in China are the first to undergo a newly developed course designed to assist maritime training institutes to introduce the topic of
energy-efficient ship operation into their teaching curriculums. More than
30 participants from maritime universities, shipping colleges and
institutes from across China are attending the workshop, taking place in
Hangzhou (8-9 December).
The course, developed
under IMO’s GloMEEP project, will
help maritime training institutes to deliver IMO’s Model
Course 4.05 to seafarers. It consists of a series of lectures,
interactive exercises and videos to enhance the learning experience
and ensure there are properly trained crews who can contribute
to efficient shipping. In this way the course supports IMO’s
environmental protection goals by spreading industry best practices
that can reduce fuel consumption from ships and associated greenhouse
IMO has designed a series of model courses to support implementation of
IMO Conventions and to facilitate access to the knowledge and
skills demanded by increasingly sophisticated maritime technology.
The GloMEEP workshop is hosted by the Zhejiang Institute
of Communications and China Maritime Safety Administration. IMO
is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.
A meeting of salvage and wreck professionals in
London, United Kingdom has been introduced to IMO’s Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention.
The treaty 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. IMO’s Jan De Boer outlined the Convention’s
key provisions in a session on “Operating within guidelines, conventions and
authorities’ requirements” at the 19th Salvage & Wreck Removal Conference (7-9
December). These provisions include 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.
The effective implementation of IMO garbage regulations (MARPOL Annex V) on ships and in port reception facilities was the main focus of an IMO regional workshop on marine litter for the East Asian seas region, held in Jeju, Republic of Korea (5-8 December). Participants shared experiences of implementing marine litter requirements. Site visits included the waste oil disposal facility and clean-up vessel operated by the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), which hosted the workshop. The event was also aimed at supporting the implementation of the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter under the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA RAP-MALI). Participants came from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. IMO’s Jun Sun provided an update on MARPOL Annex V requirements.
IMO has signed a unique agreement to strengthen cooperation
with the technical body whose members undertake ship survey and certification
duties on behalf of IMO Member States. The International Association of
Classification Societies (IACS) represents so-called Recognised Organizations
(ROs) at IMO. Survey and certification is vital to the effective implementation
of IMO measures and ROs must comply with a mandatory code developed by IMO in
order to undertake this important technical work for the Member States. Under
the terms of the agreement (signed on 7 December), IMO and IACS will exchange technical information on
a regular basis and strengthen existing lines of dialogue between the two
A recent visit to Cabo Verde (30 November-6 December) by IMO provided an opportunity to meet various Government agencies involved with maritime security and discuss the country’s future role in regional maritime security activities. Cabo Verde has announced its intention to host the MultiNational Centre of Coordination (for Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal) under the proposed operational framework to support the wider region’s maritime security Code of Conduct, which was signed by governments, including Cabo Verde, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea and other illicit maritime activity. The framework plans for five Multinational Centres of Coordination which will each report to one of the two regional centres (one for west and one for central Africa), which will in turn report to the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre that was established in 2014 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
IMO’s Gisela Vieira held meetings with a number of Cabo Verde government agencies, including the Maritime Authority, Agencia Maritima Portuaria (AMP), which hosted the visit; the Coast Guard, Fisheries, Borders Police and Ministry of Justice. Site visits included the new Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Maritime Control Centre, located in Praia, which is due to be inaugurated in March 2017 and the VTS centre in Mindelo.
Ms. Vieira also visited the COSMAR (Centro de Operacoes de Seguranca Maritima - Center for Maritime Security Operations), which was formed in 2010 as an interagency centre for maritime security operations, allowing authorities in Cabo Verde to enhance coordination among the various entities involved in the maritime domain. COSMAR is able to gather information related to illicit acts committed on Cape Verde jurisdictional waters, with radar and satellite images, and transfer relevant data to other national agencies.
IMO was also represented at the second annual meeting of the G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (G7++FOGG), which met in Praia, Cabo Verde on 2 December.
Piracy, armed robbery and border security scenarios are
being played out in a table top exercise for officials in Conakry, Guinea (6-8
December). The IMO-led event is the latest in a long series of exercises held
in the West Africa region to promote security measures in IMO treaties,
particularly the SOLAS
chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code. Further scenarios include threats to cruise
ships, incidents potentially involving weapons of mass destruction, drugs,
environmental threats such as oil spills, and maritime safety inspections.
The exercise is also covering the region’s maritime security
Conduct, which was
signed by governments, including Guinea, in 2013, to enhance cooperation to
counter piracy and armed robbery at sea and other illicit maritime
activity. IMO is thereby continuing its efforts to promote a
multi-agency, whole of Government approach to maritime security and maritime
law enforcement issues.
The event is hosted by the Direction Nationale de la Marine
Marchande in Guinea. IMO is represented by a maritime security consultant.
Facilitation of maritime traffic
is on the agenda at a national seminar being held in Manila, the Philippines
(6-8 December), with thirty participants from ministries responsible for
clearing ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports of the Philippines, and
private stakeholders. The workshop is assisting the Philippines with the
ratification process of IMO’s Convention on Facilitation of International
Maritime Traffic (FAL), which is designed to help prevent unnecessary delays in
The workshop will cover recent
developments in the FAL Convention that were adopted by the IMO’s FAL
Committee in April 2016. The participants are also being advised on the
benefits of using maritime single window and electronic data interchange in
facilitating ship clearance.
The event is organized by IMO and
the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
IMO is represented by Julian Abril, Cagri Kucukyildiz, regional coordinator Josephine Uranza and consultant.
Belarus has acceded to three IMO treaties covering a variety
of ship safety measures. The instruments include conventions on load lines and facilitation
of maritime traffic. Ambassador of Belarus to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Sergei
Aleinik, met IMO Secretary-General at IMO Headquarters in London (5 December)
to deposit the instruments of accession. The visit comes one week after the
Organization welcomed Belarus as its latest and 172nd Member State.
The treaties acceded to are:
- the Convention on Facilitation
of International Maritime Traffic, 1965
- the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International
Convention on Load Lines, 1966
- the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention
of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS),
The role of the marine industry in supporting the United
Nations Sustainable Development Goals was addressed at the 2016 World Ocean Council
Sustainable Ocean Summit
in Rotterdam, Netherlands (30 November-2
December). IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis gave an insight into how the Organization
supports ocean sustainability, including work to mitigate climate change
through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions form ships and IMO’s work to
address biofouling and the transport of potentially invasive aquatic species.
In line with the Summit’s theme “Ocean 2030: Sustainable
Development Goals and the Ocean Business Community”, Mr. Karayannis highlighted
major IMO projects that feature strong cooperation and partnership with
industry and promote sustainable development. These include the GloMEEP project – a
GEF-UNDP-IMO initiative that supports the uptake and implementation of
energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas
A table-top exercise on maritime security has been held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, (1-2 December) to assist the country to effectively implement provisions that fall within the scope of IMO maritime security measures, including SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code and the SUA treaties.
The exercise is organized within the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The exercise aims to stimulate discussions and demonstrate 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 and the illicit trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
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.
A project to
provide a single display maritime surveillance system for Mozambique has been
commissioned and handed over to the country’s Government in Maputo
(1 December). The
IMO-supported project is set to boost maritime situational awareness for all
concerned agencies in Mozambique and enhance operational decision making and
increase cooperation in dealing with maritime security issues.
funded through contribution by the Government of Japan to the Djibouti Code of
Conduct Trust Fund, provides maritime surveillance systems including the Global
Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS), automatic identification system (AIS), and VHF radios with data link – creating an
integrated system for the Mozambique National Maritime Authority (INAMAR),
Mozambique Navy, Fisheries, and the Mozambique Maritime Police.
launch, IMO’s Kiruja Micheni called on all relevant Government agencies to
support the concept of a whole of Government approach to dealing with maritime
issues and to embrace a culture of information-sharing between them to reach
their common goal.
IMO is assisting Tunisia with the development of its
maritime security legislation with a training workshop, taking place in the
country’s capital of Tunis (30 November – 1 December).
Participating in the event are Tunisian Government
officials, particularly legal experts responsible for implementing security
measures set out in the IMO instruments SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code.
In reviewing the current legislation in place, participants are able to
identify specific areas of concern and consider legislative or regulatory
strategies to address those issues – thereby helping to strengthen governance,
meet ISPS Code standards and elevate ship and port security laws and
regulations to prevent security incidents.
The recently adopted IMO Guidance for the development of
national maritime security legislation (MSC.1/Circ.1525)
forms part of the reference materials,
supplemented by a compilation of legislative best practices and examples on
port and ship security legislative and regulatory developments. The workshop is
also covering other counter-terrorism instruments, such as the SUA
Convention and Protocols.
The workshop is organized by IMO, in cooperation with the
Tunisian Ports and Merchant Marine Authority, Ministry of Transport of Tunisia.
IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen, with UNODC and the US Coast Guard
providing legal advisors.
Regulations covering the dumping of wastes at sea are the focus of
a national workshop in Aqaba, Jordan (28-30 November). The event is raising
awareness of the London
Protocol, which entered into force ten years ago and modernized the
original London Convention dumping treaty (ratified by Jordan). Under the Protocol,
all dumping at sea is prohibited - with the exception of wastes commonly agreed
by Governments and then put on an approved list.
Thirty participants from various maritime-related institutions,
academia and navy are taking part in the workshop, which is the first of its
kind held in the country. It was opened by H.E. Salah Abu Afifeh, Director
General of the Jordan Maritime Commission, who stressed that Jordan, as a Red
Sea State, along with other neighbouring States, has an obligation to protect
the marine environment from all sources and causes of pollution whether they
come from land or sea.
In addition to lectures and discussions, the workshop also
included a field trip to the Ayla coastal development project. The workshop was
organized by IMO, in cooperation with the Regional Organisation for the
Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), and follows a regional workshop on
the same topic held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2015. IMO was represented by
Fredrik Haag, with assistance coming from an expert funded by the Government
of the United Kingdom.
* Including from the Jordan Maritime Commission, Aqaba Development
Corporation, Marine Science Station, Universities, the Aqaba Special Economic
Zone Authority (ASEZA), the Royal Naval Forces, Jordan Shipping Association,
Aqaba Maritime Training and Education Centre.
The Republic of Belarus has become the latest Member of IMO, following the deposit of an instrument of acceptance of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 29 November 2016.
With the acceptance of the Convention by Belarus, the number of IMO Member States stands at 172, with a further three Associate Members.
A visit to a newly established maritime training facility in
Almere, the Netherlands (28 November), has seen IMO Secretary-General Kitack
Lim experience first-hand some of the latest technology and training methods
used to equip seafarers with the skills needed for a career at sea. Simulator
training forms a key part of mandatory training under IMO’s STCW Convention, which establishes international standards
for training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Mr. Lim was joined by IMO Directors Frederick Kenney and
Ashok Mahapatra in a tour of the Center for Simulator Maritime Training
(CSMART), which included full mission bridge simulators and engine room
A UN conference has highlighted the importance of technology and innovation in ensuring sustainable transport for all. IMO was present at the UN’s first ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference, held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (26-27 November). Concluding the two-day conference with the so-called ‘Ashgabat Statement’, participants stressed the need to promote the integration of science, technology and innovation into sustainable transport systems by tapping into technological opportunities in the decades to come, in order to bring about fundamental, transformative changes to transport systems. This, they said, can be achieved through the use of energy-efficient technology, as well as information and communications technology, as they called for strengthening capacity-building support to developing countries.
IMO works with developing countries through its integrated technical cooperation programme to promote sustainable maritime transport. For example, IMO's GloMEEP project is aimed at supporting the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.
During the conference, IMO’s Jesper Loldrup participated in a panel on “Sustainable transport solutions to the climate crisis”, highlighting IMOs work on energy efficiency including recent decisions made to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
The UN Conference brought together key stakeholders from Governments, the UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society to engage in a dialogue that emphasizes the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. All modes of transport – road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime – were addressed.
supporting countries in western Africa to enhance their national search and
rescue (SAR) services with a regional training course and meeting taking place
in Lagos, Nigeria this week. The activities are assisting Member States under
the “Nigeria SAR Region” (Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo,
Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe) to develop their
regional SAR Plan and to increase regional cooperation.
course (21-23 November) covered the duties of search and rescue “On-Scene
Coordinators”, which was followed by the third meeting of the regional SAR
Coordinating Committee. The activities were organized in collaboration with the
International Maritime Rescue Federation and hosted by the Nigeria Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency. IMO was represented by Captain. Dallas Laryea
and Mr. Honorat Hoba.
IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention
was the topic of detailed discussion at the “Planning
for Enforcement” forum in London, United Kingdom (23 November). With the
Convention set to enter into force in September 2017, requiring ships to manage
their ballast water to help prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive
aquatic species, IMO’s Markus Helavuori gave an update on the Convention’s
Specifically, he outlined decisions taken during the IMO
Marine Environment Protection Committee’s 70th
session in October, which included adoption of revised guidelines to update
the approval procedures for ballast water management systems (BWMS).
The forum was organized by the UK Chamber of Shipping and
The Islamic Republic of Iran has become the latest country
to accede to the IMO treaty
covering dumping of wastes at sea. H.E. Dr. Hamid Baeidi Nejad, newly appointed Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of
Iran to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO
Headquarters, London, to deposit the instrument of accession to the London
Convention Protocol of 1996 and corresponding 2009 amendments.
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.
A new kid-friendly website has arrived at IMO! http://kids.imo.org/ includes a specially- commissioned animation showing how IMO works to protect the marine environment and the atmosphere. By clicking on the colourful links, young people can learn more about IMO’s work. Topics include protecting the atmosphere; dealing with waste; clean oceans; invasive species; particularly sensitive sea areas; and protecting marine life from noise pollution. The development of the website was partly funded by the Global Partnership for Marine Litter (GPML), for which IMO is co-leading on activities related to sea-based sources of marine litter, together with FAO.
Technicians working in the growing offshore alternative energy sector often need to be transferred to their place of work by sea. This needs to be done safely and efficiently, and this week IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) will continue discussions on mandatory measures to cover this potentially hazardous activity. The Committee will consider interim measures ahead of the adoption of a proposed new Code.
Other important items on the agenda include the adoption of amendments to SOLAS, including those related to subdivision and damage stability. New STCW training requirements for masters and deck officers on ships operating in Polar Waters and an extension of emergency training for personnel on passenger ships will also be up for adoption. The outcome of work by various technical Sub-Committees will also be considered by the Committee. The session was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr Brad Groves (Australia). (Photos here) (opening speech here).
New work to assess the environmental impacts of wastes from mining operations which have been disposed into the marine environment is set to begin shortly. The work will be undertaken by a dedicated working group, established by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP). GESAMP, which is a UN advisory body, set up the working group when it met for its 43rd annual session, in Nairobi, Kenya (14-18 November). The move to assess the impacts of mining wastes at sea comes in response to a request from the Parties to the London Convention and Protocol, which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea. GESAMP’s annual meeting was attended by scientists and representatives of GESAMP’s UN sponsoring organizations.
The agenda covered the group’s current work, including the evaluation of the hazards of harmful substances carried by ships and the review of applications for ‘active substances’ to be used in ballast water management systems. The experts also discussed the input of chemicals to the oceans from the atmosphere. They also looked at trends in global pollution in coastal environment and the current studies on the sources, fate and effects of micro-plastics in the environment. Marine geoengineering, which is the subject of study by a another GESAMP working group, was also discussed.
GESAMP also discussed its role in and contribution to UN related processes such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its engagement with the wider international community. IMO hosts the GESAMP secretariat.
Secretary General Kitack Lim has officially opened the new Maritime Safety
Research Centre (MSRC) at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom.
In his inaugural address, Mr Lim said that the centre could play an important
role in the shift of maritime safety from empirical to risk-informed
legislation and goal-based standards. The MSRC is an industry/university
partnership, involving Strathclyde's Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean &
Marine Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, and the classification
society DNV GL. It will aim to improve safety at sea through a close
collaboration between industry and academia.
Maritime law enforcement officers from West and Central Africa, who may be called upon to deal with transnational crimes at sea, have undergone practical and theoretical training during an IMO-sponsored, two-week course at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC), in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (7-17 November).
The course covered investigation planning, suspect interviewing skills, collecting, handling and preservation of evidence at sea. Participants included enforcement officials from marine police, coastguard and naval forces from Cameroon; Cape Verde; Cote d'Ivoire; Democratic Republic of Congo; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Nigeria; São Tomé and Príncipe; Sierra Leone; and Togo. This was the first such course for officials from West and Central Africa.
Work to implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM)
Convention in developing countries is underway in Zagreb, Croatia this week,
with two training activities under IMO’s GloBallast
project. A seminar looking at risk assessment, and inventories of
marine life in and around commercial ports – a concept also
known as Port Biological Baseline Surveys – concludes today (17 November).
Marine biologists, Port State Control Officers and maritime
authorities from Croatia, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan and Nigeria are discussing
issues including exemptions, ship targeting for compliance monitoring and
enforcement and the development of decision support systems. The activity is
co-organized with the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of
Croatia, REMPEC and PERSGA.
Earlier this week (14-15 November) the first
Croatia-GloBallast National Global Industry Alliance (GIA) Seminar provided an update on the implementation status of the
Convention by all stakeholders involved - including ship owners, Member States, BWM system
manufacturers and testing organisations. More than 100 international participants and
speakers took part in the event, which was organized by GloBallast, the GIA, the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and
Infrastructure of Croatia and the Croatian Shipowners Association - CSA Mare Nostrum.
The BWM Convention is designed to reduce the transfer of
potentially harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water and
into force on 8 September 2017.