launched its maritime technology cooperation centre as part of an ambitious
IMO-EU project to establish a global network of centres to further global
efforts in addressing climate change.
will act as regional focal points for a wide range of activities including
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).
Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC-Africa) follows launches of
centres in Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions earlier this year, with
the Latin America MTCC expected to launch early 2018. Together they are forming
a network under the GMN project funded by the European Union (EU) and
run by IMO.
the launch event in Mombasa, Kenya (13 December) IMO Director of the Marine
Environment Division, Stefan Micallef, praised the launch of MTCC-Africa and
the importance of its mission to promote low-carbon shipping. “Global efforts
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping rely heavily on improvements
in energy efficiency and increased uptake of low-carbon technologies. Better
energy efficiency means less fuel is used, and that means lower emissions. This
is also good for the shipowner, because less fuel means less operational
costs”, he said.
The EU was
represented at the launch by Bruno Pozzi, the Deputy Head of the Delegation of
the European Union to Kenya, who also raised the importance of the centre,
saying that "the launch of Africa's Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre
comes at a time when global action against climate change is needed more than
Karigithu, principal secretary of Kenya Maritime and Shipping Affairs, said the
centre would enhance capacity for the African region in promoting ship energy
efficiency technologies and operations. She said this would be key to reduction
of harmful emissions from ships with the aim of mitigating harmful effects of
will be hosted at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. More info on the
European Union’s capacity building work can be found here.
out more about the GMN project and the five centres at gmn.imo.org.
The Pacific region has celebrated the launch of a centre of excellence for low-carbon shipping technology, which joins centres in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America as part of a global network run by IMO and funded by the European Union. Through this network – the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) – these centres will develop and promote low-carbon maritime transport systems, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Pacific centre (MTCC-Pacific) was launched in Suva, Fiji (12 December) where it will be hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Speaking at the launch, Fiji's Minister for Forests and Acting Minister for Fisheries, the Hon. Osea Naiqamu, highlighted the importance of the Centre both to Fiji and to the wider Pacific community saying, "Fiji is privileged to host the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre in the Pacific on behalf of the Pacific. This centre of excellence will provide invaluable support to Pacific Island Countries and Territories towards progressing their respective priorities and commitments towards achieving sustainable transport and reducing greenhouse gas emissions".
IMO was represented at the event by Aubrey Botsford, who said that "efforts to mitigate climate change and promote energy efficiency in the maritime sector, through actions taken by Pacific governments and maritime industry, show the dynamic approach taken by your region".
Following the launch, maritime industry leaders from across the region and international experts will participate in a week-long MTCC-Pacific Regional Conference.
Find out more about the GMN project and the five centres at gmn.imo.org. More info on the European Union's capacity building work can be found here.
Protecting marine ecosystems from
potentially harmful invasive aquatic species transported in ships’ ballast
water is an important part of IMO’s work to protect the marine environment. The treaty supporting
this is the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which requires ships in
international traffic to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain
standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan.
But for regulation to be
effective, it needs to be clearly understood by all stakeholders involved. To
support this process, IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis has updated ballast water
professionals, shipowners and other stakeholders meeting at the BWMTech
London Conference (12 December) on recent regulatory developments.
Specifically, he outlined the key decisions from the latest session of IMO’s
Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC
71) related to implementing the BWM Convention, which entered
into force in September 2017.
Amendments agreed by MEPC 71 are
expected to be adopted at the next session (MEPC 72) in April 2018 and will set
out an implementation schedule for the so-called D-2 standard. This standard
specifies that ships can only discharge ballast water that meets specific
In addition to a general
presentation – Mr. Karayannis took part in two panel discussions to further explain
the detail of the latest developments and various important regulatory issues
To find out more about
implementing the BWM Convention, including through infographics, videos and
FAQs, click here.
Prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa is on the agenda at a meeting of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea in Lagos, Nigeria (11-12 December). The meeting is reviewing progress made in implementing the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, which was signed by governments in the region, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea and other illicit maritime activity. The meeting also stresses the importance for States in the region to promote and implement a combined effort to improve maritime security within their areas of jurisdiction and responsibility. The meeting is also looking at gaps in capacity-building and assessing needs in equipment.
Additionally, the heads of the Economic Communities of the West African States (ECOWAS) and of the Economic Communities of the Central African States (ECCAS) will be updating participants on the status of the Yaoundé-Process as well as the latest developments of its legal and operational framework, in particular in establishing the Maritime Multi-National Coordination Centers.
The meeting will also provide the opportunity to gather the shipping industry's views on challenges ahead. Assuming the Presidency of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++ FoGG), Italy is hosting the meeting in Nigeria. IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira.
ground-breaking Global Industry Alliance (GIA) – a partnership of key maritime
stakeholders pursuing low carbon shipping – has met at IMO Headquarters, London
GIA is made up of leading shipowners and operators, classification societies,
engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, port and oil
companies – tasked with identifying and developing innovative ways to encourage
use of energy-efficiency technologies and operations.
GIA Task Force meeting, the second one in the series, saw 20 industry representatives from
across the Alliance’s 16 member companies discuss how to make further progress
on on-going GIA funded activities and to agree new priority areas to pursue
under the partnership.
GIA was launched
in June 2017. It was established under the auspices of GloMEEP Project – set up
between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development
Program (UNDP) and IMO – to support developing countries to implement energy
efficiency-measures for shipping.
find out more about the GIA, visit the GloMEEP website, here.
A new IMO-Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) environmental project in Southeast Asia is set to begin, to support seven countries to protect the marine environment from shipping operations. The four-year project will focus on enhancing the countries’ capacity to implement a number of high-priority marine environment conventions, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); the Anti-Fouling Systems Convention; the London dumping of wastes convention and protocol; and the Ballast Water Management Convention.
IMO and Norad signed (on 8 December 2017) an Agreement to support the new major project titled “Marine Environment Protection for Southeast Asia Seas (MEPSEAS)”. Under the Agreement, Norad will make available some US$2 million via contributions to IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. The seven ASEAN countries involved will be Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The project will build on a previous IMO-Norad project which directly led to the six countries concerned (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) making substantial progress in terms of implementation and/or ratification of IMO environmental treaties. For countries which have acceded to the relevant treaties, the new MEPSEAS project will allow them to focus on effective implementation.
The issue of how to
legally remove hazardous wrecks at sea has been in the spotlight at the Salvage
& Wreck London 2017 Conference (7 December). IMO’s Jan De Boer took part in
a panel discussing the challenges surrounding wreck removal and provided an
update on the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention.
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. It applies to shipwrecks, objects from ships at sea, drifting
ships and floating offshore installations.
Under the treaty, shipowners
are strictly liable for costs of locating, marking and removing hazardous
wrecks. Additionally, they are required to maintain compulsory insurance to
cover their liability.
Female officials from maritime and port authorities from developing countries are attending a training course aimed at improving management and operational efficiency of their ports. Hosted in Le Havre, France (27 November - 8 December), women from 21 countries are taking part in the two-week course entitled "Women in Port Management" which includes lectures on subjects such as port management, port security, port marine environment, facilitation of maritime traffic, port marketing, port logistics and other topics.
Alongside classroom lectures, visits were organized at the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, enabling the participants to experience for themselves the day-to-day operations of a port with a view to applying the newly-learned material back in their respective countries.
The event is being held under IMO's gender and capacity-building programme, in collaboration with Le Havre Port Authority, and held at the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER). It comes as part of IMO's ongoing efforts to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
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, and also
potentially see aquatic organisms transferred to new areas, where they can
become invasive species.
To help address this threat, the IMO team preparing the new
project has taken part in the Sustainable Ocean Summit in Halifax, Canada
(29 November – 1 December) where industry-led solutions to ocean sustainability
challenges were being discussed.
The event brought together
representatives from the ocean business community, including shipping, oil and
gas, fisheries, aquaculture, seabed mining, tourism, renewable energy – as well
as participants from the maritime legal, financial and insurance communities.
As part of the Summit, the GloFouling preparation team,
represented by John Alonso, also collaborated with the World Ocean
Council (WOC) to organise a parallel session on “Biofouling and Invasive
Species: Addressing the Threat through Industry Collaboration”. Here,
participants learned about the main features of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling
project and discussed how ocean industries can engage with international
organizations and governments to be part of the solution to marine biofouling.
Engaging industry and
academia to find new solutions to biofouling is a key feature of the GloFouling
project, and part of IMO’s on-going work to support the Sustainable Development Goals
– particularly SDG 14
on life below water.
Somalia has become the 14th signatory* to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.
The Amendment significantly broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code when it was adopted at a high-level meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in January 2017. It covers measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste.
H.E. Mariam Aweis, Minister of Marine Transport and Ports, Federal Government of Somalia, deposited the instrument with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London (1 December).
* Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
The maritime capacity of the Solomon Islands is to be strengthened through a new capacity-building partnership signed between Belgium, the Solomon Islands and IMO. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at IMO Headquarters (30 November), Belgium has pledged €350.000 through IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme to support the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) to enhance its capacity to address maritime challenges. This could include the provision of training and human resources to support the safety authority to meet regulatory and safety requirements, in particular those of the international maritime treaties to which Solomon Islands is a party.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, Captain Eugeen Van Craeyvelt, Director General Shipping of the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport of the Kingdom of Belgium and Mr. Trevor Unusu, Minister Counsellor, Solomon Islands High Commission to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland signed the MoU.
Six female officials benefited from IMO fellowships and attended a Port Senior Management Programme held at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, Israel, (15 -28 November). The two-week course provided them with key information and updates on innovations in the port industry. This initiative comes from IMO's gender and capacity-building programme which supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, particularly goal 5 on gender equality. One part of the programme focuses on providing gender-specific fellowships which in this case was provided to six female officials from Belize, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Better implementation of IMO standards, improving capacity building, enhancing the performance of the Secretariat and promoting a global approach and awareness are the cornerstones of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s vision for the London-based United Nations agency.
A multi-donor trust fund to help make this vision a reality today (27 November) received a major boost in the form of a US$2.0 million donation from the Republic of Korea. The “Delivering Strategy and Reform – Voyage Together” trust fund provides a mechanism to facilitate and accelerate development of the Secretary-General’s vision.
Port security officials in Guinea have undergone training on complying with IMO’s maritime security measures. They are being trained in how to perform their duties in line with SOLAS Chapter XI-2, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and related guidance.
The event in Conakry, Guinea (20-24 November) is being organised in conjunction with Guinea’s Maritime Authority and the Ministry of Transport. The training involves Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and representatives of the Designated Authority (DA).
Find out more about IMO’s maritime security work, here.
The spread of invasive species is recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. These species are causing enormous damage to biodiversity and the damage to the environment is often irreversible. Moreover, significant economic impact occurs to industries that depend on the coastal and marine environment, as well as costly damage to infrastructure. Direct and indirect health effects are also becoming increasingly serious. Ships have been identified as a vector for invasive aquatic species. This could be through species hitching a ride in the ballast water of ships; or by adhering to the ship’s hull and external structures - a process known as biofouling. IMO addresses invasive aquatic species carried in ballast water through the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which requires ships to manage their ballast water to limit the spread of aquatic organisms.
The BWM treaty entered into force in September 2017. This landmark step was recognized at the latest meeting of the Inter-agency Liaison Group on Invasive Alien Species, which held its 8th session in Brussels, Belgium (22-23 November). IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis provided an outline of the main provisions of the BWM Convention and explained aspects of its implementation and enforcement. Biofouling was also on the agenda and Mr. Karayannis updated the group on IMO’s latest Glo-Fouling project to address bioinvasions via ships’ hulls through the effective implementation of IMO's Biofouling Guidelines.
Addressing invasive species is listed as a target under the UN Sustainable Development Goal 15, which calls on States, by 2020, to introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.
IMO's work also has relevance under SDG 14, which calls on States, by 2020, to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans. The Liaison Group meeting was hosted by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
IMO's work to protect the polar environment and the safety of seafarers and passengers navigating in polar regions has received a boost thanks to a donation by the Government of Canada.
IMO Secretary-General and Canada's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, H.E. Ms. Janice Charette, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at IMO Headquarters (23 November). The MoU aims to deliver training programmes for seafarers on board ships operating in polar waters, in line with The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, better known as the Polar Code. The Code, which entered into force on 1 January 2017, sets out mandatory standards that cover the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training and environmental protection matters for ships making polar voyages.
Under this initiative, the financial contribution of CAD $500,000, will also go towards four regional train-the-trainer workshops on implementation of the Polar Code and assign IMO as the responsible agency for the management and execution of these activities.
The IMO treaty covering the prevention of air pollution from
ships has been ratified by Iceland, bringing the total number of contracting
States to 89, and representing more than 96% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
Annex VI treaty limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust
gas, including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and prohibits deliberate
emissions of ozone depleting substances. It also includes energy-efficiency
measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
H.E. Mr Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Ambassador of Iceland to
the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters,
London (22 November) to deposit the instruments of accession.
Find out more about IMO’s work on low carbon shipping and
air pollution control, here.
IMO’s technical cooperation activities have received a boost of US$1.0 million. The funds, donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will be allocated to a range of activities, including training and supporting women in the maritime sector; as well as combating piracy and other illicit activities that threaten the safety of navigation.
The funds include:
- US$250,000 to support both the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017 that together help signatory States to counter piracy and other illicit activities that threaten safety of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean area.
- US$50,000 to combat piracy in West and Central Africa.
- US$250,000 to support the activities of the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.
- US$50,000 to support and strengthen the role of women working in the maritime sector in the Arab world.
- US$300,000 for the Endowment Fund of the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden.
- US$100,000 to the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta to support some scholarships.
The cheque for US$1.0 million was presented to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom.
The Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) has been equipped with a modern computer-based training simulator as part of IMO's efforts to promote maritime safety and security in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
Equipment installation, funded through a contribution to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund by the Kingdom of Denmark, has been completed and the first cohort of six Djibouti officers have been trained to operate it.
The simulator training room consists of 11 trainee consoles and an instructor's work station. The package includes software for many modules such as Marine Communication, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and Search and Rescue (SAR). It is capable of maritime safety and security scenario simulation and also includes animation and video clips, printed and electronic textbooks and training syllabus.
IMO's Kiruja Micheni, and Commander John Hansen, representative of Denmark, are in Djibouti to oversee the finalisation and handover formalities.
A review of the latest environmental protection measures from IMO has been provided to the Green Ship Technology North America Conference (15-16 November), New York, United States. IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis outlined the key decisions from the latest session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71), including the latest work on GHG reduction from international shipping and on air pollution and on implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention. The BWM Convention entered into force in September 2017.
Transporting hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by sea
is a vital trade. Chemicals, LPG, LNG and
other products are important to many manufacturing and
energy processes and IMO regulations ensure their safe transport.
However, when incidents do happen, IMO’s HNS Convention helps to ensure that
those who have suffered damage have access to a comprehensive and international
liability and compensation regime.
To explain this treaty and why it is needed, IMO’s Jan De
Boer is participating at the LNG Ship/Shore Interface
Conference in London (16-17 November). His keynote speech covered the impacts
associated with HNS incidents, including those involving chemical and LPG
tankers, as well the overall benefits of the Convention and the next steps for
States to implement the treaty.
Find more about the HNS Convention, including digital
brochures, graphics and presentations, here.
Cooperation between academic institutions is key in ensuring the next generation of maritime professionals is well prepared. In this spirit, IMO's Juvenal Shiundu delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the International seminar on mutual cooperation between International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Maritime University (WMU) and Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU) in Busan, Republic of Korea (11 November).
In front of a full audience, Mr. Shiundu reiterated the crucial role played by IMO's technical cooperation work in enhancing the capacities of many developing countries and producing maritime leaders through the many global training institutions, such as the World Maritime University and the International Maritime Law Institute, and ultimately helping to implement IMO instruments worldwide.
Students also heard about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they offer both opportunities and challenges which IMO, WMU and KMOU are keen to explore as an area of potential collaboration for maritime research and education.
continuing work to assist ports with the highest numbers of stowaway incidents
through enhancing port security is underway at a workshop in Tema, Ghana (13-17
with key stakeholders responsible for maritime security and facilitation are
being used to gauge knowledge of national legislation, port facility security
plans, local organization of maritime security and facilitation, and
inter-agency cooperation through security and facilitation committees.
event included a visit to the port of Tema to assess the physical security
which is currently in place. Participants are also being trained to plan and
conduct effective self-assessments and internal/external audits of port
facilities, in line with IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment.
will assess the port’s compliance with stowaway provisions in IMO’s
Facilitation Convention and with recommendations adopted by a regional
conference on stowaways held in 2014. The national workshop is being funded by
the Government of Denmark and contributes to the IMO World Maritime Day theme
for 2017: Connecting Ships, Ports and People.
include representatives from the Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Ports and
Harbours Authority, UNODC, Interpol and the Port and Maritime Authority of West
& Central Africa (PMAWCA). The event was
opened by Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Hon.
Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, with the Director-Generals of the
Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr. Kwame Owusu, and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr. Paul Asare
Ansah, were also in attendance. IMO was represented by Dallas Laryea,
Regional Coordinator for Anglophone Africa.
The key IMO
treaty supporting the free flow of international maritime traffic – the
Facilitation Convention – provides a set of consistent, uniform regulations
that cover the wide range of administrative tasks required of ships coming
into and leaving port.
this process in Montenegro, IMO is holding a seminar with the Ministry of
Transport and Maritime Affairs in Bar, Montenegro (14-16 November). Thirty-five
participants from various agencies with responsibilities for clearing ships,
cargo, crew and passengers in the country’s ports, and private stakeholders are
is advising participants on both the current facilitation regulations and
recent amendments on the mandatory electronic data exchange for international
shipping, which enter into force in 2018 via the Annex
to the FAL Convention. Under the new amendments, all contracting
governments will establish means for exchanging information electronically by
are also being advised on the benefits of using a maritime single window for
ship notifications as well as on topics such as stowaways and persons rescued
at sea. IMO is represented by Cagri Kucukyildiz and a consultant.
more about the FAL Convention, what it is and why it matters, here.