IMO News Summer 2021

Page 1



Day of the Seafarer #FairFuture4Seafarers

The magazine of the International Maritime Organization Summer 2021



Supporting seafarers in the pandemic



Tackling climate change



Women in Maritime - IMO and WISTA International Survey 2021

What is in it:

The IMDG Code lays down basic principles on the transport of dangerous goods by sea. It contains detailed recommendations for individual substances, materials and articles and a number of recommendations for good operational practice, including advice on terminology, packing, labelling, stowage, segregation and handling and emergency response action.

Who uses it: Although the information in the Code is directed primarily at the mariner, its provisions may

affect a range of industries and services, such as manufacturers, packers, shippers, feeder services such as road and rail and port authorities.

IMDG CODE, 2020 Edition (incorporating Amendment 40-20) Product Code: IM200E (print)

KM200E (e-reader)

(also available in French and Spanish)

Amendment 40-20 includes revisions to various sections of the Code and to transport requirements for specific substances. It is mandatory as from 1 June 2022 but may be applied by Administrations in whole or in part on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2021.

VOLUME 1 (parts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7) contains:

VOLUME 2 contains:

► general provisions, definitions and training

► part 3 (Dangerous Goods List, special provisions and exceptions)

► classification ► packing and tank provisions ► consignment procedures ► construction and testing of packagings, IBCs, large packagings, portable tanks, MEGCs and road tank vehicles

► Appendix A (list of generic and N.O.S. proper shipping names) and Appendix B (glossary of terms) ► Index

► transport operations

IMDG CODE Supplement, 2020 Edition Product Code: IK210E (print) KK210E (e-reader) (also available in French and Spanish) This publication contains several texts related to the IMDG Code, such as the Revised Emergency Response Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods (EmS Guide) and the Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods (MFAG). This edition supersedes the previous one with immediate effect.

Visit for your local distributor

Poster: IMDG CODE labels, marks and signs, 2020 Edition Product Code: II223E (print only) This updated full-colour A2 poster illustrates the labels, marks and signs required under SOLAS and detailed in the IMDG Code.

IMO Publishing 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR United Kingdom •


Summer 2021



11 IMO’s year of action for seafarers 12 Innovative partnerships for a sustainable maritime future

13 30 countries join global initiative to tackle marine litter


04 Working together to overcome this difficult and challenging situation for global shipping

05 Take the IMO News online

Digital ship clearance project seeks pilot port

24 Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR 8)

26 Sub-Committee on Pollution

Prevention and Response (PPR 8)

27 Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 7)

14 Tackling climate change

reader survey


06 A renewed push for crew

changes and seafarers’ rights

18 Pushing for fishing vessel safety 20 Delivering a data-led diversity baseline


29 Promoting National Maritime Transport Policies




Supply chains firms urged to protect seafarers’ rights

09 First ever virtual awards ceremony 10 Day of the Seafarer 2021

Tel: +44 (0)20 7735 7611 Fax: +44 (0)20 7587 3210 Email: Website: Ref 478_W2019

Supporting sustainable maritime development in the Pacific

Working together to regulate waste dumping at sea

30 Addressing illegal wildlife trade

21 Maritime Safety Committee,

IMO regional pollution centre assisted at oil spill incident in Israel

23 Council, 33rd Extraordinary

South-East Asian seas project extended

103rd Session (MSC 103) Session (C ES 33)

MANAGING EDITOR Natasha Brown Email: 4, Albert Embankment London SE1 7SR United Kingdom

ASSISTANT EDITOR Shaun Ottway Email: EDITORIAL PRODUCTION Johanna Kleine ADVERTISING Sally McElhayer Email: Tel: +44 (0)20 7735 7611

IMO News is the magazine of the International Maritime Organization and is distributed free of charge to qualified readers. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IMO and the inclusion of an advertisement implies no endorsement of any kind by IMO of the product or service advertised. The contents may be reproduced free of charge on condition that acknowledgement is given to IMO News.

Please allow at least ten weeks from receipt at IMO for additions to, deletions from or changes in the mailing list. Design by FLIPSIDE Copyright © IMO 2021 Printed by CPI Colour



Working together to overcome this difficult and challenging situation for global shipping S

ome 16 months have passed since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and during this time the international community has experienced an unprecedented crisis in international shipping. To slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact, national and international travel was curtailed and borders were closed. On 31 January 2020, IMO issued its first communication concerning the pandemic, providing information and guidance to minimize risks to seafarers, passengers and others on board ships. Since then, a substantial number of communications have been issued through the Circular Letter No.4204 series, addressing a variety of matters with the aim of minimizing the impact of the pandemic on international shipping by providing comprehensive guidance and recommendations. Throughout the pandemic, shipping has demonstrated its reliability and resilience as one of the most economic and effective modes of transport and consequently international supply chains did not experience significant interruptions. I would like to express my deep appreciation for the tremendous efforts of Member States and the maritime industry to maintain the flow of goods across the globe during these difficult times.

The life and work of seafarers have been affected dramatically by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last quarter of 2020, the estimated number of seafarers globally waiting to either be relieved or join their ships stood at 400,000. As of May 2021, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Member States, the shipping industry, social partners and our sister UN agencies, the number is currently estimated to be about 200,000. However, this figure is still unacceptably high and the humanitarian crisis at sea is by no means over. Seafarers still face enormous challenges concerning repatriation, travelling to join their ships, proper access to medical care and shore leave. Despite these challenges, the seafarers on board ships have continued working, providing an essential service for the global population. The prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers is a new challenge for the international community. IMO is working actively within the United Nations system and with Member States and the maritime industry to find solutions to enable and accelerate the vaccination of seafarers, in order to protect them as soon as possible and to facilitate their safe movement across borders. Some key maritime labour supply countries are reliant on the WHO COVAX initiative. To ensure access to vaccines of those countries, I call on all IMO Member States to work together towards a fair global distribution, beyond fulfilling their national needs. No seafarers should be left behind or forced to forgo their careers because of limited resources in their home country. The health of the world’s seafarers and the safety of their workplaces has to remain one of our main priorities and can only be guaranteed if industry and Member States continue to provide all necessary measures such as testing, appropriate PPE, access to medical care and sanitation facilities to prevent the spread of the virus. We cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis at sea. I reiterate my call to all Member States to designate all seafarers and marine personnel as “key workers” providing an essential service. To date only one-third of our 174 Members have notified me that they have done so. The designation of seafarers as “key workers” will facilitate their access to vaccination, since most States are prioritizing essential workers in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes, in accordance with the WHO SAGE Roadmap1. I remain confident that by working together we will eventually overcome this difficult and challenging situation for global shipping. Rest assured that this Organization will continue to do all it can to assist the maritime community and in particular our seafarers. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General

1 WHO SAGE Roadmap For Prioritizing Uses Of COVID-19 Vaccines In The Context Of Limited Supply:



Summer 2021






Major project to tackle marine litter

400,000 seafarers stuck at sea as crew change crisis deepens

The magazine of the International Maritime Organization

The magazine of the International Maritime Organization

Autumn / Winter 2020

Spring Summer 2020




IMO Secretary-General Emeritus Mr. William A. O’Neil, remembered


2017 International Maritime Prize winner Birgit Sølling Olsen, shares her views on liability and its associated challenges




MSC endorses COVID-19 crew change protocols MEETINGS

Polar Code application to non-SOLAS ships – correspondence group established



Day of the Seafarer Campaign #SeafarersAreKeyWorkers


IMO 2020 sulphur limit guidelines agreed for on-board verification

Take the IMO News online reader survey I

MO News, the official magazine of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has been an industry staple since the 1970s, keeping readers up to date with the activities of the organization. Published quarterly, it is usually available in print and digital forms and carries information about international conferences, technical committees and important measures being discussed or adopted. At present, the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have meant that the magazine is only being published in digital form. Digital media has become increasingly popular over the past decade, with many audiences expressing a preference for websites and newsletters as their means of information gathering. Benefits cited include access to more up-to-date information, more interactive elements (such as videos and interactive infographics) and portability - as this can be read on mobile devices. At the same time, we know that some readers, particularly those with limited/poor internet access prefer to receive physical copies of magazines, brochures and textbooks The team at IMO News would like to better understand the needs of you, our readers. We also want to know which sections of the current magazine you read frequently, how you access the publication, and if the news included is informative enough. We are also keen to hear about areas that we should be creating content about and the format that this new content should take.

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Summer 2021

A renewed push for crew changes and seafarers’ rights


eafarers have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world came to a halt, they continued to transport essential goods, food and medicine across the globe. But hundreds of thousands of seafarers have become effectively trapped on their ships, as travel restrictions meant they were unable to return home, and relief crews were unable to join ships. In the past year, significant progress has been accomplished to alleviate this humanitarian crisis, but new waves of infection in various parts of the world, the emergence of variants and the challenges surrounding vaccination mean the issue is far from over. IMO’s Frederick Kenney, Chair of the Seafarer Crisis Action team, provides an update.

1. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what is the situation regarding crew changes?

We are seeing some improvements, but this is still very much a crisis that is impacting hundreds of thousands of seafarers on all continents. According to analysis from the industry, the number of seafarers stranded on ships and requiring repatriation has gone down, from a peak of around 400,000 in September 2020, to about 200,000 in May 2021. And we must not forget the equivalent number of seafarers who are stranded at home without pay, unable to join ships to relieve these exhausted crews and earn a living. Even though this reduction in the number of stranded seafarers is good news, the situation remains fragile and the number


of stranded seafarers could rise again if no further action is taken by governments. With new waves of the virus in some countries and the rise of variants in different parts of the world, new restrictions are being imposed, and this is significantly impacting the capacity to conduct crew changes. This is why the key worker designation for seafarers is so important, to enable seafarers to travel freely between their home countries and the ships that are their workplaces. So far, around 60 Member States and Associate Members have responded to our call, and we urge more countries to follow suit because that designation remains vital to resolve the crew change crisis.

2. Is the vaccination rollout making a difference?

Vaccination of seafarers is a very important issue that will be fundamental to resolve the crew change crisis. The very nature of international shipping makes it necessary for significant numbers of

seafarers to travel across borders. They often have to travel by plane to and from ships, as their ports of departure or arrival may be thousands of kilometres away from their home countries. And even though this is contrary to WHO guidance, they may be required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination to be allowed entry in some countries. Vaccination will enable them to travel safely and continue to play their critical role for the global supply chain. We must keep in mind that over 80% of the world’s trade is transported by sea. That is the food, energy, essential goods and medicines, including vaccines, which are essential for all of us. This is why IMO, alongside other UN organisations, is calling on governments to prioritise seafarers in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes, together with other essential workers. Vaccinating seafarers will present logistical challenges, not least because they generally spend months at sea away from their home countries, and this is why international cooperation will be essential on this issue.

3. Why are so many seafarers still stranded at sea?

Different countries are at different stages of the pandemic: while some are emerging from lockdowns and have vaccinated a significant proportion of their population, others are facing new waves of infection and tightening travel restrictions. Seafarers often have to transit through several countries, facing numerous COVID and quarantine requirements along the way. The current context makes it complex and logistically challenging to organise


Summer 2021

crew changes. Any changes to national restrictions can disrupt travel arrangements from ships to home and vice-versa. This means that tighter restrictions in one part of the world can lead to a domino effect and have a global impact.

4. What are the impacts of the crisis on seafarers and on shipping?

The crisis is forcing hundreds of thousands of seafarers to continue working long shifts, seven days a week, well beyond the original end of their contracts and often with no end in sight. This is obviously having a major impact on their physical and mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, seafarers from around the world have expressed their exhaustion, fatigue, anxiety, mental stress and even suicidal thoughts. This is a humanitarian crisis which is also having repercussions on the safety of shipping, because a physically and mentally fatigued seafarer has a much higher risk of being involved in a marine casualty. Furthermore, there have been several cases of seafarers being denied permission to go ashore to receive medical care, despite presenting urgent conditions such as a stroke. Additionally, many seafarers have serious problems in obtaining repeat prescriptions for medication they take.

5. What has IMO done to help resolve the crisis, and what were the results?

IMO has established the Seafarer Crisis Action Team (SCAT), which directly helps individual seafarers in particularly urgent situations. This dedicated team has been working around the clock, bringing cases to the attention of national governments, NGOs, trade unions or relevant associations, applying diplomatic pressure when appropriate, and orienting seafarers towards the right organisation. The SCAT is also working in close collaboration with other organizations, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Our collective efforts have directly helped hundreds of stranded seafarers return home and get access to urgent medical care. Secondly, IMO’s representatives have held bilateral high-level meetings to encourage States


to designate seafarers as key workers, recognising that it is governments who have the power to lift travel restrictions for seafarers. The Organization has also adopted a number of resolutions and endorsed protocols outlining clear steps on how to allow crew changes safely. Finally, IMO’s media campaigns have highlighted seafarers’ voices, put the global spotlight on the crew change crisis and demonstrated the importance of seafarers for the world’s economy.

6. What are the main lessons from the past year?

The most important lesson for all of us is to recognise the importance of seafarers for the daily lives of people around the world. They are one million men and women, who were almost invisible prior to this crisis, but play a key role by transporting 80% of global trade. This is why seafarers are at the heart of our World Maritime Theme for 2021: “Seafarers at the core of shipping’s future”. This crisis has also highlighted the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders. My colleagues and I have participated in weekly meetings with industry representatives, unions and other organisations, to monitor the situation and find common solutions such as the industry protocols for safe crew changes. Cooperation in the maritime sector to organise crew changes has been remarkable, and we can only hope that this spirit of collaboration will endure after the pandemic.

Seafarers’ rights in international law

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) stipulates that seafarers have a right to be repatriated at the end of their contracts. Flag States and Port States both have a responsibility towards this right. Under the MLC, the maximum continuous period a seafarer should serve on board a vessel without leave is 11 Months. The MLC and IMO’s STCW Convention regulate hours of work and rest. Seafarers’ rights to shore leave and access to medical care on shore are also protected under international law.

SCAT: A dedicated team supporting seafarers

IMO’s Seafarer Crisis Action Team was formed rapidly in response to the crew change crisis. In the past year, this small team of IMO officials has received hundreds of messages from seafarers desperate to go home. Their mandate includes bringing particularly urgent cases to the attention of the relevant local authorities, unions and associations; applying diplomatic pressure when appropriate; and advocating for solutions to the crew change crisis. So far, their swift action, in collaboration with other UN agencies, unions and the industry, has helped hundreds of seafarers return home or access urgent medical treatment.

Seafarers and Seafarers’ rights COVID-19 in international regional webinars law

IMO Maritime The has held a Labour series Convention of regional webinars (MLC) of address to the International the challenges Labourfaced Organization by (ILO) stipulates seafarers during that the COVID-19 seafarers have pandemic: a right to be repatriated at 2021) the end of their • Latin America (March contracts. Flag States and Port States • Arab States and Mediterranean both have a responsibility towards this (December 2020) right. Under the MLC, the maximum West andperiod • Central continuous a Africa seafarer should (November serve on board2020) a vessel without leave is 11 Months. Asia The MLC and IMO’s STCW • Western and Eastern Europe Convention regulate (November 2020) hours of work and rest. Seafarers’ rights to shore leave and • Asia (November 2020) access to medical care on shore are • Eastern and under Southern Africa law. also protected international (October 2020) The virtual events identify best practices, covering issues including medical guidance, disembarkation of seafarers for medical care, vaccination, digitalization, mental health, and effects of COVID-19 on crew changes and repatriation. Participants included IMO Member States, representatives of government sectors and agencies, such as port authorities, customs, immigration, ministries of health, foreign affairs, and aviation and others involved in crew change, repatriation and related key issues.

COVID 19 Information Resources For the latest information, including guidance and statements, please see the COVID-19 resources page on the IMO website: and click on the red banner.




Summer 2021


Supply chains firms urged to protect seafarers’ rights


wide-ranging set of guidance has been issued to help enterprises using shipping services to protect the human rights of seafarers, as hundred of thousands are still stranded on ships due to COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions. The Human Rights Due Diligence Tool is a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Due Diligence Tool for cargo owners and charterers has been issued amid concerns that the number of crew stranded at sea by COVID-19 restrictions could surge from the current level of 200,000, potentially returning to the peak of 400,000 seafarers at the height of the crew change crisis in September 2020. UN agencies hope the new guidance will help ensure that the working conditions and human rights of seafarers are respected and comply with international standards.


Pacific hub ports concept explored for regional crew change and repatriation The concept of “hub” ports to receive, quarantine, test for COVID-19 and potentially vaccinate seafarers in the Pacific region was explored at a roundtable meeting (25 February) involving representatives from States in the region, UN agencies, the shipping industry, the relevant trade union organization and the Pacific Islands Forum.

hub ports in Australia (Brisbane), Fiji and New Zealand, and welcomed those countries’ willingness to help. Limitations such as the need to book limited quarantine facilities in advance, short supply of medical resources, including PCR equipment and test kits, and the costs of repatriation were acknowledged.

Seafarers from Pacific island States have faced circuitous and lengthy journeys to return home when this has been arranged, illustrating the complexities of the crew change crisis.

The roundtable meeting was organized by IMO and attended by representatives from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Samoa, and Tonga; and from the International Labour Organization (ILO), IMO, World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), UN Resident Coordinators (Fiji and Samoa), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

Transit and repatriation requirements, usually via indirect flights, include quarantine days and negative COVID test results before onboarding flights/entry into the country. The meeting identified the potential for

The need for priority vaccination for seafarers was also highlighted.


Summer 2021



First ever virtual awards ceremony I

MO held its first ever virtual awards ceremony, at an event which premiered on 7 April, recognizing the contributions of a longstanding maritime industry chief and presenting its highest bravery accolade to two maritime pilots from Brazil and an off-duty seafarer from the Philippines.

IMO Bravery Awards

T International Maritime Prize


he International Maritime Prize is awarded annually to the individual or organization judged to have made a significant contribution to IMO’s work and objectives. The 2019 prize was awarded to Mr. Peter Hinchliffe, OBE, former SecretaryGeneral of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim acknowledged the pivotal role he played in the work of IMO in his long career. "He ensured that the interests of shipowners were always promoted whilst recognizing the need for change and advancement in the environmental and safety aspects of shipping." Mr. Hinchliffe said he was truly humbled to receive the International Maritime Prize, recognizing the award "as a recognition of the contribution that ICS made and continues to make to the work of the IMO".

he annual IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea recognizes those who, at the risk of losing their own life, display outstanding valor in attempting to save life at sea or attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment. In 2020, a total of 31 nominations were submitted by 18 Member States and two non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO. Ten individuals or groups received letters of commendation; four received certificates of commendation; and three recipients received the highest award. Mr. Marcio Santos Teixeira and Mr. Fabio Rodrigues Alves de Abreu, members of the São Paulo Pilots, were recognized for their actions in averting a major oil spill event at the Terminal Almirante Barroso in São Sebastião Port. They were nominated by Brazil for their decisiveness, professionalism, and shiphandling expertise in safely maneuvering two oil tankers that had gone adrift during a ship-to-ship operation, in extreme weather conditions. Brazil also thanked the crews of all ships involved in the rescue. Mr. Teixeira said, "I am proud and humbled to be among such a group of people, many who are never seen or recognized. Receiving this award only reinforces my commitment to represent these courageous men and women. It also reinforces my particular commitment to Brazilian Pilots, to their valor and to their fortitude."

Mr. Alves de Abreu said, "Being recognized by the IMO with such a prestigious award was tremendously humbling, but to have succeeded in managing that challenging event in the best way possible: helping to avoid economic losses and environmental devastation and being able to avoid the loss of further human lives was in itself an immense personal and professional achievement”. Also receiving the highest recognition was Petty Officer, Second Class, Mr. Ralph Ofalla Barajan of the Philippine Coast Guard, who helped to save the lives of all 62 people onboard the sinking passenger vessel Siargao Princess, on which he was also a passenger. He was nominated by the Philippines for his leadership and determination, even while off duty. "I dedicate this award to all the unsung heroes of Philippines coast guard, my fellow survivors and my family," Mr. Barajan said.




Summer 2021

Day of the Seafarer 2021 T

he 2021 Day of the Seafarer campaign continues to encourage governments to support seafarers amid the pandemic, while calling for a fair future for seafarers. The campaign will discuss issues that will still be relevant to seafarers after the pandemic, such as fair treatment of seafarers, fair working conditions (in line with ILO's Maritime Labour Convention), fair training, fair safety, etc. Leading up to the 25 June, seafarers are being invited to answer questions on what a fair future for seafarers looks like. The answers will be shared afterwards and will provide a soundboard to help guide our actions moving forward. Polls are available on all IMO social media platforms.

Message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim “S

eafarers have always been at the heart of world trade. Their work touches the lives of each and every one of us, whether it is the food on our tables, the medicine that keeps us healthy, the computers we are using for work and leisure or the vehicles that transport us in our daily lives. All these items are primarily transported by sea. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic created challenging working conditions including difficulties with port access, repatriation, crew changes and more. Unfortunately, there are still too many

seafarers that have not been able to leave ships for an extended period beyond their contracts and others have been unable to join ships in order to earn a living. Despite these difficulties, seafarers have gone beyond the call of duty, working tirelessly to keep global trade flowing. IMO and our partners are doing our part to support seafarers and make sure that they are given the rights and protections of key workers. This includes priority vaccination and ease of travel. Last year, on the Day of the Seafarer, the IMO asked the world to recognize that Seafarers Are Key Workers. Many countries have answered that call, however, the crew change crisis is far from being resolved. We all must keep seafarers in our hearts and continue to take action that will return seafaring to normal practices for crew changes. So, this year, we are calling for a “Fair Future for Seafarers”. Our 2021 Day of the Seafarer campaign builds on the progress we have made to support seafarers on pandemicrelated challenges. It aims to draw global attention to other areas where fairness is important. This includes a safe, secure environment on ships, reasonable working conditions, fair treatment in all situations, as well as


respect for the rights of all regardless of race, gender, and religion. I am especially pleased that IMO will be amplifying the voices of seafarers themselves as they discuss what a fairer future would look like to them under the hashtag “Fair future for seafarers”. Seafarers, we are listening – and we will make sure you are heard. If you are a seafarer, I encourage you to participate in this discussion and share your vision for a fair future. And if you are part of the maritime industry or a beneficiary of the services of seafarers, I ask you to listen to their words, show your appreciation, and take action to create a better world for seafarers who do so much for all of us.”


Summer 2021


IMO’s year of action for seafarers MO has chosen to make 2021 a year of action for seafarers, who are facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite their vital role as key workers for global supply chains. The World Maritime Theme for 2021, "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future" seeks to increase the visibility of seafarers by drawing attention to the invaluable role they play now and will continue to play in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on seafarers, with hundreds of thousands of men and women stranded on ships for months beyond their original contracts, unable to be repatriated due to national travel restrictions. A similar number of seafarers are unable to join ships and earn a living. This crew change crisis, which has been ongoing for nearly a year, is a humanitarian emergency that threatens the safety of shipping.

Throughout the year, the World Maritime Theme will also put the spotlight on other issues related to the human element of shipping, including the safety and security of life on board ships, seafarers' well-being, and the importance of ensuring an appropriately trained and qualified workforce, ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of digitalization and automation.

Key worker designation is crucial to ensure seafarers can travel to and from ships and will facilitate access to priority

Making voices of seafarers heard

As part of its efforts to put seafarers at the heart of discussions, IMO is promoting a series of profiles in which seafarers express their views on their work and the future of shipping. To view more profiles, visit the IMO website: en/About/Events/Pages/World-MaritimeTheme-2021.aspx

The focus on seafarers is also in line with the work carried out by the Organization,


What does diversity in maritime mean to you? And how can the industry work towards a more inclusive future? A lot of the time I’m the only ‘non-man’ on board my ship. At a time when I hadn’t sailed with other women, I didn’t really notice it. Nowadays, I do often have another woman or even a couple of women on board, which is nice - and you really can see the difference. Diversity is a bit like a ‘chicken and egg’ situation, I didn’t think about it until I saw more of it. And then that encouraged me to see the benefits of it, and want to see more. What would your top tips be for people looking to be more inclusive or create a more welcoming environment for diversity?

Launching the World Maritime theme, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said more Governments must step up to end the crew change crisis. "We all must do better to support our brave professionals who continue to deliver global trade. The dedication and professionalism of more than one and a half million seafarers worldwide deserve our great admiration and gratitude – but most importantly, immediate action," Mr Lim said.

since the beginning of the pandemic and before. "At IMO, seafarers have always been at the centre of all our work – be it in the area of safety, maritime security, or environmental protection," IMO SecretaryGeneral said.

vaccination. To date, 55 IMO Member States and two Associate Members have designated seafarers as key workers (click here for the full list).

My top tip would be to listen to people when they bring you issues - even if you think it’s something small, or you don’t understand why that’s upsetting them. If somebody says to you, ‘this thing that you’ve said or done, has harmed me’, they’re not doing it to attack you. They’re telling you that they want you to stop, and they’re actually making the effort to ask you to support them and respect them. And on a more positive note, I would say, reach out to people. Even if it feels a little bit uncomfortable checking in on people, you’re probably making a big difference to them, and it will be worth it in the end.


What is the best way to cultivate and manage a diverse crew? Every time I think about diversity at sea, it always comes down to “diversity sustains itself”. The more there is, the more you see the benefit. And I think it’s a matter of engineering that diversity more and encouraging different people. You can get a more diverse crew by hiring more diverse people - it has to be a conscious, active thing on the behalf of companies. You also have systems in place to support people who have different needs or might experience certain kinds of discrimination. So it comes down to a structural change, and then a mindset change within workers. What do you want for the future of shipping? I probably just want more diversity. I would love to have more LGBT+ people, more women, more trans and non binary people. And it would be really nice to be on a ship which has a lot more diversity - and not just men. It feels a lot more homely when you have all different kinds of people and it’s more likely that you’re going to find someone that you get along with. Diversity also brings more ‘mind-power’ to problem solving because people look at the world in different ways and there’s always more than one way to do things. I can’t think of a single aspect on board that wouldn’t be improved by more diversity. We’re selling ourselves short.

I can’t think of a single aspect on board that wouldn’t be improved by more diversity.





Innovative partnerships for a sustainable maritime future O

ne year after its creation, IMO's Department for Partnerships and Projects (DPP) has bold ambitions to expand its portfolio of global and regional projects. These new initiatives will further support developing countries to address the world's most pressing ocean and environmental challenges, including climate change, marine litter and biodiversity. The Department, in 2021, will also be working with other divisions of IMO to identify and mobilise resources for projects on maritime digitalization.

"Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, in 2020, we mobilised approximately US$13 million, bringing the total funding for long-term projects to around US$45 million. In 2021, we want to go further and even double this portfolio. To achieve that, we will build on our past successes in delivering impactful results and use innovative public and private sector partnership models to expand the projects in maritime digitalization and decarbonization. We want to develop a new portfolio of projects to support sustainable maritime transport - a 'SMART' portfolio, as we call it," said Jose Matheickal, Chief of the Department. The DPP was created in March 2020 by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to coordinate the development of strategic and innovative external partnerships and project implementation in line with his vision towards a "Voyage Together". This department positions IMO to support its long-term capacity building strategy through resource mobilisation and partnerships and facilitates the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all Member States, with a special focus on least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS). The DPP has a strong focus on championing innovation in the maritime sector, including through global fora, such as the Maritime Zero- and Low-Emission Innovation Forum, scheduled to be held in September 2021.


Summer 2021

Projects DPP projects include: • IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project: • IMO-European Union GMN (Global Maritime Network of Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres) project: • Global Industry Alliance (GIA) to support low carbon shipping: about-the-gia/ • GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Project: • IMO-Norway-FAO GloLitter Partnerships (GLP) project • IMO-Republic of Korea GHG-SMART project • IMO-EBRD-World Bank FIN-SMART roundtable • IMO-Germany Asia Maritime Transport Emissions project (Blue Solutions Project) • IMO-Singapore NextGEN (Green and Efficient Navigation) • IMO-Singapore Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) Project • IMO and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Maritime Zeroand Low-Emission Innovation Forum (September 2021)


Summer 2021


30 countries join global initiative to tackle marine litter

Digital ship clearance project seeks pilot port


MO has issued a call for expressions of interest from countries with a mediumsized port to take part in a pilot project to establish an efficient digitalized system for electronic exchange of information in ports for ship clearance. The "Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) Project" will develop a system in a pilot port to allow electronic submission, through one single portal, of all information required by various Government agencies when a ship calls at a port. This concept is known as the Maritime Single Window (MSW) system. The SWiFT project will be implemented by IMO in partnership with Singapore.

marine plastic litter is vital to safeguard coastal and global marine resources.


major international project that will help reduce marine plastic litter from maritime transport and fishing sectors is up for a successful start, after getting 30 countries on board. Five regions will be represented in this global effort: Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. The GloLitter Partnerships Project is implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with initial funding from the Government of Norway via the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The project aims to help the maritime transport and fishing sectors move towards a low-plastics future. To achieve this goal, this initiative will assist developing countries to apply best practices for prevention, reduction and control of marine plastic litter from those sectors. Plastic litter has devastating effects on our oceans, marine life and human health. It also has measurable impacts on the fishing and shipping industries. Discarded fishing gear can pose a serious risk to fishers as the nets or lines can become entangled in boat propellers or cause engine damage. There is also an economic impact when fishers or fisheries lose their gear or fish species are caught in discarded gear. Lost containers might also pose a collision hazard for ships. Reducing and preventing

Ten countries have been confirmed as Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs) and a further twenty countries have been selected as Partnering Countries (PCs) of the GloLitter Project.

Regulations in IMO's Facilitation Convention require electronic exchange of data, to ensure the efficient clearance of ships. The single window concept is recommended, in order to avoid duplication of effort. Individual data elements should only be submitted once, electronically through a single point of entry, to the relevant regulatory agencies and other parties.

LPCs will take lead roles in their respective regions to champion national actions in the context of supporting the IMO Action Plan on Marine Litter and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear. The LPCs and PCs will work together, via a twinning working arrangement, to build regional support for the project. The 10 Lead Partnering Countries are: Brazil, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria and Vanuatu. The 20 Partnering Countries are: Argentina, Cabo Verde, Columbia, Ecuador, Gambia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga and Viet Nam.

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the value of digitalization. Electronic exchange of required data is speedier, more reliable, efficient and COVID-secure, since face-to-face contact is minimized. Under the pilot project, the selected country will be advised on the necessary legal, policy and institutional requirements for the MSW system. The port will then be provided with functional MSW software, hardware and/or IT services, configured to the country's needs. Training will also be provided. The pilot will be supported by Singapore via in-kind contributions and by IMO via the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).




Summer 2021

Tackling climate change Short term carbon intensity measures set for adoption assess and measure the energy efficiency of all ships and set the required attainment values. The goal is to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping, working towards the levels of ambition set out in the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. The set of amendments includes: the technical requirement to reduce carbon intensity, based on a new Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI); and the operational carbon intensity reduction requirements, based on a new operational carbon intensity indicator (CII).


he Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) in June 2021 is expected to adopt important short-term measures to cut the carbon intensity of all ships, as approved at MEPC 75, which met in November 2020. This builds on current mandatory energy efficiency requirements to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. MEPC 75 also agreed the terms of reference for assessing the possible impacts on States, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). The draft amendments to the MARPOL convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity. This is in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008.

Draft MARPOL amendments

The draft amendments would add further requirements to the energy efficiency measures in MARPOL Annex VI chapter 4. Current requirements are based on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new build ships, which means they have to be built and designed to be more energy efficient than the baseline; and the mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), for all ships. The SEEMP provides for ship operators to have in place a plan to improve energy efficiency through a variety of ship specific measures. The draft amendments build on these measures by bringing in requirements to


The dual approach aims to address both technical (how the ship is retrofitted and equipped) and operational measures (how the ship operates).

Attained and required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)

The attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) is required to be calculated for ships of 400 gt and above, in accordance with the different values set for ship types and size categories. This indicates the energy efficiency of the ship compared to a baseline.

Annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating

The draft amendments are for ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above (the ships already subject to the requirement for data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships) to have determined their required annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII). The CII determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of the ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level.

The actual annual operational CII achieved (attained annual operational CII) would be required to be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII. This would enable the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined. The rating would be given on a scale operational carbon intensity rating A, B, C, D or E - indicating a major superior, minor superior, moderate, minor inferior, or inferior performance level. The performance level would be recorded in the ship’s Ship Energy

Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, would have to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C or above) would be achieved. Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B.

Review mechanism

The draft amendments would require the IMO to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements, by 1 January 2026 at the latest, and, if necessary, develop and adopt further amendments

Impact assessment

The comprehensive impact assessment of the short-term combined measure has been submitted to MEPC 76. Based on this, a possible framework for reviewing impacts on States of the measure adopted, and addressing disproportionately negative impacts on States, as appropriate, would be considered.

Initial IMO GHG Strategy

The initial IMO GHG Strategy, adopted in 2018, sets ambitious targets to halve GHG emission from ships by 2050, compared to 2008, and reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008. The strategy has a vision to ultimately phase out GHG emissions as soon as possible in this century. The strategy lists a number of candidate measures which could be considered to further reduce emissions and help achieve the targets in the strategy. Short-term measures could be measures finalized and agreed by the Committee between 2018 and 2023, although in aiming for early action, priority should be given to develop potential early measures with a view to achieving further reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping before 2023.


Summer 2021


Fourth IMO GHG Study published T

he Fourth IMO GHG Study estimates that total shipping emitted 1,056 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018, accounting for about 2.89% of the total global anthropogenic CO2 emissions for that year. Under a new voyage-based allocation method, the share of international shipping represented 740 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018. According to a range of plausible long-term economic and energy business-as-usual scenarios, shipping emissions could represent 90-130% of 2008 emissions by 2050. For the first time, the study includes estimates of carbon intensity. Overall carbon intensity has improved between 2012 and 2018 for international shipping as a whole, as well as for most ship types. The overall carbon intensity, as an average across international shipping, was between 21 and 29% better than in 2008.

Alternative low-carbon and zerocarbon fuels symposium

Technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieving the ambition set out in the IMO Initial GHG Strategy. To take stock of ongoing initiatives, the 2021 IMO Symposium on alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels for shipping was held virtually (9-10 February). The symposium presented state-of-the art research and innovation, discussed the advancement of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels in international shipping, and looked at initiatives to promote the availability, affordability and uptake of future marine fuels.

benefit from the package, during an online workshop (13-16 April) delivered under the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 project, with China taking part in a second workshop at the end of April.

generations of biofuels, hydrogen-based fuels, etc.) entailing significant differences in their overall environmental footprint.

The workshops consider key concepts related to alternative fuels and provide detailed information on individual fuels which are commercially available; in demonstration phase; and under development.

Ship-Port Interface Guide released

Informal discussions focus on lifecycle GHG/carbon intensity of cleaner fuels for shipping

IMO facilitated virtual informal discussion sessions (14-15 April) on lifecycle GHG/ carbon intensity for potential future fuels for shipping. IMO Member States and organizations in consultative status with IMO exchanged views and shared updated information on how to assess and potentially regulate the lifecycle of carbon emissions. A candidate measure in the IMO Initial GHG Strategy refers to developing "robust lifecycle GHG/carbon intensity guidelines for all types of fuels, in order to prepare for an implementation programme for effective uptake of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels". The lifecycle refers to the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from the fuel production to the ship (Well-to-Wake); from primary production to carriage of the fuel in a ship's tank (Well-to-Tank, also known as upstream emissions) and from the ship's fuel tank to the exhaust (Tank-toPropeller or Tank-to-Wake, also known as downstream emissions). Candidate future low-carbon and zerocarbon fuels for shipping have diverse production pathways (for example, different

A new Ship-Port Interface Guide focusing on practical measures which can support GHG emission reduction at the ship-port interface has been released. The eight measures presented are: facilitate immobilization in ports; facilitate hull and propeller cleaning in ports; facilitate simultaneous operations (simops) in ports; optimize port stay by pre-clearance; improve planning of ships calling at multiple berths in one port; improve ship/berth compatibility through improved Port Master Data; enable ship deadweight optimization through improved Port Master Data; and optimize speed between ports. The Guide was developed by the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA) under the IMONorway GreenVoyage2050 Project.

Solutions to cut shipping emissions at virtual conferences and exhibitions

Exploring tangible solutions in climate change mitigation in the shipping industry by use of technology was at the core of virtual energy efficiency conferences and exhibitions (ConfEx), organized by the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa (MTCC-Africa) and by MTCC Caribbean, in March 2021. The MTCCs are part of the Global MTCC Network (GMN) project executed by IMO and funded by the European Union.

Developing countries explore maritime alternative fuel opportunities

A new workshop package on “Alternative fuels and energy carriers for maritime shipping” has been launched. Georgia, India and South Africa were the first to




Summer 2021

Tackling climate change GreenVoyage2050: States accelerate action to decarbonize shipping New Pilot Countries (NPCs) are those that, as a first step, are undertaking the development of a national maritime emissions assessment, establishing a baseline and building the information base. These actions will lay the foundation for the development of a robust and informed National Action Plan (NAP) to address GHG emissions from ships. New Pilot Countries are: Azerbaijan, Belize, Cook Islands, Ecuador, Kenya, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka.


leven States from across the globe are partnering in the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project, which is supporting the path to decarbonization in the shipping sector, in line with the Initial GHG Strategy. The GreenVoyage2050 Project is actively supporting States in progressing in this decarbonization path. The project will also build capacity in developing countries, including small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs), to fulfil their commitments to meet climatechange and energy-efficiency goals for international shipping. This will be achieved through supporting States in implementing the already-adopted IMO energy-efficiency measures (contained in Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form Ships (MARPOL)) and to reduce GHG emissions from ships in line with the IMO Initial GHG Strategy. Through their participation in the project, they will aim to strengthen their MARPOL Annex VI compliance, facilitate sharing of operational best practices, catalyze the uptake of energy efficient technologies and explore opportunities for low- and zerocarbon fuels. New fuels, new technologies and innovation will be needed to meet the IMO GHG Strategy ambitions. “New Pilot Countries” and “Pioneer Pilot Countries” Individual States are at different stages in terms of implementation of IMO’s energy efficiency measures and other processes such as baseline assessment.


Pioneer Pilot Countries (PPCs) are those that have already undertaken maritime emissions baseline work and have initiated development of their NAP to address GHG emissions from ships. The GreenVoyage2050 Project is supporting PPCs to finalize their national action plan, identify pilot project opportunities and develop them further with a view to securing funding for their implementation. Pioneer Pilot Countries are: China, Georgia, India, South Africa. GreenVoyage2050 Project also has a strong private sector collaboration through the IMO-GreenVoyage2050 Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA), which aims to identify and develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures.

Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) - based in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific - have established strong regional networks and are becoming important regional players, with technical expertise in the field of maritime energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The Centres have undertaken a range of pilot projects, completed port energy audits and established branch offices in three countries. The pilot projects range from data collection to installation of solar power on two ferries in the Pacific. The project has developed an online Training Programme on Maritime Energy Management and the Implementation of MARPOL Annex VI (MTCC Caribbean). MTCC Asia developed an E-learning Course on energy efficiency. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTCCs have developed alternative plans and ensured continued engagement with stakeholders, including 10 events held during 2020; and in 2021, regional maritime technology conferences and exhibitions for the Caribbean and Africa; an MTCC-Africa sulphur limit implementation workshop organised in collaboration with the World Maritime University (WMU) and Danish Maritime; and a regional ship technology conference organised by MTCC-Asia.

IMO-EU maritime technology cooperation centre Network project extended

A key project to support the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping in developing countries through regional maritime technology cooperation centres has been extended to March 2022. This will allow this strategic project to continue its decarbonisation pilot projects and training and work towards financial sustainability in the longer term. The Global MTCC Network (GMN) Project is implemented by IMO and funded by the European Union, to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector, by supporting developing regions in the move towards maritime decarbonization. Since their establishment in 2017, four


Summer 2021


NextGEN holds first meeting to push maritime decarbonization T

he NextGEN project, which aims to bring together decarbonization initiatives in the maritime sector, has held its first meeting. It brought together multiple stakeholders from across the global shipping community and the maritime value chain who have an interest in cutting greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and tackling climate change. NextGEN - where GEN stands for "green and efficient navigation" – is led by IMO and the Government of Singapore. It aims to facilitate information sharing on various decarbonization initiatives in the global shipping community and across the maritime value chain, to identify opportunities for collaboration and gaps. During the NextGEN meeting (23 April), some 70 participants discussed ways to ensure that no one is left behind in the maritime decarbonization process and brainstormed actions needed to facilitate collaboration across the maritime and energy supply chain. Participants were also informed of plans to launch a NextGEN portal in the second half of 2021, to aid discussions and share ideas, facilitating coordination between complementary initiatives. The IMO-Singapore NextGEN aims to build partnerships between stakeholders in the public and private sectors, not only in the shipping industry and ports but also private and development banks, and academia. Among the participants in the first NextGEN meeting were leaders from the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs). The NextGEN meeting was held during the Future of Shipping Conference (23 April), jointly organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and IMO to address both decarbonization and digitalization in the maritime sector.

IMO-Germany project to cut maritime transport emissions in Asia

IMO and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU) have signed an agreement to undertake the preparatory activities leading to the development of a project proposal to reduce maritime transport emissions in East and

Southeast Asian countries. The project is supported through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of BMU. IMO will partner with the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) to undertake the preparatory project and to develop the full project proposal. This agreement, signed on 1 April 2021, is the first step in an ambitious Asia Maritime Transport Emissions project (Blue Solutions Project) that aims to support East and Southeast Asian countries in identifying opportunities to prevent and reduce transport emissions. The full-size project, once approved, will target reduction of GHG and other pollutant emissions from ships within ports, and from hinterland transport through energy efficiency improvements, optimized processes and innovative technologies (blue solutions). This agreement confirms the allocation of 385,697 Euros in funds to develop a full-size project proposal. This will involve information gathering and project design activities to align the aims of the project with those of regional and national stakeholders. These include planning workshops; conferences; interviews; identification of candidate demonstration projects, partnership discussions and desktop research and

assessment. All key stakeholders will be involved, including government partners, the shipping industry, port authorities and operators, technology providers, financial institutions, and local governments. In addition to undertaking a comprehensive technical, financial and economic analysis of the proposed project, the project proposal will also identify capacity development and knowledge management aspects, as well as assessment of GHG emission baselines. Opportunities for pilot demonstration projects to advocate for the potential of low carbon shipping, ports and hinterland transport will also be identified. At the preparatory stage, IMO will work with the following focus partner countries to develop the full-size project proposal: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. Efforts may also be undertaken to identify capacity building needs in other Asian countries. Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore are expected to be invited to serve as knowledge partner countries. The full-size Asia Maritime Transport Emissions Project is slated to receive funding of some 15 million Euros.




Summer 2021

Pushing for fishing vessel safety F

ishing is one of the most hazardous professions in the world with a large number of occupational fatalities every year. Despite its perilous nature, an internationally

binding regime for the safety of fishing vessels and their crew does not exist – unlike for seafarers, who benefit from the safety provisions established by enforceable international treaties, such as the 1974 SOLAS Convention. Such treaties do not apply to fishing vessels, explicitly excluding them. Regrettably, the key international treaty applicable to commercial fishing vessels, the 2012 Cape Town Agreement, has not yet entered into force. There are therefore no globally mandatory requirements for the design, construction and equipment of fishing vessels, including life-saving, fire protection and radio-communications equipment to be carried on board. The journey to bringing a mandatory regulatory framework for fishing vessels into force began some four decades ago with the adoption of the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels in 1977. Due mainly to the complexity of its implementation, the Convention failed to attract the number of ratifications necessary for it to enter into force; and the same happened in 1993 when the Torremolinos Protocol relating to the Convention was adopted.


The 2012 Cape Town Agreement, brought about after intensive discussions over a five-year period, presents the latest regulatory attempt to establish a mandatory regime for the safety of fishing vessels. The Agreement provides standards for the design, construction and equipment of fishing vessels and includes regulations designed to protect the safety of crews and observers, aiming at providing a level playing field for the industry. The 2012 Cape Town Agreement principally applies to fishing vessels of 24 meters in length and over, while providing flexibility for flag States to exempt certain vessels, as well as to ratify the Agreement first and implement certain provisions on a gradual basis (in phases) later on. It complements the 2007 International Labour Organization (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention and the 2009 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement, as well as IMO’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), 1995. The 2012 Cape Town Agreement replaces the 1977 Torremolinos Convention


Summer 2021

and the 1993 Protocol with updated provisions that address previously encountered difficulties and pave the way for facilitating the entry into force. For this to happen, the Agreement needs to be ratified by 22 States with an aggregate number of 3,600 fishing vessels operating on the high seas. The current number of ratifications stands at 16 States with around 1,500 eligible fishing vessels. The last few years show an accelerated trend towards ratification, providing hope for its entry into force in the not-too-distant future. This has been driven by IMO efforts to actively promote the Agreement, including the Torremolinos Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, in October 2019, attended by some 120 States, 70 ministeriallevel representatives, 30 international organisations and more than 500 delegates. During the Conference, the Torremolinos Declaration was adopted and signed by 48 States (since risen to 51 States), publicly indicating their determination to ratify the Agreement by 11 October 2022 – the 10th anniversary of its adoption – to enable its entry into force one year later. Since the 2019 Conference, five more States have ratified the Agreement with several others currently in the process of completing the ratification process. When the 2012 Cape Town Agreement eventually enters into force, it will improve the safety of life at sea for hundreds of thousands of fishers worldwide and will also be a key tool in combating IUU fishing, as well as supporting the sustainable development of an industry that feeds millions of people. It will also allow for the establishment of a port State mechanism to monitor IUU fishing activities, which in turn will protect markets from being flooded with illegally caught fish, avoid depletion of world fish stocks, protect fishers from human rights abuse and provide the basis for tackling abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear.


Regional webinars on the Ratification and Implementation of the 2012 Cape Town Agreement


he objective of the webinar series is to maintain the momentum of the 2019 Torremolinos Ministerial Conference. By sharing lessons learned by States that have already ratified the Agreement, or are currently in the process of doing so, the webinars help to identify any barriers that hinder progress towards the widespread acceptance and effective implementation of the Agreement. • North Africa and Middle East (April 2021) • Africa Region (February 2021) • Latin America and Caribbean region (November 2020) • Europe and Western Asia (June 2021) • Pacific (July 2021) • Asia (October 2021)

IMO, in cooperation with other UN organizations, notably FAO and ILO, and non-governmental organizations, in particular the Pew Charitable Trusts, has recently been organizing a series of regional webinars to further promote the ratification and implementation of the Agreement, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from transport and fisheries agencies. IMO has launched a new easy guide to the Cape Town Agreement (https://bit. ly/3uAzmRz).

For more information, visit https:// Fishing%20Vessels-Default.aspx. Contact: Cagri Kucukyildiz on




Summer 2021

Delivering a data-led diversity baseline


he maritime industry has traditionally been male-dominated, particularly when it comes to leadership. Many companies are working on improving the gender balance – but there is great disparity in their efforts and their successes. For the industry to advance, we must have tangible measures of success as well as a baseline as a starting point to track progress. The Women in Maritime - IMO and WISTA International Survey 2021 is gathering data to build an accurate picture of the proportion and distribution of women working in every sector of the maritime world. There are two separate surveys, one for IMO Member States and a second directed at the wider industry. Information from both will be collated and analysed by IHS Markit.

Need for the study

A diverse workforce is the solution to many of the issues that the maritime sector is grappling with, including the skills gap, agile thinking and more. It is also a priority for IMO, which is committed to fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This project works towards fulfilling SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 8 on decent work and SDG 17 on partnerships. Data collected will assist in creating programmes and proposing policies that will increase the participation of women in maritime. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, "Diversity in maritime matters. Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development, and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community and beyond. We need solid data on female participation, as this will enable us to track and quantify our ambitions." The study is one of the initiatives


under the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by IMO and WISTA International to promote greater diversity and inclusion through enhanced cooperation activities in the maritime sector.

Aim of the study

This is the first data-gathering exercise of its kind in the sector. Information obtained will help build a snapshot picture of diversity and gender equality in maritime. Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President of WISTA International, said, "Having comparable data is a key component when creating programmes and proposing policies that will increase the participation of women in maritime. It is an essential step forward. With our global reach we can amplify the strength of this survey to show real results and back our drive towards an inclusive maritime sector." The results of both surveys will help lay the groundwork for further discussions on how to build a more diverse workforce. The data will identify any gaps in areas that should be addressed by policy, including training, recruitment, retention and progression to leadership roles.

Inclusion criteria

The industry survey is open to all companies active in the maritime sector, including ship owners, operators, NonGovernmental Organizations and InterGovernmental Organizations as well as service providers, including bunker traders, bunker suppliers, marketing companies, legal firms and more – so long as a company spends more than 50% of its working hours on maritime related projects. All information should be filled in by

a company's human resources (HR) department and include information for all staff, from support roles to executive level positions. If a company has multiple sub-brands, the HR representative should amalgamate the information for all the brands together and fill out a single survey response. In some cases, large organizations may have a single arm dedicated to maritime and that this would prevent the entire company from meeting the 50% timethreshold for dedicated maritime activities. In such cases, the HR representative should treat the maritime arm as a stand-alone company and submit the information, as this is still vital to a complete understanding of the gender distribution in the sector. All data gathered from the survey will be anonymised and aggregated to produce a report that will help create a data snapshot of the current state of the maritime industry's workforce, serving as a baseline for future surveys.

Take the Women in Maritime IMO and WISTA International Survey 2021 by 30 June 2021 • NGOS/Companies: IndustryIMOWISTA

• Member State survey: MaritimeIMOWISTA Section by section data entry is supported, allowing entries to be saved until “Submit” is pressed. Contact:


Summer 2021


MSC - 103RD SESSION (MSC 103) – 5-14 MAY 2021

Regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships completed

The MSC completed the regulatory scoping exercise (RSE) for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) and approved a circular providing the outcome. (MSC.1/Circ.1639 on Outcome of the Regulatory Scoping Exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)). This represents an important first step, paving the way for focused discussions to ensure that regulation keeps pace with technological developments. The Committee agreed that proposals for new outputs would be needed to address the various gaps in IMO instruments identified in the RSE and invited interested Member States to submit such proposals to a future session.

COVID-19 - prioritizing seafarer vaccination

The MSC adopted a resolution on "Recommended action to prioritize COVID-19 vaccination of seafarers". This resolution recommends that Member States and relevant national authorities prioritize their seafarers, as far as practicable, in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes (taking into account the WHO SAGE Roadmap); and also give proper consideration to extending COVID-19 vaccines to seafarers of other nationalities, taking into account their national vaccines supply. Member States are further recommended to consider exempting seafarers from any national policy requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for entry, taking into account that seafarers should be designated as "key workers", as they travel across borders frequently.

Enhancing the safety of ships relating to the use of oil fuel

The Committee established a working group to look at a number of safety issues related to oil fuel, building on work carried out by a correspondence group. Good progress was made in developing relevant mandatory SOLAS requirements relating to reporting of cases where fuel suppliers do not meet SOLAS requirements and on action against such fuel suppliers. Progress was also noted by the Committee in developing regulations for the documentation of the flashpoint of the actual fuel batch when bunkering. The working group also continued the development on a list of issues to be addressed by guidelines for ships to address situations

where indicative test results suggest that the oil fuel supplied may not comply with flashpoint requirements. The MSC re-established a correspondence group to continue the work.

Domestic ferry safety

The Committee approved, in principle the basic structure of framework Model Regulations on Domestic Ferry Safety, subject to ongoing review. The draft model regulations are intended to provide framework provisions on domestic ferry safety that can be incorporated into national law. The model regulations are focused solely on safety and do not make any provisions for issues such as facilitation, security or pollution. The Committee agreed to establish a Working Group on Domestic Ferry Safety at MSC 104 to further develop the model regulations. The IMO Secretariat has been working with other stakeholders, including INTERFERRY and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), to address the pressing matter of domestic ferry safety.

Measures to enhance maritime security

The Committee considered recent developments on maritime security, noting that IMO is an implementing partner in a new fouryear EU funded project on "Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean" and will also be implementing a similar EU-funded project in the Red Sea. SOLAS Contracting Governments were urged to continue to effectively implement, in partnership with industry, the IMO security measures, including SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, taking into account new and emerging security threats, and to request IMO's technical assistance, as appropriate. The Committee approved the dissemination via MSC circular of the 4th version of The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships (jointly prepared by industry NGOs).

Resolution on tackling piracy in Gulf of Guinea

The MSC held discussions in a working group to bring all interested stakeholders together to address the escalating incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea. The Committee adopted a resolution on recommended action to address piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, which




Summer 2021

MSC - 103RD SESSION (MSC 103) – 5-14 MAY 2021

Adoption of amendments

The Committee adopted amendments to the following instruments: • amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation III/33 and the LSA Code, aiming to remove the applicability of the requirements to launch free-fall lifeboats to test their strength with the ship making headway at speeds up to 5 knots in calm water on cargo ships of 20,000 GT and above. The expected entry into force date is 1 January 2024. The MSC also approved a related circular on voluntary early implementation. calls for increased collaboration and action to tackle the number and severity of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region, which threaten the lives and well-being of seafarers and the safety of shipping. Based on reports submitted to IMO, in 2020, the number of incidents taking place in the Gulf of Guinea (West Africa) increased by 20 from 2019, to 87, with 112 crew members reported as kidnapped/missing. This was against a total 226 incidents in 2020 globally. To date, in 2021, 23 incidents have been reported in the West Africa region.

Detecting and reporting containers lost at sea

The MSC considered, among numerous other proposals for new work items, a proposal to address the problem of containers lost at sea. This is in the context of recent incidents involving large numbers of containers lost at sea and IMO Action plan to address marine plastic litter from ships, which calls for consideration of the establishment of a compulsory mechanism to declare loss of containers at sea and identify number of losses, in order to reduce safety and environmental consequences of container losses. The MSC agreed to include a new output (for 2022-2023) on "Development of measures regarding the detection and mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea that may enhance the positioning, tracking and recovery of such containers", coordinated by the SubCommittee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC).

Addressing fires on container ships

The MSC agreed to include in the biennial (2022-2023) agenda of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), a new agenda item on "Development of amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2 and the FSS Code concerning detection and control of fires in cargo holds and on the cargo deck of containerships", with a target completion year of 2025, in association with the CCC Sub-Committee. The move followed discussion of submissions proposing to specifically address container ship fires. The MSC noted the need for a holistic risk-based approach and prioritization of risk prevention and mitigation enhancement when developing amendments.

• the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), consequential to the amendments to SOLAS regulation III/33 and the LSA Code. • a new draft SOLAS regulation II-1/25-1, requiring water level detectors on multiple hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers and tankers. The expected entry into force date is 1 January 2024. • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), adding the definition of "high-voltage" in STCW regulation I/1. The expected entry into force date is 1 January 2023. • section A-I/1 of the STCW Code, including the capacity "electro-technical officer" in the definition of "operational level", as a consequential amendment to the introduction of this capacity as part of the 2010 Manila Amendments. The expected entry into force date is 1 January 2023. • chapter 9 of the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code), relating to fault isolation requirements for individually identifiable fire detector systems installed, in lieu of section identifiable fire detector systems on cargo ships and passenger ship cabin balconies; and clarifying the acceptability of less complex and costly section identifiable fault isolation for individually identifiable fire detector systems. The expected entry into force date is 1 January 2024. • the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2011 (ESP Code), relating to thickness measurements at the first renewal survey of double hull oil tanker. The expected entry into force date is 1 January 2023.

Guidance and guidelines

Among other issues, the MSC also: • Approved amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual. • Approved Guidelines for safety measures for fishing vessels of 24m in length and over operating in polar waters. • Approved Guidelines for pleasure yachts of 300 gross tonnage and above not engaged in trade operating in polar waters. • Approved MSC.1/Circ.1318/Rev.1 on the Revised guidelines for the maintenance and inspections of fixed carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing systems. • Approved MSC.1/Circ.797/Rev.35 on the List of competent persons maintained by the Secretary-General pursuant to section A-I/7 of the STCW Code.



Summer 2021



Expanding the size of Council - draft amendments agreed The IMO Council approved draft amendments to the IMO Convention to expand the size of the Council, extend the term of its Members and recognize three additional language texts as authentic versions of the IMO Convention. The draft amendments were approved at the 33rd extraordinary session of the Council, which was held virtually on 8 April 2021.

The amendments will now be transmitted to the thirty-second session of the IMO Assembly (6 to 15 December 2021), for consideration with a view to adoption. Until the amendments enter into force, the current structure will remain unchanged. The proposed amendments would require acceptance by two thirds of the IMO Membership, or 116 Member States (based on the current membership of 174 Member States and two Associate Members) for entry into force.

Expansion of the Council

Upon entry into force of these proposed Council reforms by the Assembly, the IMO Council will increase by 12 Member States, to 52 from its current 40 Members. This would see 12 seats allocated to Categories (a) and (b) each and 28 seats to Category (c). The categories are: (a) States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services (b) States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade each; and (c) States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

Member term length

Under the approved amendments, Council Members would remain in their roles until the end of the next two consecutive regular sessions of the Assembly, after which they would be eligible for re-election. Since Assemblies are usually held every two years, this would usually mean that Members would serve a four-year term.

Additional authentic languages

Separately, in the spirit of multilingualism embraced by the United Nations system, the IMO Council agreed that Arabic,

Chinese and Russian, (which are already official languages of the Organization), should be added as authentic texts of the IMO Convention, supplementing the current authentic texts in English, French and Spanish.

Current Council Members

The current Council Members elected for the 2020-2021 biennium are: Category (a): China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States. Category (b): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. Category (c): Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

History of the IMO Council

When the IMO Convention entered into force in 1958, the IMO Council was made up of just 16 Member States. The most recent expansion was a result of the 1993 amendments that came into force in 2002 and increased the size of the Council to 40, with Groups (a) and (b) increased to 10 and Group (c) to 20 Member States. Previous expansions came into force in 1984 - when the Council was increased in size to 32, with 16 places for Group (c); in 1978 when Council membership was increased to 24 Member States by enlarging Group (c) to 12 Member States; and in 1967 - when IMO adopted an amendment to the IMO Convention that increased the size of the Council to 18.

Council candidatures for 2022-2023 biennium

The list of States that have announced their candidatures for election to the IMO Council has been published on the IMO website (regularly updated). The election of Members of the Council will be held during the IMO Assembly 32nd session, with 10 to each of category (a) and (b) and 20 to category (c), giving 40 Council Members in total.




Summer 2021


GMDSS modernization completed

The Sub-Committee has completed its review of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) requirements, agreeing draft amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 and other existing instruments. These amendments are intended to enable the use of modern communication systems in the GMDSS whilst removing requirements to carry obsolete systems.

The draft amendments to SOLAS will now be submitted to the 104th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), scheduled to meet in October 2021, with a view to approval and subsequent adoption at MSC 105 in 2022 for their entry into force on 1 January 2024.

Recognition of Japanese Regional Navigation Satellite System

The revision of the relevant regulations in SOLAS chapters II-1, III, IV and V and preparation of related and consequential amendments to other existing instruments is the result of a decade of detail-oriented work by the Organization, in particular by the NCSR Sub-Committee.

The Sub-Committee considered a proposal for recognition of the Japanese Regional Navigation Satellite System Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) as a component of the world-wide radio navigation system (WWRNS) and prepared a circular for approval by MSC 104.

Safety of navigation and safety of life at sea depend on the integrated satellite and terrestrial radiocommunication systems to support ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship distress, urgency and safety communications at sea, which is known as the GMDSS in general. Mandatory requirements for the GMDSS are laid down in the SOLAS Convention.

IMO has an important role in accepting and recognizing radionavigation systems which can be used by international shipping. IMO currently recognizes the global positioning system (GPS), global navigation satellite system (GLONASS), BeiDou navigation satellite system (BDS), Galileo global navigation satellite system and Indian regional navigation satellite system (IRNSS), and will consider the recognition of the QZSS at MSC 104. SOLAS chapter V requires all ships to carry a global navigation satellite system or terrestrial radio navigation receiver, or other means, to establish and update the ship's position by automatic means, for use at all times throughout the voyage.

Polar Code application to non-SOLAS ships – work continues

The Sub-Committee has agreed, in principle, that the safety of navigation related provisions of the Polar Code be extended to include specific sizes of fishing vessels, pleasure yachts and smaller cargo ships. Draft amendments to SOLAS chapter XIV will be developed to apply the relevant provisions of the Polar Code to, as a minimum, the following types of ships on all voyages operating in polar waters: fishing vessels of 24 metres and above; pleasure yachts of 300 gross tonnage and above not engaged in trade; and cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and above but below 500 gross tonnage. A correspondence group was re-established and instructed to prepare draft amendments to SOLAS chapter XIV and the Polar Code, and report back to the next session. IMO's Polar Code helps ensure the safety of ships operating in



Summer 2021


8TH SESSION, 19 – 23 APRIL 2021 the harsh Arctic and Antarctic areas, taking into account extremes of temperature, and that critical equipment remains operational under those conditions. The 31st IMO Assembly in 2019 adopted a resolution urging Member States to implement, on a voluntary basis, the safety measures of the Polar Code, as far as practicable, on non-SOLAS ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic. While the Polar Code is mandatory under SOLAS, this generally excludes fishing vessels, pleasure yachts, smaller cargo ships under 500 gross tons and vessels on domestic voyages. Consideration is now being given to the possible application of safety of navigation and voyage planning provisions of the Polar Code to non-SOLAS ships and how best to enhance the safety of these ships when operating in polar waters.

Revision of guidelines on places of refuge – work continues

The Sub-Committee reviewed a proposed revision of the Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance and decided to continue the work intersessionally by instructing a correspondence group, which will report back to NCSR 9. The guidelines were adopted in 2003 (resolution A.949(23)) to provide guidance when a ship is in need of assistance but safety of life is not involved (when safety of life is involved, SAR provisions should be followed).

Consequential amendments related to the revised EPIRBs Performance standards

In connection to the performance standards for floatfree Emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) operating on 406 MHz (resolution MSC.471(101)), the SubCommittee approved draft MSC resolutions on Amendments to the Performance standards for shipborne simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs) (resolution MSC.163(78)) and Amendments to the Performance standards for voyage data recorders (VDRs) (resolution MSC.333(90)), with a view to adoption by MSC 104. In addition, the Sub-Committee agreed to the draft revisions of MSC circulars on Guidelines for shore-based maintenance of satellite

EPIRBs and Guidelines on annual testing of 406 MHz satellite EPIRBs for approval by MSC 104.

Liaison Statement to ITU

The Sub Committee approved two liaison statements to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in relation to the revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1371-5 and protection of GMDSS terminals operating in the frequency band 1 518-1 559 MHz from IMT systems.

Preliminary draft IMO position for ITU WRC-23

The Sub-Committee noted the progress made by the sixteenth meeting of the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group on Maritime Radiocommunication Matters concerning the development of the preliminary draft IMO position on relevant ITU World Radio Communication Conference (WRC-23) agenda items. The SubCommittee approved the terms of reference for the seventeenth meeting of the IMO/ITU Experts Group, to be held from 1 to 5 November 2021, and instructed the Experts Group, inter alia, to further develop the draft IMO position.

Routeing measures and mandatory ship reporting systems

Proposals for new routeing measures, which contribute to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and/or protection of the marine environment, are routinely considered by the NCSR Sub-Committee. In light of time constraints, it was agreed that the convening of a meeting of the Experts Group on Ships' Routeing would be recommended to take place in advance of the plenary session of NCSR 9 to consider any proposals.

Matters concerning maritime search and rescue

The Sub-Committee considered the report of the twenty-seventh meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue and approved the provisional agenda for the next meeting, to be held from 6 to 10 September 2021.




Summer 2021


Carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters

The Sub-Committee considered draft guidelines on mitigation measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters, developed by a correspondence group. Following discussion, the Sub-Committee agreed to refer relevant sections of the draft guidelines to other sub committees, specifically, the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), to review navigational and communication measures; the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC), to review the paragraph concerning the location of fuel tanks; and the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW), to review sections on training and on-board familiarization. It is expected that a drafting group at the next session, PPR 9, in 2022, will be invited to finalize the draft guidelines, for submission to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for approval. The draft guidelines are intended to assist Administrations of the Parties to MARPOL, the coastlines of which border on Arctic waters, to implement measures at national level to reduce the risks associated with the use of HFO as fuel and its carriage for use as fuel by ships in Arctic waters.


The draft guidelines are also aimed at providing ship operators of ships planning voyages in the Arctic with recommendations on measures to reduce the risk of spills while using or carrying HFO for use as fuel in Arctic waters. The MEPC is expected at its next session, in June 2021, to adopt approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I to introduce a prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters on and after 1 July 2024. The draft guidelines will also assist States to take decisions on waivers which will be permitted until 2029 under the proposed draft regulation 43A for ships flying their flag while operating in Arctic waters.

Reducing the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon

The Sub-Committee discussed submissions related to reducing the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping. Black Carbon, in the context of international shipping,is the product of incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels. Black Carbon emissions contribute to climate change as a 'Short-Lived Climate Pollutant'. IMO has been looking at how to measure and report on Black Carbon emissions and has already agreed a reporting protocol for voluntary measurement studies to collect Black Carbon data and


Summer 2021


SUB-COMMITTEE ON POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (PPR 8), 22 – 26 MARCH 2021 Black Carbon measurement methods for data collection. With regards to developing a standardized sampling, conditioning, and measurement protocol, the Sub-Committee encouraged interested Member Governments and international organizations to undertake further studies on Black Carbon measurement systems to enable accurate and traceable (comparable) measurements of Black Carbon emission and submit the results to future Sub-Committee sessions. The Sub-Committee welcomed the establishment by Canada of the international Technical Working Group (TWG) on the Development of a Standardized Sampling, Conditioning and Measurement Protocol for Black Carbon Emissions from Marine Engines. The ISO was invited to keep the Sub-Committee or MEPC, as appropriate, informed of its ongoing review of the ISO 8217 standard for specification of marine fuels, including the possibility to include an additional informative indicator in the ISO 8217 standard, to evaluate whether a fuel tends to be paraffinic or aromatic in character. With regard to potential regulatory options to reduce the impact of black carbon emissions form shipping on the Arctic, the SubCommittee invited the MEPC to approve updated terms of reference for the agenda item, to include: • Develop, as a starting point, guidelines on recommendatory goalbased control measures to reduce the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping; • Further consider regulating or otherwise directly control Black Carbon emissions from marine diesel engines (exhaust gas) to reduce the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping, taking into account the identified candidate control measures;

A Correspondence Group on Development of a Protocol for Verification of Ballast Water Compliance Monitoring Devices was established to further the work.

Review of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines

The Sub-Committee continued its review of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines, which provide a globally consistent approach to the management of biofouling – the accumulation of various aquatic organisms on ships’ hulls, which is also a vector for the transfer of invasive aquatic species. The Correspondence Group on Review of the Biofouling Guidelines was re-established and the Sub-Committee requested to extend the target completion year to 2023.

Marine litter – addressing losses or discharges of fishing gear

The Sub-Committee has been tasked with progressing certain elements of IMO’ s action plan to address marine plastic litter. In this context, the Sub-Committee considered the output of a correspondence group, which has been looking at how to address losses or discharges of fishing gear, including draft amendments to reporting requirements under MARPOL Annex V regulations on the prevention of pollution from ships by garbage. The Sub-Committee agreed to further consider the report of the correspondence group and the commenting document that had been submitted to this session at its next session, in conjunction with additional relevant documents that may be forwarded to PPR 9 by the MEPC (e.g. report of the GESAMP Working Group on sea-based sources of marine litter and a submission by FAO on reporting protocols and practices). The Committee was invited to extend the target completion year to 2023.

• Further consider recommended Black Carbon measurement methods (light absorption filter smoke number (FSN); photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS); and laser induced incandescence (LII)) to be used in conjunction with regulations to control Black Carbon emissions from marine diesel engines; • Develop a standardized sampling, conditioning and measurement protocol, including a traceable reference method and an uncertainty analysis, taking into account the three most appropriate Black Carbon measurement methods (FSN, PAS, LII), to make accurate and traceable (comparable) measurements of Black Carbon emissions; and submit a report to MEPC 79 in 2022.

Standards and performance of sewage treatment plants

The Sub-Committee continued its review of MARPOL Annex IV regulations and the related 2012 Guidelines on implementation of effluent standards and performance tests for sewage treatment plants (resolution MEPC.227(64)). The Correspondence Group on Amendments to MARPOL Annex IV and Associated Guidelines was re-established, to continue the review. The Committee was invited to extend the target completion year to 2023.

Standard for the verification of ballast water compliance monitoring devices

The Sub-Committee continued its work on the development of a standard for the verification of ballast water compliance monitoring devices. IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which has been in force since 2017, aims to prevent the spread of harmful species in ballast water by requiring ships to manage their ballast water.




Summer 2021

SUB-COMMITTEE ON HUMAN ELEMENT, TRAINING AND WATCHKEEPING (HTW 7), 15 – 19 FEBRUARY 2021 The focus of this group includes issuance and renewal of seafarers’ certificates and documents, and extensions of validity beyond the regime established in the 1978 STCW Convention. The group will also identify hurdles to the provision of continued professional competence through refresher training.

Implementation of STCW Convention – action plan agreed

During the session, a working group was established to discuss implementation of the 1978 STCW Convention, including matters related to the list of confirmed Parties (“White List”). The Sub-Committee highlighted the need to ensure confidence in the “White List”, facilitate appropriate knowledge and understanding of the STCW Convention, and also ensure that competent persons have appropriate skills and experience to undertake the tasks emanating from the Convention. The Sub-Committee noted a list of gaps and areas for further consideration regarding the communication of information system and endorsed an action plan for enhancing it. A correspondence group was established to develop related guidance and consider the need for training of Parties and competent persons.

Strategic direction on human element agreed

The HTW Sub-Committee agreed on the need to include a specific strategic direction on the human element in the Organization’s Strategic Plan at the earliest opportunity, given the relevance of the human element for the work of the Organization, which has been made particularly evident in the context of the global crisis stemming from the pandemic. The Maritime Safety Committee was invited to discuss this matter.

Joint working group on the human element

The Sub-Committee noted that the IMO Legal Committee had agreed to urgently request the Special Tripartite Committee of MLC, 2006, to authorize the establishment of an ILO-IMO tripartite working group to identify and address seafarers’ issues and the human element, which would need to be endorsed by the ILO Governing Body during its meeting in November 2021. The Legal Committee had invited MSC to make a similar request to the IMO Council.

Comprehensive review of STCW-F Convention continued

The Sub-Committee continued working on the comprehensive review of the STCW-F Convention and agreed, in principle, to a number of draft provisions, including medical standards, the definition of “limited waters”, mandatory requirements for certification of engineer officers and radio operators, revalidation of certificates and provisions on basic training. The work plan for completion of the review was also updated with the goal of finalizing the draft amendments for adoption in 2024.

Certification of Seafarers – correspondence group established

The HTW Sub-Committee considered challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic by seafarers and Member States with regards to certification and training. It established a correspondence group, due to report to the Maritime Safety Committee in October 2021 (MSC 104), to develop guidance to harmonize the measures to be adopted by both flag and port States, and to address adverse effects of the measures adopted so far.


Further work will continue on matters such as sustainable fisheries training; engineering watchkeeping provisions; and a draft resolution addressing training on response against piracy and armed robbery for skippers, officers and engineer officers of fishing vessels entering high-risk areas.

Non-SOLAS ships in polar waters – draft guidelines agreed

The Sub Committee agreed on training related text in draft guidelines for fishing vessels of 24 m in length and over operating in polar waters. The guidelines, developed by the SDC Sub Committee, will now be submitted to MSC 103 with a view to approval.


Summer 2021


Promoting National Maritime Transport Policies


MO is continuing to introduce countries to the concept of National Maritime Transport Policies (NMTPs). Officials from 10 countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) took part in the 4th Advanced Maritime Leaders' Programme (20 April). IMO and World Maritime University experts covered the development, formulation and content of an NMTP. The event was organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Academy (MPAA).

South-East Asian seas project extended Norad announced its decision to extend its assistance at the project's virtual Extra Ordinary High Level Regional Meeting (17 March), organized by IMOs Department of Partnerships and Projects.


The meeting discussed the impact of COVID 19 on the project activities and the countries supported by the Strategic Partners agreed on the next steps in the Project. These include focusing on the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Remote Programming Exercise (CME-RPE) which will also be held virtually for the participating countries.

Run by IMO and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the MEPSEAS project assists participating developing countries to address high-priority marine environment issues related to ships and shipping, in particular through implementing IMO's key international environmental conventions.

The meeting was hosted by the Government of the Philippines through the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and attended by delegations from the seven participating countries of the MEPSEAS project: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and representatives of the project's strategic partners.

he Marine Environment Protection of the South-East Asian Seas (MEPSEAS) project has been extended, by one year, to 2022.

Working together to regulate waste dumping at sea


reventing pollution from dumping of wastes at sea relies on global frameworks, regional conventions and protocols, and national regulations. To be effective, these need to be aligned and implemented effectively. This was the subject of a meeting (2 March) organised by IMO's Office of the London Protocol and Ocean Affairs (OLCP&OA) and United Nations Environment Programme/ Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP). Participants shared best practices relating to two key instruments regulating the dumping of wastes at sea: the Mediterranean Action Plan and the Barcelona Convention’s Dumping Protocol. The meeting brought together national experts on dumping activities, permitting and enforcement authorities that are involved in implementing these instruments to provide information on recent developments to the Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties on the dumping at sea of waste issues at global and regional levels; provide guidance to the Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties on compliance monitoring programmes under the Dumping Protocol; and identify best practices with regards to national implementation of the Dumping Protocol mainstreaming regional and global good practices. The meeting was attended by Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties, other UN Regional Organizations (including HELCOM, PERSGA) and representatives from the Central Dredging Association (CEDA) and IMO.




Summer 2021

Addressing illegal wildlife trade


uch of the world’s illegal wildlife trade is transported onboard vessels, underscoring the need for IMO’s involvement in the fight against this illegal activity. At a webinar on ‘Asia Dialogue on Responses to Wildlife Trafficking in Maritime Transport’ (in February) Josephine Uranza, IMO Regional Coordinator, Regional Presence for Technical Cooperation in East Asia highlighted the efforts being undertaken to curb illegal wildlife trade.

In addition to co-ordinating with other agencies working in this field and raising awareness of illegal wildlife trade via tools such as webinars, IMO’s Facilitation Committee is actively pursuing this issue. Following a proposal from the Government of Kenya, the Committee has agreed to develop guidelines for the prevention and suppression of the smuggling of wildlife on ships engaged in international maritime traffic.

IMO regional pollution centre assisted oil spill incident in Israel


he IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) assisted the competent authorities of Israel with technical expertise regarding the beaching of a large quantities of tar balls on the Israeli shoreline in February 2021.

New series of webinars on oil spill preparedness and response

vessels have been found to have been in the vicinity of the possible original position of the spill and the investigation continues.

The cause of the pollution is yet to be identified. Some 1,000m3 of tar balls were collected.

The REMPEC Mediterranean Assistance Unit (MAU) worked to assess the potential impact to neighboring countries, using results of forecasting model from the Mediterranean Operational Network for the Global Ocean Observing System (MONGOOS), a Member of the MAU.

REMPEC supported the identification of the source of the pollution by obtaining information from satellite images from Maritime Support Service (EMSA). Ten

The Centre was also in contact with the Lebanese Competent Authorities, following reports of pollution of the Lebanese shoreline.


lobal efforts to prevent oil spills continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The first webinar of a new series on oil spill preparedness and response was delivered by the GI WACAF Project (14 April). The webinar focused on developing a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP). Experts from ITOPF and OTRA presented both the development process and the content of a NOSCP, as well as the importance of its effective implementation.

Marine biosafety training in the Philippines

Other webinars will cover related topics, including waste management, the use of dispersants, wildlife response and liability and compensation in case of an oil spill. The GIWACAF project launched its first webinar series on oil spill preparedness and response in June 2020. This helped provide key assistance to countries in improving their response plan, such as response techniques or implementing legal and institutional instruments to meet international regulations. The GI WACAF Project is a collaboration between IMO and IPIECA to enhance the capacity of 22 partner countries in West, Central and Southern Africa to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills.



he IMO executed GloFouling Partnerships Project and the Government of the Philippines organised the first delivery of a newly-developed general training course on biofouling management. The course introduced participants to the key features of marine biology and environmental impacts of invasive species; the range of antifouling coatings, marine growth prevention systems, and in-water grooming and cleaning technologies available to prevent the biofouling issue; the main aspects of IMO's

Biofouling Guidelines; and the current status of national regulations around the world. The new training package will be deployed during 2021 in the other 11 Lead Partnering Countries of the GloFouling project. National maritime training academies and institutions will be supported to incorporate the course into their teaching programme and deliver it on a regular basis. More than 50 participants attended the online training course (14-17 December 2020).

CSS CODE Code of Practice for Stowage and Securing 2021 Edition



The Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) provides an international standard for the safe stowage and securing of cargoes to promote the safety of life both at sea, and during loading and discharge. The 2021 edition incorporates all amendments up to and including 2020. In particular, this edition includes amendments to:

► annex 13 on Methods to assess the efficiency of securing arrangements for semistandardized and non-standardized cargo (MSC.1/Circ.1623)

► appendix 2 on Revised guidelines for the preparation of the Cargo Securing Manual (MSC.1/Circ.1353/Rev.2)

► appendix 4 on Revised guidelines for securing arrangements for the transport of road vehicles on ro-ro ships (MSC.479(102)), which supersedes resolution A.581(14), as amended. Also included in this 2021 edition of the Code are the Revised recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships (A.1050(27)), given in appendix 5, and amendments to annex 14 on Guidance on providing safe working conditions for securing of containers on deck (MSC.1/Circ.1352/Rev.1).

Also available as Electronic Edition: KC292E

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