ADDRESS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AT THE OPENING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND CONTAINERS
(5 to 9 September 2016)
Good morning distinguished delegates,
Welcome to London and to the third session of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers. This is the first meeting after the summer break and I hope that you have had the time to relax, and that you are ready for the challenges ahead.
This session of the CCC Sub-Committee is the final sub-committee to meet in the first year of my tenure as Secretary-General and it has been a pleasure to observe the hard work and dedication displayed in all the sub-committees. It is the core of the important technical work we do here in IMO, and you pave the way for many important decisions. Thank you.
The work of CCC Sub-Committee is especially relevant to this year's theme of the World Maritime Day, which is "Shipping: Indispensable to the world", since there is no more direct way of demonstrating the utility of shipping than by the volume and diversity of cargoes transported safely, securely and efficiently by ships. Considering that around 80% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry, it is evident that without shipping, it would simply not be possible to import and export goods on the scale necessary to sustain our modern world. The importance of shipping to support today's global society gives IMO's work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself.
On 29 September we will be celebrating World Maritime Day here at IMO – and around the world. We will be hosting a World Maritime Day Forum to highlight the importance of maritime transport and the theme of the day: "Shipping: Indispensable to the world". Because of the importance of the theme, the Forum will not only be open to Member States, IGOs and NGOs, but also to universities and maritime training institutions, as well as other shipping stakeholders, and indeed to the wider public through a live-streaming facility via the internet. So we do hope that we can spread the message that shipping is truly indispensable to the world.
I have on many occasions spoken about my wish to ensure that IMO and international shipping become more known in the general public for the services we provide to the world. The best way of doing this is to communicate with people outside the shipping sector. Here, the CCC sub-committee plays a significant role.
The impact of many cargo-related regulations is not limited to ships and seafarers but extends, either directly or indirectly, to ports, shippers and other modes of transport. The IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code), the certificate of moisture content for solid bulk cargoes which may liquefy and the SOLAS requirements for the verified gross mass of packed containers, are all examples of cargo-related safety provisions that require cognizance and action by the shipper. In order to achieve global and effective implementation of such provisions, close cooperation and coordination between the regulators, shipping companies, ports and shippers are required in all IMO Member States.
As I have mentioned on previous occasions, implementation and communication are areas central to my priorities as Secretary-General. I wish to focus the future of the Organization on uniform implementation but also on facilitating communication and understanding among Member States, the shipping industry and shore-based parties that have a stake in maritime transport. In order to do this, we must emphasise the interplay between ships, ports and people and increase our efforts on effective capacity building, while continuing the vital and necessary function of rule-making.
The CCC Sub-Committee has maintained its focus on matters related to the carriage of packaged dangerous goods, solid cargoes and containers. Enormous effort is put in every year by this Sub-Committee and the Editorial and Technical Group in further developing and updating the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. Given that the IMSBC and IMDG Codes are used daily by seafarers and shippers who depend on the provisions of the Codes for the safe carriage of the pertinent cargoes, this strand of work is eminently important.
Another important matter under the responsibility of this Sub-Committee are the amendments to the IGC Code which entered into force on 1 January 2016. Soon we will start seeing liquefied gas tankers that have been constructed in accordance with the updated safety requirements of the revised IGC Code. The expertise in liquefied gas cargoes in bulk has fed into and helped shape the IGF Code and I take this opportunity to recognize the tremendous amount of work that has gone into the development of the IGF Code.
Completion of the first phase of its development, which resulted in specific requirements for the use of LNG as fuel, has provided the necessary regulatory basis and the confidence for new orders of LNG-fuelled ships to go ahead and for bunkering infrastructure projects to be planned and financed. I consider the development of the IGF Code to be a milestone achievement of this Organization, in that it enables the shipping industry to move safely towards using cleaner-burning, alternative fuels. In this regard, I welcome the current efforts to further develop the Code to include specific requirements for low-flashpoint fuels other than LNG.
Following my general remarks on the work of your Sub-Committee I would like now to provide some specific comments on issues on the agenda for this session.
On the issue of the safety requirements for carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk, I note that the development of the draft interim recommendations has progressed significantly and that they may be finalized at this session. While the transport of hydrogen in bulk by sea is essential for the realization of large scale international distribution of hydrogen to be used as greenhouse gas-free energy source, it is up to the CCC Sub-Committee to ensure that the interim recommendations comprehensively address and adequately mitigate the risks associated with the transport of hydrogen in bulk by sea.
On solid bulk cargoes, the issue of cargo liquefaction must remain at the forefront of your considerations. Therefore, I urge the Sub-Committee to continue its efforts to effectively address safety concerns with regard to cargoes that may liquefy, such as bauxite, taking into account research findings and experience to date.
You have many other important issues before you this week, and I am confident that with the steer of your expert and experienced Chairman, Mr. Xie Hui of China, and the support of your Vice-Chairman, Mr. Patrick van Lancker of Belgium, you will be able to successfully navigate through all the challenging issues that are set out before you.
As in every Sub-Committee meeting, you will be supported by the very competent staff of the Secretariat. My special recognition goes in advance to Mr. Ashok Mahapatra, the Director of the Maritime Safety Division, and his staff for all their good work in preparing for this meeting.
In concluding, I wish the Sub-Committee a successful meeting and I invite you all to join me at the cocktail reception, which will be held in the delegates' lounge following the conclusion of today's business.