Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), 1st session, 8 to 12 September 2014

This text is an ad verbatim transcript.

1st session
(8 to 12 September 2014)

Good morning, distinguished delegates. 

Welcome to the first session of this Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers. I trust that you had a nice and relaxed summer recess, spending quality time with your family and friends, dealing with your own personal life and recharging your battery so that you are all ready now to take up new challenges this Autumn.

The world has never stopped its developments and I am sure you have been continuously monitoring developments that have global and regional dimensions. Our work at IMO is never isolated from the global issues such as conflicts, changes in security level and threats to our modern society.

We should all be vigilant in dealing with our individual and collective security in this changing situation, fully complying with our established security measures at IMO to meet our challenges.

On the issue of the Ebola virus outbreak in Western Africa, the Secretariat has been monitoring the developments and we have issued a circular to provide guidance established by WHO to minimise the risks to seafarers and  IMO has joined the United Nations-wide Ebola Travel and Transport Task Force and is actively working with other UN agencies.

We have also been keeping in close contact with the industry and monitoring the situation. IMO successfully introduced ship and port facility security measures a decade ago and, in my view, effective implementation of the ISPS Code has a positive dimension and contribution to safeguard ships and seafarers against any safety and security threats to shipping and in minimising risks. I have instructed the maritime security team in the Secretariat to consider how we can support the efforts of the industry, in order to ensure continuous availability of the maritime transportation system to the affected countries while minimising the risks in view of the serious outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Threats of piracy have not disappeared yet, and with the global shipping industry we need to tighten up security on various fronts, dealing with such issues as maritime illegal migrants and stowaways and we should once again seriously consider the current level of implementation of our framework of security measures, that is the ISPS Code. I think that our security team at IMO could make meaningful contributions to the efforts of Governments and the industry in the field of implementation of maritime security measures.

This is the first meeting in the Autumn and we have various important meetings including the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Facilitation Committee, Parties to the London Convention and Council. We have a number of important issues such as the polar code and discussion on the Ballast Water Management Convention for early implementation. Therefore, I seek your cooperation to ensure success and progress in the work of IMO this Autumn. 

The CCC Sub-Committee is the last sub-committee to make a fresh start in the revised Sub-Committee structure.

Restructuring all the sub-committees was an important element in the Review and Reform process I initiated from the first day of my work as Secretary-General. Thanks to the support and contributions I received from Member Governments, we have restructured the Sub-Committees and we have implemented a new system. It is too early to evaluate the outcome and benefits of the new system, but according to the available information, the responses are all encouraging.

Certainly, we have not encountered any major problems so far and I am sure that we will benefit from the new system in coming years if we unite to support the new system. So therefore, I would like to request your further cooperation.

Coming to the important agenda of this week, on development of the international code of safety for ships using gases or other low flashpoint fuels (IGF Code), I would like to point out that we should recognize the increasing world-wide interest to use LNG as a ship fuel for international shipping, which has high efficiency and a lower environmental impact through a reduction in SOx/NOx,  particulates and CO2 emissions.

I appreciate the progress made by the correspondence group on the development of the IGF Code, and thank the coordinator Ms. Turid Stemre (Norway), who has energetically pushed the work forward.

The Sub-Committee should finalize the draft IGF Code and the associated SOLAS amendments at this session, with a view to approval by MSC 94 and adoption by MSC 95.

On amendments to the IMSBC Code and supplements, a large number of documents have been received with regard to the next amendments to the IMSBC Code and the issue of solid bulk cargoes classified as Harmful to the Marine Environment (HME). I wish to thank the Correspondence Group on HME substances and its coordinator Dr. Sasumu Ota of Japan, for their hard work on this important issue. My appreciation also goes to the E&T Group for its detailed deliberations on the next set of amendments to the IMSBC Code, and also to the new Chairman of the group, Mr. Ismael Cobos Delgado of Spain.

Taking into account the large volume of documents submitted under this item, I urge the Sub-Committee to expedite its work for the next amendments to the IMSBC Code and aim to conclude its consideration of HME substances in the IMSBC Code in order to advise MEPC and MSC accordingly. 

With regard to the important issue of cargo liquefaction, in particular on transport of iron ore fines, the next amendments to the IMSBC Code include measures to strengthen prevention of liquefaction, including an individual schedule for iron ore fines.  Related circulars on early implementation of the amendments to the Code have already been issued.  I wish to thank the Sub-Committee for its effort, and I would now urge Member Governments, authorities and industries, in particular of loading ports, to implement and comply with the Code. In this respect, IMO will support such implementation through our Technical Cooperation activities.

On Amendments to the IMDG Code and supplements, I would encourage you to continue your work on this standing item regarding the next amendments to the IMDG Code. In this regard, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the E&T Group for its detailed deliberations of the amendments to the IMDG Code that were recently adopted by MSC 93, and also to the Chairman of the group, Mrs. Gudula Schwan of Germany; and I also wish to thank the Correspondence Group on revision of DSC/Circ.12 and its coordinator, Mr. Steven Webb of the United States, for their hard work on developing draft revisions to the Guidance on the continued use of existing IMO type portable tanks and road tank vehicles for the transport of dangerous goods.

We have many other important issues, including on Amendments to CSC 1972 and associated circulars. I urge the Sub-Committee to resolve any remaining issues and make progress regarding the database, with the usual spirit of cooperation, in order to finalize the matter at this session.  

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to take this opportunity, at the opening of this Sub-Committee to inform you that I have assigned Mr. Alfredo Parroquin-Ohlson and Mr. Loukas Kontogiannis as co-Secretaries to the CCC Sub-Committee. I have no doubt that the new Sub-Committee will continue to be as efficient and productive as the DSC Sub-Committee has been over the years and that it will successfully carry out its additional new tasks such as those related to gas cargoes and the IGF Code.   

Thank you.