The core functions of the treaty regulating dumping of wastes at sea - the London Protocol - have been presented to some 30 participants at a workshop in Accra, Ghana (22-24 May). The workshop provided relevant examples and experiences on the implementation of the Protocol. Participants from nine countries* also received information on various legal and technical aspects, including lessons on waste assessment guidance, the permitting and reporting procedures, as well as possible steps to ratification. The workshop was hosted by the Ghana Maritime Authority. IMO’s Fredrik Haag led the event, which is being followed by a regional workshop on the anti-fouling convention and biofouling guidelines.
*Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Sierra Leone.
A three-day National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) workshop has been held in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda (16-18 May). The event provided valuable knowledge and skills to those involved in the development, adoption and review of a NMTP in the country.The exercise is part of a series of workshops and seminars being delivered in various regions of the world to provide training to interested IMO Member States in the development, adoption and updating of such policies, which are key to a coordinated and integrated approach to maritime transport.
The participants represented various government agencies and stakeholders spanning multiple sectors. The workshop was hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping and facilitated by IMO, with consultants representing both IMO and the World Maritime University (WMU). Ahead of the workshop, the IMO/WMU team met the Honourable Mr Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and discussed and discussed the benefits of developing a National Maritime Transport Policy and other maritime matters of mutual interest.
International experts have been sharing experiences, new technologies and scientific advancements relating to oil spill response at the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Long Beach, United States (15-18 May). The theme of the conference is “prevent, prepare, respond and restore”, which fully aligns with IMO’s regulatory work to prevent oil spills from occurring and also its work to support countries to be prepared to respond to such incidents. IMO`s capacity-building activities include training for oil pollution preparedness and response through simulation of oil spills.
IMO is a co-sponsor of the triennial conference alongside the oil industry body IPIECA, the United States Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAAA) and other US entities. Patricia Charlebois was attending the conference for IMO, while the Organization’s technical cooperation programme sponsored seven attendees from the Caribbean region under the conference’s scholarship programme
IMO Publishing was also in attendance at the conference, showcasing the latest editions relevant to parties to the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), 1990, and other stakeholders, including Response to a Marine Oil Pollution Incident, Manual on oil Pollution and other publications. Watch IMO’s oil spill response film here.
A new regional centre, which will provide leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships, has been launched at Shanghai Maritime University, China (15 May). The centre will cater to the needs of the Asia region under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Network (GMN) – a project funded by the European Union (EU) and run by IMO. The GMN initiative unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting developing countries in activities including development of national energy-efficiency policies for their maritime sectors.
The MTCC-Asia centre was officially opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and H.E. Mr. He Jianzhong, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Transport, China and Mr. Chen Yin, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government. Ms. Vicky Pollard, First Counsellor- Environment and Climate Change, Delegation of the European Union to China and Mongolia, represented the EU. The launch event was also witnessed by Mr. Xu Ruqing, Director General of China Maritime Safety Administration and Mr. Huang Youfang, President of SMU. (Click for photos.)
Mr. Lim said the new MTCCs in the GMN network would form part of IMO’s two-pronged approach to addressing GHG emissions from international shipping. “I see our regulatory work and our capacity-building initiatives as a double-headed assault on the problem of shipping emissions. Together, they send a clear signal about how seriously this Organization treats this issue, how determined it is to address it, and how prepared we are to roll up our sleeves and take practical measures to do so,” Mr Lim said.
Ms. Pollard said that tackling climate change and implementing Paris agreement commitments were a top priority for EU-China cooperation. ”We are delighted to be supporting the IMO to set up this new Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre in Shanghai, so that together we can support Least Developed Countries in the region to limit greenhouse gas emissions from their maritime shipping sector, and to reap the wider benefits this will bring in terms of reduced costs, jobs and sustainable development,” she said.
Also present at the launch was IMO’s Jose Matheickal, who outlined the GMN project aims.
The launch event was held alongside an International Maritime Forum, attended by SMU students, officials and representatives of the maritime industry in China. Secretary-General Lim spoke to the forum about IMO’s role in ensuring that shipping continues to make its contribution to the global economy, while ensuring its sustainability in a world which demands that its services and activities are increasingly safe, green and clean.
SMU is a multi-disciplinary, maritime-specific university that encompasses such areas as engineering, management, economics, law, arts and sciences. Since 2010, SMU has specialised in researching technology related to ships’ energy efficiency and controlling GHG emissions. The Asian MTCC will have two offices in Shanghai. The MTCC-Asia forms a network with centres in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific. GMN website: http://gmn.imo.org/. Find out more about the European Union’s capacity building work here.
Saudi Arabia has become the latest State to become a Party to the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. The treaty will enter into force on 8 September 2017 and aims to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. The number of contracting Parties to the BWM Convention now stands at 55, representing 53.67% of world merchant shipping tonnage. Saudi Arabia deposited its instrument of accession with IMO on 27 April 2017.
News and information about a major project to support low-carbon shipping can now be found on GMN.IMO.org – the newly-launched website for the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) project.
The initiative, funded by the European Union and run by IMO, unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting capacity building and technology cooperation by the shipping industry.
Find out more about IMO’s work on low carbon shipping here. For information on the European Union’s capacity building work, click here.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited IMO Headquarters on Thursday (11 May). During the visit, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Prime Minister Yildirim discussed maritime matters and reflected on this year’s World Maritime Day theme, "Connecting Ships, Ports and People".
This has great resonance for Turkey, which, as a significant maritime nation, has an interest in the whole range of issues linked to the theme, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.
During his visit, Mr. Yildirim toured the IMO Headquarters building and met senior staff.
Photos of Prime Minister Yıldırım’s visit to IMO can be downloaded here
The need to ratify and implement various marine pollution conventions has been highlighted at a regional workshop in Panama City, Panama (8-12 May). The workshop focused on the oil spill response convention (OPRC) and its related protocol, and liability and compensation conventions related to oil caried as cargo (FUND 1992) and bunkers.
In attendance were 31 participants from the Member States of the Operative Network for Regional Cooperation among Maritime Authorities of the Americas (ROCRAM). The event was led by IMO’s Carlos Salgado. It was organized by ROCRAM and the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP), under the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the General Secretariat of ROCRAM’s Secretariat (SECROCRAM), currently held by Mexico, within the framework of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).
"IMO regulations will be a driver and catalyst for a
generation of new, more efficient ships" said Stefan Micallef, Director of
the Marine Environment Division at IMO, as he concluded his remarks at the 2017 Propulsion and Emissions conference, Hamburg, Germany (10-11 May). The ‘Future
proofing your fleet’ event discussed challenging issues of complying with
environmental regulations and the associated costs. In his keynote address, Mr.
Micallef also touched upon key IMO issues such as CO2 emissions reduction
policies, noting the successful introduction of the EEDI, which is forecast to
cut CO2 emissions by 1.3 gigatonnes, or 3.6% of total global emissions, by
2050. The 2020 global sulphur limit, agreed last year, was a landmark step,
Micallef said, but ultimately, "we need a pioneering spirit to navigate
the waters ahead".
The safe use of natural gas as marine fuel was in focus at
the International Conference
on Liquefied Natural Gas for Transport and Industry in Naples, Italy (10-11
May). IMO’s Loukas Kontogiannis gave an update on IMO regulations on the
subject, specifically, the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases
or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), which entered
into force on 1 January 2017.
Gas and other low-flashpoint fuels are cleaner for the
atmosphere as they emit very low levels of air pollutants, such as sulphur
oxides and particulates. However, these fuels pose their own safety challenges.
Therefore, the Code aims to minimize the risk to ships, their crews and the
The Secretary-General made clear links between
IMO’s work and the work of IAPH, stating that: “IAPH has become a strategic
partner for some IMO projects, helping the maritime transport system to
transition into more energy-efficient and low-carbon operations”.
The conference also featured an exhibition,
including an IMO Publishing stand presenting IMO’s latest publications,
conventions and codes.
IMO Secretary-General Lim was in attendance as UN
Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the future of international cooperation
to an audience of students, diplomats and the general public at Westminster
Central Hall, London (10 May). Climate change, terrorism, human rights, UN
system reform and technological advances were some of the subjects taken on at
the UNA-UK event (photos).
Speaking about global challenges as a whole, Mr. Guterres
emphasized that “a strong commitment to multilateralism, to putting people at
the centre of our concerns, is something we all need to be involved in.”
He also addressed the need to recognize and deal with the
fact that not all people had shared equally in the benefits of globalization,
and that on-going effort must be made for social cohesion through respect,
tolerance and rationalism.
On climate change, he said that he was optimistic that the
Paris Agreement would be implemented, stating that “the green economy has
become the good economy – and the profitable economy”.
All of these challenges are being addressed by the UN
system, including IMO, through the strategic lens of the 17 Sustainable
Follow all the reaction to the event on twitter, via #SGLondon
All stakeholders should use existing safety and security management practices to implement the maritime cyber risk management recommendations agreed by IMO. This was a key message from IMO’s Javier Yasnikouski, Head of Maritime Security, IMO, presented the latest developments on maritime security at the 16th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference, Curaçao. (8-9 May).
The conference participants, from a range of maritime areas, engaged in group exercises to discuss possible cyber security scenarios that could affect shipping-related activities and organizations, as well as the financial consequences of such actions. They acknowledged the IMO cyber risk recommendations and recognized the critical importance of cyber security for all maritime stakeholders and the need to address cyber security, as an urgent matter, within their own organizations.
In less than two months,
the Day of the Seafarer 2017 will be celebrated across the globe with a special
focus on ports and seafarer centres. Under this year’s theme #SeafarersMatter, the campaign aims to engage the people working in ports and
seafarer centres to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them.
IMO is also launching a new Day of the Seafarer logo. The
Day of the Seafarer logo seeks to
celebrate those people working in the industry, making it clear that seafaring is inclusive and a
career at sea is suitable for both men and women. Alongside the logo’s new look, the Secretary-General’s video message is
also being published online and is available to watch on IMO’s YouTube channel.
To encourage people
to participate, IMO will launch an interactive world map which will feature the
best port and seafarer centres from around the world, giving a chance to
highlight best practices in seafarer support and welfare from around the
world. Our famous quiz will also be back this year,
with some new questions, together with our virtual photowall.
So join the campaign and visit our official Day of the Seafarer page to learn how to participate.
IMO’s Nairobi International Convention
on the Removal of Wrecks has been ratified by the Democratic People’s Republic
of Korea, bringing the total number of States to accede to the treaty to 35.
The Convention, which entered into force in 2015, provides the legal basis for
States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of
lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine environment.
The Convention was adopted in 2007 and its Contracting
States currently represent just over 60% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.
Mr. Kim Kwang Min, Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republicof
Korea to IMO, Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in London, met IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession (8 May).
Information and communication technology (ICT) are seen
within the UN system as vital to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and monitor progress towards them.
The bodies that deal with these issues across the UN system*
have met (2-4 May) to discuss progress on their so-called Digital
Transformation Agenda. Among topics on the agenda were data-driven decision
making, predictive analysis, cyber security issues and partnership with the
private sector. It was agreed to establish a task force for each of the key
areas identified at the meetings.
*The 28th meeting of the CEB-ICT Network and the 99th
session of the United Nations International Computing Centre Management
Committee took place at the Pan American Health Organization in
Washington DC, USA, with IMO’s Vincent Job representing the Organization.
Identifying organisms and microbes in ballast water, as well as monitoring port marine life where ballast water may be released, are key for countries preparing to enforce IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention. The treaty will enter into force on 8 September 2017 and aims to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. A regional workshop in Surabaya, Indonesia (2-5 May) is providing participants from 10 countries* with theoretical and practical training in compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the Convention. The workshop is also addressing port biological baseline surveys and risk assessment. These baseline surveys aim to provide inventories of marine life in and around commercial ports frequented by ships carrying ballast water, determine if there are any non-indigenous species which have been introduced and provide a baseline of biological data against which future changes can be measured.
To support port State control for implementation of the BWM Convention, IMO has published a video on ballast water sampling and analysis, which can be viewed here.
*The Workshop is being hosted by the Directorate General of Sea Transportation of the Ministry of Transport of Indonesia and is being attended by 49 participants from Indonesia, Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Viet Nam.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has
stressed the vital importance of collaborative efforts to leave ‘no hiding
place’ for sub-standard shipping. Mr Lim was addressing the third Joint
Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on
Port State Control in Vancouver, Canada (3-4 May).
Port State Control is the mechanism that enables officials
from a port state to board and inspect foreign-flag ships to ensure they comply
with the necessary safety and environmental regulations. By sharing information
and data and adopting uniform operational procedures, regional Port State
Control organizations can make it harder for sub-standards ships to slip
through their net. IMO actively promotes and supports strong and collaborative
Port State Control.
During his visit to Canada, Mr Lim also had meetings with Mr
Marc Garneau, Canada’s Transport Minister; Mr Yasutada Ohno, Japan’s
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,
and Mr He Jianzhong, the Chinese Vice Minister of Transport.
training course on maritime law enforcement for countries surrounding the Gulf
of Aden concludes today (4 May) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The course brought
together specialists from 14
signatory countries* to the Djibouti Code
of Conduct – the IMO instrument helping to repress piracy and armed robbery
against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
covered topics covered under the recently adopted Jeddah amendment
to the Djibouti Code – such as how to suppress a range of illicit
activities. These include piracy,
arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal
oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal
dumping of toxic waste.
was delivered by instructors from the Border Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, supported by experts from INTERPOL, the NATO Maritime Interdiction
Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), the Hellenic Police, the United States
Coast Guard, United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and IMO.
IMO was represented by Chris Trelawny and Kiruja
Micheni, who represented the IMO Secretary-General at the closing ceremony for
the course. This was one of several courses honoured at a ceremony presided by
His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, First
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and the General Director of the
Border Guard, Vice Admiral Awwad Eid Al-Aradi Al-Balawi.
The event was
funded by Saudi Arabia and held at the Mohammed Bin Naif Academy for Maritime
Science and Security Studies.
Code signatory States: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya,
Madagascar, Maldives, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Republic
of Tanzania and Yemen; as well as two representatives from the Bahrain Coast
Latest developments on the entry
into force of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention took centre stage
at the 8th International Conference on Ballast Water Management (24-25
April) in Singapore. IMO Secretary-General Emeritus, Koji Sekimizu, and Chief
Technical Advisor of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme, Jose
Matheickal, delivered keynote addresses at the event.
Among other key issues,
participants discussed the revised guidelines for
the approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8), challenges facing Port
State Control with regards to Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement
(CME) and the timeline for installation of BWM systems. The
conference also looked at latest technological developments in the field of
ballast water treatment and monitoring systems. Organized by IMarEST in
partnership with GloBallast and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore,
the conference was part of the Singapore Maritime Week and also included a tour
of laboratories for testing ballast water management systems.
IMO has contributed to the ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Sea Robbery
Conference 2017 in Singapore (27 April). IMO special advisor on maritime
security, Chris Trelawny, gave a presentation on current statistics and trends
on the issue of piracy and armed robbery against ships. According to reports
received by IMO, the number of incidents followed a downward trend in 2016,
with 215 incidents, compared with 303 in 2015 – a reduction of about 29% at the
global level. In the Malacca Straits, reported incidents fell by 85% from 134
incidents in 2015 to 20 in 2016. View the full presentation here.
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).
out more about IMO’s maritime security and piracy work here.
Regional commitment of the Pacific on the advancement of women and
gender equality in the maritime sector was at the forefront of a meeting held
by The Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PacWIMA)
in Nuku’alofa, Tonga (24-28 April). Thanks
to IMO funding, the association was able to meet and discuss the regional strategy for
Pacific women in the maritime sector, e launching their new website and
collaborating with the World Maritime University`s Women’s Association. The strategy seeks to
encourage women who aspire to train for, and work in, the maritime sector, by
raising awareness and providing the tools for civil society and local
communities to create an enabling environment for them to do so.
Executive members of
PacWIMA also attended the Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’
Meeting, to highlight women`s economic contribution and
leadership to the Pacific maritime sector. IMO`s Juvenal Shindu, who was in
attendance, reiterated that maritime transport has a role to
play in contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG)
and in particular SDG 5 in supporting regional activities
through empowering women.
The issue of biofouling has been under the microscope at a series of national workshops delivered by IMO, most recently, a national workshop held in Antananarivo, Madagascar (25-27 April). All ships can experience a build-up of aquatic organisms on their underwater hull and structures, which is known as biofouling. This can impact on the ship speed and energy use, but it could also potentially see aquatic organisms transferred to new areas, where they could become invasive species. IMO has acted to regulate anti-fouling systems in order to prevent adverse impacts from the use of anti-fouling systems and the biocides they may contain. And IMO has also adopted guidance to focus on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
The recent workshop on the impacts of anti-fouling systems and of ships’ biofouling raised awareness of the issues and developed capacity for the ratification and implementation of the anti-fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and the implementation of the Biofouling Guidelines. Participants gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the AFS Convention, and implementing the Biofouling Guidelines. The workshop was funded by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Fund and implemented by IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis.
Seafarers need to be properly trained if they are to operate ships safely and competently, and the standards they must attain are set out in IMO’s STCW Convention. It is also vital that seafarers are properly assessed and examined to make sure they really do reach the required levels of skill and competency. A regional training course on how to assess and examine seafarers is being held in Shanghai, China (24-28 April). The course will provide knowledge and skills, enabling trainees to administer, supervise and monitor training and assessment of seafarer competence, as required by the STCW Convention.
The course is hosted by Shanghai Maritime University. Forty participants from seven countries across east and south-east Asia* attended the course, which was held under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding between IMO and the Ministry of Communications of China on technical cooperation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and the Maritime Safety Administration of Shanghai. IMO was represented by Milhar Fuazudeen.
*China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.
Adverse climate changes, sea level rising and extreme weather
patterns are causes of great concern for the Pacific community. IMO has
joined more than 100 high-level delegates and experts in Nuku’alofa,
Tonga (26 April) for the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport
Ministerial Meeting, under the theme of "Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy and Transport
Services for All".
Energy and transport sectors are vital at national, regional and
global levels for the survival and sustainability of the Pacific region. IMO’s
Juvenal Shiundu delivered an opening address and outlined the
technical assistance provided by IMO to
assist member States to implement IMO regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse
gas from maritime transport sectors. He also acknowledged the long-standing
cooperation between IMO and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in
the implementation of technical cooperation activities in the region.
Mr. Shiundu also touched upon maritime transport in the context
of the 2030 Agenda
for Sustainable Development.