A train-the-trainer workshop on IMO maritime security
measures is taking place in Tunis, Tunisia (19-23 September). Tunisian
officials are being trained to provide the knowledge required for port facility
security officers to carry out their duties in line with relevant IMO regulations
and guidelines to protect shipping and ports. These regulations include the International
Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS),
Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS 74 as amended and the IMO/ILO
Code of Practice on Security in Ports.
General Director of Maritime Transport and
Maritime Ports, Mr. Youssef Ben Romdhane, opened the workshop.
Did you know that by 2050 there could
be more plastics in the ocean than fish, if human
habits don’t change? The India Clean Seas Conference taking place in Goa, India (22-24 September), aims to discuss what needs to be done to keep the oceans
clean. IMO’s Director of Marine Environment, Stefan Micallef delivered the opening address, highlighting daunting environmental challenges
facing the oceans and how to develop sustainable solutions. Mr Micallef pointed out how IMO’s marine pollution convention MARPOL has
played a key role as a comprehensive, international treaty covering the
prevention of both marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. To address the massive accumulation of
plastics in the ocean, IMO has pioneered the prohibition of plastics
disposal anywhere at sea, which took effect more than 25 years ago. The
conference is hosting
more than 40 distinguished panellists and speakers including scientists, solution providers and
government representatives, working collectively to address the need to develop
action plans to protect the world's oceans.
A training seminar looking at the
practical aspects of risk assessment and inventories of marine life in
and around commercial ports, a concept also known as port biological baseline
surveys (PBBS), took place in Kingston, Jamaica (21-22 September). Marine biologists, port state control officers and
maritime authorities discussed the practical aspects of risk assessment and
PBBS related to ballast water management (BWM) such as exemptions, ship
targeting for compliance monitoring and enforcement (CME) or the development of
decision support systems (DSS). The event was organized by IMO’s
GloBallast project and the Maritime Authority of
Jamaica. Antoine Blonce represented IMO.
Kenya has marked this year’s #WorldMaritimeDay with celebrations
held in Mombasa, Kenya (20 September). IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu delivered a
goodwill message on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, reiterating this
year’s World Maritime Day theme – “Shipping: indispensable to the world” –
which emphasizes that maritime transport is the backbone of international
trade, supplying people all over the world with the commodities, fuel, goods
and products that they depend on.
The IMO World Maritime Day 2016 will take place on 29
September and will include an international forum, featuring a panel discussion
on global shipping’s future challenges. Information about the day, forum, and
resources, including a video message from Secretary-General Lim, can be found here.
Additionally, Mr. Shiundu is visiting various stakeholders in
the region in relation to IMO’s technical cooperation activities. He visited
the Kenya Maritime Authority, the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre
(RMRCC) and the Secretariat of the Port Management Association for Eastern and
Southern Africa (PMAESA).
maritime partnerships to enhance maritime security was a core theme of IMO’s
Chris Trelawny’s speech delivered at the International
Seapower Symposium (22 September) in Newport, Rhode Island.
symposium looked at future trends in maritime security as it hoped to harness
the power of the international community in order to effectively confront
common challenges within the maritime domain. Echoing this message, Mr Trelawny
referred to enhancement of maritime security as a building block for greater stability
on land, making the fullest use of navies as
a diplomatic asset within a comprehensive strategy. He
concluded his remarks by recognizing the significant contributions of ships from
many of the world’s navies and coastguards, who
have come to the rescue of migrants in
distress at sea, passing on the thanks of IMO Secretary-General Mr Kitack Lim
and the IMO membership.
IMO has presented the
maritime legal regimes with relevance to transnational crime and migration at
the third Asia Pacific Workshop on the Law of Armed Conflict at Sea, in
Surabaya, Indonesia (21 September). IMO’s Jan de Boer highlighted the
importance of various international treaties, including the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), IMO’s key maritime safety convention
SOLAS, as well as other related instruments regarding search and rescue,
salvage, facilitation of maritime traffic, and unlawful acts against safety of navigation.
This conference is held from 19-23 September and is organized by the Indonesian
Navy and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Romania has acceded to the Nairobi International Convention on
the Removal of Wrecks, the IMO treaty providing the legal
basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the
safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine environment. H.E.
Mr. Sorin-Dan Mihalache, Ambassador of Romania to the United Kingdom, met IMO
Secretary-General and deposited the instrument of ratification (20 September).
IMO's efforts to promote safe and environmentally sound ship recycling received a boost today with Panama becoming the 5th State to accede to the Hong Kong Convention. The Convention covers the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships.
H.E. Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Panama to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession to the Convention today (19 September).
France has acceded to the 2002 Athens Protocol, the IMO treaty providing for the compulsory insurance to cover passengers on ships. The Protocol raises the limits of liability and introduces other mechanisms to assist passengers in obtaining compensation, based on well-accepted principles applied in existing liability and compensation regimes.
The Permanent Representative of France to IMO, H.E. Nicole Taillefer met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (19 September) to deposit the instrument of accession.
IMO is at the high-level UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants being held at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States (19 September). A number of IMO treaties include provisions relating to migration by sea. These include SOLAS chapter V on Safety of Navigation, which requires the master of a ship at sea able to provide assistance to persons that are in distress at sea, to do so regardless of the nationality or status of such persons or the circumstances in which they are found. Guidance on the legal framework for rescue at sea has been prepared by IMO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and UNHCR. IMO has produced a series of three short films examining unsafe mixed migration by sea. The films explore the following perspectives: “The migrants’ story”, “The rescuers’ story” and “The international response”. Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation, is in New York representing IMO. The UN General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for refugees and migrants, which refers to the pledge to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.
Addressing Round Table 6 of the summit, on “Addressing vulnerabilities of refugees and migrants on their journeys from their countries of origin to their countries of arrival”, Mr Trelawny noted that IMO Member States recognized that using the search and rescue systems enshrined in the SOLAS and SAR conventions to respond to mass mixed migration was neither foreseen nor intended. Although Governments and the merchant shipping industry would continue to rescue operations, safe, legal, alternative pathways to migration must be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea if necessary. He also asked the meeting to record the thanks of the IMO Membership to the search and rescue authorities, navies and coastguards, as well as to the Masters of the hundreds of merchant ships diverted from going about their lawful occasions to rescue mixed migrants, with attendant risks to the seafarers concerned.
Parties to the treaties which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea are meeting at IMO Headquarters this week (19-23 September). The meeting is expected to finalize a strategic plan to encourage ratification of the London Protocol; consider updated and Revised Specific Guidelines for the assessment of vessels; and finalize the 25-year scientific review of all radioactive wastes and other radioactive matter. Delegates will also celebrate 20 years of the London Convention, since it was adopted in 1996. The thirty-eighth Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and the 11th Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Protocol were opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The meeting is being chaired by Dr. Gi-Hoon Hong (Republic of Korea). (photos here)
A national workshop on the impacts of anti-fouling systems and of ships’ biofouling has been held in Mauritius (14-16 September). The workshop raised awareness of the issues and developed capacity for the ratification and implementation of the anti-fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and the implementation of the Biofouling Guidelines. Participants gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the AFS Convention, and implementing the Biofouling Guidelines, including class-based work and a site visit. The workshop was funded by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Fund and was held on the request of the Government of Mauritius. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis was at the workshop, which was opened by the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo.
IMO’s work to provide uniform international rules for the prompt and
effective removal of wrecks received a boost
with Jordan becoming the 30th State to
ratify the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. The
Convention provides the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed,
shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as
well as the marine environment. H.E Mr Mazen Homoud, Ambassador of Jordan to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim and deposited the instrument of ratification (September 16).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has emphasized the
importance of shipping and the need to ensure healthy oceans at the Georgia
International Maritime Forum (GIMF) in Batumi (12-16 September). Mr. Lim
praised the Forum’s contribution to the global discussion taking place around
IMO’s World Maritime Day theme “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, and emphasized
that maritime transport is the backbone of international trade – supplying
people all over the world with the commodities, fuel, goods and products that
they depend on. Mr. Lim also opened a one-day Seminar on Maritime Transport Policy
for Senior Maritime Transport Officials held alongside the GIMF, involving senior maritime
transport officials from the littoral States of the Black and Caspian Seas and
IMO is continuing
its work to support developing countries to prevent air pollution and
greenhouse gas emissions from ships with a global training exercise held in
Batumi, Georgia (12-14 September). Participants are being trained to use three
new draft guides, specifically developed under IMO’s GloMEEP project in collaboration with IMArEST, which cover i) rapid assessment for
determining the country maritime energy efficiency and emissions status, ii)
maritime energy efficiency strategy development, and iii) incorporation of MARPOL
Annex VI into national law.
participants from all 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries* are taking part in the
exercise, which will lay the foundation for further work in the countries going
forward. Countries will develop their own national reports that clarify their
status on maritime energy efficiency and emissions from ships; set out national
maritime energy efficiency strategies and policies; and lay out draft national
legislation covering MARPOL Annex VI.
IMO is represented
by Jose Matheickal, Edmund Hughes, Aicha Cherif and Astrid Dispert.
Georgia, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Morocco, Panama, Philippines and South
Further cooperation on maritime security in the western
Indian Ocean area was discussed between members of IMO Secretariat and staff
from the EU Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). The talk
focused on cooperation with Member States to enhance information sharing in the
They also discussed an EU-funded
project to develop an Indian Ocean regional
information sharing and crisis management network (IORIS-CMN). In addition, maritime security and maritime law
enforcement beyond the Djibouti Code of Conduct and joint IMO/EU support to
maritime security training in the region were
highlighted during the meeting.
Work to support women in the Caribbean
maritime industry is underway with the first conference of the Women in
Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC) taking place in Grand Cayman, Cayman
Islands (5-9 September). Under
the theme "Charting the course for generations of women" the
conference is drafting a strategic and regional agenda to support WiMAC’s
mission to foster the development and participation of women in the maritime
sector and contribute to the growth of the industry within the region.
Some 75 representatives from the port and
maritime authorities and shipping associations of the Caribbean are attending.
The agenda includes an outreach and mentoring programme that reaches out to
over 250 students from six schools in Grand Cayman. The Conference is being run by IMO and the
Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, and supported by the Women’s
International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA).
is the latest in a line of IMO activities that support the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal number five (SDG 5), which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower
all women and girls”. Find out more about women in the maritime industry via
the IMO website here.
An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place
in Yaoundé, Cameroon (6-8 September) for participants from a range of
government departments and national agencies, including the Maritime Authority. The exercise encourages a multi-agency, whole of
government approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement
issues. A range of evolving scenarios are being used to stimulate
discussions and demonstrate the need for cooperation amongst government
departments and agencies.
This is the 17th IMO-led table top
exercise to be held in West Africa and the ninth table-top exercise to be held
in Francophone Africa. The exercise is
being conducted by a team of maritime security consultants and
hosted by the Cameroon Ministry of Defence. IMO is represented by Salma Hassam.
IMO treaty covering wreck removal is on the agenda at the 7th Maritime Salvage
and Casualty Response Conference in London (7-8 September). IMO’s Jan de
Boer gave an insight into the Organization’s
Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention, which provides the legal basis for States to
remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of navigation,
the marine environment as well as the coastline or related interests.
The treaty also provides uniform international rules for the prompt and
effective removal of wrecks located beyond territorial seas, and optional
application of the rules in countries’ territories, including territorial seas.
Speaking at a special session on factors affecting the overall insurance market
and concerns for shipowners, Mr. De Boer also gave an overview of the strict
shipowner liability for the costs of locating, marking and removal of hazardous
wrecks and compulsory insurance to cover liability under the Convention.
Students at the World Maritime University can now learn about
IMO measures on maritime security as part of a three-week course (29 August-16 September) titled 'Maritime Security Issues
in International Law'. The lectures are aimed at Masters and PhD students wishing to
deepen their knowledge on topics such as counter-piracy law, arms on
board, policy and operations and other security threats. Chris Trelawny, IMO’s
special adviser on maritime security will be giving students insights on the
Organization’s perspective on how to deal with such complex issues.
IMO’s efforts to build maritime capacity in Africa have been given impetus by the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration by the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), which met in Nairobi, Kenya (27-28 August). The Declaration makes specific mention of the importance of maritime issues, particularly the importance of promoting regional and international efforts related to maritime security, including piracy, illegal fishing and other maritime crimes. The Declaration also underscores the importance of strengthening maritime security and safety through international and regional cooperation, as reflected in 2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy). IMO participated actively in collaboration with the African Union in the development of the 2050 AIM Strategy, which aims to foster more wealth creation from Africa’s oceans, seas and inland waterways by developing a thriving maritime economy and realizing the full potential of sea-based activities in an environmentally sustainable manner. IMO’s William Azuh and Juvenal Shiundu attended TICAD VI. The next TICAD VII meeting will be held in Japan in 2019.
The safe carriage of potentially dangerous cargoes is the focus for the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), which is meeting for its 3rd session (5-9 September) at IMO Headquarters. High on the agenda are safety concerns related to cargoes that may liquefy, such as bauxite and coal, with revised/new schedules for carriage being considered. The Sub-Committee is also expected to finalize draft interim recommendations for the carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk and further develop provisions for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel, as well as consider draft amendments to the gas and low-flashpoint fuels code (IGF Code) relating to fuel cells.
The CCC agenda includes the regular updating of two IMO codes used daily by seafarers and shippers, who depend on their provisions for the safe carriage of the pertinent cargoes: the meeting will review the set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2017) to the code for the safe carriage of solid bulk cargoes (IMSBC Code) and initiate the next set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2018) to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code. The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Xie Hui of China. (Photos here)
A high-level meeting working on a legal instrument to
protect marine biological diversity has heard how IMO measures are effectively
implemented on the high seas.
Biological diversity in the world’s oceans is under threat from
many areas today. Climate change, pollution, acidification, seabed mining, over-exploitation
of fish stocks and invasive alien species all threaten marine life. The
pressures are particularly high in coastal areas, but in the high seas - areas
beyond national jurisdiction – although pressures are less, there can be gaps
in the legal regime as well as problems surrounding compliance and enforcement.
To address this issue, the General Assembly of the United
Nations is developing a legally-binding
instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Among
other things, it will cover the sustainable use of ocean resources in order to
protect and preserve marine
During a preparatory meeting,
at UN Headquarters in New York (26 August-9 September), IMO, with
representatives from two Member states (Liberia and Sweden) and the shipping
industry, has given a presentation on how its regulations for shipping are currently
enforced in areas beyond national jurisdiction through a well-functioning
structure and organisation; and how many of these regulations actively
contribute to the conservation of marine biological diversity.
English is the language of the shipping industry and the
ability to communicate effectively in English is therefore vital to safe ship
operation and the protection of the marine environment from shipping.
IMO is currently running a week-long (29 August – 2
September) training course for instructors in maritime English at the Regional
Academy of Marine Sciences and Technologies in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Training
in English is a requirement of the International Convention on Standards of
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, which sets international
standards of competence for seafarers.
The course is being conducted by Associate Professor Clive
Cole of the World Maritime University, based in Sweden, and Ms. Alison Noble of
the Maritime Academy of Antwerp, Belgium. Participants from Cameroon, Côte
d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Senegal, and Togo.