propulsion and Emissions conference, Hamburg, Germany (10-11 May). The ‘Future proofing your fleet’ event discussed challenging issues of complying with environmental regulations and the associated costs. In his keynote address, Mr. Micallef also touched upon key IMO issues such as CO2 emissions reduction policies, noting the successful introduction of the EEDI, which is forecast to cut CO2 emissions by 1.3 gigatonnes, or 3.6% of total global emissions, by 2050. The 2020 global sulphur limit, agreed last year, was a landmark step, Micallef said, but ultimately, "we need a pioneering spirit to navigate the waters ahead".

 

Safely using natural gas as marine fuel

11/05/2017 

The safe use of natural gas as marine fuel was in focus at the International Conference on Liquefied Natural Gas for Transport and Industry in Naples, Italy (10-11 May). IMO’s Loukas Kontogiannis gave an update on IMO regulations on the subject, specifically, the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), which entered into force on 1 January 2017.

Gas and other low-flashpoint fuels are cleaner for the atmosphere as they emit very low levels of air pollutants, such as sulphur oxides and particulates. However, these fuels pose their own safety challenges. Therefore, the Code aims to minimize the risk to ships, their crews and the environment.

 

IMO at World Port Conference

11/05/2017 “The benefits of a free and efficient flow of goods and trade extend far beyond ships and ports and can improve the lives of people everywhere.” This was IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s message to the 30th IAPH World Ports Conference in Bali, Indonesia (7-12 May). Mr. Lim was speaking via video message to more than 1000 delegates attending the Conference under the theme “Enabling Trade, Energizing the World”.


The Secretary-General made clear links between IMO’s work and the work of IAPH, stating that: “IAPH has become a strategic partner for some IMO projects, helping the maritime transport system to transition into more energy-efficient and low-carbon operations”.

The conference also featured an exhibition, including an IMO Publishing stand presenting IMO’s latest publications, conventions and codes.

 

Addressing the future

10/05/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Lim was in attendance as UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the future of international cooperation to an audience of students, diplomats and the general public at Westminster Central Hall, London (10 May). Climate change, terrorism, human rights, UN system reform and technological advances were some of the subjects taken on at the UNA-UK event (photos).

Speaking about global challenges as a whole, Mr. Guterres emphasized that “a strong commitment to multilateralism, to putting people at the centre of our concerns, is something we all need to be involved in.”

He also addressed the need to recognize and deal with the fact that not all people had shared equally in the benefits of globalization, and that on-going effort must be made for social cohesion through respect, tolerance and rationalism.

On climate change, he said that he was optimistic that the Paris Agreement would be implemented, stating that “the green economy has become the good economy – and the profitable economy”.

All of these challenges are being addressed by the UN system, including IMO, through the strategic lens of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow all the reaction to the event on twitter, via #SGLondon

 

Promoting cyber risk management in Caribbean shipping

10/05/2017 

All stakeholders should use existing safety and security management practices to implement the maritime cyber risk management recommendations agreed by IMO. This was a key message from IMO’s Javier Yasnikouski, Head of Maritime Security, IMO, presented the latest developments on maritime security at the 16th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference, Curaçao.  (8-9 May).

The conference participants, from a range of maritime areas, engaged in group exercises to discuss possible cyber security scenarios that could affect shipping-related activities and organizations, as well as the financial consequences of such actions. They acknowledged the IMO cyber risk recommendations and recognized the critical importance of cyber security for all maritime stakeholders and the need to address cyber security, as an urgent matter, within their own organizations.

 

Seafarers Matter

08/05/2017 

In less than two months, the Day of the Seafarer 2017 will be celebrated across the globe with a special focus on ports and seafarer centres. Under this year’s theme #SeafarersMatter, the campaign aims to engage the people working in ports and seafarer centres to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them.

IMO is also launching a new Day of the Seafarer logo. The Day of the Seafarer logo seeks to celebrate those people working in the industry, making it clear that seafaring is inclusive and a career at sea is suitable for both men and women. Alongside the logo’s new look, the Secretary-General’s video message is also being published online and is available to watch on IMO’s YouTube channel.

To encourage people to participate, IMO will launch an interactive world map which will feature the best port and seafarer centres from around the world, giving a chance to highlight best practices in seafarer support and welfare from around the world. Our famous quiz will also be back this year, with some new questions, together with our virtual photowall.

So join the campaign and visit our official Day of the Seafarer page to learn how to participate.

 

Wreck removal treaty ratified by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

08/05/2017 

IMO’s Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks has been ratified by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, bringing the total number of States to accede to the treaty to 35. The Convention, 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. Mr. Kim Kwang Min, Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republicof Korea to IMO, Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in London, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession (8 May).

 

Harnessing digital technology – for good

05/05/2017 

Information and communication technology (ICT) are seen within the UN system as vital to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and monitor progress towards them.

The bodies that deal with these issues across the UN system* have met (2-4 May) to discuss progress on their so-called Digital Transformation Agenda. Among topics on the agenda were data-driven decision making, predictive analysis, cyber security issues and partnership with the private sector. It was agreed to establish a task force for each of the key areas identified at the meetings.

*The 28th meeting of the CEB-ICT Network and the 99th session of the United Nations International Computing Centre Management Committee took place at the Pan American Health Organization in Washington DC, USA, with IMO’s Vincent Job representing the Organization.

 

Preparing for ballast water management implementation

05/05/2017 

Identifying organisms and microbes in ballast water, as well as monitoring port marine life where ballast water may be released, are key for countries preparing to enforce IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention. The treaty will enter into force on 8 September 2017 and aims to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. A regional workshop in Surabaya, Indonesia (2-5 May) is providing participants from 10 countries* with theoretical and practical training in compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the Convention. The workshop is also addressing port biological baseline surveys and risk assessment. These baseline surveys aim to provide inventories of marine life in and around commercial ports frequented by ships carrying ballast water, determine if there are any non-indigenous species which have been introduced and provide a baseline of biological data against which future changes can be measured.

To support port State control for implementation of the BWM Convention, IMO has published a video on ballast water sampling and analysis, which can be viewed here.

*The Workshop is being hosted by the Directorate General of Sea Transportation of the Ministry of Transport of Indonesia and is being attended by 49 participants from Indonesia, Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Viet Nam.

 

‘No hiding place’ for sub-standard shipping

05/05/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has stressed the vital importance of collaborative efforts to leave ‘no hiding place’ for sub-standard shipping. Mr Lim was addressing the third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control in Vancouver, Canada (3-4 May).

Port State Control is the mechanism that enables officials from a port state to board and inspect foreign-flag ships to ensure they comply with the necessary safety and environmental regulations. By sharing information and data and adopting uniform operational procedures, regional Port State Control organizations can make it harder for sub-standards ships to slip through their net. IMO actively promotes and supports strong and collaborative Port State Control.

During his visit to Canada, Mr Lim also had meetings with Mr Marc Garneau, Canada’s Transport Minister; Mr Yasutada Ohno, Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and Mr He Jianzhong, the Chinese Vice Minister of Transport.

 

Training for maritime law enforcement

04/05/2017 

A three-week training course on maritime law enforcement for countries surrounding the Gulf of Aden concludes today (4 May) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The course brought together specialists from 14 signatory countries* to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the IMO instrument helping to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

Participants covered topics covered under the recently adopted Jeddah amendment to the Djibouti Code – such as how to suppress a range of illicit activities. These include piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste.

The course was delivered by instructors from the Border Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, supported by experts from INTERPOL, the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), the Hellenic Police, the United States Coast Guard, United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and IMO.

IMO was represented by Chris Trelawny and Kiruja Micheni, who represented the IMO Secretary-General at the closing ceremony for the course. This was one of several courses honoured at a ceremony presided by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and the General Director of the Border Guard, Vice Admiral Awwad Eid Al-Aradi Al-Balawi.

The event was funded by Saudi Arabia and held at the Mohammed Bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security Studies.

* Djibouti Code signatory States: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen; as well as two representatives from the Bahrain Coast Guard.

 

What’s next for ballast water management?

02/05/2017 

Latest developments on the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention took centre stage at the 8th International Conference on Ballast Water Management (24-25 April) in Singapore. IMO Secretary-General Emeritus, Koji Sekimizu, and Chief Technical Advisor of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme, Jose Matheickal, delivered keynote addresses at the event.

Among other key issues, participants discussed the revised guidelines for the approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8), challenges facing Port State Control with regards to Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement (CME) and the timeline for installation of BWM systems. The conference also looked at latest technological developments in the field of ballast water treatment  and monitoring systems. Organized by IMarEST in partnership with GloBallast and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the conference was part of the Singapore Maritime Week and also included a tour of laboratories for testing ballast water management systems.

 

Piracy recap

28/04/2017 

IMO has contributed to the ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2017 in Singapore (27 April). IMO special advisor on maritime security, Chris Trelawny, gave a presentation on current statistics and trends on the issue of piracy and armed robbery against ships. According to reports received by IMO, the number of incidents followed a downward trend in 2016, with 215 incidents, compared with 303 in 2015 – a reduction of about 29% at the global level. In the Malacca Straits, reported incidents fell by 85% from 134 incidents in 2015 to 20 in 2016. View the full presentation here.

A number of IMO treaties and guidelines help to address the issue of piracy and improve maritime security. These include the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and Djibouti Code of Conduct. IMO Member States are encouraged to report incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships on the IMO piracy database via the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

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

 

Inspiring more women to join the Pacific maritime sector

28/04/2017 

Regional commitment of the Pacific on the advancement of women and gender equality in the maritime sector was at the forefront of a meeting held by The Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PacWIMA) in Nuku’alofa, Tonga (24-28 April). Thanks to IMO funding, the association was able to meet and discuss the regional strategy for Pacific women in the maritime sector, e launching their new website and collaborating with the World Maritime University`s Women’s Association. The strategy seeks to encourage women who aspire to train for, and work in, the maritime sector, by raising awareness and providing the tools for civil society and local communities to create an enabling environment for them to do so.

Executive members of PacWIMA also attended the Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting, to highlight women`s economic contribution and leadership to the Pacific maritime sector. IMO`s Juvenal Shindu, who was in attendance, reiterated that maritime transport has a role to play in contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG) and in particular SDG 5 in supporting regional activities through empowering women.

 

Impacts of fouling

27/04/2017 

The issue of biofouling has been under the microscope at a series of national workshops delivered by IMO, most recently, a national workshop held in Antananarivo, Madagascar (25-27 April). All ships can experience a build-up of aquatic organisms on their underwater hull and structures, which is known as biofouling. This can impact on the ship speed and energy use, but it could also potentially see aquatic organisms transferred to new areas, where they could become invasive species. IMO has acted to regulate anti-fouling systems in order to prevent adverse impacts from the use of anti-fouling systems and the biocides they may contain. And IMO has also adopted guidance to focus on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species.

The recent workshop on the impacts of anti-fouling systems and of ships’ biofouling 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. The workshop was funded by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Fund and implemented by IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis.  

 

Assessing seafarers

27/04/2017 

Seafarers need to be properly trained if they are to operate ships safely and competently, and the standards they must attain are set out in IMO’s STCW Convention. It is also vital that seafarers are properly assessed and examined to make sure they really do reach the required levels of skill and competency. A regional training course on how to assess and examine seafarers is being held in Shanghai, China (24-28 April). The course will provide knowledge and skills, enabling trainees to administer, supervise and monitor training and assessment of seafarer competence, as required by the STCW Convention.

The course is hosted by Shanghai Maritime University. Forty participants from seven countries across east and south-east Asia* attended the course, which was held under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the Ministry of Communications of China on technical cooperation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and the Maritime Safety Administration of Shanghai. IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen.

*China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.

 

Sustainable energy and transport

27/04/2017 

Adverse climate changes, sea level rising and extreme weather patterns are causes of great concern for the Pacific community. IMO has joined more than 100 high-level delegates and experts in Nuku’alofa, Tonga (26 April) for the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministerial Meeting, under the theme of "Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy and Transport Services for All".

Energy and transport sectors are vital at national, regional and global levels for the survival and sustainability of the Pacific region. IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu delivered an opening address and outlined the technical assistance provided by IMO to assist member States to implement IMO regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas from maritime transport sectors. He also acknowledged the long-standing cooperation between IMO and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in the implementation of technical cooperation activities in the region.

Mr. Shiundu also touched upon maritime transport in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

Learning to teach energy-efficient ship operation

26/04/2017 

Maritime educators from Panama and Jamaica are taking part in an IMO training workshop to introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into their teaching curriculums. The workshop, taking place in Panama City, Panama (25-26 April) was developed under the Organization’s GloMEEP project and supports maritime training institutes to deliver the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers.

The course consists of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience for crews being trained in the two countries, and, thereby, to help them contribute to reducing fuel consumption on ships and cutting associated greenhouse gas emissions.

In total, 30 participants from across Panamanian and Jamaican maritime universities, shipping colleges and institutes are attending. The event is hosted by the Panama Maritime Authority and carried out by a team of IMO consultants.

 

Promotion of HNS 2010 at Legal Committee

26/04/2017 

IMO’s Legal Committee is expected to consider adopting a resolution to encourage the ratification and implementation of the 2010 HNS Convention, when it meets for its 104th session (26-28 April). Norway recently became the first country to become a Contracting State to this key compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by ship. Also up for consideration is a draft Assembly resolution to allow for the delegation of authority to issue insurance certificates under the CLC and the HNS Convention. The Committee is also expected to confirm the addition of mandatory insurance certificates into the consolidated draft list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017. (Photos here.)

Submissions relating to the provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers, fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident and maritime piracy are also being tabled at LEG 104. The Committee will be tasked with considering advice to the Facilitation Committee regarding interpretation of the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which supports international maritime traffic by providing a set of consistent, uniform regulations to facilitate the free flow of commerce. Revised rules of procedure for the FAL Committee will be reviewed, under efforts to harmonize the rules of procedure for all IMO Committees.

On Tuesday (25 April), the Legal Committee and the International oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Legal Committee. Within its mandate, the Legal Committee has, for the past five decades, provided the machinery for cooperation among Governments to consider any legal matters within the scope of IMO.

The Organization established an ad hoc Legal Committee in June 1967, in the wake of the grounding of the Torrey Canyon on 18 March 1967 – an incident which raised many legal questions.

 

How deep is the ocean?

24/04/2017 

Hydrogaphy, the science of surveying and charting bodies of water, is essential to the safe, sustainable and cost-effective use of the world’s oceans. This was IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s message at the 1st Assembly of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in Monaco (24 April).

Around 90% of the world’s oceans and 50% of coastal waters have never had their depth measured. And there are higher resolution maps of the Moon, Mars and Venus than for most of the world’s maritime areas.

In this context, hydrographers make a valuable contribution to the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on conserving and sustainably using the oceans – whether in support of navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, defence and security, resource exploration.

Mr. Lim highlighted that, since 2002, governments signed up to IMO’s International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) are required to provide and maintain hydrographic services and products. New generations of ships with exceptionally deep draughts, new ports and coastal zone management plans are being developed due to changing trade patterns. This, coupled with the global mandate to protect the marine environment all combine to emphasise the importance of this obligation under SOLAS.

 

A closer look at seafarer training standards

22/04/2017 

​From Master to deck hand, seafarers operate increasingly complex and highly technical ships, bringing cargos safely to their destinations every hour of every day, keeping to the schedules, regardless of the conditions they may have to face. Seafarers are at the heart of sustainable and safe shipping. Therefore, proper training is a key component of that success.

IMO, the organization responsible for seafarer training standards, attended the International Forum on Seafarers' Education, Training & Crewing held in Odessa, Ukraine (19-21 April). IMO's Hiro Yamada participated in the Forum by opening the event, he also gave a lecture and a presentation on IMO and the human element.

The Forum discussed many issues related to seafarers' education, training & crewing, particularly the importance of cadets; the use of simulators; fatigue and human element; effect of e-navigation (digital technology) and possible autonomous ships to shipping; and future amendments to STCW.

 

East-Asia workshop boosts seafarer training

22/04/2017 

IMO has been continuing to support countries in implementing the key international convention on seafarer training, certification and watchkeeping, with a regional seminar in Dalian, China (19-21 April). Thirty participants from seven countries across east and south-east Asia* attended the event. They were made up of government officials and representatives from training institutions responsible for seafarer assessment and certification. The seminar covered the development, review and use of IMO model courses – designed to help implement the provisions in the STCW Convention.

The event was held under the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the Ministry of Communications of China on technical cooperation – in collaboration with Dalian Maritime University. IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen.

*China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.

 

​IMO support to Africa maritime

21/04/2017 

IMO’s support for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building in Africa was highlighted at the 3rd conference of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), in Abuja, Nigeria (19-21 April). Delivering a goodwill message on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, IMO’s William Azuh said IMO was committed to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade, he said. He noted that, in Africa, the importance of the port sector extends beyond the borders of African coastal States, as ports also serve the trade and contribute to the socio-economic development of landlocked African countries.
 
The conference was organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in collaboration with IMO. During the meeting, the 32 participating African Maritime Administrations agreed to develop an integrated human-resource strategy for the maritime sector taking into account gender balance in the entire sector.  
 
The AAMA also agreed to institutionalise and observe 25 July of every year as Africa's Day of the Seas and Oceans. The day will be dedicated to outreach programmes highlighting the importance of maritime activities and shipping to the economy and well-being of all African countries. The 4th conference of AAMA will be hosted by Egypt in 2018, with IMO’s support. The IMO team attending the 3rd conference included Mr Azuh and Amr Hussein from IMO Headquarters and the three regional coordinators based in Africa: Honorat Hoba, west  and central Africa(Francophone), based in Abidjan, Cote d' Ivoire; Dallas Laryea, west and central Africa (Anglophone), based in Accra, Ghana; and Purity Thirimu, Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

IMO in China to share policies and regulations update

21/04/2017 

Addressing over 300 industry experts at the Green Shiptech China Congress 2017 (20-21 April), IMO`s Heike Deggim briefed the audience on the latest IMO regulations. She drew attention to the global 0.50% sulphur limit from 2020 as a key item on IMO’s environmental agenda. She also outlined other key regulatory moves at IMO which will be the focus in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), including the forthcoming entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention in September 2017; the mandatory fuel oil consumption data collection process under MARPOL Annex VI; and the Roadmap for development of a ‘Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships’. The event generated in-depth discussion on the issues and challenges shared by the wider shipping industry.

 

Belgium accedes to oil pollution response treaty

19/04/2017 

Belgium has become the 112th State to accede to IMO's International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC). The treaty establishes measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with other countries. Mr. Laurent Preud'homme, First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium in the United Kingdom, deposited the instrument at IMO Headquarters in London, today (19 April).

Mr. Preud'homme also deposited the instrument of accession for the Protocol to the OPRC relating to hazardous and noxious substances.

 

Future of navigation aids

18/04/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has spoken about the importance of exploiting the full potential of electronic information and digital resources in ongoing global efforts to improve the safety of maritime navigation and protect the marine environment. Addressing the Preparatory Diplomatic Conference of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in Paris, France (18 April) – Mr. Lim praised IALA’s contribution to IMO's work, including the development of e-navigation.

E-Navigation, Mr. Lim said, “is the future. But it has been ‘the future’ for a long time. The challenge now is to turn ‘the future’ into ‘the present’ so that all the benefits and advantages of e-navigation can be fully realized”.

To help achieve this aim, IMO, IALA and other stakeholders are working under the e-navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP), approved at IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee in 2014. The Plan contains tasks to be conducted to address five prioritized e-navigation solutions, including for improved, harmonized and user-friendly bridge design, and means for standardized and automated reporting.

As part of his visit to France, Mr. Lim discussed protection of the marine environment with H.E. Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. He also spoke about climate change with French Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Jean-Marc Ayrault, and toured the English Channel in a French Navy helicopter – accompanied by H.E. Nicole Taillefer, Permanent Representative of France to IMO.

 

Caspian Sea States cooperate on pollution response

18/04/2017 

IMO has joined countries and stakeholders concerned with protecting the Caspian Sea from oil pollution at a regional meeting in Bandar-e Anzali, Islamic Republic of Iran (16-20 April). Participants* are discussing the implementation of the Aktau Protocol on Regional Preparedness, Response and Cooperation in Combating Oil Pollution Incidents and, in particular, finalization of the Regional Caspian Sea Plan on cooperation in combating oil pollution in emergencies.

In addition to the meeting, IMO’s Colleen O’Hagan joined participants to observe a comprehensive response exercise combining elements of search and rescue, firefighting and pollution response – undertaken by the Ports and Maritime Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The meeting is taking place under the Teheran Convention and is chaired by Dr. Parvin Farshchi, Deputy for Marine Environment, at the Department of Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

* Participants include delegations for the five littoral States of the Caspian (Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan), representatives from the oil, gas and shipping industries operating in the Caspian, and the Tehran Interim Secretariat from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

 

Shipping safer with maritime pilots

11/04/2017 

Maritime pilots are a strong and essential link in the structure that underpins the safety of international shipping. This was the message delivered by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to the 70th national assembly of the Italian Maritime Pilots Federation (Fedepiloti) in Rome, Italy (11 April).

Addressing an audience that included Italian pilots and Members of Government, Mr. Lim spoke about pilots as a vital part of the shipping’s human element – who use their local knowledge to help ships navigate safely into and out of ports or through dangerous waters. He also emphasized that just as pilots have a responsibility for the safety of shipping, so shipping has a responsibility for pilots’ safety.

During his visit to Rome, Secretary-General Lim met Italy’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, H.E. Mr. Graziano Delrio, and will visit the Italian Ship-owners Association tomorrow (12 April).

The importance of employing qualified pilots in approaches to ports and other areas where specialized local knowledge is required was formally recognized by IMO in 1968. The Organization adopted an Assembly resolution on pilotage, recommending that Governments organize pilotage services where they would be likely to prove more effective than other measures and to define the ships and classes of ships for which employment of a pilot would be mandatory.

 

Promoting IMO Publications

06/04/2017 

​IMO Publishing is attending East Med Marine and Oil & Gas Exhibition in Limassol, Cyprus (6-7 April). The stand is being manned by Bianka Ochs-Fawzy and Victor Mackenney. The exhibition provides an opportunity for the marine, offshore and oil & gas industries' lead players and stakeholders to interact and to learn about important industry updates and technological advancements. IMO Publishing will be promoting the latest regulations available to purchase.

 

Leaders for sustainable shipping

06/04/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Germany’s 10th National Maritime Conference in Hamburg (4 April), which focused on issues including sustainable growth and the importance of new technologies for the future of the shipping industry (photos).

Addressing Chancellor Merkel, the Mayor of Hamburg, German Government ministers and other stakeholders in his keynote speech, Mr. Lim emphasized that shipping, supported by IMO’s global regulatory regime, will be central to sustainable global development and growth in the future. He said that Germany provides ample proof that maritime activity can both drive and support a growing national and global economy, and that efforts to promote investment, growth and improvement in the maritime sectors can have benefits that reach far beyond shipping itself.

Speaking about digitization in the industry, both leaders emphasized that new technologies will be key to efficiency in the maritime sector and protection of the environment. Mr. Lim said that “with opportunities afforded by new technology, shipping is, potentially, on the brink of a new era”.

In her remarks on the marine environment, Chancellor Merkel thanked IMO and the Secretary-General for agreeing a roadmap for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships and welcomed IMO’s work to protect the marine environment from micro plastics in particular.

Find out more about IMO’s work on marine litter and low carbon shipping and air pollution control.

 

Stellar Daisy – a message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

05/04/2017 

“The news that the search for survivors from the Stellar Daisy has not yet proven successful is sad indeed. Reports from the Uruguayan Navy indicate that fuel, debris and empty lifeboats have been found but, so far, nothing else. Twenty-two of the ship’s 24 crew members are missing but we always live in hope that a miracle may happen.

At this stage, the most important thing to say is that our thoughts and prayers are with the seafarers still missing, and with their families and loved ones. And I would also like to offer my commendation to all those who have been involved in the search and rescue operations. Such operations are never without risk yet those who undertake them do so readily and without fear of the consequences to their own lives. They deserve our appreciation and gratitude.

It is expected that there will be a full investigation into this accident and that the results and findings will be brought to IMO so that we can do whatever may be necessary to reduce the chances of such an incident happening again. Thankfully these occurrences are rare; but when they do happen, they serve to remind everyone that the seafarers, on whom we all depend, do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job; and that those of us responsible for making the industry safer can never stop striving for improvements.”

 

On course at CC:Learn meeting

05/04/2017 

IMO participated in the annual meeting of the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) in Bonn, Germany (4 April). The partnership consists of more than 30 UN organizations that have an interest in climate change learning. The partners discussed the next 2017-2020 phase of the project (beginning 1 September 2017) and reviewed the success of the project to date. CC:Learn currently has more than 81,000 registered users and has issued more than 8,700 certificates for courses completed. Eight courses are currently available, in several languages, starting with an introductory e-course providing “everything you need to know” about the basics of climate change, from climate change science to governance.

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.

 

Protecting captive seafarers’ wages

05/04/2017 

The issue of protecting captive seafarers' wages is on the agenda at an International Labour Organization (ILO) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (3-5 April). IMO has taken part in the ILO Working Group of the Special Tripartite Committee, established under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) – the international treaty covering minimum working and living standards for seafarers.

The Group is considering proposals on the protection of a seafarer's wages when the seafarer is held captive, on or off the ship, as a result of acts such as piracy or armed robbery against ships. These proposals include an amendment to the MLC Code.

Speaking at the meeting, Jan de Boer welcomed the discussions and expressed IMO's appreciation for previous amendments to the MLC (that came into force as of 18 January 2017), which better protect abandoned seafarers, and provide financial security for compensation to seafarers and their families in cases of seafarers' death or long-term disability. Mr de Boer also relayed concern expressed by the IMO Council for innocent seafarers still in captivity, and highlighted the 2011 IMO Assembly Resolution on piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia.

As part of the Resolution, the Assembly strongly urges Governments to keep relevant States informed about welfare measures for seafarers in captivity on ships entitled to fly their flag, as well as measures being taken for the early release of such seafarers and the status of payments of their wages.

 

​Facilitation matters

04/04/2017 

The theme for World Maritime Day 2017 "Connecting ships, ports and people", provides an opportunity to highlight the value of integration in the maritime and logistics sectors. The theme has particular resonance for IMO’s Facilitation Committee, which is meeting (4-7 April) at IMO Headquarters. The Committee will discuss matters relating to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which supports international maritime traffic by providing a set of consistent, uniform regulations to facilitate the free flow of commerce. At its last session, in 2016, the Committee adopted a revised Annex to the FAL Convention, which includes mandatory requirements for the electronic exchange of information on cargo, crew and passengers and encourages the use of the “single window” concept, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal without duplication. The Committee will focus during the current session on the implementation of the new requirements, including the development of a revised explanatory manual. The Committee will also discuss the way forward for IMO’s Maritime Single Window project, under which the IMO Secretariat has been looking at ways to develop a Maritime Single Window prototype. The Committee will discuss the harmonization and standardization of data formats.
The Facilitation Committee 41st session was opened by Ashok Mahapatra, Director, Maritime Safety Division, on behalf of Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The chair is Mr. Yury Melenas (Russian Federation). Click for photos.

 

IMO instruments database - all you need to know

31/03/2017 

Watch the new video explaining everything you need to know about the IMO database of instruments – the one stop shop for IMO regulations. The IMO-Vega Database, developed by IMO and DNV GL, is a comprehensive database of IMO instruments that includes major instruments such as the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), as well as historical and legal texts.

The Database is available in three digital formats: electronic download, subscription and download bundle. Find out more about subscriptions and free trials here.

 

Future of shipping on the agenda in Malta

30/03/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined Ministers responsible for shipping from various EU States and other countries to discuss the future of shipping, at a conference in Valletta, Malta (28 March).

Speaking at the High Level Ministerial Stakeholder Conference on Maritime Affairs, Mr. Lim highlighted IMO’s key role as the global regulator for international shipping (Click for full speech). He emphasized the importance of the industry for future sustainable development around the world, and that the key to this will be the roadmap, agreed at IMO’s MEPC 70 meeting last October, to consider and develop a comprehensive IMO Strategy for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

Mr. Lim welcomed the support for a global approach, through IMO, to regulating international shipping contained in the Valletta Declaration, adopted by ministers during the meeting. The Declaration identifies three key themes: competitiveness, digitalisation, and decarbonisation and reduction of air emissions.

The event took place under Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and attendees included European Commissioner Violeta Bulc – responsible for maritime transport.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Secretary-General Lim also took the opportunity to address future leaders of the maritime world – students at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute in Malta (IMLI) (29 March), in which he hailed the Institute’s record of providing a steady influx of highly trained legal professionals. They have been, and will continue to be, instrumental in enacting appropriate domestic legislation in countries around the world in order to implement and enforce IMO treaties that govern almost every facet of the shipping industry – from the drawing board to the scrapyard.

 

UN agencies join to support Senegal’s maritime and port security

30/03/2017 

IMO joined other United Nations agencies supporting Senegal’s maritime and port security, in an assessment visit to Dakar (27-29 March). IMO acted as the lead agency for maritime security provisions during the assessment of Senegal’s implementation of important Security Council resolutions addressing counter-terrorism*. Border management was a main focus of the mission, which included meetings with maritime authorities and border management agencies.

The visit, led by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), was a follow-up to a similar mission in 2009, which focused on border control and police cooperation.

UNCTED counter-terrorism missions of this kind embrace security in all its forms. IMO participates in a team focussing on law enforcement-related matters (with IOM, WCO, ICAO, UNODC and Interpol) that conducts site visits of facilities to help assess their compliance with various international security instruments.

Find out more about IMO treaties and codes on maritime security and piracy here.

IMO was represented in Dakar by Gisela Vieira.

* Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014).

 

Fuel oil consumption database explained

28/03/2017 

The development of the IMO fuel oil consumption database, to support the implementation of mandatory MARPOL annex VI requirements, was outlined at the Marshall Islands Quality Council meeting, Stamford, United States (21 March). Under the MARPOL regulations, adopted in October 2016, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above will have to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. These ships account for approximately 85% of CO2 emissions from international shipping. Aggregated data will be reported to a ship’s flag State after the end of each calendar year. The data collected, on an anonymized basis, will provide a firm basis on which future decisions on any additional measures, over and above those already adopted by IMO, can be made. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis outlined the work being done by the IMO Secretariat to develop the database and explained its proposed features. A prototype version of a proposed module within the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform is expected to be available to Member States later this year.

 

Working for Africa

28/03/2017 

​IMO has contributed to the latest meeting of United Nations bodies working in Africa – the RCM-Africa forum. The forum, which held its 18th session in Dakar, Senegal (25-26 March), provides a platform for all UN programmes and agencies to share information about their work in the continent and coordinate strategies to support African Union programmes.
 
IMO shared information about its technical assistance activities in Africa, which form part of its work to promote safe and secure shipping on clean oceans – particularly in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
This year’s RCM-Africa meeting was part of activities marking "Africa Development Week" (23-28 March) and focused specifically on harnessing the talents of Africa’s youth for achieving sustainable development.  The meeting was strengthened by the participation, for the first time, of the Regional United Nations Development Group.
 
The forum was organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission, in collaboration with the Government of Senegal. IMO was represented by William Azuh and officers responsible for IMO’s regional presence offices in Africa.

 

Nigeria training course to boost port security

27/03/2017 

Nigerian officials responsible for the security of port facilities have undergone training at a week-long course in Lagos, Nigeria (20-24 March). Participants were trained in the necessary skills to plan and conduct effective self-assessments and audits of port facilities – in line with IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code and other guidance.

The course was organized by IMO and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) following a needs-assessment mission in January 2016. The Lagos training event is the second phase of the three-phase IMO technical assistance programme to help support NIMASA’s maritime security programme.

The course was conducted by a team of IMO consultants.

 

IMO contributes to meeting of Asia-Pacific ship safety heads

24/03/2017 

IMO is participating in the annual gathering of Asia Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) in Langkawi, Malaysia (20-24 March). Participants from 24 IMO Member States as well as observers from IALA, IHO and SPC are taking part in discussions surrounding APHoMSA's work to promote safe, secure shipping and a clean marine environment within the Asia-Pacific region.

The event coincides with the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 week, which brings together senior maritime officials from Pacific Ocean Rim countries and territories to exchange ideas and identify areas of cooperation.

Speaking at the event, H.E. Mr. Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of the Malaysian Ministry of Transport, re-affirmed the Malaysian Government’s support for both APHoMSA and IMO objectives. IMO is represented by Juvenal Shiundu and Josephine Uranza . Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub, Chair of the IMO Technical Cooperation Committee, is also present.

 

Solutions for e-navigation

23/03/2017 

IMO participated in the 20th E-Navigation Committee meeting (ENAV 20) at the headquarters of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France (13-17 March). IALA has been actively supporting IMO in the development of e-navigation. ENAV 20 discussed a number of technical solutions to progress the harmonization of information between shore and ships in electronic format, including the data format and structure of Maritime Service Portfolios (MSP), the use of VHF Data Exchange System (VDES), as well as the Maritime Cloud and other solutions under the e-navigation umbrella. The next ENAV committee meeting in September will provide valuable input to the work on e-navigation at the next session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR 5) in 2018. IALA oversees Aids to Navigation (AtoN) such as fairway buoys and lighthouses fitted with AIS transponders as well as VTS (vessel traffic services). ENAV 20 was attended by 137 representatives from IALA Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as private companies, many of which are service or communications providers for the maritime industry.

 

​Heading towards the 2020 sulphur limit

23/03/2017 

The need for all stakeholders to work towards effective and consistent implementation of the 2020 0.50% global sulphur limit has been highlighted during maritime industry events in Denmark this week. IMO’s Edmund Hughes spoke about IMO’s role moving towards the 0.50% sulphur limit at an event focusing on the “2020 global sulphur challenge: Implementation and Enforcement”, hosted by the Danish Ecological Council (21 March). At the GST Europe Conference 2017 (22 March), Mr. Hughes again drew attention to the global sulphur limit as a key item on IMO’s environmental agenda. He also outlined other key regulatory moves at IMO which will be the focus for work in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), including the forthcoming entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention in September 2017; the mandatory fuel oil consumption data collection process under MARPOL Annex VI; and the Roadmap for development of a ‘Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships’.
 
Also at GST Europe, IMO’s Markus Helavuori spoke in detail about the Ballast Water Management Convention regulations and presented IMO’s work on biofouling, including the 2011 Biofouling Guidelines.

 

Ship systems and equipment meeting underway

20/03/2017 

The first set of international requirements for onboard lifting appliances and winches are expected to be finalized during this week’s meeting of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE). The draft amendments to SOLAS as well as any necessary related guidelines will be submitted to the Maritime Safety committee (MSC) in June for consideration. Also set for completion are draft amendments to the 2009 Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) Code, covering machinery and electrical installations in hazardous areas, fire safety, and life-saving appliances and equipment.

The Sub-Committee’s agenda also includes work on life-saving appliances and arrangements, including new requirements for ventilation of survival crafts and finalization of functional requirements for SOLAS chapter III. It will also develop work plans on fire protection on ro-ro passenger ships and on further work related to test and performance standards for life-saving appliances and arrangements on board ships operating in polar waters.

The 4th session of the Sub-Committee (20-24 March) was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Dr. Susumu Ota (Japan). See photos

 

IMO speaks to CNN

20/03/2017 

​IMO’s Lee Adamson spoke with CNN’s Eco Solutions television programme to share key facts about IMO’s efforts in tackling GHG emissions from ships.  Important measures like the adoption of a mandatory data collection system for ships’ fuel oil consumption and the 2020 reduction in the global sulphur cap were highlighted. Mr Adamson also made reference to specific design solutions which would also contribute to reducing ships’ carbon footprint. He concluded by reiterating the essential role of shipping in any vision of sustainable development in the future. You can watch the full interview here

 

Focus on security drills and exercises

16/03/2017 

IMO is conducting an Advanced Drills and Exercises Workshop for inspectors and officers responsible for port security in Trinidad and Tobago. The training, underway in Port of Spain (14-17 March), is focusing on the key IMO instrument for enhancing the security of ships and port facilities – the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The Code’s preventive security provisions include the objective of all actors being thoroughly prepared for security incidents and terrorist attacks by regularly conducting drills and exercises.

The workshop involves theoretical lessons, discussions, group work and hands-on practical experience in planning, conducting and evaluating exercises in compliance with the Code, in order to help build and solidify good practices and procedures amongst various actors present in ports.

IMO’s Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants are leading the workshop, which is organized under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme for enhancement of maritime security measures. The event is being conducted upon request from the Maritime Services Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport of Trinidad and Tobago, with additional experts being contributed by the US Coast Guard.

 

IMO helps African leaders seek collaboration in Malaysia

16/03/2017 

Twenty-one African IMO Member States are taking part in the three day Malaysia Maritime Leaders Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (15-17 March 2017), aimed at assisting the participating countries to build leadership capabilities in the maritime sector. The forum is encouraging senior officials of Maritime Administrations to find areas of common ground by sharing ideas on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their administrations and addressing maritime challenges. The event is the first of its kind in Malaysia and part of the Malaysian Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

The event was opened by Mr Saripuddin bin Kassim, Secretary-General of the Malaysian Ministry of Transport. ​ Mr Zulkurnain Ayub, Chair of IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee is also participating and William Azuh is representing IMO at the forum.

In recent years, Malaysia has been both a beneficiary and a supporter of IMO’s technical assistance activities.

 

Liability treaties on the agenda

16/03/2017 

An IMO workshop in Egypt is supporting countries in the Arab region to implement and enforce treaties dealing with liability and compensation. The workshop, taking place in Alexandria (13-16 March), is providing a comprehensive overview of the IMO liability regime, including treaties covering wreck removal, salvage, carriage of hazardous and noxious substances, passengers, CLC, Fund and Bunkers Convention.

The history of the treaties’ development, their principles, implementation and practical implications are all being covered, with a view to supporting officials to implement and enforce the full liability regime in States in the region.

IMO is represented at the Regional Interactive Workshop on IMO Liability Conventions by Jan de Boer and Amr Hussein, who are joined by Chiara Della Mea (IOPC Funds) and Tjorborn Claesson (IG of P&I Clubs). The event is being organised under the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) for the Arab/Mediterranean region and within the framework of the MoU between IMO, the Ministry of Transport of Egypt and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT).

 

Capacity building for sustainable shipping

15/03/2017 

​IMO’s response to the needs of developing countries for building capacity and facilitating technology transfer to promote low-carbon shipping was highlighted at the Environmental Sustainable Shipping Industry Conference (ESSIC), held in Panama City, Panama (14 March). The international conference was held in parallel with the Panama Maritime XIII World Conference and Exhibition. IMO’s Jose Matheickal talked through the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP) funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which focus on legal, policy and institutional reforms in developing countries to implement MARPOL annex VI requirements. He also spoke about the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCC) Network (GMN) project funded by the European Union (EU), which aims to establish five globally connected regional centres of excellence to facilitate capacity building and create an enabling environment for technology cooperation, promotion and adoption by the industry. 

Assistant Professor Vivian Rambarath-Parasram, Head of the MTCC-Caribbean, hosted by the University of Trinidad and Tobago, spoke about the vision for the MTCC for Caribbean region. MTCC-Caribbean, the first centre to be established, was officially launched on 8 March. The ESSIC conference aimed to raise awareness within the national and international maritime industry on climate change issues and on international standards for energy efficiency, the use of new sources of energy (such as liquefied natural gas) and technology on ships.

 

Arctic matters

10/03/2017 

The IMO Polar Code took centre stage at the Arctic Council in Juneau, Alaska, United States (8-9 March) where IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim delivered a speech on the importance of the Code. Secretary-General Lim highlighted the safety of seafarers and the environmental protection as key elements of the Code.

The meeting unveiled its 2017-2019 programme which focuses on addressing the effects of climate change and fostering sustainable development. Other key topics such as scientific cooperation, renewable energy, protected areas, shipping, prevention of oils spills and marine biodiversity were also discussed. The event also served to set the stage for the upcoming Ministerial meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska in May, at which the United States will pass the Chair of the Arctic Council to Finland.

 

Caribbean centre launches on low-carbon shipping mission

09/03/2017 

A new centre tasked with promoting technologies and operations to help navigate shipping into a low-carbon future has been launched at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (8 March). The centre will cater to the needs of the Caribbean region under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) – a project funded by the European Union (EU) and run by IMO. The GMN initiative unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting developing countries in activities including development of national energy-efficiency policies for their maritime sectors.

Estimates say ships’ energy consumption and CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 75% by applying operational measures and implementing existing technologies. By collaborating with the 16 countries in the region and various forward-thinking institutions, companies and international bodies – the Caribbean centre aims to make its contribution to energy-efficient shipping.

The centre was unveiled (photos) by the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education of Trinidad and Tobago, and, speaking at the launch event, the country’s Minister of Works and Transport, the Honourable Rohan Sinanan, endorsed the new initiative. IMO was represented at the event by Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division, and GMN Project Manager – Tamar Barabadze. H.E. Mr. Arend Biesebroek, Ambassador of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago represented the EU.

Find out more about the European Union’s capacity building work here.

The University of Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-campus facility that hosts specialized programmes dedicated to developmental disciplines including maritime capacity building, energy efficiency, environmental studies and marine research. MTCC-Caribbean will be situated within the Chaguaramas Campus which is in the North-Western Peninsula of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

​Port security and facilitation training in Djibouti

08/03/2017 

IMO is conducting a national port security and facilitation workshop at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC). The workshop (7-8 March) is highlighting IMO's maritime security and facilitation requirements and showcases the range of IMO and other training courses, guidance and tools available, including new port-focused training packages developed in line with the World Maritime Day theme, "Connecting ships, ports and people". The aim is to identify Djibouti's national training needs and showcase the potential of the DRTC for delivering national and regional training, including for maritime safety, security, facilitation and protection of the marine environment. Participants include security personnel from port facilities in Djibouti, officers from the coast guard, navy, border control and customs authorities and maritime authorities of Djibouti. IMO’s Kiruja Micheni and Chris Trelawny are conducting the course, alongside The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), who gave a presentation on the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM), and senior representatives of the UN Country Team in Djibouti

 

Myanmar study looks at port data exchange

08/03/2017 

A feasibility study looking into the possible expansion of the Northeast Asia Logistics Information Service Network (NEAL-NET) has been undertaken in Myanmar, as part of a project co-funded by IMO and China. A team of consultants in Myanmar (5-6 March) met a range of stakeholders* in the region and made a site visit to the port of Yangon. The aim is to gain a better understanding of existing systems of port logistics information and to identify the port or ports where NEAL-NET could be implemented. This is the second feasibility study made in the region, following one in Cambodia in February. 

NEAL-NET was established in 2010 by China, Japan and the Republic of Korea as a transnational, non-profit cooperative mechanism for logistics information exchange and technological cooperation. The envisaged expansion of NEAL-NET is expected to support the implementation of the revised Facilitation Convention, which will require public authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information relating to ships’ cargo, crew and passengers, by 8 April 2019.

Once the feasibility studies have been completed, the countries concerned will be able to identify the technical and financial needs for possible inclusion in the NEAL-NET mechanism and will be in a position to apply for relevant funding from national or international institutions. IMO previously conducted national seminars on “Electronic means for the clearance of ships and use of the single window concept” in Cambodia (2014) and Myanmar (2013).

*The Department of Marine Administration, Myanmar Port Authority, Customs Office, Myanmar International terminal Thilawa, Asia World Port Terminal, Bo Aung Kyaw port, Dawei port, Shipping companies, freight forwarding companies, land transport, railways and air transport station

 

GMDSS modernization continues

06/03/2017 

The review and modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety system (GMDSS) continues this week at the fourth session of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (6-10 March). The GMDSS requirements in SOLAS Chapter IV were adopted in 1988 and ensure an integrated communications system using satellite and terrestrial radiocommunication systems. The meeting is expected to develop a draft modernization plan for the GMDSS for approval by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). The meeting is also expected to prepare draft amendments to SOLAS to accommodate additional, global or regional, mobile satellite systems. There are several agenda items related to e-navigation. Also on the agenda are: the technical review of proposed new or amended ships' routeing measures; the functioning and operation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system; and search and rescue related matters, including the harmonization of aeronautical and maritime search and rescue. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the session, which is being chaired by Mr. Ringo Lakeman (the Netherlands). (Click for photos)

 

Breaking down barriers to energy-efficient shipping

03/03/2017 

IMO’s work to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping is underway in Mumbai, India this week with a train-the-trainer course on energy-efficient ship operation (photos). The course (28 February – 3 March) is training maritime educators and officials to pass on expertise on the complex technical and regulatory aspects designed to make shipping greener.

Thirty participants from Indian, Bangladeshi, Maldivian and Sri Lankan maritime training institutes, maritime administrations and classification societies are taking part. The training includes group exercises in which the participants develop and deliver presentations on barriers to ship energy efficiency.

The event is being run under IMO’s GloMEEP project and hosted by the Directorate General Of Shipping, Indian Register of Shipping and the Indian National Shipowners’ Association. IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert, Minglee Hoe and a team of consultants.

Find out more about IMO’s work to promote green and clean shipping here.

 

Getting to grips with port State control

03/03/2017 

​Practical training on board ships for port State control officers, supported by class-based lectures, has boosted knowledge amongst participants from eight countries during a training course in Muscat and Sohar, Oman (19 February -2 March). The course was hosted by the Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Gulf Region (Riyadh MoU) and  jointly organized by IMO, the Tokyo MoU, the Riyadh MoU and the Ministry of Transport of Oman. The focus of the course was on port State control procedures and the latest revisions to relevant IMO conventions, specifically the SOLAS, MARPOL, Load Lines and STCW treaties.

The activity was organized for  participants from Colombia, the Congo, Kenya, Oman, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey, representing the Viña del Mar Agreement and the Abuja, Indian Ocean, Riyadh, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Black Sea MoUs.

IMO’s Hakan Demirlioglu helped facilitate the course and took the opportunity to visit the Riyadh MoU Information Centre in order to progress the implementation of the PSC data exchange protocol, which was signed in 2011. All nine PSC regimes have signed a data exchange protocol with IMO in order to submit PSC inspection data on behalf of their members. Six of these protocols are already live, while the Riyadh MoU is completing its arrangements to become a data provider.

 

Balancing port competitiveness and security

28/02/2017 

Secure and efficient ports support a sustainable maritime sector and underline the interconnection between ships, ports and people. This was one of the themes outlined by IMO's Javier Yasnikouski, Head of Maritime Security, who was speaking at the Hemispheric Conference on Port Competitiveness and Security, organized by the Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Miami, United States (22- 24 February). The event provided an opportunity to highlight the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2017, "Connecting Ships, Ports and People". Mr Yasnikouski commended OAS-CIP for promoting better cooperation between public and private sectors and invited participants to continue to share successful practices in secure and efficient port operations.

The Conference was attended by representatives of 27 countries, from the public and private sectors, and regional organizations, including governmental agencies and port authorities. 

Jorge Duran, Secretary of OAS-CIP, said that OAS-CIP and its members would continue to work towards the development of a more competitive, secure and sustainable port sector in the Americas through the organization of similar forums, technical assistance and capacity building activities, and active cooperation and collaboration with the private sector.

 

Developing national maritime security legislation

27/02/2017 

The drafting and enactment of appropriate national legislation is essential to the successful implementation and oversight of IMO’s maritime security measures. The legislation should specify the powers needed for Government officials to undertake their duties, including the inspection and testing of security measures and procedures in place at ports and port facilities and on ships, and the application of enforcement actions to correct incidents of non-compliance.

A workshop and assessment mission covering this topic has been held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (21-22 February). The workshop was organized by IMO at the request of the Merchant Marine Department, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia.  The workshop targeted Cambodian officials of the Designated Authority and Administration, particularly legal experts with responsibilities for implementation of maritime security measures in SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The aim was to help identify legislative gaps and suggest possible solutions. Participants considered port and ship security obligations arising under international conventions, reviewed existing national maritime security legislation and identified potential areas of improvement, based on recently approved IMO guidance and examples of similar laws from other IMO Member States.

 

Global climate rules vital for shipping

24/02/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has spoken about the importance of a global approach to climate change regulation for the shipping industry. During the World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia (22-24 February), organised by The Economist, Mr. Lim emphasized how global regulation through IMO has already established far-reaching mandatory technical and operational measures to reduce shipping’s carbon footprint and set out a “road map” to determine any further measures that may be needed.

Participation in the summit was the culmination of a week in Indonesia during which Mr. Lim met the Minister of Transport, Mr. Budi Karya Sumadi, and the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs, Mr. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. He also visited Tanjung Priok port to speak about IMO’s theme for 2017 – “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”.

 

Putting energy-efficient shipping on the curriculum

24/02/2017 

The Philippines is the latest country to receive IMO support to promote energy-efficient ship operation. A workshop taking place in Manila (23-24 February) is equipping 30 maritime educators from across the country with the knowledge to introduce the topic of ship energy-efficiency into their teaching curriculums.

The event, run under IMO’s GloMEEP project, is the second of its kind to take place in Asia this week – following a productive event in Malaysia (20-21 February). The focus is on delivering the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers, which consists of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience. Crews trained in the Philippines will then have the necessary knowledge to contribute to reducing fuel consumption on ships and cutting associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The Manila workshop is being hosted by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

Managing ballast water for sustainable use of the oceans

23/02/2017 

A meeting of international marine environment experts in Paris (23 February) has heard how IMO is helping to protect marine ecosystems from potentially harmful invasive aquatic species transported in ships’ ballast water.

IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention and the project helping to implement the standards set out in the treaty, GloBallast, were on the agenda at the seminar, which was focused on the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea. The Convention is set to enter into force in September 2017, requiring ships to manage their ballast water.

Watch IMO’s Antoine Blonce explain the issue of ballast water management here (French language only).

The seminar was hosted by the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans as part of continuing efforts to promote and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14: ‘Life Below Water’. Find out more about the event here (French language only).

 

Malaysian educators on course for energy-efficient shipping

21/02/2017 

An IMO workshop is training Malaysia’s maritime educators to introduce the topic of energy-efficient ship operation into their teaching curriculums. The workshop, taking place in Kuala Lumpur (20-21 February), was developed under IMO’s GloMEEP project and supports maritime training institutes to deliver the IMO Model Course 4.05 to seafarers. The course consists of a series of lectures, interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience and ensure crews are adequately trained to contribute to efficient shipping.

The workshop supports IMO’s on-going environmental protection goals by spreading industry best practices that can reduce fuel consumption from ships and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Twenty-five participants from various maritime universities, shipping colleges and institutes from across Malaysia are attending the workshop, which is being hosted by the Marine Department Malaysia (MDM) and Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA). IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

Cambodia study looks at port data exchange

17/02/2017 

A feasibility study to look into the possible expansion of the Northeast Asia Logistics Information Service Network (NEAL-NET) is being undertaken in Cambodia, as part of a project co-funded by IMO and China. NEAL-NET was established in 2010 by China, Japan and the Republic of Korea as a transnational, non-profit cooperative mechanism for logistics information exchange and technological cooperation. The envisaged expansion of NEAL-NET is expected to support the implementation of the revised Facilitation Convention, which will require public authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information relating to ships’ cargo, crew and passengers, by 8 April 2019.

A team of consultants is in Cambodia (12-18 February), meeting a range of stakeholders (from the Merchant Marine Department, Phnom Penh Ports Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Bureau of Customs, ship brokers and ship agents associations) and making site visits to ports at Phnom Penh and SihanoukVille.The aim is to gain a better understanding of existing systems of port logistics information and to identify the port or ports where NEAL-NET might be implemented. A similar feasibility study will be undertaken in Myanmar in March. 

Once the feasibility studies have been completed, the countries concerned will be able to identify the technical and financial needs for possible inclusion in the NEAL-NET mechanism and will be in a position to apply for relevant funding from national or international institutions. IMO previously conducted national seminars on “Electronic means for the clearance of ships and use of the single window concept” in Cambodia (2014) and Myanmar (2013).

 

Focus on sustainable use of the oceans

17/02/2017 

Preparations are underway in New York ahead of June’s UN Oceans Conference, which is focused on achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: ‘Life Below Water’. An estimated 40% of the world’s oceans are being badly affected by unsustainable practices. Goal 14 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. IMO supports this objective by setting global standards designed to ensure shipping does not adversely impact the environment, as well as providing technical assistance needed by countries to implement those standards.

During a high-level meeting of UN experts and government officials, hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (15-16 February), key IMO projects working globally to protect the marine environment were highlighted by IMO’s Fred Haag. These include the Globallast project on reducing the transfer of potentially harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water, and the GloMEEP project – which supports energy efficiency measures for shipping.

At a further side-event, Mr. Haag outlined IMO’s work in relation to noise and ship strikes, as well as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs), which involves protecting marine environments in 16 designated areas through specific measures to control maritime activities, such as ship routeing, in those areas.

 

All aboard for inspection practice

16/02/2017 

An IMO training in Malaysia has seen port State control officers practice inspecting air pollution and energy efficiency rules aboard a container ship in Johor Port. The participants from across Malaysia have been taking part in the three-day workshop (13-15 February) focusing on how to effectively enforce IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI regulations.

The interactive workshop included class-based lectures and exercises, as well as practical training on board, in which relevant certificates and documentation, fuel tank arrangement and bunker fuel samples were inspected (photos). It is the first time that onboard training has taken place under the GloMEEP project, which supports countries in addressing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

Following the workshop, all trained officers will undertake a two-day (16-17 February) concentrated MARPOL Annex VI inspection campaign in Port Klang, Malaysia’s busiest container port, organized by the Marine Department Malaysia (MDM).

The Johor workshop was hosted by the MDM and run by IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.

 

IMO Secretary-General visits Antarctica

14/02/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim experienced polar conditions at first hand during a recent visit to Antarctica (8-12 February). Shipping in waters surrounding the two poles has increased in recent years. IMO’s Polar Code entered into force on 1 January 2017, bringing in additional safety and environmental provisions for ships operating in these harsh, remote and unique conditions. 

Secretary-General Lim was hosted by the Chilean Navy during his journey to King George Island in Antarctica. In Punta Arenas, the southern tip of Chile, he met with stakeholders from various maritime organizations. They discussed the relevance of the Polar Code to ships operating in the polar regions and the need to promote safe and sustainable shipping. 

The Polar Code aims to protect the lives of crews and passengers and minimise the impact of shipping operations on the pristine polar regions. (click for photos)

 

Preventive strategies for maritime security

14/02/2017 

The importance of well-coordinated, risk-based preventive strategies to counter maritime security threats was highlighted by IMO’s Chris Trelawny, Special Adviser on Maritime Security and Facilitation, during a debate at the United Nations Security Council (13 February). The UN body, which has the responsibility for maintenance of international peace and security, adopted a resolution urging international collaboration to protect critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks. Speaking during the open debate, Mr. Trelawny highlighted IMO’s extensive programme of technical cooperation activities to assist Member States to develop capacity and capability to deter, prevent, detect and respond to security threats. (Video here.)

IMO has adopted a range of mandatory instruments which support the protection of critical infrastructure, including maritime security measures for ships and ports under the SOLAS Convention; the Facilitation Convention, which addresses the stay and departure of ships; and the suppression of unlawful acts (SUA) treaties. IMO has also developed a range of guidance, self-assessment tools and training materials for the protection of ports, ships and offshore installations. IMO’s main focus is on preventive security through a continuous risk management process.

 

Ship design and construction matters

13/02/2017 

​The Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) meets for its fourth session this week (13-17 February). Key topics on the agenda include the expected finalization of draft explanatory notes to the SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations and the completion of draft interim guidelines for use of fibre reinforced plastic elements within ship structures. Also on the agenda is the further development of a draft new SOLAS chapter and related Code on the safe carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages; work on evacuation analysis for passenger ships; and the ongoing development of second generation intact stability criteria. The Sub-Committee is also looking at the development of draft guidelines on safe mooring arrangements, as well as on the selection, identification and use of mooring lines and on their inspection and/or maintenance.

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

 

Future maritime leaders practise policy planning

10/02/2017 

Maritime law students in Malta have been introduced to key issues in maritime transport policy making in a seminar at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta (7-9 February). The event focused on the National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) concept, which is being promoted by IMO as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime sector.

IMO recently embarked on an initiative to provide training to interested IMO Member States in the development, adoption and updating of NMTPs, which are seen as key to a coordinated and integrated approach to maritime transport.

The seminar also enhances the on-going collaboration between IMO’s two global maritime training institutions – IMLI and the World Maritime University (WMU) – with IMO’s Jonathan Pace and the WMU’s Associate Professor George Theocharidis delivering the seminar at the IMLI campus.

 

Togo accedes to treaties covering unlawful acts at sea and anti-fouling

06/02/2017 

Togo has acceded to two IMO treaties dealing with unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation, and the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships. The SUA Protocol 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. Parties signed up the AFS Convention are required to prohibit and/or restrict the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships flying their flag.

Ms. Abra Dackey, Chargée d'Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Togo in the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit the instruments of accession (6 February).

 

A closer look at the London Protocol

03/02/2017 

An introductory workshop  on the core functions and purpose of the London Protocol  was presented to some 30 participants in Maputo, Mozambique (1-2 February) this week. The workshop provided relevant examples and experiences on the implementation of the Protocol which regulates the dumping of wastes at sea. The participants also received information on various legal and technical aspects, including lessons on waste assessment guidance, the permitting and reporting procedures, as well as possible steps to ratification.  The workshop, was hosted by the maritime administration of Mozambique (INAMAR, Instituto Nacional da Marinha) at the School of Nautical Sciences. IMO’s Fred Haag led the event.  

 

Workshop promotes maritime security cooperation in Kenya

02/02/2017 

Kenyan officials involved in maritime law enforcement are taking part in a workshop and scenario-based simulation exercise in Mombassa, Kenya (31 January – 3 February). The IMO-led event will enhance inter-agency cooperation in the country and promote a whole of Government approach in dealing with maritime security challenges. The workshop, organized with the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), brings together key stakeholders in Kenya to discuss practical, concrete steps to ensure effective coordination in combating maritime crimes – through information sharing, unified command, and enhanced maritime domain awareness.

The training is being coordinated by IMO’s Kiruja Micheni and supported by a team of eight maritime law enforcement experts (currently deployed with US Naval Forces as part of the Africa maritime exercise Cutlass Express 2017) from the Canadian Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Navy, Australian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy. The training will also include mentorship and hands-on practical training for operators from the Regional Rescue Coordination Centre, Kenya Navy Unit (4-7 February). Additionally, the team is supporting the KMA in reviewing standard operating procedures for the Mombasa Information Sharing Centre with a view to identifying areas for future improvement.

 

New World Maritime Day video launched

01/02/2017 

Connecting ships, ports and people, this year`s theme for World Maritime Day highlights the importance of coherent and connected development across all maritime sectors. To illustrate this concept, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim visited the port of Felixstowe to record his annual message for the event. The busiest container port in the United Kingdom features as the backdrop, emphasizing the clear link between ships and ports and the people that operate them. Watch the video here.

 

​Lessons learned to enhance seafarer training

30/01/2017 

​Ways to enhance seafarer training by utilizing lessons learned from marine casualty investigations are under discussion this week. The Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 4) is meeting at IMO Headquarters (30 January-3 February). The Sub-Committee will also continue its work to update and revise the Guidelines on Fatigue to improve better understanding of fatigue and fatigue risk management and to reflect current fatigue and sleep research and best practices of fatigue mitigation. Other items on the agenda include: the ongoing comprehensive review of the fishing vessel personnel training convention (STCW-F); implementation of the seafarer training convention (STCW) 2010 amendments; and validation of a number of IMO model courses. The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Ms. Mayte Medina (United States). Photos here.

 

The benefits of self-assessment

27/01/2017 

The ability to plan and conduct effective self-assessments and internal audits for port facilities is at the core of a maritime security training workshop taking place in Kingston, Jamaica (24-27 January).

The four-day event will equip participants, which includes port security officials and managers, with the skills required by IMO`s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) to carry out controls, monitoring, audits and inspections.

The training will also assist participants in developing their own self-assessment and audit programmes. Combining both theoretical lessons, through presentations on audit principles, processes and techniques and practical activities using real-life scenarios, participants will gain valuable knowledge to better apply ISPS Code provisions and other relevant IMO guidance.

IMO’s Siti Azit and Henrik Madsen are conducting the workshop together with a team of consultants. The workshop also includes a contribution from the US Coast Guard’s International Port Security Programme.

 

Microplastics found in supermarket shellfish - report

25/01/2017 

Microplastics - tiny pieces of plastic or fibres increasingly found in the oceans - have been found in a variety of commercial fish and shellfish, including samples purchased from retail outlets, according to a new study. The report, the second part of a global assessment of the sources, fates and effects of microplastics in the marine environment, provides a new section devoted to the potential impacts of microplastics on commercial fish and shellfish species. Further research is needed in order to determine how and if microplastics pose a risk for food safety and potentially food security, the report says.
 
The comprehensive report on microplastics in the oceans expands on an earlier study published in 2015. Sources and fate and potential ecological impacts of microplastics are investigated in greater depth and recommendations for further work are included.
 
One previously unrecognized source of secondary microplastics highlighted is debris from vehicle tyres. The emission of rubber particle dust (mainly <80 micrometre) from tyre wear may be a major source of microparticle contamination in the sea. Part of the dust flies as particulate matter into the air, the rest lands directly on the road or adjoining land and from there a proportion will enter surface waters or drains. An unknown proportion will be carried to the sea. Report co-editor Peter Kershaw says this needs further investigation and advocates developing partnerships with the vehicle industry, wastewater treatment managers, materials scientists and ecotoxicologists to assess the extent of problem and potential reduction measures, if required. 

The report has been published by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a scientific body that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is the Secretariat for GESAMP. GESAMP reports are freely available to download.

Microplastics are small plastic particles, less than 5 mm in diameter, but some can be as small as 10 nanometres. Microplastics may be purposefully manufactured for particular industrial or domestic applications (such as facial cleansers), or result from the fragmentation of larger items, especially when exposed to sunlight. Microplastics have been found distributed throughout the world’s oceans, on shorelines, in surface waters and seabed sediments, from the Arctic to Antarctic. They may accumulate at remote locations such as mid-ocean gyres, as well as close to population centres, shipping routes and other major sources.

The potential problems of micro-plastics in the marine environment were brought to the attention of GESAMP in 2010 and the assessment report has been developed by a working group of experts who meet regularly.

 

Energy management in the spotlight

25/01/2017 

IMO’s global energy efficiency rules are key to a sustainable future for shipping. This was the message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to the MARENER 2017 conference on maritime energy management, taking place at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden (24-25 January). Mr. Lim emphasized the importance of energy management and outlined the numerous on-going IMO projects to help implement global energy efficiency measures for shipping.

The conference also saw IMO’s Edmund Hughes chair a session on the regulatory framework of energy management, covering the establishment of a data collection system for fuel oil consumption as part of a roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

IMO has adopted energy efficiency measures that are legally binding across an entire global industry, applying to all countries. Find out more about these measures via the IMO website, here.

 

Treaty lecture

23/01/2017 

World Maritime University (WMU) students on Monday (23 January) gained expert insight into the development, entry into force and amendment processes with respect to IMO instruments, from visiting lecturer Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, IMO. The students are beginning their postgraduate programme on Maritime Administration and International Institutions. Mr Kenney’s lecture focused on the structure of IMO and the development of laws and regulations and was delivered to students in both the Maritime Law & Policy and Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration specializations, which include 51 students from 27 countries.  

 

Regulating polar shipping

23/01/2017 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim today (23 January) spoke to delegates at the Arctic Frontiers conference about new regulations for ships operating in polar waters. With more and more ships navigating in polar waters, IMO has addressed international concern about the protection of the polar environment and the safety of seafarers and passengers with the introduction of the Polar Code, which entered into force on 1 January this year.

The Polar Code sets out mandatory standards that cover the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training and environmental protection matters that apply to ships operating in the waters surrounding the two poles. Mr Lim told the conference, in Tromsø, Norway, that the Polar Code is the single most important initiative to establish appropriate safety and environmental regulation for polar shipping. 

 

Mining wastes report identifies research gaps

20/01/2017 

​More scientific research needs to be done to understand and assess the environmental impacts of wastes from mining operations which have been disposed into the marine environment, a new report shows. The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) report, Impacts of mine tailings in the marine environment, provides the findings of an international workshop held in Lima, Peru (in 2015) and makes a number of recommendations for future work. The report notes that there are major gaps that need to be addressed in the scientific understanding of the behaviour of mine tailings in the sea at depths greater than 20m to 80 m and consequently the short- and long-term impacts on the marine environment and other potential users of marine resources. Scientific gaps in measurement and monitoring techniques in assessing impacts of existing and proposed new deep-sea discharges of mine tailings need to be addressed. Since the workshop, GESAMP has established a dedicated working group to assess the environmental impacts of wastes from mining operations which have been disposed into the marine environment, under the co-lead of IMO and UN Environment.

A number of large-scale mines worldwide use marine or riverine disposal for mine tailings, under Government permits.
IMO is the Secretariat for The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), which is an advisory body, established in 1969, that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. Reports and studies published by GESAMP are freely available on the GESAMP website. 

 

​0.5% sulphur cap implementation on agenda

16/01/2017 

Work to support the smooth and effective implementation of the 0.5% m/m global sulphur cap on fuel oil used by ships will be a main focus for the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), 4th session, which meets this week (16-20 January). The Sub-Committee will consider what additional measures may be needed to promote consistent implementation and will report with a justification and scope for further work to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71), which meets in July. The MEPC decided at its last session to implement the 0.5% limit from 1 January 2020.

On other matters, the Sub-Committee is expected to finalize the draft code for the transport and handling of limited amounts of hazardous and noxious liquid substances in bulk in offshore support vessels; complete the "Ballast Water Management – How to do it" manual; and finalize the draft updates to the set of model training courses for oil pollution prevention, response and cooperation (OPRC model courses). Other subjects on the agenda for the meeting include: the revision of guidelines relating to marine diesel engines fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to reduce NOx emissions; black carbon; requirements for high-viscosity and persistent floating substances; and the ongoing evaluation of noxious liquid substances for shipment as bulk liquids.

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

Click for photos.

 

Africa and Asia join efforts for anti-piracy information sharing

12/01/2017 

A meeting in Singapore (11-12 January) has seen African and Asian countries join efforts to promote greater networking and communications across anti-piracy contact points in the two continents. Speaking at the meeting, IMO’s Head of Maritime Security, Javier Yasnikouski, commended the initiative, saying that the efforts contribute directly to IMO’s work to raise awareness of maritime security issues that have an impact on international trade and the welfare of seafarers; and encourage a co-operative approach amongst IMO Member States and other partner organizations.

The event was organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC) and was followed up by a Nautical forum to share ReCAAP-ISC’s analyses of piracy and sea robbery incidents in Asia, and to engage the local shipping industry.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority (MMEA), the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UK-MTO), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Shipping Centre, the Information Sharing Centre and the Police Coastguard of Singapore, and the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) Information Sharing Centres of Kenya and Yemen.

 

Secretary-General speaks on ballast water

12/01/2017 

IMO Headquarters in London is the venue today and tomorrow (12-13 January) for the 6th Ballast Water Technology Conference organized by IMarEST. Opening the meeting, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim reminded delegates that the Ballast Water Management Convention actively addressed the problem of transferring invasive species, which has been degrading the marine environment for decades.

He said the Convention, which enters into force in September this year, would set clear and robust standards for how to manage ballast water on ships, and that shipping must embrace it if the industry wants a sustainable future.

The event followed the two-day annual meeting of the GloBal TestNet, an independent entity created under the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) of the GloBallast Project, executed by IMO.

 

New Zealand ratifies Ballast Water Management Convention

09/01/2017 

New Zealand is the latest country to accede to IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. The Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017 and will require ships to manage their ballast water, which can contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes, plants and organisms, which are then carried across the globe.

H.E. Sir Lockwood Smith, High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (9 January) to deposit the instrument of accession. This brings the number of States party to the Convention to 54, representing 53.30% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.

 

Slovenia accedes to passenger compensation treaty

09/01/2017 

Slovenia has acceded to the IMO treaty dealing with compulsory insurance covering passengers on ships. The 2002 Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea sets the limits of liability for incidents on a ship involving passengers, including death of or personal injury to a passenger and loss of or damage to luggage and vehicles. H.E. Mr. Tadej Rupel, Ambassador of Slovenia, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession, today (9 January).