Technical co-operation and transfer of technology

Regulation 29 (Promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships) of chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI requires Administrations, in cooperation with the Organization and other international bodies, to promote and provide, as appropriate, support directly or through IMO to Member States, especially developing States that request technical assistance.  It also requires the Administration of a Party to MARPOL Annex VI to co-operate actively with other Parties, subject to its national laws, regulations and policies, to promote the development and transfer of technology and exchange of information to States which request technical assistance, particularly developing States. 

Linked to the implementation of energy efficiency measures, MEPC 65 (May 2013) adopted resolution MEPC.229(65) on Promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships, which, among other things, requests the IMO, through its various programmes, to provide technical assistance to Member States to enable cooperation in the transfer of energy efficient technologies to developing countries in particular; and further assist in the sourcing of funding for capacity building and support to States, in particular developing States, which have requested technology transfer.

Adoption of the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships

In April 2018, MEPC 72 adopted resolution MEPC.304(72) on the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships (download here).

The Strategy recognizes that developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, have special needs with regard to capacity-building and technical cooperation, and the Organization was requested to assess periodically the provision of financial and technological resources and capacity-building to implement the Strategy through the IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) and other initiatives including the GloMEEP project and the MTCC network.

In May 2019, IMO established a voluntary multi-donor trust fund (IMO Multi-donor GHG Trust Fund), to provide a dedicated source of financial support for technical cooperation and capacity building activities to support the implementation of the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.  

Also in May 2019, IMO adopted resolution MEPC.323(74), which encourages voluntary cooperation between shipping and port sectors to contribute to reducing GHG emissions from ships. The resolution highlights several areas in which action should be encouraged which include, but are not limited to, the provision of: (1) Onshore Power Supply (preferably from renewable sources); (2) safe and efficient bunkering of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels; (3) incentives promoting sustainable low-carbon and zero-carbon shipping; and (4) improving quality and availability of data for optimizing voyages and port calls and facilitating Just In Time Arrivals of ships.

The Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) of IMO also continues to deliver regional and national workshops, as well as other capacity building activities, in various regions to support the effective implementation and enforcement of IMO's measures to address emissions from international shipping.

Furthermore, through its Department of Partnerships and Projects (DPP), IMO is implementing a series of Major Projects, providing support to SIDs and LDCs to reduce emissions in ships and ports, thereby supporting implementation of the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.  

The GreenVoyage2050 Project (Launched: May 2019)

The GreenVoyage2050 Project is a partnership project between the Government of Norway and IMO aiming to transform the shipping industry towards a lower carbon future. The global partnership is supporting developing countries, including SIDS and LDCs, in meeting their commitment towards relevant climate change and energy efficiency goals, for international shipping, through supporting implementation of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy (MEPC.304(72)) and resolution MEPC.323(74) encouraging voluntary cooperation between the ship and port sectors. Using tools developed, applying lessons learned from previous interventions and strategically linking with other on-going global initiatives, the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project is expanding government and port management capacities to undertake legal and policy reforms, develop National Action Plans, catalyze private sector partnerships, promote innovation, enable technology transfer and deliver pilot demonstration projects to facilitate technology uptake, all through a broad range of coordinated actions by a number of Pioneer Pilot Countries (PPC), New Pilot Countries (NPC), industry partners and strategic partners at national, regional and global levels. The GreenVoyage2050 Project is expected to complement and scale-up work done under the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloMEEP Project, another capacity-building initiative aimed at supporting countries to reduce GHG emissions from shipping, which came to a conclusion in December 2019.

The Global MTCC Network (GMN) (Launched: December 2015)

Also, IMO has established a global network of Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs), to promote the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport. This project, administered by the IMO with €10 million in funding from the European Union, is designed to assist beneficiary countries to limit and reduce GHG emissions from their shipping sectors through technical assistance and capacity building, while encouraging the uptake of innovative energy-efficiency technologies among a large number of users through the widespread dissemination of technical information and know-how. This Global MTCC Network (GMN) stands out as an innovative model which is helping to institutionalise capacity building in-region and create long-term solutions. 

The GloFouling Partnerships (Launched: November 2018)

Additionally, GEF, UNDP and IMO are also collaborating in a global effort that aims at improving how biofouling is managed on ship hulls, which is expected to translate into improved hydrodynamic performance and a significant reduction of GHG emissions from shipping. The GloFouling Partnerships is a five-year project that is assisting its 12 participating countries to implement best biofouling management practices and foster sharing and adoption of technologies and innovative solutions that can improve the energy efficiency of ships. The project will act as a catalyst for addressing knowledge and policy barriers associated to the environmentally safe uptake of practical measures, such as improved hull coating systems and hull cleaning, two of the most important tools for the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping.

For more information on IMO's Major Projects: