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The IMO Legal Committee has begun its 107th session, meeting in virtual session (27 and 30 November and 1 December). Important items on its agenda include matters relating to the work of the Legal Committee and the COVID-19 pandemic and related agenda items on fair treatment of seafarers and the abandonment of seafarers.
Cleaner air in and around the Mediterranean Sea can be achieved by full and effective ratification and implementation of MARPOL Annex VI regulations to prevent air pollution from ships. This was the topic for national workshops held in Egypt (25 November) and Algeria (26 November).
As part of IMO ongoing work to train future leaders of the maritime world, students from the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta are being introduced to key issues in maritime transport policy making (23-26 November). IMO has been providing training to its interested Member States on developing, adopting and updating national maritime transport policies (NMTPs) since 2015.
IMO has held the first in a new series of regional webinars promoting the importance of ratifying and implementing the Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety. The event, for the Latin America and Caribbean region (23-24 November), covered technical aspects, lessons learned from the ratification, identification of issues related to the ratification, and combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. It also included panel discussions and expert presentations.
IMO’s Glofouling Partnerships Project, which aims to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species, is featured in a new film “Ocean Aware”, which premiered on 23 November. The documentary draws attention to the challenges facing the oceans.
Provision of adequate reception facilities is key to supporting implementation of garbage regulations contained in Annex V of the International convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). Egypt is the latest country to benefit from a national training workshop (17-19 November) on implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V (prevention of pollution by garbage from ships), which prohibits disposal of plastics and restricts disposal of other ship-generated solid wastes at sea.
The IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) is key to promoting consistent and effective implementation of IMO instruments – assisting countries to improve their capabilities as flag, coastal and port States. To further this process, audits and follow-up audits of Member States are being organized and implemented through a quality management system, which has now been certified by an independent external accredited certification body.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will jointly organize, with financial support from Norway, a Maritime Zero- and Low-Emission Innovation Forum September 2021. The aim is to bring together interested stakeholders to showcase the latest developments in research and development which support decarbonization of the maritime sector, in line with the IMO initial GHG Strategy.
Crucial measures to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships will be discussed by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which is meeting virtually this week (16-20 November). Firstly, the MEPC is expected to adopt amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) to significantly strengthen the “phase 3” requirements of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) – meaning that new ships built from 2022 will have to be significantly more energy-efficient.