An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place in
Mauritius (26-27 July) for participants from around 20 government agencies. The
exercise is highlighting the need for an integrated national approach to
implementation of maritime security measures, with particular reference to
IMO's Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
convention and International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS)
Code. The exercise involves a range of security and related scenarios
involving policy decisions, crisis/emergency management and response.
Participants are jointly identifying areas of improvement,
including future areas of assistance from IMO and other development
This is the sixth in a series of IMO maritime security exercise
held in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden region since late 2015, with
IMO having completed similar exercises in Djibouti, Maldives, Mozambique, Kenya
and the Seychelles. It was launched by the Hon. Premduth Koonjoo, Mauritius’
Minister for Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer
Islands. IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants.
should be managed so that migrants are not put in the dangerous position of
having to be rescued at sea. This was the message of IMO’s Chris Trelawny,
Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation, speaking at the
“Maritime Security and Migrant Protection in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea”
workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia (26-27 July). Addressing
the point that merchant ships are not designed for mass rescue, Mr. Trelawny
said that rescues will continue, but safe, legal, alternative pathways to
migration must be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea, if
Recognizing that the business model for mixed migration by
sea in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea differs from that in the
Mediterranean, some of the regional maritime security and counter piracy strategies
developed by IMO Member States could be useful in addressing mixed migration by sea,
Mr. Trelawny said.
of international instruments apply to migrants and refugees in the maritime
domain. These come under the auspices of different United Nations bodies and
international organizations, and include UNCLOS;
the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and human
rights and refugee law under OHCHR, UNHCR and IOM.
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
The Jakarta meeting was organized by
the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
which will shortly become a Related Organization of
the United Nations.
workshop is raising awareness of the organization’s regulatory regime dealing
with improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships.
Participants from Moroccan governmental departments, port authorities and
maritime training institutes are attending the three-day “MARPOL
Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Rabat, Morocco
(19-21 July). The event is the latest in a line of workshops organized under
project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency
measures for shipping in developing countries. Morocco is one of the 10 GloMEEP
lead pilot countries.
Morocco is holding the First National Task Force meeting (21 July) to endorse
the National Work Plan of activities under the GloMEEP project for the coming
two years, which will include decisions on which bodies will be responsible for
different GloMEEP activities.
The third session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) has been opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The agenda includes the regular casualty analysis work to review marine safety investigation report and produce lessons learned from marine casualties; the review of port State control procedures and the updates to the survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) and the non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code). The meeting is also expected to review consolidated audit summary reports (based on voluntary Member State audits carried out before the scheme became mandatory this year). The session (18-22 July) is being chaired by Captain Dwain Hutchinson (Bahamas). Click for photos.
The revised Somalia Maritime Code is being finalized at a four-day Stakeholders Forum, sponsored by IMO (Kigali, Rwanda 12-15 July). The workshop is part of IMO’s ongoing technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia and regional authorities in establishing a Maritime Administration for Somalia capable of undertaking flag, port and coastal states duties in line with IMO instruments. The revised Code reflects developments in international maritime law and best practices and as such provides the necessary legal backing for the effective functioning of the Somalia National Maritime Administration.
The forum is being attended by 25 legal and maritime experts from Somalia, led by the Minister of Ports and Marine Transport of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hon. Nur Farah Hersi.
The official Launch of the review process took place in Mogadishu, Somalia (10 July) and was organised by IMO with support from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM). During the launch, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, HE Mohamed Omar Arte, hailed the move as a milestone in re-positioning the country to take full advantage of its extensive littoral heritage covering more than 3,300 kilometers of coastline, one of the longest in Africa. In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked IMO for its technical assistance thus far, and welcomed the prospect of further assistance from IMO to meet the country’s maritime capacity challenges. IMO’s William Azuh (Head, Africa Section, TCD), Kiruja Micheni (Project Officer, Djibouti Code of Conduct, MSD), Purity Thirimu (Principal Progamme Assistant, TCD) and Alexander Buabeng (Maritime Legislation consultant) are in Kigali supporting the Stakeholders Forum. The IMO programme for Somalia on the establishment of a National Maritime Administration started in 2014. IMO has worked with officials in Somalia to develop policy framework and draft regulations for the establishment of a national Maritime Administration and to produce the draft revised Somalia Maritime Code. Last year, IMO conducted a workshop on coastal State, flag State and port State responsibilities to prepare selected Somali officials to participate effectively during the stakeholder reviews of the Maritime Code and the establishment of the Department of Maritime Administration (Nairobi, Kenya, 19-23 Nov 2015).
A National Seminar on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic is being held in Suva, Fiji (13-15 July). The event aims to assist Fiji to more effectively implement the Convention of Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) and to advise on the recently-adopted amendments to the Annex to the FAL Convention. The seminar has been organized by IMO and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), and is being attended by 26 participants from ministries with responsibilities in the clearance of ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports of Fiji, and private stakeholders*. IMO is represented by Julian Abril.
*Participants included those from Fiji Police Force, RFMF Navy, Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration, Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority, Ministry of Health & Medical Services, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, Safenav Maritime Pilots, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ship & Cargo Surveyors, Shipping Companies and Pacific Community (SPC).
IMO’s GloBallast programme has been selected as a finalist in the environment category of a major global award. The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme has been working (2008-2016) to build capacity to address the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens between marine ecosystems through ships’ ballast water and sediments, one of the greatest threats to the world’s coastal and marine environments. GloBallast has been active in more than 70 countries to support national and regional capacity to ratify and implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria. The programme has also established a Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosecurity to catalyze and promote new technological solutions to the ballast water problem; raised awareness through video and other materials; organized six international R&D Fora; and facilitated training through practical workshops and online modules. The final winners of the prestigious Lloyd's List Global Awards will be announced in November 2016.
The GloBallast programme has won a number of international awards. Most recently, IMO presented the “Glo-X” partnerships model, based on the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, which won the best Portfolio Solution Award at the 8th International Waters Conference (IWC8) organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Negombo, Sri Lanka (9-13 May). The award was given for the project with the best strategy for scaling-up investments aimed at addressing global environmental issues facing international waters, including the oceans.
The role of shipping and ports as part of an integrated transport system was on the agenda at the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Eurasia Expert Group Meeting on Transport and Logistics in Seoul, Republic of Korea (11-13 July). During the session on facilitation, IMO’s Chris Trelawny outlined IMO’s long term strategy, which is focussed on helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting trade by sea, enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators, and developing a sustainable blue economy, underpinned by good maritime security. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and organized by the Korea Transport Institute.
Myanmar has deposited its instrument of accession to the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC). The efforts to bring the legislation into national law followed the participation of Myanmar at a five-day workshop hosted by IMO in November 2015, during which Government officials from Myanmar gained insight into IMO treaties on liability and compensation and the benefits, rights and obligations of Parties to these conventions.
Mr. Kyaw Htin Lin, Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in the United Kingdom accompanied by Ms. Wai Wai Lin, 1st Secretary and Ms. Zin May Hnin, 2nd Secretary deposited the instrument with Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, acting on behalf of the IMO Secretary-General.
IMO’s work to enhance fishing vessel safety received a boost
today when Germany became the sixth State to accede to the 2012 Cape
Town Agreement. The Agreement involves a basic set of safety measures for
larger high seas fishing vessels, covering issues
such as stability, construction and protection of crews and will
enter into force 12 months after 22 States express their consent to be bound by it.
These States must have a minimum of 3,600 fishing vessels of at least 24 meters in length operating on the high
The agreement intends to bring into
force amendments to update the provisions of the 1993 Torremolinos fishing
vessel safety protocol and thereby provide a mandatory global regime for
fishing vessel safety.
H.E. Dr. Peter Ammon, Germany's Ambassador to the UK and
Permanent Representative of Germany to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Lim today
(5 July) to hand over the instrument of accession.
The IMO Council is meeting for its 116th session (4-8 July), chaired by Mr Jeffrey G. Lantz (United States). The 40-Member Council is expected to review the work of the Organization since its last session and consider strategy and policy matters. The Council will also select the World Maritime Day theme for 2017 and choose the recipients of two IMO awards: the 2016 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea and the 2015 International Maritime Prize. (click for photos)
A table-top exercise on maritime security has been held in Kingston, Jamaica (30 June-1 July), organized by IMO in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The exercise was aimed at stimulating discussions and demonstrating the need for cooperation amongst government departments and agencies using a range of evolving scenarios related to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. Scenarios covered included threats to cruise ships, border security issues involving ports, airports and land border crossings, incidents potentially involving weapons of mass destruction, security-related health crisis, environmental threats such as oil spills, maritime safety inspections and dealing with illicit drugs’ consignments.
The event was organized to assist the Government of Jamaica in strengthening national implementation of aspects of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) that fall within the scope of IMO maritime security measures, including those under SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code and the SUA treaties covering the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation. Resolution 1540 (2004) addresses the threat of proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, including illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, to non-State actors, their means of delivery and related materials.
The exercise follows a series of similar events in other countries in the Caribbean region, conducted by IMO and UNLIREC. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.
Millions of people around the world celebrated the Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, under the campaign theme, #AtSeaForAll. Across social media, the message that seafarers are indispensable to the world gained momentum in 165 countries across all the continents. A Twitter Thunderclap reached nearly 13 million people. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim celebrated the day at a special Day of the Seafarer event in Manila, Philippines (see photos here). Mr Lim hailed the seafarers who are the “beating heart” of the shipping world and who quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion. More than 12,000 people have taken part in a fun, interactive quiz, which is still available on the IMO website and the online “Photo Wall’ is open for new photos. IMO videos, including the Day of the Seafarer message and a series of short interviews about a day in a seafarer’s life, can be viewed here. IMO's new Instagram account can be followed here.
The United Kingdom has become the first State to formally accept the 2013 marine geoengineering amendments to the 1996 “London Protocol”, the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea. The amendments support the precautionary approach by providing for specific marine geoengineering activities to be permitted only when the activity is assessed as constituting legitimate scientific research. Currently, only ocean fertilization for research purposes may be permitted.
Meanwhile, the marine scientific expert group GESAMP is currently undertaking a comprehensive study on marine geoengineering to better understand the potential impacts of proposed marine geoengineering techniques on the marine environment – including social and economic consequences.
The London Protocol entered into force ten years ago, modernizing the original “London Convention” dumping treaty by prohibiting all dumping at sea with the exception of wastes commonly agreed by Governments and then put on an approved list.
IMO Directors Frederick Kenney (Legal and External Relations Division) and Stefan Micallef (Marine Environment Division) welcomed Mr. Alan Beckwith, from the Treaty Section of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office, who handed over the instrument of acceptance of the amendment at IMO Headquarters, London, today (24 June).
This amendment forms an important part of a series of efforts by Contracting Parties to the London Convention and Protocol to address climate change. Already in 2006, the LP Contracting Parties took ground-breaking steps to provide a global regulatory framework for climate change mitigation, when they adopted amendments regulate carbon capture and sequestration in sub-sea geological formations. The 2006 amendments, which have entered into force for all Parties, created a legal basis in international environmental law to regulate carbon capture and storage in sub-seabed geological formations for permanent isolation.
A national workshop in Saint Lucia has brought together participants from various Government bodies and other stakeholders to discuss the development of a national maritime transport policy. The workshop is aimed at highlighting the promotion and development of such a policy as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and relevant legislative action. IMO is running the workshop (22-24 June) in close cooperation with the Saint Lucia Airports and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) and the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to IMO.
The workshop forms part of IMO’s initiative to assist IMO Member States, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDs) and Least Developing Countries (LDCs), to develop national maritime transport policy, with a view to ensuring a sustainable maritime transport system and facilitate the achievement of the maritime related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
World Maritime University Associate Professors Patrick Donner and George Theocharidis are delivering the workshop, with support from IMO’s Jonathan Pace and Nicolaos Charalambous.
On the margins of the workshop, Mr Charalambous and Mr Pace met the Hon Mr Stevenson King, the newly-appointed Minister of Infrastructure, Ports and Labour of Saint Lucia and Ms Allison Jean, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry. During the meeting, which was also attended by Mr Tafawa Williams, Alternate Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to IMO, the two sides discussed the maritime IMO-related priorities of Saint Lucia and possible areas where IMO may be able to assist the maritime development of the Island by providing technical assistance or fellowships for studies of qualified candidates at IMO’s international training institutes, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).
The IMO team also met other officials, including Mr Julian Dubois, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Keigan Cox, General Manager of SLASPA, and Mr Christopher Alexander, Director, Maritime Affairs at SLASPA and discussed similar issues.
Stakeholders have been updated on progress made by the safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC) project - Phase I, which is being executed and implemented by IMO and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), in partnership with the Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh and Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS). At a recent workshop (15 June), updates were given on the various parts of phase I of the project, including completion or near completion of various studies and ongoing training activities. The Dissemination Workshop was jointly organized by the IMO, Ministry of Industries, Bangladesh and Secretariat of BRS, It was followed by a meeting of the Project Steering Committee and Executive Committee, under the chairmanship of Ms. Parag, Acting Secretary, Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh (16 June).
The SENSREC project was launched in January 2015 and aims to improve safety and environmental standards within the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh. The first phase is expected to be completed by December 2016.
The legal and
operational aspects of wreck removal incidents are on the agenda at the “Wreck
Removal Contracts & Operations Seminar”
in London, United Kingdom (20-21 June). IMO’s Jan de Boer of the Legal Affairs
Office gave an insight into the Organization’s Nairobi Wreck Removal
which provides the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed,
shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as
well as the marine environment. It also provides uniform international rules
for the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond territorial seas, and
optional application of the rules in countries’ territories, including territorial
Mr. De Boer
covered the operational actions which led to the need for international ruling,
the necessity of a unifying legal framework for States to act upon, and the
duties of the shipowner and rights of the authority under the convention.
He also covered the process of filling in the legal gaps and
complementing the prior legal framework.
The event is
organized by Lloyd’s Maritime Academy.
Maritime security experts have met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(15-17 June) to share expertise on how cooperation on maritime surveillance
monitoring and communication systems in the South Atlantic can benefit
countries in west and central Africa. Delegates from 11 African countries, the
Brazilian Navy and various African regional organizations and other countries shared
their experiences and challenges in enhancing maritime security, with a view to
improving maritime security through better maritime governance, maritime
situation awareness and cooperation across the South Atlantic.
The meeting also discussed the institutional framework
required to foster maritime governance and security in the South Atlantic. IMO
and the Brazilian Navy co-sponsored an “Experts Panel meeting on Maritime
Security in the South Atlantic” – a follow-up meeting to the Situational
Awareness Workshop also held in Brazil last year, which sought to identify
opportunities for technical cooperation, training and assistance to countries
which are part of the South Atlantic Maritime Coordination Area.
Additionally, IMO’s Chris Trelawny had the privilege of
awarding the prestigious Brazilian Maritime Safety Award, to the Brazilian
naval ship corvette Almirante Barroso, which
was involved in rescuing 220 immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea in September last year. Gisela Vieira, Maritime Safety Division, joined Mr. Trelawny in
representing IMO at the various activities.
IMO will have an important contribution to make to the UN 2017 Oceans Conference, which is being co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden from 5 to 9 June 2017 and aims to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development). Through the development of global standards to ensure shipping does not adversely impact the environment and through its extensive technical cooperation programme, IMO supports the aims and objectives of SDG 14.
Preparations for the 2017 Oceans Conference were discussed when Stefan Micallef, IMO’s Director, Marine Environment Division, met the representative of the co-host, H.E. Ambassador Mr Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations and President-elect for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (16 June).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the crucial work of maritime training institutes to train and equip new generations of seafarers and other shipping personnel, during a visit (16 June) to the Romanian Maritime Training Centre CERONAV, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. During the formal festivities, Mr Lim congratulated CERONAV for its work in training seafarers during the past four decades and commended Romania for its active and enthusiastic participation in the IMO Maritime Ambassadors Scheme, with the appointment of three Romanian IMO Maritime Ambassadors, who are helping to promote seafaring as a career and raise the visibility of the shipping industry.
On Friday (17 June), Mr Lim met Romanian senior Government officials including the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Florin Iordache; the President of the Committee for Infrastructure and Transport in the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Mihai Lupu; the Minister of Transport, Mr Dan Marian Costescu; the State Secretary Mr. Liviu Ionut Mosteanu; along with CERONAV General Manager and Chairman of Board of Directors Mr Ovidiu Sorin Cupşa.
contributing to a United Nations meeting
covering marine debris, plastics and microplastics in New York (13-17 June).
Discussions are focusing on information exchange between key players involved
in the protection of the marine environment – in the context of the 1982 United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),
which establishes rules governing all uses of the oceans and their
resources. IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division,
took part in a panel on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of
marine debris, plastics and microplastics.
He provided an overview of the progress made in preventing,
reducing and controlling pollution in this field, including an overview of
IMO’s work to address this issue. This includes IMO’s MARPOL convention for the prevention
of pollution from ships, which bans the disposal of plastics into the sea from
ships and generally prohibits the discharge
of all garbage
into the sea, except in certain very specific circumstances, and
the London Convention/Protocol, which in effect bans the dumping of plastics
at sea. The Organization
is also a co-lead for sea-based litter in the Global Partnership on
Marine Litter and manages the GESAMP group of scientific experts, which studies the impact
in the marine environment.
In addition to
this week’s meeting, Stefan Micallef and Fredrik Haag will represent IMO at the
annual face to face meeting of UN-Oceans,
where recent progress of joint activities, and the 2016-2017 work programme is
Peru has acceded to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention), the IMO treaty designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. This brings the number of States party to the BWM Convention to 51, representing 34.87% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. Ambassador of Peru to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Claudio
de la Puente Ribeyro, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO HQ, London (10 June) to hand over the instrument of accession.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has reiterated his request to countries that have not already done so, to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible in order to establish a certain date for entry into force, which will facilitate the work to make any necessary amendments to the Convention.
IMO officials have been prominent at the biennual Posidonia
shipping industry trade fair which is taking place this week (6-10 June) in
Athens, Greece. Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined Greece’s Prime Minister
Tsipras at the formal opening of the event, where he spoke of how shipping is
essential to the sustainable development and growth of the global economy and
about IMO’s work to ensure that shipping itself reflects the increasingly
higher expectations that society now has regarding safety standards and
Later in the week, he spoke at a working lunch at the
Piraeus Marine Club and at the Shipowners Forum organized by maritime media
Elsewhere, IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu gave an update
on IMO’s work on environmental issues to a forum organized by the North
American Marine Protection Association and the American-Hellenic Chamber of
Commerce, and participated in a conference entitled “Where is shipping heading
after COP21”, organized by the Hellenic Marine Protection Association.
The Dominican Republic has today (9 June) acceded to the IMO
convention that specifies global standards of training, certification and
watchkeeping for seafarers (the STCW Convention). H.E. Dr. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo,
Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UK, met IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim at IMO HQ, London to hand over the instrument of accession.
Secretary-General Kitack Lim has opened the Legal Committee, 103rd session
(8-10 June). Items on the agenda include: facilitation of the entry into force
and implementation of the 2010 HNS
convention and discussion of future work needed to ensure the fair treatment of seafarers in
the event of a maritime accident. The meeting (photos) will consider a submission
requesting the Committee to add to its work programme the development of a new
instrument on the foreign judicial sales of ships and their recognition. Another proposal for consideration relates to the delegation of authority to issue certificates under the CLC
and HNS Conventions and suggests the development of a single model certificate
for all liability conventions. Also on the agenda are liability and compensation issues connected with
transboundary pollution damage resulting from offshore oil exploration and