What's New during 2018
Learning about port management and efficiency
High-level officials and decision-makers from maritime and port authorities around the world are undergoing intense training in port management and operational efficiency at the annual Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management based in Le Havre, France (10 September to 12 October). The opening of the course coincided with Le Havre's celebration of World Maritime Day and its theme: IMO 70 Our heritage – better shipping for a better future.
The course includes class-based training and site visits, including to the port of Le Havre. The thirty-second 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 20 participants from around the world*.
IMO's Chris Trelawny delivered the opening address and lectured on the role of IMO, with a focus on IMO and maritime development.
*Participants are being funded or part-funded by IMO and are from Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Togo, and Tunisia.
Open house at IMO for London visitors
Every year, more than 800 landmark buildings in London throw their doors open to the general public in a scheme called Open House London. The scheme enables the public to witness at first hand buildings of architectural, cultural or other significance that are normally off-limits to them. This year, for the first time, IMO is participating.
The IMO headquarters was purpose-built for the Organization by the UK Government to a design by architects Douglas Marriott Worby & Robinson and opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1983. Among its most significant original design features is the effective and extensive use of wood, for which it won the prestigious Carpenters’ Award from the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in 1983.
Perhaps the most striking internal feature is the main debating chamber, in which delegations from IMO’s 174 Member states regularly meet to decide safety and environment policies for international shipping. Externally, the building is notable for the 7m high, ten-tonne bronze statue by Michael Sandle, which was added in 2001. It depicts a lone seafarer keeping lookout on the prow of a merchant ship.
The building underwent a major internal refurbishment in 2007 before being re-opened in 2008 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.
IMO is the only UN agency to be headquartered in London. Its iconic headquarters building, on the south bank of the River Thames, will be open to the public on 22-23 September.
Training for reducing emissions in ports
IMO’s work to promote better understanding of - and steps to reduce - emissions in ports has reached Georgia, at a workshop for regional participants from Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey.
The event, in Batumi (10-12 September) focused on how to undertake emissions inventories and calculate emissions, including GHGs and air pollutants. Participants were also introduced to strategies to address emissions from different sources – such as from seagoing vessels, cargo handling equipment and trucks.
The workshop benefited from a training package, specially developed under the strategic partnership between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on energy-efficiency and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). The package is being rolled out in pilot countries around the world, aimed at personnel from maritime administrations, ministries and port authorities and port/terminal operators.
The Batumi workshop was hosted by the Georgia Maritime Transport Agency alongside the country’s International Maritime Forum, and part-funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It is the 9th instalment in the series of GLOMEEP port emissions workshops, which will conclude in Panama later this month (25-27 September).
Saving lives through enhanced fishing vessel safety
Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous occupations. Literally thousands of fishers lose their lives at sea each year. An international treaty addressing safety in the fishing industry (the Cape Town Agreement) has been developed and adopted through IMO but is not yet in force because it lacks sufficient ratification at national level.
As part of a major global effort to encourage ratification and implementation of the Cape Town Agreement, IMO and The Pew Charitable Trusts organised a roundtable event during the Global Fishery Forum in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation (13 September).
IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety provides a solid platform for improving fishers’ safety at sea and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. It currently has 10 Contracting States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of aggregate fishing vessels.
Panellists at the roundtable highlighted the need for a global, fishing vessel safety agreement to be in force. Participants confirmed that the Cape Town Agreement would make a significant contribution to safety in the fishing industry, and could also support the FAO’s 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA). The Russian fishing industry supported Russia’s ratification of the Cape Town Agreement, and it was agreed that a roadmap to ratification and implementation would be developed.
The roundtable, entitled "Course for 2050: The safety of fishermen and fishing vessels" was organized in cooperation with the Russian Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It was attended by representatives of IMO, FAO, the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Transport and Federal Agency for Fisheries, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the fishing industry. IMO was represented by Mikhail Gappoev.
The Cape Town Agreement is one of four important treaties for the fishing sector which are aimed at achieving higher levels of safety and better compliance and enforcement. These are IMO’s 2012 Cape Town Agreement (not yet in force); IMO’s STCW-F Convention on training of fishers (which entered into force in 2012); ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention 2007 (Convention No. 188) (in force since November 2017); and FAO’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), 2009 (entered into force in 2016).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the need for effective communication between fisheries and transport ministries in order to achieve ratification of the Cape Town Agreement.
Spotlight on liability and compensation in Western Asia and Eastern Europe
IMO’s comprehensive liability and compensation regime covers
issues such as pollution incidents, wreck removal, carriage of passengers and
luggage – providing vital protection in the event of a maritime incident. But
for these rules and regulations to be effective, countries need to ratify and
To help ensure prompt and adequate compensation in the Western
Asia and Eastern Europe, a regional IMO workshop is underway in Batumi, Georgia (11-14
September). Taking part are senior managers from maritime administrations and
legislative drafters specialised in maritime and shipping related legislation
from 11 countries in the region.
They are gaining an overview of the international liability
and insurance requirements and schemes, including the responsibilities of the
various stakeholders involved, including governments, ship-owners,
international funds and insurance companies.
The event is being run by IMO’s Jan De Boer and Ivaylo
Valev, organized with the Georgian Maritime Transport Agency and held in
conjunction with the Georgia International Maritime Forum.
Cargo safety matters
The classification of certain potentially hazardous cargoes is on the agenda of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 5, 10-14 September). The Sub-Committee will consider a newly identified phenomenon which affects some bauxite cargoes, known as dynamic separation, which can cause instability of the cargo and ship.
Also up for discussion is carriage of ammonium-nitrate based fertilizer. Potential problems have been identified following accidents involving the MV Purple Beach (2015) and MV Cheshire (2017). The recommendations arising from the investigation into the MV Cheshire will be presented to the Sub-Committee. Proposals to amend the relevant schedules will be considered, for future inclusion in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is the industry rulebook on how to deal with such cargoes.
On other matters, the Sub-Committee is expected to consider matters relating to further development of the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), including the development of draft technical provisions for ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel and draft requirements for fuel cells. Also under development are draft interim guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for use in cryogenic applications such as cargo tanks, fuel tanks and piping of LNG carriers and LNG-fuelled ships. The Sub-Committee will also discuss developing draft amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) related to weather-dependent lashing, aimed at ensuring the highest level of cargo securing, taking into account expected weather and other factors.
The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. (Photos here).
IMO touring exhibition – coming to a museum near you?
Seventy years of IMO efforts to promote safe, secure and
clean shipping are being celebrated under the theme "IMO 70:
Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future". And now,
for the first time, an IMO touring exhibition is bringing our success stories
and the future challenges for maritime transport to a global audience.
Who makes the rules for global merchant shipping? How are
people at sea kept safe, and how is the environment protected? How does
shipping support sustainable development, and what does the future hold?
These questions, and many more, are explored by the exhibit
– giving a fascinating insight into IMO's work and showing how shipping is
vital to the world.
The exhibition is on its way to maritime museums
across six continents. Is it coming to a place near you? Watch the teaser video
and view the map of destinations, here.
And if you see it, share the experience and send photos via
social media, just tag @IMOHQ and/or use the hashtag #IMOandMe
Protecting the oceans and the high seas
Ships plying their trade across the world’s oceans are subject to stringent environmental, safety and security rules, which apply throughout their voyage. The comprehensive regulatory framework developed by IMO for international shipping has been highlighted during a United Nations oceans conference in New York, United States (4-17 September). The conference is taking the first steps towards developing a legally binding international instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction - known as ‘BBNJ’.
IMO regulations are enforced through a well-established system of flag, coastal and port State control. Many IMO measures actively contribute to the conservation of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by ships (MARPOL) and the International Ballast Water Management Convention - which aims to prevent the transfer of potentially invasive aquatic species - as well as the London Convention and Protocol regulating the dumping of wastes at sea. IMO has adopted numerous protective measures, which all ships must adhere to, both in and outside designated sensitive sea areas (PSSAs) and in special areas and emission control areas. These include strict rules on operational discharges as well as areas to be avoided and other ship routeing systems, including those aimed at keeping shipping away from whales’ breeding grounds. IMO’s Polar Code is mandatory for ships for operating in the Arctic and Antarctic. IMO has also issued guidance on protecting marine life from underwater ship noise.
IMO’s Fredrik Haag outlined IMO’s experience in developing universal binding regulations for international shipping to ensure shipping’s sustainable use of the oceans, through more than 50 globally-binding treaties. IMO welcomes the efforts to further address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction and has been encouraged by the fact the preparatory process for the new instrument has noted that a new agreement should recognize and not undermine existing relevant legal instruments and frameworks, and relevant global and sectorial bodies.
Mr. Haag also presented IMO’s regulatory regime and its relevance to BBNJ during a side event on shipping, held at UN Headquarters (5 September). The event was jointly-organized by IMO, the governments of the Marshall Islands and Norway, and the International Chamber of shipping, (ICS), with the assistance of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.
The series of conferences to develop the new BBNJ legally-binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is expected to conclude in 2020.
Somalia’s national maritime administration takes next steps
Somalia’s Department of Maritime
Administration is planned to become fully operational by the end of the
year, enabling the country to discharge its flag, port and coastal
responsibilities effectively in line with IMO instruments. Somalian Government
officials met at an IMO-sponsored workshop, held in Kigali, Rwanda (27-31
August) and agreed that the newly-established department, part of the Ministry
of Ports and Marine Transport, should be restructured by 31 December 2018.
The next steps, agreed by the officials,
include a needs assessment mission and further workshops carried out by IMO;
the enactment of the Somalia Shipping Code; and taking the necessary steps to
accede to all key IMO treaties referred to in the Somalia Shipping Code. A
communique issued after the workshop also called on the Federal Government of
Somalia to take urgent steps to become a signatory to the Indian Ocean
Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control.
The workshop was facilitated by IMO, the
United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the Government of the
Republic of Rwanda. It was attended by 22 senior Government officials,
including Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Senators and Parliamentarians from the
Government and Federal Member States, led by, Hon. Mariam Aweis Jama, Minister
of Ports and Marine Transport. IMO was represented by William Azuh, Kiruja
Micheni and Purity Thirimu.
Supporting secure shipping in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the latest country to receive IMO support in developing maritime security legislation. A
workshop run by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in
consultation with IMO, in Colombo, Sri Lanka (28-30 August) gathered
policy makers, criminal justice officials, legal advisors and security
officials of the port and maritime authorities, as well as relevant
meeting provided a basis for inter-agency dialogue on challenges and
priorities regarding international requirements, including the maritime
security measures under IMO’s SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code. IMO’s Tracy Peverett and Henrik Madsen led sessions on the two instruments and how best to implement them as well as information on related technical assistance available to IMO Member States.
Lanka is the third country to benefit from this series of workshops in
South-East Asia, following similar events in the Maldives and Bangladesh
in July 2018. Both IMO and UNODC are participating entities of the UN
Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force. The
workshops are part of a project strengthening capacity to implement
maritime counter terrorism instruments in South-East Asia.
Maritime security planning in the Gulf of Guinea
IMO is supporting countries* from the Gulf of Guinea region in
their plans to enhance maritime security. Participants from 10 countries are
taking part in a workshop in Monterey, USA (6-10 August) on developing and
refining their work plans. This includes introducing new topics directly
related to the successful implementation of maritime security strategies – such
as negotiation skills for secure political and inter-Ministerial cooperation.
The workshop, which includes a field trip to the US Coast Guard Monterey
Station, is organized by the US Department of State funded Center for Civil Military
Relations (CCMR). It is the second of three events. A workshop in Abidjan was
held in March 2018 and the final event is due to take place in Yaoundé in March
2019. IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira.
Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work, here.
* Participants from Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote
d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Togo, as well as
international partners such as INTERPOL and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth
Office are in attendance.
IMO workshop promotes secure shipping in Asia
Shipping forms the backbone of world trade, transporting
around 80% of global trade by volume. No other method of mass transportation is
as cost-effective or fuel-efficient. Each day, around 50,000 merchant ships
deliver the things people need and want – from food, to clothes, fuel, raw
materials, electronics, medication and more. The security of maritime trade is
therefore paramount to people all over the world.
One way in which IMO supports maritime security is through
targeted workshops supporting countries to implement IMO measures. The latest
of these events, on maritime and port security for Asian countries, took place
in Ningbo, China (23-27 July). More than 50 participants representing port and
designated authorities and other national agencies from Asian countries were in
The main aims of the workshop were to i) review
implementation of maritime security in the region and evaluate new or evolving
threats; ii) promote cooperation between port and designated authorities of
participating countries through discussion and sharing experiences and best
practices related to maritime security; iii) identify challenges to ships,
ports and people for the purpose of facilitating and forging secure and
efficient maritime transportation; and iv) to share best practices, experiences
The sub-regional workshop was organized in collaboration
with the Maritime Safety Administration of the People’s Republic of China (China MSA). IMO was represented by Javier
Yasnikouski and Yuji Okugawa.
Additionally, a special session under the theme “Connecting
ships, ports and people” was held on 26 July, with additional national
participants. The session was intended to strengthen cooperation across all
maritime sectors, driven by policy, strategy and technological innovation, in
order to forge a secure and efficient maritime transportation sector.
Mauritius signs Jeddah Amendment on illicit maritime activity
Mauritius has become the 15th 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.
High Commissioner H.E. Mr. Girish Nunkoo of Mauritius deposited the instrument with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London (26 July).
* Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
Serbia accedes to Ballast Water Management Convention
Seventy-four countries have now signed up to IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention, with Serbia being the latest to accede to the treaty helping to protect the marine environment. The signatories represent more than 75% 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.
Mrs. Vesna Vercon Ivic, Consul, Serbia Embassy to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (26 July) to deposit the instrument of accession.
Find out more about the Ballast Water Management Convention, including FAQs, videos, infographics and more, here.
Training to reduce emissions in Malaysian ports
Malaysian maritime officials are touring the Port of Bintulu
on Borneo island as part of an IMO training package helping countries to reduce
emissions in ports. Thirty participants from authorities and ports across
Malaysia are taking part in the event (24-26 July), with the aim of gaining
improved expertise on assessing emissions in ports and devising strategies to address
those emissions. The result – better air quality for local populations and
contribution towards the battle against climate change.
The training took place under the strategic partnership
between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on
energy-efficiency and the International Association of Ports and Harbors
(IAPH). It was hosted by the Marine Department Malaysia and Bintulu Port
Authority, and delivered by a team of IMO consultants from the Port of Los
Angeles and Starcrest Consulting Group.
Further information about the
GloMEEP project, including resources, latest news and strategic partners can be
found via the project website: glomeep.imo.org.
Training for Honduran maritime security officials
Honduras is hosting a workshop on the IMO regulation setting
out preventive security measures in case of threats to ships and port
facilities – the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS)
Code. The event in Puerto Cortez, Honduras (23-27 July) comes as a follow-up to
a 2017 exercise in which the country’s specific technical assistance needs were
Designated authority and port facility security officers are
improving their knowledge and understanding of how to implement the relevant provisions
in the ISPS Code and SOLAS Chapter XI-2. Participants are also reviewing the
practical guidance contained in the “Guide to maritime security and the ISPS
Code”, which addresses, in particular, the security responsibilities of
governments, national authorities, port facilities and operators.
The national workshop was conducted in collaboration with
the National Commission for Port Security of the Republic of Honduras and
assisted by a team of IMO consultants.
Maritime security in the 21st century
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
has highlighted the Organization’s work and response to a changing maritime
security landscape. Speaking at the ‘Maritime security in the 21st century’
symposium at the Brazilian Naval War College, Rio de Janeiro (20 July), he said
that “threats to the port and shipping sectors are constantly evolving and so
is IMO’s response” and emphasized that “IMO is addressing the digital
revolution in all aspects of its work”.
Autonomous vessels, known as
Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS), was one of the issues raised by the
Secretary-General, who said that IMO is currently assessing regulatory aspects
in this field, which includes looking into the subject from the aspects of
safety, security, legal liability, responses to incidents and marine
environment protection. The Secretary-General also highlighted the
Organization’s growing concerns about cyber security, and the potential
vulnerability of ship’s onboard information technology and operational
Mr. Lim went on to emphasize
that the maritime industry can both drive and support a growing economy and
help achieve a truly better world, and that, therefore, safe, secure shipping
is key to a far wider constituency than just the industry itself.
In a technical side event on
MASS, IMO’s Chris Trelawny also spoke about the issue, giving an outline of how
the regulatory process at IMO works, and that a correspondence group looking
into the issue had been established at IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 99) and started its work. IMO welcomes input from its
Member States into the group, which is undergoing a scoping exercise on the
current regulatory landscape relating to MASS.
Find out more about IMO’s
maritime security work, here.
Spill preparedness in the Northwest Pacific
is supporting regional cooperation on oil and hazardous and noxious substances
(HNS) spills in the Northwest Pacific region.
Roel Hoenders is taking part in meetings of the Marine Environmental Emergency
Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) taking place in
Incheon, Republic of Korea (17-20 July). The Centre was originally established
by IMO and UNEP to create effective cooperative measures to spill response
under the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)*.
Hoenders presented IMO’s recent work and achievements in environmental
protection, highlighting ratification and implementation of the International
Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-Operation (OPRC-90)
and its Protocol relating to spills involving HNS. The meeting also included
discussions on practical assistance provided by MERRAC during recent incidents;
the development of an information sharing platform on oil and HNS spills;
outcomes of recent oil spill exercises; and upcoming new projects.
operates in a similar way to so-called Regional Activity Centres (RACs)
supporting regions such as the Mediterranean Sea, through REMPEC, and the Wider Caribbean Region, through REMPEITC-Caribe.
close cooperation between IMO and UN Environment, through the RACs in different
sea basins, supports Member States’ efforts in addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal
14 on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine
resources for sustainable development.
involves member countries China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russian
Federation, and is one of the 18 UN Environment (UNEP) Regional Seas
Security assessment in Georgia
IMO's rules and regulations for suppressing unlawful acts against the safety of navigation can be seen in the wider context of the global fight against terrorism. The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) carries out assessment visits to countries to assess their compliance with various international security instruments and UN Security Council resolutions.
IMO took part in a follow-up visit to Tbilisi, Georgia (16-18 July) organized by UNCTED, particularly to assess the country's implementation of the special maritime security measures in IMO's SOLAS chapter XI-2, the ISPS Code, as well as the SUA Convention and Protocols.
The assessment included a series of meetings with Georgian government agencies involved in maritime security, including authorities for maritime, defence, law enforcement, customs and coast guard. The talks were conducted alongside partner organizations, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Interpol. The "One UN" inter-agency approach underscores that national security and counter terrorism management must include the maritime sector in national security policies, procedures and response plans.
IMO's Henrik Madsen represented IMO during the assessment, which follows a previous assessment (UNCTED 2007) as well as a prior IMO organized national maritime security workshop in 2014. This event comes ahead of Georgia hosting an international maritime forum in September 2018, to be held in the port city of Batumi, in which IMO will be participating.
Animating 70 years of better shipping for a better future
70 years of helping international shipping become safer, more secure and develop a greener environmental footprint – that's what IMO is celebrating in 2018, with a series of events and commemorative productions being released throughout the year. The latest is a short animated film which shows how IMO has developed mandatory international regulations covering almost every aspect of shipping. As a result, modern shipping conforms to the highest practicable standards and is the safest, cleanest and most efficient way to move goods around the world.
The animation traces IMO's voyage from the 1948 United Nations conference in Geneva, which saw its founding convention adopted, through to the present day. It highlights key developments such as new rules for tanker safety following the infamous Torrey Canyon incident in 1967, the satellite-based Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and the designation of several vital environmentally sensitive areas around the world which today receive special protection from shipping.
The formation of IMO's two unique educational establishments is also featured, along with the organization's work to ensure seafarers are both properly educated and trained and receive adequate legal protection.
IMO's theme for this celebratory year is "Better Shipping for a Better Future" and this animation captures how IMO has been pursuing that goal since its inception. See it for yourself - visit our YouTube channel or follow us on social media (Twitter/Facebook).
Minimum training standards for fishers under review
The ongoing comprehensive review of the IMO treaty on
Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel
Personnel (STCW-F) is set
to continue this week.
The Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping
(HTW 5), meeting at IMO Headquarters (16-20 July), will continue its
work to review the minimum standards of competence set out in the
treaty in order to bring them up to date and reflect realities in the fishing
industry. The STCW-F treaty was adopted in 1995
and entered into force in 2012. It is a key pillar among the international instruments addressing fishing vessel safety.
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
Other items on the agenda include implementation of the 2010
amendments to the STCW Convention;
validation of 11 IMO model courses; and further topics under IMO’s on-going work on the human
element. The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and
is being chaired by Ms. Mayte Medina (United States). Photos here.
IMO head highlights key maritime issues during trip to China
First stop: the Dalian Maritime University. IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim marked the start of the Master's degree programme
on Maritime Safety and Environmental Management – a joint programme with the
World Maritime University (WMU) during a busy visit to China (10-11 July). Mr.
Lim told students the course will help to equip them to make their own
contribution towards achieving key IMO objectives: helping ensure shipping can
continue to serve the global population in a safe and sustainable manner.
Mr. Lim went on to attend the China Maritime Day and Global
Green Maritime forums, and IMO 70th Aniversary celebrations in
Shanghai (photos). Here he outlined IMO’s achievement in the 70 years since the
Organization was formed and 60 since it became operational. During that time,
IMO has produced a long record of achievement, developing and adopting more
than 50 international instruments on many different aspects of shipping.
He highlighted the theme for the anniversary celebrations
Heritage: Better Shipping for a Better Future" and how it looks to
both the past and into the years that lie ahead, providing an opportunity to
reflect and showcase how the Organization has developed and adapted while
staying true to its overall mission – to promote safe, secure, environmentally
sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.
Mr. Lim toured the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Asia (MTCC Asia), which was launched at the
end of 2016 as 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
Fishing gear marking can help solve marine litter problem
The marking of fishing gear will help support the implementation of IMO regulations which prohibit the discarding of such items into the sea, IMO's Fredrik Haag told the UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI 2018) meeting in Rome, Italy (9-13 July 2018). Mr. Haag was speaking ahead of the endorsement by the COFI of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear. The Guidelines call for all fishing gear to be marked, so that, if abandoned, lost or discarded, they can be traced back to its original owner. IMO's MARPOL Convention Annex V prohibits the discharge of into the sea of all plastics, including synthetic fishing gear. The London Convention and Protocol on dumping of wastes at sea do not permit the dumping of fishing gear at sea.
Mr. Haag told the meeting that IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee had added a new output on marine litter on its agenda and looked forward to receiving submissions on this matter. The issue is also on the agenda of meetings of the Contracting Parties to the London Convention and Protocol, which have reviewed how wastes dumped at sea may contribute to the presence of marine litter. Discussions within these bodies have included the issue of abandoned or drifting fish aggregating devices (FADs), as well as polystyrene and Styrofoam buoys used in aquaculture, as sources of marine litter.
Mr. Haag also highlighted the ongoing collaboration between IMO and FAO on environmental issues, through the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, through UN-Oceans and through the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a body which advises the UN system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Mexico benefits from IMO training on port security
Being prepared in the event of a major maritime security incident is essential. To help address this issue, a maritime security training has taken place in Veracruz, Mexico (12-13 July). The IMO workshop aimed to promote a multi-agency approach to maritime security and law enforcement to improve cooperation among government departments. The event also highlighted the need for an integrated approach to the implementation of SOLAS Chapter XI-2, the ISPS Code and broader security measures.
Participants explored a number of hypothetical scenarios related to maritime and port security. The workshop also reviewed existing procedures, particularly roles and responsibilities, with the aim of identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement. Around 40 participants from various national agencies attended the event, including port authorities, customs and immigration services, federal police, medical services, naval authorities, merchant marine and local and regional authorities among others.
The workshop was organized by IMO in coordination with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Mexican Marine Secretariat (SEMAR).
Port emissions training for Argentina
IMO's work supporting
countries to reduce emissions in ports has reached Argentina, the seventh
country to benefit from a port emissions training package. Around 40 personnel
working in the country's maritime sector underwent training on how to assess
air emissions in ports and develop strategies to address emissions from
different sources, at a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina (10-12 July).
The training took place
under the strategic partnership between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on energy-efficiency and the
International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). The event was hosted by
Prefectura Naval Argentina and delivered by a team of IMO consultants,
including from the Port of Los Angeles.
Protecting fishers’ lives
IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety needs to be ratified and implemented in order to save fishers’ lives. This key message was reiterated by IMO’s Sandra Allnutt during the UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI 2018) meeting in Rome, Italy (9-13 July). The 2012 Cape Town Agreement is aimed at facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. The Agreement currently has 10 Contracting States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of aggregate fishing vessels.
At the opening session of the COFI, Ms. Allnutt highlighted the positive collaboration between IMO, the FAO, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Pew Charitable Trusts to support ratification of the Cape Town Agreement. IMO, in collaboration with FAO, has been running a series of seminars around the world to explain what the Agreement is, why it is important, how it can be implemented into national legislation and what the next steps are for a Party to the Agreement. Ms. Allnutt called for good understanding and support from fisheries ministries and the fishing industry. “Although the instrument was adopted by IMO, all UN agencies that deal with ocean issues can, and should, encourage Governments to ratify the Agreement. Cooperation and collaboration are the way forward for the safety of millions of fishers across the world,” Ms. Allnutt said. Ms Allnutt also intervened during the COFI agenda item on Fisheries and ocean governance – Combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, highlighting the relevance of the Cape Town Agreement to the fight against IUU fishing.
During a side event on “Ensuring socially, environmentally and commercially sustainable fisheries”, Ms Allnutt emphasised the four pillars for fishing safety, environmental protection and seafarers' training and rights – of which only the Cape Town Agreement has yet to enter into force: IMO’s 2012 Cape Town Agreement (not yet in force); IMO’s STCW-F Convention on training of fishers (which entered into force in 2012); ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention 2007 (Convention No. 188) (in force since November 2017); and FAO’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), 2009 (entered into force in 2016). The side event was also attended by representatives of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS), FAO, ILO, the EU social dialogue committee for sea-fisheries, European Commission, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Netherlands and the Holy See. The Committee on Fisheries (COFI) is a subsidiary body of the FAO Council and provides a global inter-governmental forum to examine major international fisheries and aquaculture issues.
Supporting sulphur 2020 consistent implementation
An IMO working group is meeting (9-13 July) to develop guidelines to support the consistent implementation of the 0.50% limit for the sulphur content in fuel oil used on board ships from 1 January 2020, reducing from the current limit of 3.50% (the limit is already 0.10% in designated emission control areas). The intersessional meeting, under the auspices of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), will work on developing some very detailed guidelines to support consistent implementation of the 0.50% limit.
This will include guidance on preparatory and transitional issues, including guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020; impact on fuel and machinery systems resulting from new fuel blends or fuel types; verification issues and control mechanism and actions, including port State control and in-use fuel oil samples; a standard reporting format for fuel oil non-availability; and safety implications relating to the option of blending fuels.
Additionally, the meeting will consider proposals for amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to provide a unified verification procedure and test method for fuel oil used by ships, including the provision of a regulatory definition of “sulphur content”, the verification procedure to be used when testing fuel oil used by ships and the standard for testing the fuel oil.
IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72) in April instructed the intersessional meeting to report directly to MEPC 73 in October this year, on the development of the guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020. MEPC 73 is expected to approve this guidance and issue it, in order to provide industry with over a year to apply it before the entry into effect of the 2020 limit.
Monitoring and enforcement of Ballast Water Convention
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 entered into force globally 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 Batumi, Georgia (3-5 July) concluded yesterday after it provided participants from nine countries* with theoretical and practical training in compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the Convention. The workshop also delivered training on how to plan and conduct a port biological baseline survey using standardized protocols as well as how to conduct a risk assessment. These baseline surveys aim to provide inventories of marine life in and around commercial ports frequented by ships carrying ballast water, to 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 was attended by 35 participants from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and Ukraine
Strengthening oil spill preparedness in South-East Asia
contingency planning is in the spotlight at an IMO regional workshop in Pulau
Indah, Malaysia (2-6 July). The workshop is helping countries* in South East
Asia become more familiar with the ASEAN
Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan - designed to enhance cooperation between
States. Participants are reviewing a number of aspects
of the plan and exercising its communication procedures.
has long supported regional cooperation and capacity building in oil spill
preparedness and response, including through a joint project with the oil and
gas industry –
the Global Initiative project for South East Asia (GI
SEA). The workshop
is being carried out under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and
hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the Marine Department of Malaysia, at
the Maritime Transport Training Institute.
represented by Josephine Uranza, the Organization’s Regional Coordinator for
the Asia and Pacific Sector. Expert support comes from Petronas, PIMMAG, ITOPF,
OSRL and the GI SEA Project.
States: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and
IMO’s maritime security work presented at Nigeria law conference
IMO’s mandate on piracy and armed robbery against ships broader
maritime security measures has been presented at the International Maritime
Seminar for Judges held in Abuja, Nigeria (3-5 July).
Gisela Vieira from IMO’s maritime security team provided input as
part of a discussion on ‘Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea: Legal Interpretation
and Judicial Application’.
Over 300 participants from across Nigeria’s maritime industry
and stakeholders attended the conference, which was designed to update
their knowledge on contemporary issues and developments in International
Guests from Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia also attended the
event, which was opened by the Hon. Justice Walter N. Onnoghen, GCON, FNJI,
Chief Justice of Nigeria. The conference was organized by the Nigerian
Shipper’s Council (NSC), under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of
Transportation, in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute.
Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work, here.
IMO Member States to assess how effectively they administer key IMO treaties is
an important part of the Organization’s work to ensure its regulatory framework
is universally adopted and implemented.
IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme
is the subject of a regional workshop taking
place in Tunis, Tunisia (2-6 July).
than 30 participants from 13 countries* are taking part in the event. The
participants are made up of senior maritime administration personnel who are,
or will be, involved in preparing their respective countries to undergo the
audit, as well as those who will lead the preparation of required documentation
for conducting the audit. Also taking part are officials involved in developing
and implementing the corrective action plan addressing the audit findings and
IMSAS became mandatory from January 2016. To-date, 50 mandatory audits have
been carried out, with a further 12 planned for 2018. All Member States are required to undergo a
mandatory audit within the 7-year audit cycle.
workshop was organized by IMO and hosted by the Tunisian Ministry of Transport,
with IMO represented by Omar Hassein.
Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Saudi
Arabia, the Sudan and Tunisia.
Mediterranean SOx emission control area study begins
A new study to assess the benefits, costs and feasibility of implementing an emission control area (ECA) to limit sulphur oxides (SOx) from ships in the Mediterranean Sea will consider, among other things, the potential health benefits for people living around the Mediterranean as well as cost implications for ship owners. The IMO Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea, REMPEC, is coordinating the technical and feasibility study to examine the possibility of designating the Mediterranean Sea, or parts of it, as a SOx-ECA under IMO’s prevention of pollution convention (MARPOL) Annex VI.
There are currently four designated SOx-ECAs worldwide: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands). In the ECASs, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.10% mass by mass (m/m), while outside these areas the limit is currently 3.5% m/m, falling to 0.50% m/m from 1 January 2020.
An international consortium led by Energy & Environmental Research Associates (EERA) signed (in June) the contract with REMPEC to carry out the study, to be finalized by spring 2019. Funding for the study, which REMPEC will present to IMO’s Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC), comes from the Mediterranean Trust Fund, the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and a voluntary contribution from the Government of Italy.
REMPEC is administered by IMO in cooperation with UN Environment (UNEP). Its main objectives are to contribute to preventing and reducing pollution from ships, to combat pollution in case of emergency and to assist Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of Mediterranean to meet their obligations under the Convention and its protocols. The Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, and the European Union.
Second phase of Bangladesh ship recycling project begins
phase of an IMO-implemented project to enhance safe and environmentally sound
ship recycling in Bangladesh has been launched with the first Project Executive
Committee meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2 July). The SENSREC Project Phase II -
Capacity Building, funded under a US$1.1 million agreement with Norway, will
focus on legal and institutional analysis of ship recycling in the country and
will develop a roadmap for the Government of Bangladesh to accede to the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HongKong Convention). The two-year project will also provide training for workers
in ship recycling yards, supervisors and government officials.
The project is
being executed and implemented by IMO, in partnership with the Ministry of
Industries of the Government of Bangladesh. The Executive Committee (the
decision-making body of the project) was co-chaired by Mr. Md Enamul Hoque,
Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh and IMO’s Jose
Matheickal. In January this year, the Parliament of Bangladesh approved its
Ship Recycling Bill, which includes a timeframe for accession to the Hong Kong
Convention by Bangladesh within five years.
South Africa signs up to treaty on fishing vessel personnel
has become the 25th State to sign up to the IMO treaty on Standards of
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F). The Convention sets the certification and minimum
training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in
length and above.
Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, Minister of Transport of South Africa, met IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit the
instrument of accession (2 July). South Africa ratified the Cape Town Agreement
on fishing vessel safety in 2016.
Security drills and exercises in Mauritania
Maritime security training has taken place in Nouadhibou, Mauritania (25-29 June). The IMO workshop reinforces and improves existing security measures in the country by training port security officials to design and 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.
The training involved theoretical lessons, discussions, group work and hands-on practical exercises in planning, conducting and evaluating exercises. It was organized with Mauritania's maritime authority – Direction de la Marine Marchande (DMM) – for designated authority officials, port facilities security officials, ISPS auditors, national regulators and ISPS inspectors.
The Nouadhibou workshop is the final component of a series of assistance activities, which began with an operational and physical security needs assessment mission to Nouakchott and Nouadhibou in December 2015. Following this, the DMM requested assistance with implementing maritime security measures, including a comprehensive training programme. The first component was an ISPS Code workshop for designated authority and port security officials in October 2016, which was followed by a self-assessment trainer workshop on port facilities in August 2017.
The training was conducted by two IMO Francophone consultants.
IMO on board
Lifeboat inspection, fire drills, emergency generator
training, keeping watch, new friendships, ports, building professional
networks, and working far away from home and family.
These, and many more, are all part of life at sea, and IMO’s
own Sascha Pristrom is experiencing these during a voyage on the Monaco Maersk
ultra large container ship.
As 2nd Officer, he is gaining a direct insight into the
practical implementation, on a ship, of IMO regulations and guidelines. This
comes as part of IMO’s 70th
anniversary events and celebrations, under the theme “IMO 70: Our Heritage
– Better Shipping for a Better Future".
The theme is providing the opportunity to take stock and
look back, but also to look forward, addressing current and future challenges
for maritime transport to maintain a continued and strengthened contribution
towards sustainable growth for all.
Mr. Pristrom is a technical officer in IMO’s Maritime Safety
Division. Follow his
journey via the
photo gallery, which includes captions describing his life at sea. To date,
the voyage has taken him from Shanghai to Tianjin, Busan and Ningbo. The ship is currently on its way to Europe
via the Suez Canal.
Just-In-Time - part of the solution to cut ship emissions?
When arriving at a destination port, ships can remain
anchored for many hours or days until getting a berth. During this time,
fuel is still being used – which can have a significant impact on port air
quality. Could Just-In-Time (JIT) ship operation be part of the solution to
reducing ship emissions?
This is the question being discussed at an IMO-led
roundtable meeting of the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon
Shipping (GIA) and relevant industry stakeholders, at IMO Headquarters, London
(29 June). Participants are considering JIT operation, which is not currently a
common industry practise, and how it could be applied within various segments
of the shipping industry – with a view to identifying potential
solutions/activities that could support further uptake of the practise (photos).
The GIA is a public-private partnership initiative of the
IMO, under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloMEEP
Project that aims to bring together maritime industry leaders to support an
energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system. Leading shipowners
and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and
suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports have come together under
the GIA to collectively identify and develop innovative solutions to address
common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency
technologies and operational measures.
Addressing marine litter
poses significant risks to the marine environment, ecology and human health,
and is a global concern. IMO has been taking
action to address the problem, including regulating garbage discharge from
ships and helping countries build up their human and technical capacities.
Regional Workshop on MARPOL Annex V and Port Reception Facilities for the ASEAN
Region took place in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam (27-29 June). The workshop is
aimed at raising the awareness on marine litter and enhancing the effective
implementation of IMO garbage regulations on ships and in port reception
More than 40
participants from nine countries* attended the workshop, and deepened their
knowledge on and shared their experience in marine litter management and
implementation of MARPOL Annex V and port reception facilities.
was organized by IMO and hosted by the Viet Nam Maritime Administration.
Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Testing of Antigua and Barbuda maritime single window begins
new phase in a project to develop a maritime single window for Antigua and
Barbuda has begun, with the installation of the first, basic system platform.
Testing and implementation will now begin and if successful, the system,
developed by Norway, could potentially benefit other countries of the Caribbean
region and to other regions of the world.
team from Norway has explained the basic platform, now available to all
stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda, during a week-long series of related
activities (25-29 June). The operational implementation phase, essential for
the success of the project, now begins. New versions of the system will be
released every three-four weeks, based on the feedback of the users in Antigua
and Barbuda, including Customs, Immigration, Port Authority, Health, the
Maritime Administration, and shipping agencies.
single window system allows for the streamlining of procedures, via electronic
systems, for provision of information related to the arrival, stay and
departure of the ship itself, and data on its crew, passengers and cargo,
according with the requirements of IMO’s FAL
Convention. Amendments to this Convention make it mandatory for countries
to establish systems for the electronic exchange of ship-related information by
The visit of
the passenger cruise ship Freedom of the Seas to St John’s provided an
opportunity for stakeholders to experience on-board clearance processes. The
week’s activities also included a two-day stakeholder workshop and an
implementation planning brain-storming session. Antigua and Barbuda and Norway
are the main stakeholders of the maritime single window project, one as
recipient and the other as donor, while IMO is the project coordinator and
provides administrative assistance to the parties during the project timeline. The
project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries,
with technical expertise provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
and Barbuda this week were technical representatives from IMO and Norway,
working alongside representatives from the Department of Marine Services and
Merchant Shipping the maritime administration of Antigua and Barbuda.
Women in port management
IMO is continuing its ongoing efforts to ensure women can reach top ranks in the maritime sector, through its Women in Maritime programme. The latest event was a two-week training course for female officials from maritime and port authorities of developing countries, in Le Havre, France (11-22 June). At the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER), 23 female officials from 14 developing countries* had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of port management and operational efficiency. They also took part in lectures on a variety of port matters including management, security, marine environment, marketing, tariffs and logistics as well as facilitation of maritime traffic, ship/port interface and concession contracts.
Delivered in French, organized visits to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, enabled 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 delivered through IMO's gender and capacity-building programme, in collaboration with the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO's continuous efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Demand for this course has continued to grow substantially over the past three years, however further funding will need to be secured to keep up with the increased demand.
* Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia.
Your safety matters – IMO rolls out ferry safety video
Overcrowding is dangerous. Listen to crew. Follow instructions. It could save your life. These simple but key messages to ferry passengers are included in a new one-minute animated IMO safety video, to be shown in ferry terminals across the Asia and Pacific region and on national TV channels. The video was commissioned following a series of IMO-sponsored regional discussion forums on ferry safety held in the Asia and Pacific region. Overloading and overcrowding were highlighted as common and potentially deadly problems for passenger ships plying inland waterways or on domestic and inter-island services.
Domestic ferry operations play a crucial role in the movement of people and goods in the region and sometimes represent the only possible or reasonably affordable means of transport. "Safety standards on domestic passenger ferries should be as stringent as those on international vessels," said Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head Asia-Pacific of IMO Technical Co-operation Division.
"We hope that this video will help raise awareness amongst passengers, crew and ferry operators. This should contribute to safer sea journeys for everyone."
The video is being provided free-of-charge to national maritime authorities across the Asia and Pacific region. It can also be viewed here.
IMO, in collaboration with partners including the international ferry industry association, Interferry, has been working with countries and partners in the Asia-Pacific region for a number of years to address the safety of domestic ferries, through regional fora and workshops. A set of guidelines (Manila Statement) on the safe operation of coastal and inter-island passenger ships not engaged on international voyages was adopted in 2015, by an international Conference, held in the Philippines and organized by IMO in collaboration with the Government of the Philippines, International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), Interferry, and the World Maritime University.
Regulations for passenger ship safety in IMO's International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) do not generally apply to passenger ships on domestic voyages, but many countries base their regulations on the IMO standards.
Supporting oil spill preparedness in the Caspian Sea
implement the Aktau Protocol on regional preparedness, response and cooperation in
combating oil pollution incidents was the subject of a workshop in Baku,
Azerbaijan this week (18-20 June).
brought together the five littoral states* of the Caspian Sea to test the
Caspian Sea Plan concerning regional cooperation in dealing with oil pollution
in cases of emergency, and guidelines on future regional oil spill exercises
Discussions were held on integrating international assistance offers into the
national preparedness and response system. Participants also discussed
the synergies and potential areas of collaboration with other
regional agreements on disaster management in the Caspian.
The event was
organised by IMO and UN Environment’s Tehran Convention Interim Secretariat.
* Azerbaijan, Islamic
Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan.
Being prepared for hazardous and noxious substance spills
rise in transport by sea of chemicals and gases, in bulk and containerized,
adequate preparedness for response to potential spill incidents involving
hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) is increasingly important.
Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is hosting a regional workshop on
response to such incidents, in Valletta, Malta (20-21 June). Regional
cooperation on oil and HNS spill response and contingency planning is an
efficient and cost-effective way of preparing for possible spills – through the
sharing of information, knowledge and/or response equipment. A recent example
of cooperation in this field was an agreement
signed between Cyprus, Greece and Israel following support from REMPEC.
Hoenders provided an overview of IMO’s recent achievements in marine
environment protection, as well the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness,
Response and Co-operation (OPRC),
which has 112 contracting States. He also emphasised the importance of
ratifying the OPRC-HNS Protocol – which so far has only 39 Parties.
agencies and organizations are represented at the workshop, including the
European Commission, EMSA, the HELCOM and Bonn Agreement Secretariats as well
as ITOPF, IOPC Funds, CEDRE, CETMAR and Transport Canada.
Addressing the impacts of fouling
The build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures is known as biofouling. This can introduce potentially invasive non-native aquatic species to a new area. Fouling can also slow down a ship and impact on its energy efficiency. An IMO regional workshop in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (20-22 June) aims to provide participants with 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 their use and from 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, attended by some 45 participants from 13 countries*, is funded through IMO’s technical cooperation fund and is being led by IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis and Megan Jensen. The workshop is a good example of IMO’s role in supporting the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on the oceans, and in helping to address biodiversity loss, through its shipping regulations and recommendations.
* Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago
Protecting marine life from ship noise
Ship noise has been shown to be the main contributor to underwater noise on a global scale, with recognized negative impacts on marine life. Scientists and researchers from international organizations, States and expert groups have been sharing the latest information on ocean noise, including its detrimental impact on species such as whales and dolphins, at the informal annual meeting on oceans and the law of the sea, at United Nations headquarters, New York, United States (18-22 June). The theme for this year’s meeting is "Anthropogenic underwater noise". IMO’s Stefan Micallef and Fredrik Haag outlined IMO’s work to date on ship noise. Mr. Micallef noted that IMO had adopted a mandatory code to reduce noise on ships as well as voluntary guidelines aimed at reducing underwater noise from commercial shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life. Other measures, such as ship routeing measures in designated Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, can help reduce local ship noise. Noise has also been discussed in the context of the work of the London Convention and Protocol on the protection of the marine environment from pollution from dumping of wastes and other matter. IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee is encouraging Member States to continue to share experience and understanding of ship noise and its impacts on marine life and to put forward possible mitigation measures.
Mr Micallef and Mr Haag are representing IMO at the 19th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-19).
Port emissions training for Morocco
can ports cut emissions to ensure cleaner air and contribute to the battle
against climate change? An IMO training course is supporting countries to help
find the answers, which include the need to first quantify emissions and then
identify measures to reduce port-related emissions in a cost-effective way.
officials in Morocco are the latest to undergo the training, at a workshop in
Casablanca (19-21 June). The event is being held under the IMO-run GloMEEP Project on energy-efficiency and the
International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
than 20 participants will be better equipped to quantify emissions in ports
through development of port emissions assessments (both ocean and land-based,
including emissions from cargo handling equipment, trucks, rail etc.) and
benefit from guidance on how to develop strategies for reducing emissions in
event is being hosted by the Merchant Marine Directorate and the National Ports
Agency (ANP), and held at ANP’s Port Training Institute. The workshop included
a visit to the largest port crane simulator in the world, a 270-degree dome-based
system that enables crane operators to learn how to safely and effectively
operate heavy port equipment.
workshop is being run by IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a team of IMO consultants
from the Port of Los Angeles and the Starcrest Consultancy Group.
Closer look at the interpretation of maritime law
The challenges posed by
maritime crime are bringing about discussions on legal issues involving the
interpretation and implementation of maritime law. As a result, a workshop has
taken place in Sri Lanka, Colombo (18-20 June) where
maritime law experts and practitioners from around the world met to participate
in two main sessions aimed at gathering State practice and interpretation
information related to international legal instruments.
The first session
looked at Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic
in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (The Vienna Convention)
and the treatment of Stateless Vessels. The outcomes of that session will feed
into a report on State practice and lead a revision of the UNODC ‘Practical
Guide for Competent National Authorities under Article 17’.
session saw experts review thematic chapters which will form part of the Second
Edition of the UNODC ‘Maritime Crime: A Manual for Criminal Justice
cover a full range of maritime crime issues such as: human rights at sea,
hostage taking at sea, terrorism at sea, trafficking of persons and smuggling
of migrants at sea and maritime fuel theft, special annexes to the Manual will
include privately contracted armed security personnel at sea and floating
The event was
organized by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as part of
their Global Maritime Crime Programme.
Gisela Vieira from IMO’s maritime security team attended the event as part of the Organization's on-going work to help combat
maritime crime and develop robust legal structures.
Supporting Member States towards the UN SDGS
IMO’s comprehensive technical cooperation programme supports Member States to implement IMO treaties effectively. This is one way in which IMO supports the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Technical Cooperation Committee, which is meeting for its 68th session (18-20 June), will be updated on key IMO capacity-building programmes, including the women in maritime programme and assistance to Member States to develop National Maritime Transport Policies. The question of resource mobilization will also be addressed. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the 68th session, which is being chaired by Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub (Malaysia). (Photos)
Fishers fatalities give impetus to fishing vessel safety work
While exact figures are hard to come by, preliminary, conservative estimates of fatalities in fishing are now over 32 000 people annually. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that the number of fishers injured or suffering from work-related illnesses are much higher. Fatalities and accidents have major impacts on fishers' families, fishing crews and fishing communities. These stark figures provided the background to talks at the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety & Health Conference (iFish5) (10–13 June), in St. John’s, Canada.
IMO’s Sandra Allnutt outlined IMO’s work to address fishing vessel safety. She emphasised the need for more countries to ratify the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety. The Cape Town Agreement includes mandatory international requirements for stability, construction and associated seaworthiness of fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over, as well as requirements for life-saving appliances, communications equipment and fire protection.
Ms Allnutt also outlined guidance and recommendatory measures developed by IMO in cooperation with FAO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), including the Code of Safety for Fishermen and Fishing Vessels, 2005 (part A for all fishing vessels, Part B for those 24 m in length and over); Voluntary Guidelines, 2005, (fishing vessels 12 m in length and over, but less than 24 m); and Safety Recommendations (for fishing vessels less than 12 m in length).
The conference was told that the approximately 1.6 million seafarers in the world merchant vessel fleet have much better protection from mandatory international safety and health conventions and agreements than the approximately 40 million fishers world-wide.
More than 160 fisheries sector health and safety professionals and researchers from 26 countries as well as international organizations attended the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety & Health Conference. It was co-organized by the Memorial University, Canada; the United Nations; the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); and the FAO.
IMO events bring port issues to the fore
Global trade by sea is dependent on the interconnection between ships, ports and people - and everyone needs to be involved, from port operators, to regulators, to maritime security experts and innovators in technology. The theme of mutual cooperation and collaboration was highlighted throughout a special event on ports, held at IMO Headquarters (11 June). The Special Port Event was supported by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in collaboration with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
Across four sessions, 18 panellists shared their views on port related issues such as automation and digitalisation, including Port Community Systems and the maritime single window; ways to improve facilitation; best practices to improve coordination at ports; improvement of efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports; and the challenges of dealing with larger ships.
The importance of port security - as a key element to support facilitation of trade by ship - was also covered. The event was opened by IMO Secretary-General Lim, who said that it was his firm belief that the maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people who operate them, could and should play a significant role in helping Member States to create the conditions necessary for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through the promotion of trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through the development of a sustainable blue economy, at sea.
While stakeholders in the shipping industry may have a tendency to operate in silos, Mr. Lim said that it was his intention to open the Organization up to stakeholders, who might not previously have been much involved in the work of IMO, in order to deal with all maritime aspects in a holistic way. Mr. Santiago Garcia Milà, President of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), also addressed the event. (Presentations can be downloaded here) (Photos here).
A second event focused on port security (12-13 June). The Symposium on port security operations was co-sponsored by the International Association of Airport and Seaport Police (INTERPORTPOLICE) and the IMO Secretariat, focusing on exchange of best practice on port security and law enforcement. An introductory session conducted by IMO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Interpol, outlined resources, tools and capacity-building programmes and how ports can access them. IMO, UNODC and Interpol have been collaborating on joint regional capacity building activities, focusing on maritime security, since the adoption of IMO's maritime security regime in 2002. The three organizations continue to work together to help build capacity to fight illicit maritime activity around the globe. IMO Secretary-General Lim highlighted the role of IMO and partner organizations in helping Governments to develop their national oversight capability for safety and security and to promote the application of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and the ILO/IMO Code of Practice on security in ports. Mr. Lim also reiterated the need to develop increased collaboration and communication between shipping, ports and other stakeholders. (Photos here).
Standardising data for effective electronic business
IMO’s Facilitation (FAL) Committee, meeting for its 42nd session, has approved a completely revised and updated structure for its Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a new standard IMO reference data set, which will be used as basis for automated and digital systems for exchange of information when ships arrive at and depart from ports.
The information data set supports mandatory reporting formalities for ships, cargo and persons on board and can also be extended to support commercial businesses in international shipping.
The Compendium is being completely updated in order to enable the implementation of the revised Annex to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which entered into force this year and requires electronic data exchange to be implemented by all FAL Convention Parties, by April 2019.
Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/CEFACT)) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO). The working group also includes members from India, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, United States, New Zealand, the IMO Secretariat, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), BIMCO and the International Port Community System Association (IPCSA).
The revised and updated Compendium is expected to be completed over the next six months so that it can be approved by the next Facilitation Committee session, FAL 43, in April 2019. (Read more on the outcome of FAL 42 here.)
Graduation day for future maritime law leaders
globally recognized training centre, the IMO International Maritime Law
Institute (IMLI), has held its 29th annual
graduation ceremony at the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, Malta (9 June).
Fifty-one students from 41 countries graduated from programs covering all areas
of international maritime law in a ceremony presided over by IMO Secretary-General
and Chair of the IMLI Governing Board, Kitack Lim, who heralded the Institute
and congratulated the graduates on their achievement.
the ceremony, Secretary-General Lim paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister
of Malta, H.E. Joseph Muscat in Valletta, and expressed his appreciation to the
Prime Minister and the Government of Malta for its continued support to IMLI.
In his response, the Prime Minister said that Malta was honoured to host IMLI
which, as one of the cornerstones of IMO’s capacity-building work, has trained
over 900 lawyers from 142 countries, some of whom were holding high-level
positions in their countries.
Minister was accompanied by H.E. Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
with the Secretary-General being accompanied by Prof. David Attard,
Director of IMLI and Juvenal Shiundu, Acting Director of the IMO Technical
South Africa gets port emissions training
IMO's continuing work to support countries to reduce emissions in ports has seen South Africa benefit from a recently developed port emissions training package. A workshop in Durban, South Africa (6-8 June) trained 40 personnel working in the country's maritime sector on how to assess air emissions in ports and develop strategies to address emissions from different sources.
The training took place under the strategic partnership between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on energy-efficiency and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
South Africa joins India, the Philippines, Jamaica and China in benefiting from the package, with five further countries set to undergo the training this year.
The Durban event was hosted by South Africa's Department of Transport and SAMSA, and delivered by a team of consultants from the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.
Seafarer’s wellbeing at the heart of this year’s Day of the Seafarer campaign
Seafarers' rights to be treated fairly and enjoy quality of life at sea is the focus this year's Day of the Seafarer campaign, under the theme: Seafarer's wellbeing. "Day of the Seafarer 2018 (25 June) will provide a platform to advocate for higher standards of welfare and enable shipping companies and others within the industry to show how they provide a good working environment for seafarers and thereby make a positive contribution to their wellbeing," said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
This year the campaign includes a short survey aimed at collecting seafarers' feedback on whether they know their rights at sea and whether those rights are being implemented into their operational reality. The collected data will be fed back to IMO Member States creating a direct line of communication between seafarers and governments. So if you are a seafarer, take the survey! And show your support online: #SupportSeafarersWellbeing
IMO has also launched a photo competition, targeted at seafarers, to show the world what a #GoodDayAtSea looks like. We invite all interested seafarers to participate and submit photos here. The competition is being run by IMO together with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). The judging panel will select the entries they feel best capture the spirit of the 2018 Day of the Seafarer campaign and the inspirational role that seafarers play in everyone's every day lives.
For more information on this year's campaign visit the Day of the Seafarer webpage
Maritime security drills in Uruguay
Drills and exercises to test maritime security knowledge and update skills are under way during a national workshop in Montevideo, Uruguay (5 to 8 June). The National Workshop on International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) Drills and Exercises has been designed to strengthen the technical capability of Designated Authority officials, port security officials and managers with respect to enhancing maritime security through the process of conducting drills and exercises in accordance with the ISPS Code and the relevant IMO guidance, by using the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Drills and Exercises Manual. The workshop was organized by IMO under the Global programme for the enhancement of maritime security, using funds provided by the Republic of Korea, and in coordination with the National Maritime authority of Uruguay (Prefectura Nacional Naval). The Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS-CICTE) also participated and collaborated with the organization of the event.
Supporting the free-flow of trade
Standardization and harmonization are essential in order to achieve efficient shipping and seamless transport, particularly when it comes to electronic data exchange. IMO’s Facilitation Committee, which is meeting (5-8 June) at IMO Headquarters, is set to approve a revised format of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a completely revised and updated standard IMO data model set. Data models define and format information which might be transferred between automated systems, such as for export, import and transit. The revised Compendium will include a completely revised data structure, including digitalization-friendly definitions of all the information elements that a ship is required to report. This will make digitalization and automation of administrative processes in international shipping much easier, paving the way for full implementation of electronic data exchange, as required by the revised Facilitation Convention annex, which entered into force this year.
Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/EDIFACT)) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO).
On other matters, the Facilitation Committee will continue its review of the Explanatory Manual to the Annex to the FAL Convention and its review of guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport. The Committee will also be updated on the IMO Maritime Single Window project. The Facilitation Committee 42nd session was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The chair is Mr. Yury Melenas (Russian Federation). Click for photos.
In order to strengthen the links between ships and ports, IMO is hosting a Special Event on Ports, to be held Monday, 11 June – which will also be livestreamed globally. Some 20 panellists will share their views on port related issues such as the maritime single window, the port community system, ways to improve facilitation, best practices to improve coordination at ports, improvement of efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports, including on-shore power supply. The importance of port security will also be covered. This event will be followed, on 12 and 13 June, by a port security focused event organized in cooperation with the International Association of Airport and Sea Port Police.
Philippines accedes to IMO environment treaties
The Philippines has ratified three IMO treaties, including
two important treaties helping to protect the marine environment – the Ballast
Water Management Convention (BWM)
and the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS
Under the BWM Convention 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. 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 third treaty ratified is the so-called SOLAS Protocol
88, which covers the harmonized system of survey and certification. It enables
certain required ship surveys to be carried out at the same time, thereby reducing
costs for shipowners and administrations.
H.E. Mr. Antonio M. Lagdameo, Ambassador of the Philippines,
met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit
the instrument of accession (6 June).
The Philippines is one of several South-East Asian countries
being supported through an IMO-Norwegian Agency for Development
Cooperation (Norad) project to ratify and implement key IMO environmental treaties.
Looking ahead to new limit for sulphur content in ships’ fuel
A key IMO measure helping shipping secure its environmental sustainability is the forthcoming reduction in the global upper limit of permissible sulphur content in ships' fuel oil. The first of January 2020 has been set as the date for a significant reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships, to 0.50%, from the 3.5% limit.
“This is another landmark decision for both the environment and for human health. It demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO Member States to ensuring shipping meets its environmental obligations,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (31 May) (full speech). Looking ahead to the so-called “Sulphur 2020” limit, Mr. Lim emphasized the important thing now is to ensure consistent implementation of the requirement. IMO is currently developing relevant implementation guidelines which will look at a range of issues. These include the impact on fuel and machinery systems resulting from new fuel blends or fuel types, including the safety aspects, and issues surrounding mechanisms for verification and control.
Mr. Lim also addressed other key recent IMO achievements, including the adoption, in April, by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee of an Initial Strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, which has been acclaimed as a development of historic global significance. The event was also addressed by Cyprus’ President, H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades.
Successful voyages, sustainable planet
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the
important link between safe ship navigation and sustainability. Speaking at the
International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse
Authorities (IALA) Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea (27 May), Mr. Lim
addressed the theme: 'Successful voyages, Sustainable planet – A New Era for
Marine Aids to Navigation in a Connected World'.
He emphasized that safe shipping is essential to the world –
that by providing improved access to basic materials, goods and products, by
facilitating commerce and by helping create
prosperity among nations and peoples, shipping is helping lift millions of
people out of poverty. Investment and development in transport infrastructure - including includes aids to navigation - are therefore crucial to achieving
sustainable development and empowering communities.
Aids to navigation play a key part in preventing ships'
navigation accidents, in particular in coastal areas.
Mr. Lim addressed the rapid technological development in this field and
the important work being done by IMO, supported by organizations such as IALA,
to cater for this evolution in shipping.
IMO GHG strategy in focus at European Parliament
Members of the European Parliament and other stakeholders have been briefed on the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships, adopted in April, and the follow-up actions that may be taken to implement the initial strategy including consideration of candidate short term measures. IMO’s Edmund Hughes outlined the key elements of the initial strategy, which sets a clear commitment to a complete phase-out of GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible in this century, a specific linkage to the Paris Agreement and a series of significant levels of ambition including at least a 50% cut in total annual GHG emissions from the sector by 2050 compared to 2008. Mr. Hughes was speaking in Brussels, Belgium (5 June), at a briefing session organised by the European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA). Other speakers include representatives from IMO Member States and the shipping industry.
Strengthening oil spill response in Namibia
Namibia has hosted a series of events addressing oil spill preparedness and response, with two back to back workshops in Swakopmund (22-24 May and 28-31 May) developed with a view to improve the national preparedness and response system in the country.
A first workshop was held to provide participants with an overview of the essential skills needed to prepare for and respond to oil spills at an operational level including contingency planning and risk assessment.
The second event focused on shoreline response and clean-up management plan during an oil spill incident. For example, deciding on what strategy to adopt depending on the type of oil spilled, the type of shoreline and the availability of equipment. In addition to table-top exercises, participants took part in a real life simulation of beach clean-up 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. The event brought together representatives from different ministries, public agencies and the private sector involved with the country's national preparation and response system.
IMO's Julien Favier of the GI WACAF project and a team of consultants facilitated the event, which was hosted by the Namibia Directorate of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Works and Transport.
Global Industry Alliance brainstorms emission-cutting solutions for shipping
Which technologies will best support shipping’s move to a low carbon future? How can first movers be incentivized to take-up emission reduction technologies? How can the effective implementation of “Just-in-Time” operation help ships optimize speed, avoid idle times outside ports and cut emissions? How can financial barriers related to implementation of new technological measures be overcome? These and other questions were on the agenda when leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports in the IMO-supported Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) met for the third meeting of the GIA Taskforce and an Ideas Generation Workshop (29-30 May), in Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom.
The GIA Taskforce meeting progressed work on several on-going projects, including on the validation of performance of Energy Efficiency Technologies (EETs), the assessment of barriers to the uptake of Just-in-Time Operation of ships and resulting emission and fuel saving opportunities from its effective implementation, as well as work on the current status and application of alternative fuels in the maritime sector and barriers to their uptake. The GIA is also developing an E-Learning course on the Energy Efficient Operation of Ships which is expected to be completed and launched later this year.
The GIA, for the first time, held an Ideas Generation Workshop, to brainstorm further ideas and concrete actions the GIA could take to further support the shipping sector in its efforts to reduce emissions. This included discussions on disruptive technologies that can deliver the step-change required for shipping to decarbonize, as well as enabling technologies that have the potential to support shipping transition to zero emissions. The GIA also considered the short-term candidate measures contained in the Initial IMO Strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, and brainstormed concrete ideas on how first movers could be incentivized to develop and take up new technologies.
In a video message to the GIA, Mr Peter Thomson, the United Nations Special Envoy for Oceans, highlighted the importance of partnerships like the GIA in contributing to the solutions required to decarbonize the maritime transport sector, describing these types of alliances as “the right medicine, with the ability to provide great support to IMO in the implementation of the recently adopted Initial GHG Strategy”.
The GIA Taskforce meeting and workshop were hosted by one of the GIA founding members, Ricardo UK Ltd, and attended by representatives of 14 GIA members, UNDP’s Andrew Hudson, and IMO’s Jose Matheickal, Astrid Dispert and Minglee Hoe.
The GIA is an innovative public-private partnership initiative of the IMO, under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project, that aims to bring together maritime industry leaders to support an energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system. The Taskforce re-elected Mr Claes Berglund (Stena AB) as Chair for the GIA’s second membership year.
Protecting Angola’s marine environment
A national workshop on the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea, the London Protocol, is being held in Luanda, Angola (30-31 May). The workshop is raising awareness among stakeholders on the practical aspects of effective implementation of the London Protocol to protect the marine environment from the dumping of harmful wastes at sea. With more light being shed on the dramatic impact of marine litter on coastal areas, this workshop is yet another example of how IMO is tackling this problem.
Angola ratified the London Protocol in 2006 and this workshop is bringing a special focus on the actions to be taken at the national level to fully implement all its provisions.
Over 50 participants from government agencies and the port sector are attending the event in the Port of Luanda. The workshop is being conducted in Portuguese and English and is facilitated by IMO's Andrew Birchenough with the support of an expert provided by the Government of Brazil.
IMO continues fight against marine litter
The damaging build-up of plastic litter in the oceans is increasingly recognised as a major threat to the global environment. Harrowing images of marine wildlife being trapped by plastic litter, or even ingesting it, are becoming tragically familiar.
IMO's long track record of engagement in the fight against this insidious form of pollution was reinforced last year, when its governing Assembly of Member States placed the issue of marine plastic litter from shipping on the agenda of its leading environmental technical body, the Marine Environment Protection Committee. IMO Member Governments have been invited to submit concrete proposals about developing an action plan on the subject to the Committee's next meeting, in October.
This week (29-31 May) IMO is participating in the Ad Hoc Open Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi. This group was established by the United Nations Environment Assembly to further examine the barriers to, and options for, combating marine plastic litter and microplastics from all sources, especially land-based sources.
Discharging plastics and other forms of litter into the sea from ships has actually been banned by an IMO regulation, legally binding on all ships, for some 30 years. The so-called MARPOL Annex V entered into force internationally in 1988 and, today, more than 150 countries have signed up to it.
In addition, countries party to another IMO instrument prohibiting dumping at sea (the London Convention/Protocol) earlier this year raised concerns regarding the disposal of fibreglass reinforced plastic vessels at sea.
Read more about IMO's work to combat marine litter here.
Spotlight on women in maritime security
"The bottom line is that doubling your talent pool just makes sense", said Chris Trelawny, IMO's special Adviser on Maritime Security, as he opened the Women in Maritime Security conference held at IMO Headquarters (24 May).
Women are increasingly present at sea, as they defy traditional expectations. Their full and meaningful participation in the economy, political decision-making, and society is key to addressing maritime challenges, but gender equity in the maritime space is too often overlooked. The One Earth Future foundation, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted "Women, Peace, and Maritime Security: Equal Opportunities in Maritime Security". The event brought together experts from the maritime and security sector to discuss the importance of women in maritime security, obstacles to women's participation, and how to integrate the women, peace, and security agenda into the maritime space.
"If women can't be seen, they can't be applauded, and therefore they can't be seen as a resource," said Helen Buni, who leads the Women in Maritime programme at IMO. This programme aims to meet the sustainable development goals, particularly goal 5, to help create an environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes.
The conference featured high level panellists and also heard insightful and engaging comments including Sue Terpilowski, president of Women's International Shipping & Trading Association UK (WISTA UK). She said, "Companies that have a diverse board have more money for their shareholders." One Earth Future President Larry Sampler said, "diversity, particularly gender diversity, in any workforce improves the quality of that workforce, particularly if the job requires intellectual thought and strategic vision." The event left the audience with a positive message, highlighting the importance of women in maritime and encouraging more conversation for gender equality in the maritime space.
IMO continues roll out of new port emissions training
For ports to cut emissions to ensure cleaner air and contribute to the battle against climate change, they first need to quantify emissions and then identify measures to reduce port-related emissions in a cost-effective way.The on-going strategic partnership between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on energy-efficiency and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is helping selected countries to develop port emission inventories and subsequently draw up a port emission reduction strategy. To-date, four countries have benefited from a new IMO training package, the latest being the Philippines – with a workshop in Manila (15-17 May).
The three-day course was undertaken by 35 Filipino maritime officials from maritime administrations, port authorities, port terminals and academia. Participants will now be better equipped to quantify emissions in ports through the development of port emissions assessments (both ocean and land-based, including emissions from cargo handling equipment, trucks, rail etc.) and benefit from guidance on how to develop strategies for reducing emissions in port. The event was hosted by the Philippines Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and run by a team of IMO consultants.
Spotlight on liability in Latin-America
IMO is supporting a Regional Workshop for Latin-American countries in Argentina to implement and ratify treaties dealing with liability and compensation. The workshop, taking place in Buenos Aires (14-18 May), 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 and hosted by the Maritime Authority of Argentina (Prefectura Naval Argentina) with the regional maritime authorities network, ROCRAM, as implementing partner.
Single window, ports and logistics – IMO 11 June event on the ship/port interface
What is a “single window” and why do ports need one? What are the best practices when it comes to electronic business and port logistics? How is IMO supporting developing countries to get ready for the Facilitation Convention amendments which make electronic data exchange mandatory from 2019?
These and other questions about the role of ports in ensuring the smooth flow of trade by ship will be on the table for discussion at a special event on ports at IMO Headquarters on Monday 11 June. Expert panellists will also provide their views on how ports can contribute to sustainable development and share their experience on port issues such as, improvement of efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports, including on-shore power supply. The importance of port security will also be covered. The event, which will be livestreamed, will run from 09:00 a.m. to 5:30.p.m. and is aimed at port officials and representatives; maritime authorities; customs; designated security officials. The programme with a list of panellists can be downloaded here. Mr. Santiago Garcia Milà, President of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), will deliver the keynote address.
The 11 June Special event on ports will be followed by a symposium on port security operations (12-13 June), co-sponsored by the International Association of Airport and Seaport Police (INTERPORTPOLICE) and the IMO Secretariat. The event will focus on exchange of best practice on port security and law enforcement. Read more here.
How to register: Member States, IGOs and NGOs should register attendees using the IMO online meeting registration system. Queries to email@example.com. Media wishing to attend should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMO begins scoping exercise on autonomous vessels
Discussions on how to address maritime autonomous surface ships have begun at IMO. The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) is debating how to proceed with a regulatory scoping exercise, which is expected to touch on an extensive range of issues, including the human element, safety, security, interactions with ports, pilotage, responses to incidents and protection of the marine environment, for different levels of autonomy. Speaking at the opening of the 99th session of the MSC (16-25 May), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “It is important that we remain flexible to accommodate new technologies, and so improve the efficiency of shipping - while at the same time keeping in mind the role of the human element and the need to maintain safe navigation, further reducing the number of marine casualties and incidents.” Mr. Lim also announced the formation of an inter-divisional maritime autonomous surface ships taskforce, within the IMO Secretariat, to support the work on this important matter.
Other matters on the busy MSC agenda include considering how the Polar Code provisions might be applied in the future to non-SOLAS ships, including cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage, fishing vessels and pleasure yachts. New and amended ships' routeing measures set to be adopted include those in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait, aimed at reducing the risks of incidents. They will be the first measures to be adopted in IMO for the Arctic region since the Polar Code entered into force on 1 January 2017.
Matters related to the goal-based ship construction standards for bulkers and oil tankers are also on the agenda. The outcomes of Sub-Committees will be considered, including various guidelines set for approval. The MSC will be updated on the reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships. Amendments to the SOLAS convention are set to be adopted, alongside the latest set of amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. The MSC is being chaired by Mr. Brad Groves (Australia). Read more here. Click for photos.
India benefits from IMO training on port emissions
India is the latest country to benefit from IMO's new three-day training package on assessing air emissions in ports and strategies to address emissions from various sources. Thirty-five Indian maritime officials from maritime administrations, port authorities, port terminals and academia are taking part in the workshop in Mumbai (15-17).
The training package was developed under IMO's GloMEEP energy-efficiency project, in collaboration with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). It supports countries in quantifying emissions in ports through the development of port emissions assessments (both ocean and land-based, including emissions from cargo handling equipment, trucks, rail etc.) and providing guidance on how to develop strategies for port emission reduction.
The event was hosted by the Directorate General of Shipping and Indian Register of Shipping and delivered by a team of IMO consultants.
Forum looks at challenges and opportunities for IMO
Under the theme IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future, two panels of experts led stimulating debates at a forum held at IMO Headquarters (15 May).
Moderated by shipping journalist Richard Clayton, the forum discussed IMO's role in the future of shipping and international trade, with hundreds tuning in worldwide via online participation and hundreds of people submitting their questions to the panel, from Colombia to Indonesia.
Fascinating insights were shared by the panel, "I see tremendous opportunities for change in the industry where IMO will have to be agile and collaborate with partners to make the most of it" declared Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, Chief Executive at DNV GL Group. Meanwhile, Diane Gilpin, Founder CEO at Smart Green Shipping Alliance said "as an industry, we must harness the power of renewables, that is the future", making a clear point about how to meet the challenges faced by the maritime industry. The forum was organized as part of a series of events for World Maritime Day 2018, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Organization.
Click for photos - Listen to the debate
IMO has welcomed a new member.
Today (14 May) Nauru deposited its instrument of acceptance to the IMO
Convention with the United Nations depositary – becoming IMO’s 174th
Member State. Nauru is a Small Island Developing State in the western Pacific Ocean. Click here to find out more
about IMO and its membership.
New web tool to help put Polar Code into practise
A new public web portal, designed to support implementation
of IMO’s Polar Code for
ships operating in polar waters, has been welcomed by IMO’s Stefan Micallef,
Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Marine Environment Division.
Speaking at the second meeting of the Arctic Council’s Arctic
Shipping Best Practice Information Forum,
Mr. Micallef highlighted the importance of both the Polar Code for safe, clean
polar shipping, and the Forum´s collaboration with IMO to support the Code’s
The Forum’s web portal, accessible here, was launched at the meeting
in London (14-15 May). It provides links to authoritative information essential
to implementation of and compliance with the Polar Code. For example, links are
available on hydrographic, meteorological, and ice data information needed to
plan for safe and environmentally sound navigation in the Arctic.
Information for the web portal was contributed by many
stakeholders, including Arctic States, intergovernmental organizations,
classification societies, the shipping industry, marine insurers, and
The Polar Code entered into force in January 2017. It sets
out mandatory standards covering the full range of design, construction,
equipment, operational, training and environmental protection matters that
apply to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles.
Monaco accedes to air pollution and energy-efficiency rules
Monaco has acceded to the IMO treaty covering emissions from
ship exhausts and energy efficiency (MARPOL
Annex VI). The instrument 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
Mrs. Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Permanent Representative of
Monaco to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters,
London, to deposit the instrument of accession (14 May).
Find out more about IMO’s work on sulphur oxide emissions, here.
Cyprus, Greece and Israel sign pollution contingency plan
The latest sub-regional contingency plan to deal with any oil pollution incident in the Mediterranean Sea has been signed, following support from the IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC). An Implementation Agreement on the Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan was signed in Nicosia, Cyprus (8 May) by Cyprus, Greece, and Israel, along with other instruments for cooperation among the three countries. The objective of the contingency plan is an effective reaction to spills. It also aims to facilitate the co-operation among the three countries in the field of oil pollution preparedness and response.
The Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan was prepared with support from REMPEC, which facilitated various meetings between the countries in order to draft the plan. REMPEC also supported the organization of a marine oil pollution table-top exercise for the participating States, in October 2017. During the exercise, in Haifa, Israel, officials were able to test the initial phases of the activation of the plan in a scenario which simulated a marine oil pollution incident. REMPEC, which provides round-the-clock support in case of an marine pollution incident in the Mediterranean, provided a chief controller to participate in the exercise.
The Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel is the sixth to be developed in the Mediterranean region, out of which three were also developed with the support of REMPEC, Sub-regional Contingency Plan for Preparedness and Response to Major Marine Pollution Incidents in the Mediterranean (Cyprus, Egypt, Israel; 1995); Sub-regional Contingency Plan for Preparedness for and Response to Accidental Marine Pollution in the south-western area of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia; 2005); and Sub-regional Contingency Plan for Prevention of, Preparedness for and Response to Major Marine Pollution Incidents in the Adriatic Sea (Croatia, Italy, Slovenia; 2005). The two other are: RAMOGEPOL Plan (France, Italy, Monaco 1993/2005); and LION PLAN/PLAN LEON (France, Spain; 2001).
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.
Jeddah workshop aims to ensure safe and secure regional waters
Signatory States to an agreement aimed at repressing piracy, armed robbery and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area have agreed that building response capability and information sharing are vital steps towards achieving a more safe and secure maritime environment.
The signatories to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area, known as the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017, were meeting In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a high level workshop (7-10 May) for all signatory States and States eligible to sign the Jeddah Amendment, donors and implementing partners.
The workshop, convened by IMO with the theme of “Taking action to enhance regional maritime security”, discussed the next steps in implementing the Djibouti Code of Conduct and its 2017 Jeddah Amendments, in order to strengthen regional cooperation and information sharing to ensure safe and secure regional waters. Information sharing could include data related to maritime crimes, best practices, legal frameworks, training programmes and national initiatives that will lead to enhanced maritime domain awareness - the effective understanding of what happens at sea and effective maritime security.
The participants agreed that piracy off the coast of Somalia is contained, but continues to be a threat. A long term comprehensive solution is required that also addresses other maritime security issues. These could include transnational organised crimes, including smuggling of people, trafficking of drugs, weapons, wildlife, and charcoal, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, violent extremism and maritime terrorism, including the risk of attacks against oil and gas installations and transport systems, They also emphasized the need to consider good maritime security as a prerequisite for a well-developed maritime sector in the region and for a thriving blue economy within the context of sustainable development goals.
The participants re-emphasised their commitment to developing capability, legal frameworks and inter-agency cooperation at national level as the foundation for effective regional cooperation in tackling maritime insecurity. This will allow countries to develop and strengthen the opportunities provided by the blue economy for the well-being of their respective population.
Following a range of presentations, participants and observer delegations witnessed a large-scale exercise and demonstration by the Border Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which included a number of maritime focussed scenarios. Briefings by all participants on national achievements, plans and provided an opportunity for experience sharing and lessons learned, to enhance alignment of national plans with regional plans and to facilitate requests for external assistance from development partners.
The Participants and observer delegations also benefitted from a visit to the state-of-the-art Jeddah Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and received a demonstration of the MRCCs capability. Participants and observer delegations also had the opportunity to visit the excellent training facilities and instructors at the Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security Studies which have facilitated the provision of high quality training to maritime security practitioners throughout the region.
The workshop, held at the Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security Studies in Jeddah, was hosted by the Border Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by kind permission of HRH Prince AbdulAziz bin Saud bin Naif bin AbdulAziz, Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was opened by Vice Admiral Awwad Eid Al-Balawi, Director General of the Border Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of IMO.
The high-level meeting was attended by representatives from: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen. Observers attended from: Denmark, Japan, Norway, United Kingdom and United States. Representatives also attended from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Union, the Indian Ocean Commission, the International Criminal Police Organisation - INTERPOL, the East Africa Standby Force and the One Earth Future Foundation.
The workshop participants welcomed the capacity building work of international organisations, including IMO, INTERPOL, and the UNODC, as well as non-governmental organizations, including the One Earth Future Foundation’s Stable Seas project and the SafeSeas initiative led by Cardiff University. Donors were thanked, in particular Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their contributions to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund administered by IMO. Further donations were requested to support the implementation of the Code, including assistance to the Djibouti Regional Training Centre.
National maritime transport policy training in Kenya
The National Maritime Transport Policy concept is being promoted by IMO as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime sector. It can also be a key driver for a country's sustainable development, particularly when it comes to the “blue economy”. Officials in Kenya are participating in a workshop in Kilifi, Kenya (9-11 May), to gain knowledge and understanding of the development and content of a National Maritime Transport Policy. The workshop aims to
highlight how different stakeholders are involved in the maritime sector.
The event, organized by IMO, in cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU), is being attended by representatives from a wide array of ministries, departments and agencies and other stakeholders, whose mandate and activities impact on the maritime sector in Kenya. The State Department for Maritime and Shipping Affairs within the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development is hosting the workshop, with the support of a number of entities including the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA). Also participating are three Members of Parliament from the National Assembly of Kenya who are members of Parliament’s Transport, Public Works & Housing Committee, and two of the Committee’s staff.
The delivery of the workshop is being facilitated by IMO’s Jonathan Pace and WMU’s Associate Professors Raphael Baumler and George Theocharidis.
Training to combat maritime crimes in West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden
A regional train-the-trainer course on maritime law enforcement has been held at the Mohammed Bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security Studies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (29 April-10 May). The IMO-led course aims to provide official with the necessary skills to be able to train colleagues in their own countries in dealing with piracy and other crimes at sea. The course, attended by 19 officials from 18 signatory States* to the Djibouti Code of Conduct and Bahrain, is in line with the objectives of the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct. Article 14 of the Jeddah Amendment calls for regional cooperation on the development and promotion of training and educational programs on security-related matters in respect of the management of the marine domain, particularly for the maintenance of safety and law and order at sea, and the preservation and protection of the marine environment and sustainable use of marine living resources.
In adopting the Jeddah Amendment in January 2017, the region sought a long term comprehensive solution that would address strategic threats, including terrorism against oil and gas installations and transport systems, trafficking in drugs, weapons and people, and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. The value of a well-developed maritime sector and blue economy has been recognized within the context of sustainable development goals and the prevention of violent extremism.
The course is the second of three activities to be implemented jointly between IMO and the Saudi Border Guard, during 2018, with financial assistance from Saudi Arabia. In March, a three week-long regional training course focused on combating piracy and other threats to safety and security at sea. The third event will be a high level workshop (7-10 May) for all signatory States to the Jeddah Amendment, donors and implementing partners.
*Participating States are: Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
Belgium signs up to fishing vessel treaties
The IMO treaties covering fishing vessel safety and training
of fishing vessel personnel have been acceded to by Belgium.
The Cape Town Agreement
involves measures to increase fishing vessel safety and now has 10 contracting
States. Once fully ratified, in force and implemented, it will be an
internationally binding agreement which will facilitate better control of
fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. It will also contribute
to the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The convention on Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F)
now has 23 contracting States. It sets the certification and minimum training
requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and
H.E. Mr. Rudolf Huygelen, Ambassador of Belgium to the United
Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to
deposit the instruments of accession (10 May).
France accedes to treaty on unlawful acts at sea
France has become the latest country to sign up to the IMO
treaty dealing with unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation. 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.
Ambassador Nicole Taillefer, Permanent Representative of
France to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters,
London, to deposit the instruments of accession (9 May).
Strengthening oil spill response in Equatorial Guinea
Emergency preparedness and response in the oil and gas sector was at the core of a workshop held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (7-10 May). The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the country's capacity to prepare for and respond to marine pollution from oil spills.
This workshop follows on from a series of events developed with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea with a view to making recommendations to improve the national preparedness and response system in the country, including a more robust national oil spill contingency plan. The course also focused on the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), which deals with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with other countries.
The workshop was organized under the auspices of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF) – a joint IMO-IPIECA project. The event brought together over forty representatives from different ministries, public agencies and the private sector involved with the country's national preparation and response system.
IMO's Julien Favier of the GI WACAF project and a team of consultants facilitated the event, which was hosted by Ministry of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications.
IMO’s Kitack Lim heralds new Global Ocean Institute
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim attended the inauguration of the new maritime and ocean policy research institute at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden (8 May).
Mr. Lim, who is also Chancellor of WMU, said that the establishment of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute was of great strategic importance for IMO and, indeed, for all those who seek to advance the global ocean agenda. “The Global Ocean Institute will further WMU’s distinguished legacy of educating maritime and oceans leaders who have the knowledge and responsibility to affect change in their home countries and who will contribute to the global conservation and sustainable use of the ocean,” Mr. Lim said.
Also speaking at the inauguration of the institute were Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, WMU; Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chair, Nippon Foundation; and Ms Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden.
The WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute will provide a space for policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society to meet to discuss how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources for the sustainable development of present and future generations, supported by evidence-based research, educational programmes and capacity building. The institute was established with funding from the Nippon Foundation, supported by the Governments of Canada and Sweden and the city of Malmö.
The Ocean Institute is a concrete response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 14 - the Ocean Goal - that commits governments to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development".
The inauguration was held at the opening of the WMU Global Ocean Conference 2018 (8-9 May). IMO's Stefan Micallef delivered a keynote address, outlining IMO's role in the ocean space and in supporting the sustainable development goals.
UN Secretary-General visits IMO
On Friday (4 May), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres visited the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for ship safety, maritime security and prevention of pollution from ships. He was welcomed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
Addressing representatives of IMO Member States and IMO staff, Mr. Guterres highlighted the important contribution of IMO’s work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He welcomed, in particular, the recent adoption by IMO of an Initial Strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, as a major step forward in global action to combat climate change.
Mr. Guterres also congratulated IMO on its 70th anniversary which is being marked this year, since the 1948 adoption of the Convention establishing IMO, with a mandate to ensure safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.
Training to address emissions in port
Important personnel working in
Jamaica’s maritime sector have undergone IMO training on how to assess air
emissions in ports and develop strategies to address emissions from different
sources. Thirty participants from the country’s maritime administrations, port
authorities, port terminals and academia took part in the event, held in
Kingston, Jamaica (1-3 May).
Assessing emissions in ports can
help countries to devise strategies to address those emissions, leading to
better air quality for local populations.
Jamaica is the second country to
benefit from the new three-day training package, following roll-out in China in
April. The package was developed under
IMO’s GloMEEP energy-efficiency project, in
collaboration with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). The training aims to
support countries in quantifying emissions in ports through the development of
port emissions assessments (both ocean and land-based, including emissions from
cargo handling equipment, trucks, rail etc.) and providing guidance on how to
develop strategies for port emission reduction.
The workshop included a visit to
Kingston Port – Jamaica’s largest multiuser port. It was hosted by the Maritime
Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) and Kingston Wharves Ltd., and run by a team of IMO
Halting biodiversity loss - a key challenge
In every region, the survival of species is increasingly threatened, both at sea and on land. IMO’s role in protecting marine biodiversity was highlighted at the United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG) Nexus Dialogue on Biodiversity held in Geneva, Switzerland (2-3 May). Biodiversity Mainstreaming in the context of Human Security and Wellbeing was the theme of the meeting, involving more than 20 different entities, primarily from within the UN system.
IMO’s Megan Jensen participated in the meeting and reminded participants of IMO’s role in supporting the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on the oceans, and in helping to address biodiversity loss, through its shipping regulations and recommendations. Non-native species can be spread from ocean to ocean via ship. They may be carried via ballast water or attach to the hulls and other parts of ships – a process known as fouling - hitching a ride across the oceans. IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which seeks to prevent the transfer of potentially harmful invasive aquatic species in ship’s ballast water, entered into force in 2017. IMO’s Biofouling Guidelines address bioinvasions via ships’ hulls. Furthermore, the IMO treaty on Anti-fouling Systems helps ensure that any systems used to combat fouling on ships does not harm the environment.
IMO has implemented the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast project, which supported countries to ratify and implement the BWM Convention, and is currently preparing a new global project (the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project) to support the implementation of the biofouling guidelines. Ms Jensen highlighted the need to raise awareness of biodiversity issues across multiple agencies within governments and across many different non-governmental stakeholders, each with differing priorities.
The Nexus Dialogue provided the opportunity to explore how biodiversity could be successfully communicated in various settings. UN agencies and other stakeholders were able to begin exploring how the biodiversity framework could be developed after 2020, beyond the so-called Aichi Targets. The Aichi Targets, adopted under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, set a series of targets to be achieved by 2020, including raising awareness of biodiversity issues and taking steps to preserve biodiversity. It is planned to hold a high-level event on biodiversity during the July 2018 United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. IMO’s work to protect the marine environment has particular relevance for SDG 14 (oceans) while halting biodiversity loss is also a key target under SDG 15.
First IMO training event for Libyan port facility security officers
IMO maritime security training
is underway for Libyan port facility security officers, managers and designated
authority officials (30 April – 4 May). The workshop, delivered entirely in Arabic, aims to assist the Libyan Government in enhanced
security risk assessments and controls on maritime transport through its
territory. It is the first IMO maritime security workshop for Libya since the
country's civil war.
Twenty officers in charge of port security from ports across the country are attending, including five from the
national committee in charge of oversight of compliance in the country. Participants are being trained on how to perform
their duties in line with IMO’s code on International Ship and Port Facility
Code), SOLAS Chapter XI-2 (click
for details) and related guidance. Participants are also being taught to train
other officials with similar responsibilities.
the workshop will allow the IMO team, led by Henrik Madsen, to understand the
level of knowledge and existing skills among the officials – with a view to
assessing capacity and suitability of potential follow-up assistance.
The event was organised at the
request of the President of the Libyan Port and Maritime Transport Authority,
and held in neighbouring Tunisia. The workshop is the second of its type
to be delivered entirely in Arabic, including presentations and materials
in Arabic, following a similar event held in Qatar last week.
Progress for Pacific maritime women
Women in maritime are a key contributor to the maritime transport sector. This was the message of Helen Buni from IMO's gender programme as she opened the second regional conference for Pacific Women in Maritime held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, (26–28 April). The conference highlighted the significant progress made by the women in maritime association (WIMA) in the Pacific to integrate more women into the industry.
The event reaffirmed the objectives to guide the Pacific region towards gender equity and equality in the maritime industry and supported the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (to empower all women and girls). The conference also agreed to celebrate a Day for Women in Maritime to be marked annually on May 18 with the theme for 2019 being "Recognition, Visibility, Capacity".
The Conference was organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) and IMO, hosted by Papua New Guinea and attended by representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
IMO highlights GHG strategy at Bonn Climate Change talks
IMO has reported on the recent landmark adoption of an initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships at the Bonn Climate Change Conference (30 April-10 May). IMO’s Edmund Hughes informed the opening of the plenary session that the vision set out in the strategy confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible in this century. Mr. Hughes also highlighted further progress on related matters, including entry into force of mandatory requirements for the collection and reporting of ship fuel oil consumption data and the official launch of the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCC) Network. IMO is reporting to the forty-eighth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which is taking place in Bonn, Germany.
Momentum for treaty covering hazardous and noxious cargo
IMO treaty covering compensation for damage caused by Hazardous and
Noxious Substances (HNS) transported by sea is the subject of a workshop
underway at IMO Headquarters,
London (26-27 April). The event (photos) is focused on helping governments to
understand and implement the HNS Convention, and follows excellent
progress made earlier this week, when Canada and Turkey signed
up to the treaty. This brings the total contributing cargo to 28.7 million tonns – 72% of that needed for the treaty
to enter into force.
addressing practical issues raised by States implementing the
Convention, the workshop aims to enable further governments to sign up
to the treaty. These issues
include how to report on contributing cargo - a step that also needs to
be taken prior to a State being able to ratify or accede to the
Convention. HNS incidents and risks, views from the shipping industry
and a panel discussion by States that have implemented
the Convention are all part of a busy agenda
The event is organized in cooperation with the IOPC Funds
with IMO Legal Director, Frederick Kenney, and
IOPC Funds Director, José Maura, addressing the opening session – both
emphasizing the importance of the HNS Convention as the key missing
piece in the puzzle of the international maritime liability and
work is representative of IMO’s on-going efforts to support its Member
countries in adopting and bringing in key regulations that help make
shipping safer, cleaner
More information about the workshop and the HNS Convention can be found here
First Arabic-language port security workshop held
For the first time, a national workshop on IMO's International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) was delivered in Arabic during a five-day training course held in Doha, Qatar (22-26 April).
Designated authority and port facility security officers had the chance to improve their knowledge and understanding through practical exercises as well as class-based training in how to implement the relevant provisions of the ISPS Code, SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and related guidance. The participants will now be equipped with the necessary skills to train others with similar responsibilities.
Organized at the request of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Qatar, and funded by the Government of Qatar, this workshop will also allow IMO to assess the need for developing new courses and further capacity-building missions
Japan-funded maritime security courses get underway in Djibouti
The first in a series of regional maritime security courses, funded by the Government of Japan, has been held at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC). During a five-day workshop (22-26 April 2018), officials from 10 countries* were able to learn about and share ideas on best practices for maritime domain awareness, including measures to promote coordination and sharing of information at national level as the basis for effective regional cooperation. This is in line with the objectives of the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, under which participatory States pledge to work together, with support from IMO and other stakeholders, to build national and regional capacity to address wider maritime security issues, as a basis for sustainable development of the maritime sector.
His Excellency Koji Yonetani, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Djibouti, launched the workshop, the first under a programme funded by the Government of Japan through the wider Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund, to support the work of the DRTC in delivering regional training to combat piracy and other illicit maritime activities that threaten security and safety of navigation in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
IMO’s Kiruja Micheni and Elisha Moseti led the workshop which was supported by experts from the British Peace Support Team (Africa), United States Naval Forces Africa, Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), European Union Maritime Capacity Building Mission to Somalia, EU CRIMARIO Project, United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and East African Standby Force (EASF).
*The workshop was attended by 26 officials from Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and United Republic of Tanzania.
Emissions in ports under the spotlight
Assessing emissions in ports can help countries to devise strategies to address those emissions, leading to better air quality for local populations. The first national workshop on the prevention and control of shipping and port air emissions has been held in Ningbo, China (23-25 April), under the auspices of the IMO-executed GloMEEP energy efficiency project. China is the first country to benefit from the rollout of the three-day workshop package which was recently developed by GloMEEP, in collaboration with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). The training package aims to support countries in the quantification of emission in ports through the development of port emissions assessments (both ocean and landbased, including emissions from cargo handling equipment, trucks, rail etc.) and providing guidance on how to develop strategies for port emission reduction.
Some 30 participants from China’s maritime administrations and several ports attended the workshop, which included a practical visit to the Port of Ningbo Zhoushan, the world’s busiest port in terms of total cargo turnover. The workshop was hosted by the Ningbo Maritime Safety Administration and the Ningbo Zhoushan Port and delivered by IMO’s Astrid Dispert alongside port emission consultants.
Experts from the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach and the Starcrest Consultancy Group are supporting implementation of a series of GloMEEP port workshops, which are designed for port personnel and aim to increase their awareness about ship and port air emissions and show how, through the implementation of tailor-made port emission reduction strategies, air quality in ports can greatly be improved.
Supporting IMO’s African Member States
reaffirmed support for its African Member States at the first African
Shipowners Association Summit, held in the Seychelles (23-25 April). IMO’s
Juvenal Shiundu delivered a goodwill message on behalf of IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim, emphasising the Organization’s on-going technical cooperation
support for its African Member States – to help implement IMO treaties.
was hosted by the Seychelles Petroleum Company Limited (SEYPEC) in
collaboration with the African Association of Shipowners, the Department of
Foreign Affairs and the African Union Commission – under the theme Promoting
African Ownership and Participation in African’s Shipping and Maritime Sectors.
It was opened by President of the Republic of Seychelles, H.E. Mr. Danny Faure,
who highlighted the importance of the African continent seizing the rich
opportunities afforded by the maritime sector, particularly in terms of sea
Progress on safety of domestic ferries
Domestic ship services is a major part of the transport system in Pacific Island Countries. To address key concerns surrounding the safety of domestic ferries, a three-day event was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (23-25 April). One major outcome of the forum was the adoption of a community-based approach which aims to involve end users of domestic ship services to improve awareness as well as to enhance safety measures.
Under the theme, Supporting safe shipping to protect safety of life and environment, the third domestic ship Safety Forum also looked at the progress made in implementing the 2012 Suva Action Plan, which aims to bring safer ferry operations throughout the region.
IMO's Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head Asia-Pacific of IMO Technical Co-operation Division said, "The dependence of Pacific Islanders on inter-island shipping is of paramount importance and every effort must be made by government and industry alike to ensure that only safe ships sail."
The Forum reiterated that all stakeholders in the Pacific are committed to working towards ensuring that all vessels operate in a sound and safe condition, posing no danger to the lives of those on board or to the marine environment.
Over 100 participants from Pacific Island countries and territories*, as well as local stakeholders from the industry participated in the forum. They shared experiences and agreed on solutions to deal with emerging and persistent issues in relation to domestic shipping safety in the Pacific and discussed the responsibilities of ship operators and maritime administrations.
The forum was organized by IMO in collaboration with with the Pacific Community (SPC) and the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) of Papua New Guinea.
*Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The conference also addressed the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which provides an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention. A workshop was conducted to enhance awareness of the ISM Code in the South Pacific Community. The workshop discussed the socio-economic, political, and cultural specifics of the region. Participants were encouraged put forward their thoughts about issues that specifically impacted upon domestic ferry safety in their respective administrations. The interactive workshop allowed participants to understand the challenges in their own region but also to facilitate learning and sharing experiences from other regions.
Philippines accedes to air pollution and energy efficiency rules
The Republic of the Philippines has become the latest country to accede to the IMO instrument providing rules for the prevention of air pollution from ships and energy efficiency requirements. This brings the total number of ratifications of MARPOL Annex VI to 90, representing 96.5% of world merchant shipping tonnage. MARPOL Annex VI 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.
The Philippines also deposited its instruments of accession to the 1988 Protocol to the International Convention on Load Lines (LL), 1966; and the 1978 Protocol to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974.
His Excellency Mr. Gilberto Asuque, Deputy Chief of Mission, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to IMO at the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in the United Kingdom, handed over the instruments of accession to Mr. Fred Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations division, IMO, during the 105th session of the IMO Legal Committee.
As a lead pilot country in the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP Project), the Philippines has received technical cooperation support towards accession and implementation of MARPOL Annex VI. GloMEEP aims to support the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.
Piracy reporting discussed at Singapore roundtable event
IMO took part in
discussions on piracy reporting and response procedures at a ReCAAP-ISC* event
in Singapore (25 April). IMO’s Chris Trelawny provided a history and overview
of the Organization’s reporting procedures relating to piracy and armed robbery
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.
*The Regional Cooperation
Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia
Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP-ISC) and the S. Rajaratnam School of
International Studies (RSIS) co-organised the Maritime Roundtable discussion.
Seafarer issues to the fore at IMO Legal Committee
The increase in the number of reported cases of abandonment of seafarers is expected to be highlighted during the 105th session of IMO's Legal Committee (23-25 April). A joint International Labour Organization (ILO)/IMO database recorded 55 such cases during 2017, against an average 19 annually during the preceding three years. Seafarers may be left without proper supply of food and fresh water, without wages and resources for their families and with no prospect of being repatriated. Amendments to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) requires shipowners to have compulsory insurance to cover abandonment of seafarers, as well as claims for death or long-term disability of seafarers. These amendments were based on guidelines which were developed by a joint IMO/ILO working group, which reported to both IMO's Legal Committee and ILO's governing bodies.
The Legal Committee will also consider the fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime incident. IMO has issued guidelines on fair treatment, but, in some cases, seafarers have been detained or imprisoned, facing criminal charges without legal assistance or other support.
Other important matters on the Legal Committee agenda include the implementation of the treaty covering liability and compensation for hazardous and noxious substances (2010 HNS Convention). Two new agenda items will be proposed for inclusion for debate at future sessions: the problem of fraudulent registration of ships; and a proposal to carry out a gap analysis of existing liability and compensation treaties and a scoping exercise in relation to maritime autonomous surface ships. The latter would complement work to be carried out by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) on autonomous vessels.
The Legal Committee was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Volker Schöfish (Germany). (Click for photos)
Better prepared against security threats
Mexico has hosted a five-day workshop on IMO's International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which sets out preventive security measures in case of threats to ships and port facilities.
Designated authority and port facility security officers had the chance to improve their knowledge and understanding through practical exercises as well as class-based training in how to implement the relevant provisions of the ISPS Code, SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and related guidance. The participants will now be equipped with the necessary skills to train others with similar responsibilities.
The national workshop, which was conducted at the request of the National Maritime Authority of Mexico (SEMAR), concluded today in Lázaro Cárdenas (16-20 April) – assisted by a team of IMO consultants.
Tackling oil and fuel theft
Oil and fuel theft is a major, global challenge in the maritime industry, with potential widespread repercussions, ranging from ecological damage to depriving governments of customs and tax revenues. IMO participated in the inaugural Oil & Fuel Theft conference (18-19 April) in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference brought together governments, oil majors, energy industry companies and national security stakeholders to understand and shed light on the scale of the problem and examine ways to combat this issue.
Oil and fuel theft typically takes place in the maritime domain, with oil tankers accounting for a fourth of global trade. But law enforcement control over vast maritime spaces is often hindered by scarcity of resources. Largely ignored forms of hydrocarbons crime pose a very real threat to regional and global stability, security, and prosperity. Downstream oil theft is not merely an end in itself; it is also a means to the criminal ends of terrorist groups, organized crime syndicates, and violent insurgents which must be addressed as a global issue.
IMO's Henrik Madsen addressed the conference during a session on Maritime Piracy: Measures to ensure the security of oil and fuel assets. Mr. Madsen highlighted IMO’s maritime security initiatives and its capacity-building work in regions such as the Gulf of Guinea, where the organization supports the implementation of the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa.
The conference was organized by Defence IQ in partnership with the cantonal government of Geneva.
Training on ship air pollution and low carbon measures
Iranian officials responsible for
implementing IMO standards on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
from shipping are undergoing IMO training at a national workshop in Tehran,
Islamic Republic of Iran (16-18 April).
Around 30 participants from the
country’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), Department of Environment and
numerous ports are taking part.
They are being trained on the IMO
treaty restricting air pollution from ships as well as ship energy-efficiency
measures – MARPOL Annex VI. This includes measures addressing sulphur oxide
(SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), which have been successful in lowering the
amount of those pollutants being emitted from ships.
The event was hosted by the PMO and
run by IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a consultant. It is funded and carried out as
part of IMO’s on-going technical cooperation work – under the Organization’s
Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.
Find out more about IMO and low
carbon shipping and air pollution control, here.
President of Cyprus visits IMO
Cyprus’ President, H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, visited IMO
Headquarters, London, today (18 April), touring the building, meeting senior
staff and exchanging ideas about the future of shipping.
The President was received by IMO Secretary-General Kitack
Lim, who expressed his appreciation for Cyprus’ involvement in IMO’s work as a
Member State of the Organization, and looked forward to further cooperation in
Cyprus is a long-standing IMO Member State, having joined
the Organization in 1973.
Photos of the visit can be found here.
Keeping updated on the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention
Hazardous ship wrecks can cause many problems. Depending on
its location, a wreck may be a hazard to navigation, potentially endangering
other vessels and their crews. It may also cause substantial damage to the
marine and coastal environments, depending on the nature of the cargo. On top
of this, there is the issue of costs involved in marking and removing hazardous
IMO’s Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention
goes some way to resolving these issues. It covers the legal basis for States
to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks, drifting ships, objects from ships at
sea, and floating offshore installations.
To help spread knowledge of the specific aspects of the
Convention, IMO’s Jan De Boer provided an update to the Royal Institution Of
Naval Architects (RINA) on the HQS Wellington, London (9 April).
The Convention entered into force in 2015, filling a gap in
the international legal framework on liability and compensation by providing
the first set of uniform international rules aimed at ensuring the prompt and
effective removal of wrecks located in a country’s exclusive economic zone. The
Convention covers shipowners’ liability for costs of locating, marking and
removal of hazardous wrecks; compulsory insurance to cover shipowner liability;
the criteria for determining the hazard posed by wrecks, including
environmental criteria. The treaty also includes an optional clause enabling
States Parties to apply certain provisions to their territory, including their
Initial GHG strategy for international shipping set for adoption
The adoption of an initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships is one of the key items on the agenda of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72), which is now under way at IMO Headquarters in London (9-13 April). The initial strategy will be a framework for all Member States, which is expected to set out the future vision for international shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles. Following discussions in an intersessional working group last week, the Committee is expected to instruct a working group to finalize the strategy for adoption.
The Committee will also address the implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit. From 1 January 2020, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas will be reduced to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass). This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxides emanating from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits. The Committee is expected to approve draft amendments to prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil (except when ships are fitted with measures such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or “scrubbers”).
Also on the busy agenda is the implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which entered into force in September 2017 and requires ships to manage their ballast water to prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive aquatic species. The Committee is expected to adopt draft amendments to the BWM Convention which will determine the implementation schedule for installations of ballast water management systems.
The MEPC was opened by Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Hideaki Saito (Japan). Click for photos. Further information here.
Enhancing ship/shore interface in Mozambique
When the communication between ships and port is smoothly run, shipments move more quickly, more easily and more efficiently. This is where IMO’s Facilitation Convention comes in. The FAL convention contains standards and recommended practices and rules for simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on ships’ arrival, stay and departure. The benefits of ratification and implementation of the FAL Convention were highlighted during a National Seminar on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic (27-29 March), held in Maputo, Mozambique. The aim was to support Mozambique to ratify the Convention, including its latest amendments. Participants were advised on the benefits of using the maritime single window and electronic data interchange to facilitate ship clearance.
IMO’s Julian Abril and IMO consultants were at the seminar, which was organized by IMO and the Instituto Nacional da Marinha (INAMAR). It was attended by 50 participants from ministries with responsibilities in the clearance of ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports of Mozambique, and private stakeholders (Escola Superior de Ciências Náuticas, Portos do Norto, LBH Mozambique LDA, MPDC Maputo Port, Ovarah Mutheko Serviços Sociedade, CLN Corredor Logistico Integrado Nacala, PIL Mozambique Bollore Transport Logis).
Boosting Gulf of Guinea maritime security capability
IMO participated in an annual maritime security exercise aimed at improving interoperability and cooperation among the maritime forces of Gulf of Guinea nations, Europe, and North and South America. The 2018 Obangame Express exercise (21-29 March) put special emphasis on encouraging navies and civilian agencies and different countries to work together, as envisaged in existing frameworks such as the Yaoundé Code of Conduct – a regional agreement against maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea, which IMO helped to establish.
IMO’s Chris Trelawny contributed to a Senior Leadership Symposium, in Libreville, Gabon, organized by the United States Naval War College in the margins of Obangame Express. Mr Trelawny addressed the symposium on the theme of “the Yaoundé Code of Conduct – Linking maritime security and development".
IMO also participated in the 2018 Cutlass Express maritime security exercise, which took place in February in the vicinity of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Mombasa, Kenya; and the Seychelles.
Participants in Obangame Express 2018 also include: Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Togo, Turkey and the United States, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Face-to-face meeting to talk about the oceans
Ensuring that the many positive initiatives to protect the world's oceans are working in synergy is a key task for UN-Oceans, a UN interagency coordination mechanism for ocean issues. The group held its 17th annual face-to-face meeting (26-28 March) hosted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in Paris.
The meeting has allowed UN-Oceans member organisations to exchange information on current and forthcoming activities, and to identify synergies for further collaboration. The participants also discussed how the outcomes of The Ocean Conference, including the 1400 voluntary commitments, are fully analysed and implemented.
The meeting also shared ideas on how to coalesce and encourage their activities in support of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
The International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 also featured on the agenda to ensure ocean science can fully support countries in the achievement of SDG 14. The event concluded with reviewing the UN-Oceans terms of reference as well as its future work programme for 2018. IMO was represented by Fredrik Haag, Head, Office for London Convention/Protocol and Ocean Affairs.
Poland prepares for official World Maritime Day celebration
World Maritime Day is celebrated all over the
every year IMO sanctions an official “Parallel Event” to formally mark the
occasion away from the Organization’s London headquarters.
This year it is the turn of Poland to host the Parallel
Event, in the port city of Szczecin (13-15 June). The 2018 Parallel Event will
focus on four key aspects of IMO’s overall theme for its 70th anniversary year,
"IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future". It will examine in detail green and
smart shipping, big data and cyber security, new transport routes and the
future of the maritime labour market.
Poland’s Parallel Event will be hosted by the Ministry of Maritime
Economy & Inland Navigation; and at the Polish Embassy in London this week
(26 March), Deputy Minister Grzegorz Witkowski formally invited
London-based permanent representatives to IMO to attend the June event.
Port security training in Djibouti
Ports provide the critical interface between the ship and the shore. For maritime trade to flow effectively, this vital infrastructure needs to be secure – and this involves people at all levels. A national maritime security training workshop in Djibouti (19-23 March) included practical exercises and a site visit to a nearby port facility as well as class-based training in how to implement the relevant provisions of IMO’s code on International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and related guidance (click for details). The workshop was held at the Djibouti Regional Maritime Training Centre, Djibouti, and was aimed at port facility security officers and other port security personnel. In addition, designated maritime security officials from the Djiboutian Maritime Authority were involved in the training, to gain insight into their oversight roles and responsibilities.
The training was organized by IMO at the request of the Djiboutian Maritime Authority and was conducted by IMO’s Kiruja Micheni and a team of consultants.
Reducing stowaway incidents
How to cut the
numbers of stowaways in African ports was the subject of a regional IMO seminar
in Yaoundé, Cameroon this week (20-22 March). The event gathered
representatives from nine ports* to share the actions they have taken since
2014 – when similar IMO events took place in Abidjan and Durban.
continue to have a significant impact on safe ship operation and on the life
and health of stowaways. Incidents cause considerable difficulties for
shipmasters, shipping companies, shipowners and ship operators in disembarking
stowaways from ships into the care of appropriate authorities. The estimated cost of stowaways to the
shipping community is over US$15 million per year.
of security measures and access controls on board ships and within port facilities
can reduce the number of stowaway incidents.
The Yaoundé seminar
was organized with the National Port Authority of Cameroon and the Ministry of
Transport of Cameroon, and attended by a variety of interested international
organizations and IMO Member States. It was opened by Cameroon’s Minister of
Transport, Hon. Jean Ernest N. Bibehe, and also attended by with the Secretary
of State in charge of Defence and Director-General of the National Port
Authority, Mr. Josué Youmba. The seminar was conducted by IMO’s Julian Abril,
Gisela Vieira and Honorat Hoba.
* Abidjan, Cape
Town, Dakar, Djibouti, Durban, Lagos, Mombasa, Tema, and Takoradi
Developing African solutions for maritime security
Work to address
maritime security challenges in Africa’s major maritime zones is underway at a regional workshop in Victoria, Seychelles
(19-23 March). Over 60 maritime security professionals from more than 30 States
are attending the ACSS* event, which is designed to emphasize whole-of-Africa
solutions to the maritime security challenges faced in the Gulf of Guinea, the
Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and the Horn of Africa.
Madsen provided an outline of two IMO-supported regional codes
helping to address a range of interrelated maritime
crimes and threats to security and development in Africa – the Jeddah
Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, and the Code of Conduct
concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit
maritime activity in west and central Africa.
Speaking at the
Seychelles event, Mr. Madsen underlined that development of maritime
security in Africa must be based on a solid foundation at national level,
saying that "The initial focus must be on developing capability,
legal frameworks and inter-agency cooperation nationally as the foundation for
stronger regional cooperation. It is therefore vital that the signatory States
establish their own national organizations, legal frameworks and develop their
capacity in order to benefit from the maritime sector".
Participants at the workshop are analysing key areas where their national
approaches both align and differ, as well as identifying areas for
collaboration. The workshop will help identify both the gaps between regions –
including neighbouring regions – and the common elements that can be used to
help close gaps and enhance maritime security.
* Africa Center
for Strategic Studies (ACSS)
Joining forces in the fisheries sector
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), fishing at sea is probably the most dangerous occupation in the world. To address this issue, a two-day regional seminar, "Joining forces in the fisheries sector: promoting safety, decent work and the fight against Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU)", has been held (21-22 March) in Manila, Philippines.
IMO's Sandra Allnutt, Head of Marine Technology, delivered a presentation on IMO's work in promoting safety at sea. Mrs Allnutt also emphasized the longstanding cooperation with FAO and ILO through which safety recommendations have been developed and adopted on the design, construction, equipment, training and protection of fishing vessels. But she stressed that more States must comply with IMO conventions on safety at sea and greater cooperation is needed amongst the relevant stakeholders.
The event also discussed many related issues including, the protection of human rights in the fishing sector, the need for increased political commitment, the development of regional actions to fight labour abuses and ways of inter‐agency collaboration and future actions by concerned stakeholders.
The seminar was organized by the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Nitrogen deposition in the oceans needs further study – report
Human activity increases the amount of nitrogen that reaches the oceans by 50%, on top of natural processes, according to a new report which assesses the magnitude and impacts of anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen inputs to the ocean.
The study by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a United Nations advisory body, provides a new estimate of the extent that human beings are altering the cycling of nitrogen in the oceans. Extra nitrogen is reaching the oceans through rain or dust fall, as a result of fossil fuel burning and intensive agriculture.
The natural process of nitrogen fixation is essential for life. Inert nitrogen gas in the earth’s atmosphere dissolves in the ocean, where it is converted into reactive nitrogen forms used by living marine organisms as nutrients for growth and development.
However, too much extra nitrogen in particular ocean areas can cause problems such as algal blooms and the release of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
The atmospheric input of reactive forms of nitrogen to the ocean is now estimated to be almost four times that in 1850. In areas of high emissions to the atmosphere, such as in Southeast Asia, Europe and North America, human-induced increases in reactive nitrogen deposition to the ocean are proportionately higher.
The report suggests that current human nitrogen emissions may remain relatively stable on a global basis through 2050, but more research is needed, particularly in the Northwest Pacific and Northern Indian Ocean. These are areas of the oceans that currently receive high inputs of atmospheric nitrogen and where there are also likely to be substantial changes in the future, with potential impacts at regional and global scales. Areas of the Mediterranean and North Atlantic are also candidates for further research, due to the particular nature of the additional nitrogen deposition in those areas, influenced by different levels of phosphorus and iron.
The report, The Magnitude and Impacts of Anthropogenic Atmospheric Nitrogen Inputs to the Ocean, is published by the World Metrological Organization (WMO) and can be downloaded from the GESAMP website here.
Reducing emissions in ports
How can ports cut emissions to ensure cleaner air and contribute to the battle against climate change? First, ports need to quantify emissions in ports, then they need to identify measures to cost-effectively reduce port-related emissions. A strategic partnership between the IMO-executed GloMEEP energy efficiency project and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is helping selected countries to develop port emission inventories and subsequently draw up a port emission reduction strategy.
A new three-day workshop package on the “Prevention and control of shipping and port air emissions” is being developed as part of the GloMEEP-IAPH strategic partnership. Training will begin in May 2018 and will be rolled out to the ten lead pilot countries participating in the GloMEEP project. The workshops will train port personnel in how to develop an inventory of emissions in a port, and subsequently how to develop a strategy to address emissions from ports, based on two technical guides which are also being developed (Guide for assessment of emissions in ports; and Guide for the development of port emissions reductions strategies).
The workshop package is designed for port personnel and aims to increase their awareness about maritime energy efficiency from a port perspective and show how port management, port infrastructure development and port logistical systems contribute to overall maritime energy efficiency and air quality.
The GloMEEP team, Astrid Dispert and Minglee Hoe, met (19 March) with experts representing IAPH, from the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach and Starcrest Consultancy Group, to further develop the draft workshop package and guides.
GloMEEP technical adviser Astrid Dispert outlined the prospective new training course and the ongoing collaboration between GloMEEP and IAPH at the 5th Pacific Ports Clean Air Collaborative (PPCAC) Conference, hosted by the Port of Los Angeles, United States (20-22 March).
GloMEEP is a GEF-UNDP-IMO project aimed at supporting the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The Lead Pilot Countries of the GloMEEP project are: Argentina, China, Georgia, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Morocco, Panama, Philippines and South Africa.
Future of shipping in the spotlight
Sustainable use of the oceans,
maritime trade, and the digital revolution were some of the issues addressed by
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at the International Shipping Summit in
Istanbul, Turkey (17 March).
In his opening address to
maritime industry and government representatives from around the world,
Secretary-General Lim spoke about how IMO, in its leadership role as the global
regulator of shipping, is and will be addressing a number of challenges facing
the shipping industry.
On the marine environment, he
said that to be sustainable, human activities have to be balanced with the
oceans' capacity to remain healthy and diverse in the long term – and that a
major part of IMO's role is to ensure that shipping continues to make its
contribution to the global economy without upsetting that delicate balance. He
highlighted IMO’s work on GHG
emissions and ship energy-efficiency, ballast
water management, and polar
He also emphasized that improving
ports, developing and strengthening inter-modal links and hinterland
connections can both drive and support a growing economy, through promoting
trade by sea. And on the digital revolution – Mr. Lim said that the shipping industry
is entering a new era, through new, emerging technology in areas such as fuel
and energy use, automation and vessel management, materials and construction.
The Summit also saw IMO’s Jan De
Boer take part in a special session on the marine environment. Mr. De Boer
provided an outline of IMO’s HNS Convention on transporting hazardous and
noxious substances (HNS)
by sea – in anticipation of Turkey’s upcoming ratification of the treaty.
The Summit was organized by the Turkish Ministry
of Transport, Maritime and Communications, and opened by Prime Minister of
Turkey, Binali Yıldırım, with Transport Minister, Mr. Ahmet Arslan, also
speaking at the opening ceremony.
Cooperation for maritime security in Nigeria
Cooperation amongst various government agencies can be key to achieving maximum maritime security enforcement. This was the theme running through the latest national table-top exercise on maritime security, held in Lagos, Nigeria (14-16 March). Representatives from various government agencies which form the national implementation committee for the International ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code participated in the workshop.
The findings and recommendations from this exercise will help form the basis of a maritime security strategy. This forms part of a project to strengthen the Nigerian Criminal Justice response to maritime crime threats which IMO is delivering in conjunction with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), supported by funding from the Government of the United Kingdom.
The table-top exercise was conducted by two IMO consultants and organized in conjunction with Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and aimed to build on a maritime security training programme which IMO delivered in Nigeria from 2015-2017.
Role-playing to design security drills
A four-day workshop on how to best design and conduct maritime security drills and exercises, has been held in Kingston, Jamaica (13-16 March). The aim of the event was to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to plan, conduct and assess security drills and exercises in their port facilities, in accordance with the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
The workshop included live role-playing sessions with various communication equipment, with participants taking turns acting as "players" and "controllers" respectively. It demonstrated to practitioners how to make use of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Manual of Maritime Security Drills and Exercises for Port Facilities in their work. The newly learned activities will continue to help port facility security officers and personnel, as well as designated authority officials, to improve and test existing procedures and practices in order to maintain vigilance and security awareness in ports.
Training for port facility security staff in the Dominican Republic
IMO maritime security training is underway for port facility security officers, managers and designated authority officials
in Santo Domingo City, Dominican Republic (12-16 March). Run by IMO in
collaboration with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Defence*, the workshop is
training participants on how to perform their duties in line with IMO’s code on
International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and SOLAS Chapter XI-2
for details). Participants are also being taught to train other officials with
The workshop follows a
2016 national table top exercise on maritime security, organized in cooperation
with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development
in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The 2016 exercise identified a
number of recommendations for further training, parts of which are being
addressed by this week’s workshop.
Find out more about IMO's security work, here.
* Cuerpo Especializado de Seguridad Portuaria
Latin America maritime cooperation centre launched
The Latin America Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, part of a global network established under an ambitious IMO-EU project to further efforts to combat climate change, has been launched in Panama (13 March). The centre, hosted by the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá (UMIP), is one of five such centres established under the GMN project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) and run by IMO.
The centres, in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific regions, act as regional focal points for a wide range of activities. These include, improving compliance with existing and future international energy-efficiency regulations; promoting uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport, and establishing voluntary pilot data-collection and reporting systems to feed back into the global regulatory process. In doing so, they will play their part in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Latin America Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre – or MTCC-Latin America – was launched at the host institute at a special event attended by representatives of the European Union, the Government of Panama, non-governmental organizations and academia as well as representatives from 17 countries in the region.
Speaking at the launch event, IMO’s Jose Matheickal said, “The global network of MTCCs will promote understanding and knowledge of technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector and will help to navigate shipping into a low-carbon future.”
Also speaking during the launch ceremony was the Minister of Maritime Affairs of Panama and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Mr. Jorge Barakat, who congratulated IMO for its efforts toward the promotion of a more energy-efficient maritime industry and reaffirmed the support of the Panama Maritime Authority. He said, “The Panamanian maritime administration is proud and pleased with the inauguration of this regional centre.”
The launch was followed by the first regional workshop to be run by MTCC-Latin America (13-15 March). Participants will be updated on the GMN project, share experiences of implementing IMO’s energy efficiency regulation and discuss constraints and opportunities.
More info on the European Union’s capacity building work can be found here.
Find out more about the GMN project and the five centres at gmn.imo.org
Spill preparedness and response – a collaborative effort
IMO has joined leading oil spill experts and stakeholders to
discuss future issues concerning oil spill preparedness, response and
restoration – at the Interspill 2018
conference and exhibition in London (13-15 March).
Speaking at the opening session, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that “many years of collaborative
work between governments and industry, at IMO, have helped reduce dramatically
the number of oil spills and the amount of oil spilt from ships”. Mr. Lim
outlined how individual incidents had been catalysts for significant
improvements, through IMO regulations, in areas such as ship design, operation,
disposal of engine room wastes, as well as the framework for compensating the
victims of pollution incidents.
He also highlighted IMO’s continuing support, with
assistance from a number of key partners, to countries to improve their
capacity in preparing for, and dealing with, major incidents that might result
in pollution damage.
conference, IMO’s Patricia Charlebois will present contributions of GESAMP as part of the science workshop on
hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) pollution, and Colleen O’Hagan will
chair a session on government/industry partnerships.
latest environment-related publications,
e-reader software (IMO Bookshelf)
News Magazine are being showcased at by IMO
Publishing’s Lee-Ann Dell and Sally
McElhayer. The team are sharing
a stand with the IOPC Funds. IMO and
IOPC Funds are co-sponsors of the Interspill event.
Safety aspects of shore-side power
Plugging a ship into shore-side power - and turning off onboard generators - is one solution to reducing air pollution from ships, as well as limiting local noise. IMO is this week beginning to look at the safety aspects of on shore power supply to ships, also known as “cold ironing”, “alternative maritime power” and “shore-side electricity”. The Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), meeting 12-16 March, has been instructed to develop guidelines on the safe operation of cold ironing and to consider developing any necessary draft amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention.
On other matters, the Sub-Committee is expected to finalize draft new requirements for ventilation of totally enclosed lifeboats. This important work is aimed at ensuring that a habitable environment is maintained in such survival craft. The meeting will also consider specific conditions and performance criteria for life-saving appliances and arrangements intended for use in polar waters, following the entry into force of IMO’s Polar Code.
Fire protection issues on the agenda include the ongoing review of current SOLAS regulations and associated codes to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on new and existing ro-ro passenger ships, specifically in the ro-ro spaces and special category spaces.
Mandatory requirements for onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches are also on the agenda. The Sub-Committee is expected to identify where draft requirements should be included in the SOLAS treaty and further develop draft related guidelines.
The SSE 5 meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Dr. Susumu Ota (Japan). See photos.
Plurinational State of Bolivia joins International Mobile Satellite Organization
The Plurinational State of Bolivia has become the 104th country to join the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO),
the inter-governmental body that oversees the provision of certain
satellite-based maritime distress communication services. The IMSO
Convention was adopted by IMO in 1976 to establish and oversee satellite
communications for shipping. Ms. Giovanna Lenny Vidal, Chargée d'Affaires, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and
IMSO Director General Capt. Moin Ahmed (pictured: right) to deposit the
instrument of accession to the Convention.
Philippine officials trained in forming maritime transport policy
Officials from various government entities in
the Philippines have received training in how to develop a National Maritime
Transport Policy (NMPT). The concept is being promoted by IMO as a good governance
practice to guide planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime
sector, and as a key driver for a country's sustainable development. The event
took place in Manila, Philippines (6-8 March), organised by IMO together with
the Philippines Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the World Maritime
The training comes at an opportune moment –
with the Philippines in the process of adopting its Maritime Industry Development Plan
(MIDP) 2018-2028 – designed to enhance the country’s maritime industry. Forty-five
officials took part in the Manila event, which was run by IMO’s Josephine
Uranza and WMU’s Professor Neil Bellefontaine and Associate Professor Henning
Stopping the spread of invasive species
Non-native species can be spread from ocean to ocean via ship. They may be carried via ballast water or attach to the hulls and other parts of ships, hitching a ride across the oceans. IMO is addressing this problem through the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which entered into force in September 2017 and requires ships to manage their ballast water to limit the spread of aquatic organisms. Also, IMO’s Biofouling Guidelines address bioinvasions via ships’ hulls. The joint International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and IMO (ICES/IOC/IMO) Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors, discussed various topics related to the management of both ballast water and biofouling, which are the two vectors for ship-mediated introductions of invasive aquatic species, at its annual meeting, held in Madeira, Portugal (5-7 March).
IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis updated the meeting on the latest developments and outcomes on ballast water management from recent IMO meetings, including the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) and the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), as well as expected discussions at MEPC 72 to be held in April.
Mr Karayannis also outlined the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project which will aim at building capacity in developing countries for improved implementation of biofouling management. The Project is in its preparatory phase, selecting the recipient countries and designing the list of activities that will be carried out once the full-size Project is launched later this year.
Maritime women to benefit from new leadership course
Maritime subjects are set to feature on a new Leadership in
the Public Sector course being developed by the training arm of the UN system –
the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). This was decided at a UNITAR meeting
at IMO Headquarters, London (28 February) where a task force, including IMO,
was set up to develop the course.
The training will be launched in Marrakech, Morocco (23
June) with a view to delivering the training to women officials attending the
next regional meeting of the network for women of maritime authorities in Latin
America later this year.
This initiative is part of IMO's ongoing
efforts to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on
achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls (SDG5).
Representatives from IMO’s Technical Cooperation Division
also discussed the potential for future collaboration with UNITAR in its role
in providing high-quality learning solutions to individuals, organizations and
institutions, particularly in the developing world.
New sponsor for marine science
IMO's marine science advisory group, GESAMP*, is welcoming a new sponsor. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), the agency responsible for regulating mining and related activities in the international seabed, beyond national jurisdiction, an area that includes most of the world's oceans, is becoming the tenth sponsoring organization of GESAMP.
The new sponsor is joining the other nine organizations whose task is to advise the United Nations on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. The ISA's expertise is already being put to good use, with the Authority taking part in a working group dealing with the impacts of wastes and other matter in the marine environment from mining operations, including marine mineral mining.
The newly added sponsor is good news for GESAMP, which will celebrate 50 years of service as an advisory mechanism to the UN next year.
* The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection
France ratifies fishing vessel safety treaty
Efforts to increase global
fishing vessel safety have received a boost with France becoming the ninth
State to ratify IMO’s Cape
Town Agreement. The treaty covers various important safety requirements
including radiocommunications, life-saving appliances and arrangements,
emergency procedures, musters and drills. The Cape Town Agreement will enter
into force 12 months after it has been ratified by 22 States which,
collectively, have 3,600 or more fishing vessels of at least 24 metres in
length operating on the high seas.
H.E. Ambassador Nicole
Taillefer, Permanent Representative of France to IMO, presented the instrument
of ratification to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London
Putting the Polar Code into practice
IMO’s Polar Code, when properly applied, is a powerful tool
for safeguarding the environment and protecting the lives of seafarers and
passengers in the challenging polar regions. This was the message from IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim to an international conference on implementing
the Polar Code, in Helsinki, Finland (22 February).
The Code entered into force in January 2017 and sets out
mandatory standards covering the full range of design, construction, equipment,
operational, training and environmental protection matters that apply to ships
operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Mr. Lim addressed the
wide variety of stakeholders involved in applying the treaty, including law
makers, business leaders, diplomats and international organizations. He
emphasized that one of the Code’s strengths, as a “living document”, was that
it can and will be regularly reviewed, amended and adjusted to reflect changing
considerations, new concerns and new experience gained in its practical
Some of these developments may involve amending the treaty
to cover issues like oil spill response, search and rescue facilities, and
applying the code to non-SOLAS ships such as fishing vessels, pleasure yachts,
and cargo ships under 500 gross tonnage.
During his trip to Finland (photos) Mr. Lim also visited the Finnish
Meteorological Institute, the Vessel Traffic Services Centre, an ice-breaker, and H.E. Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and
Communications of Finland
– using the experience to exchange ideas with those directly involved in
putting the Polar Code into practice.
More information about the Polar Code, including videos and
infographics, can be found here.
Distress and safety at sea
Seafarers depend on a robust distress and safety system when life is in danger at sea. This week’s meeting of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (19-23 February) will be focusing on core areas of IMO’s work relating to safety at sea.
The meeting will review progress in its ongoing work to modernize the Global Maritime Distress and Safety system (GMDSS). The GMDSS was adopted in 1988 to ensure full integration of maritime radio and satellite communications so that distress alerts can be generated from anywhere on the world’s oceans. The modernization plan aims to update the provisions, including allowing for the incorporation of new satellite communication services.
The meeting will consider updates to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual, which contains detailed guidance for a common aviation and maritime approach to organizing and providing search and rescue services. Draft amendments prepared by the October 2017 meeting of the meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)/IMO Joint Working Group on the Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue include a new section related to search and rescue operations in areas remote from search and rescue facilities; and updates to the section on mass rescue operations.
E-navigation matters are also on the agenda, focusing on harmonization and standardization which is key for the effective implementation of the e-navigation strategy, which aims to harness the benefits of integrated high-tech navigation solutions. Draft Guidelines on standardized modes of operation (S-mode) will be considered.
Amongst other regular agenda items, the Sub-Committee will review proposed new or amended ships' routeing measures and consider matters relating to the functioning and operation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the session, which is being chaired by Mr. Ringo Lakeman (Netherlands). (Click for photos).
Policy planning lessons for maritime law students
Students from the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta are being introduced to key policy planning issues as part of IMO's on-going work to support the future leaders of the maritime world (15-16 February).
The event focused on National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) formulation, which is being promoted by IMO as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime sector, and a key driver for a country's sustainable development. IMO has been providing training to its interested Member States on developing, adopting and updating NMTPs.
The end of the seminar will see students participate in a practical group exercise, in which they themselves will practise formulating the key aspects of a maritime transport policy. The students were introduced to the topic by IMO's Jonathan Pace and World Maritime University (WMU) Associate Professor George Theocharidis.
The seminar is being held for a second consecutive year and is the result of continuing, fruitful collaboration between IMO and its two global maritime training institutions – WMU and IMLI
UN Environment visits IMO
When it comes to ocean protection and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, IMO and UN Environment share a great deal of common ground. Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, paid a visit to IMO today to talk with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim about collaboration between the two Organizations, particularly how to address SDG 14 - life below water. The issue of microplastic and how to curb its presence in the ocean was discussed as a high priority, and a potential partnership with the World Maritime University, particularly its new Ocean Institute, was explored. There are clearly many areas where the two agencies can find synergies and this visit was a positive step in that direction.
Qatar accedes to Ballast Water Management Convention
Sixty-eight countries have now signed up to IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, with Qatar being the latest to accede to the treaty helping to protect the marine environment. The signatories now represent more than 75% 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. Yousef Ali Al-Khater, Ambassador of Qatar to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (8 February) to deposit the instrument of accession.
Find out more about the Ballast Water Management Convention, including FAQs, videos, infographics and more, here.
Implementing the 2020 sulphur limit
The 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil on board ships (outside designated emission control areas) will come into effect on 1 January 2020. Ensuring consistent implementation of the 0.50% requirement is a key item on the agenda of IMO’s Sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) which meets this week (5-9 February) at IMO headquarters, London. The meeting will also continue to look at how to measure black carbon emissions from shipping.
Other matters on the agenda include the development of further guidance to support the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention, including ballast water sampling and analysis. Revised guidelines for the use of dispersants for combating oil pollution at sea, which take into account experience from the Deepwater Horizon incident, are expected to be finalised.
The ongoing revision of the product lists and index in the international code for carriage of chemicals in bulk will continue, as well as consideration of requirements to address the discharge of high-viscosity solidifying and persistent floating products (such as certain vegetable oils). The meeting will also consider including new controls on the biocide cybutryne in the convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention).
The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway).
Click for photos.
Fine-tuning ballast water testing
Experts from ballast water testing
facilities from around the world gathered in London (1-2 February) to discuss the
science behind ballast water management. They were meeting as part of the Global TestNet
– a forum of
organizations involved in standardization, transparency and openness of
land-based and/or shipboard testing for the certification of ballast water
Standardized testing helps to
ensure the effectiveness of IMO measures to protect marine ecosystems from
potentially harmful invasive aquatic species transported in ships’ ballast
water. IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention
requires ships to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain
issue on the agenda was biofouling – the build-up of aquatic organisms on ships’
underwater hull and structures – which the
Global TestNet will also be addressing. IMO’s
Antoine Blonce gave a presentation on the subject, introducing IMO’s new GloFouling
project, which is building on the Organization’s work to help protect
marine ecosystems by dealing with potentially invasive species.
Further technical issues discussed
at the 9th Global TestNet meeting included
so-called challenge water validations, representative sampling and ring testing
between test facilities.
The Global TestNet was created in
2013 under the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) of the GloBallast
project. IMO was represented at the meeting, which took
place at IMarEST headquarters, by Theofanis Karayannis, Megan Jensen, Antoine Blonce and
IMO collaborates to boost African security capability
As part of its continuing efforts to help African countries
improve their maritime security capabilities, IMO frequently works with other
partners to help support their initiatives.
The United States, for example, leads two major annual
maritime security exercises in Africa and one of these, Cutlass Express, is
underway now (Feb 2018). Cutlass Express puts special emphasis on encouraging
different agencies and different countries to work together, as envisaged in
existing frameworks such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) – a regional
agreement against maritime crime in eastern Africa, the West Indian Ocean and the Gulf of
IMO helped to establish.
IMO is making a contribution to Cutlass Express with two
training workshops being held at the DCoC information sharing centres in
Mombasa, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (29 Jan – 7 Feb). Both are designed
to enhance inter-agency cooperation in
dealing with maritime security issues at national level. This has been
identified as one of the most pressing needs for the region during a series of
“table top” exercises carried out previously by IMO.
IMO is also participating in a senior leadership seminar in
support of Cutlass Express, highlighting the progress of the DCoC and the
similar Yaounde Code of Conduct in building capacity, capability and
co-operation in Africa to combat maritime crime and thereby help promote the
Blue border security assessment
IMO’s maritime security provisions and the IMO treaties for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of navigation can be seen in the wider context of the global fight against terrorism. The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) carries out assessment visits to countries to assess their compliance with various international security instruments and UN Security Council resolutions. IMO has participated in a follow-up UNCTED assessment visit to Greece (31 January to 1 February), alongside the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the international police agencies Interpol and Europol.
The maritime security aspects of the visit (which was a follow-up to a 2010 assessment) focused in particular on compliance with the ISPS Code for ships and port facilities, as well as Greece's experience with inter-agency cooperation on risk assessment, amongst entities which include the coast guard, police and customs, with a view to identifying best practices.
The multi-agency inclusion in the UNCTED assessments of IMO and partner organizations demonstrates a "one UN" response and provides an opportunity to highlight maritime security responsibilities as part of wider national security policies and procedures in a dialogue involving senior levels of government departments and agencies. Henrik Madsen participated on behalf of IMO.
Maritime graduates step out
Be ambitious. Make navigation safe, always. This was the message from IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim to young, aspirational maritime transport and
technology graduates in Alexandria, Egypt (26 January). Speaking at the Arab
Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Mr. Lim
praised the graduates’ dedication and challenged them to be ambitious in their
maritime careers and, above all else, to focus on being safe when involved in
ship navigation – no matter what the role. He also emphasized that the
International Maritime Organization would always be a place they could call
their “international home”.
Watch the full parade and ceremony speeches, here.
Data models for maritime E-business
Effective global electronic data exchange for ships entering and leaving ports depends on standardized and harmonized practices for data exchange. This can include data models which define and format data which might be transferred between automated systems, such as for export, import and transit. Such systems will be key to implementing IMO’s Facilitation Convention requirements on electronic data exchange from April 2019.
IMO participated in the World Customs Organization (WCO) Data Model Project Team meeting (22-26 January) in Brussels, to receive updates on the latest work by the WCO. The WCO Data Model supports the implementation of a “single window” for electronic data exchange, as it allows the reporting of information to all government agencies through the unique way it organizes regulatory information.
IMO, WCO, UN/CEFACT, ISO and other stakeholders also participated in a dedicated focus group on the revision of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, which provides guidance and standardised forms for electronic exchange of information on cargo, passengers and crew, for ships, carriers, port authorities, customs, terminals, consignees and other parties in the supply chain. The Focus Group refined the contents of the draft revised Compendium, identified new issues to be addressed, and discussed additional coding possibilities. The Focus Group also identified some data elements related to the electronic transmission of data, that should be included in the updated IMO Compendium. An update on progress with the revision will be presented to the next session of IMO’s Facilitation Committee in June 2018.
Under a partnership agreement between IMO and WCO, WCO has responsibility for the technical maintenance of the Compendium, including liaison with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/EDIFACT).
IMO’s Julian Abril attended the Data Model Project Team meeting and the Focus Group on the IMO Compendium.
IMO supports maritime security in west and central Africa
Efforts to prevent piracy, armed robbery against ships and
illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa are being boosted by an
extended IMO mission to Yaoundé, Cameroon (18 January – 2 February). An IMO
consultant is working with the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) to support the Centre’s work to carry
out a regional maritime safety and security strategy under the Yaoundé
Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct was signed by governments in the region,
in 2013, to enhance cooperation on maritime safety and security. The consultant
is identifying the current needs, status and requirements under the Code and is
supporting the ICC’s work to create a regional mechanism for collaboration in
the centre – as well as the urgent need to support the regional organizations
and States involved. Some of the tasks include creating a list of focal points
under the Code of Conduct, developing the centre’s work programme, and creating
an inventory of international laws and conventions on maritime crimes. The work
will continue in March, with a further two weeks of assessments and support.
Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work, here.
The latest on e-Navigation
Reliable, user-friendly and integrated navigation and communications systems can help with decision making on a ship. That is where e-Navigation comes in. IMO attended the e-Navigation Underway International Conference which takes place every year on board a ship travelling between Copenhagen and Oslo (24-26 January 2018). IMO's Sascha Pristrom gave a presentation on IMO's plan to lead shipping into a new digital era. He updated participants on IMO's e-Navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP) as well as its work with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to develop guidance on definition and harmonization of the format and structure of Maritime Service Portfolios (MSPs). IMO also highlighted the need for a coordinated approach between regulators and the industry.
IMO plays a central and coordinating role in harmonizing and enhancing navigation systems in order to improve safety of navigation and reduce errors. This conference is a key forum for discussions about the many challenges facing e-Navigation around the globe and a way to explore new strategies and technical progress. Some of the other topics covered included e-Navigation services in the Polar regions, e-Navigation and big data and autonomous operations.
IMO is working to prevent accidents and injury when ships are being secured at their berth in a port. A revised SOLAS regulation on safe mooring is expected to be finalised when the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) meets this week (22-26 January). The meeting will also further develop new and revised related guidance to support the safe use of equipment, including mooring lines, pulleys, winches and so on.
Other important items on the agenda include guidelines and regulations for passenger ships in the event of flooding. Ships should be designed so that essential systems remain operational after a casualty. The meeting is expected to finalize draft guidelines on stability computers and shore-based support for specific passenger ships, to support draft SOLAS amendments regarding operational information after a flooding casualty for new and existing ships expected to be adopted this year. Also in development are draft amendments to SOLAS on the availability of passenger ships' electrical power after flooding from side raking damage. On other matters, the Sub-Committee will continue ongoing work, including developing 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; and developing second generation intact stability criteria.
The SDC Sub-Committee was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, and is being chaired by Kevin Hunter (United Kingdom). Click for photos.
Armenia joins IMO
The Republic of Armenia has become the latest Member of IMO, following the deposit of an instrument of acceptance of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 19 January 2018.
With the acceptance of the Convention by Armenia, the number of IMO Member States stands at 173, with a further three Associate Members.
Myanmar accedes to treaty covering bunker oil pollution damage
The IMO treaty ensuring that adequate compensation is
available to persons that suffer damage caused by oil spills, when carried as
fuel in ships’ bunkers, has been ratified by Myanmar. The International
Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BUNKER)
applies to damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, and
in exclusive economic zones of States under the Convention.
Under the Convention, the registered owner of a vessel is
required to maintain compulsory insurance cover, and there is also the
requirement for ‘direct action’ – which allows a claim for compensation for
pollution damage to be brought directly against an insurer.
H.E. Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn, Ambassador of Myanmar to the United
Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London to
deposit the instrument of accession (19 January). Myanmar’s ratification brings
the number of States to accede to the treaty to 87, representing 92.5% of the
world's merchant fleet tonnage.
Sanchi tanker - a message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
“Following confirmation that the oil tanker Sanchi has now sunk, after the collision off the coast of China, our thoughts and hopes remain with the seafarers still missing. Our deepest condolences go to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.
“I would like to commend all those involved in the international search and rescue operations and the efforts to battle the fire and contain pollution from the ship.
“This is an ongoing situation which we are monitoring. Although the vessel has sunk, efforts to contain the pollution continue. IMO stands ready to offer any technical assistance that may be needed.
“In the longer term, a full investigation into this incident is expected and 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.”