Category Archives: News

Maritime transport: LNG bunkering guidance for port authorities and administrations

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has published a guidance document on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering for port authorities and administrations. The document aims at backing the use of LNG as a ship fuel, as part of a joint effort to increase sustainability.

The guidance was prepared in close cooperation with the European Commission, Member States and stakeholders within the context of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum.

LNG as a marine fuel provides an alternative to traditional fuels by emitting fewer pollutants, such as SOx and NOx. The LNG Bunkering guidance becomes another element in the EU strategy to support the development of alternative fuels for shipping foreseen by Directive 2014/94/EU.

Alternative shipping fuels are also supported through funding instruments, including the Green Shipping Guarantee (GSG) programme, whose first transaction was recently announced for the financing of a LNG powered ferry expected to enter into service in 2019.

Source: DG Move

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Transport Malta and Malta Maritime Forum consolidate business relationship

On January 19, under the patronage of Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg, Transport Malta and the Malta Maritime Forum consolidated their business relationship through the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

Transport Malta has the mission to promote and develop the transport sector in Malta by means of proper regulation and through the promotion and development of related services, businesses and other interests both locally and internationally.

The mission of the Malta Mari­time Forum is to serve as a common platform for those Malta-based entities involved in the maritime, logistical and transport sector in Malta.

The MMF facilitates communication between the various sectors as well as with government to assist and promote the deve­lopment of the maritime industry in general.

“Malta has a natural potential to continue consolidating its position as an excellent leading maritime centre in the Mediterranean,” Dr Borg said.

He added that Malta’s political stability, EU membership, a clear commitment to support business development of high added value services, an attractive fiscal regime, a well-respected flag, a robust legislative framework and an efficient administration create the right environment for this industry to be further consolidated and to prosper.

Dr Borg augured both Transport Malta and the MMF to continue with their efforts and to have a pi­vo­tal role in defining and achieving value targets for Malta to become a centre of maritime excellence.

James Piscopo, Transport Malta CEO and chairman, explained that their cooperation with the MMF has been ongoing since the forum’s inception two years ago. The two sides decided to consolidate their working relationship through the memorandum.

MMF chairman Joe Borg appreciated the open approach adopted by Transport Malta in relation to the MMF’s various initiatives and thanked both the minister as well as Mr Piscopo for their continued recognition and support to the MMF and its extended line of members who represented the very wide spectrum of the maritime and logistics sector within Malta.

The MMF was also representing Malta’s interests on the European aspects through its active participation as a member of the European Network of Maritime Clusters.

Mr Piscopo signed the memorandum on behalf of Transport Malta whereas Dr Borg as chairman and Joseph Bugeja as CEO and board member, signed on behalf of the MMF.

Transport Malta officials and MMF board members were also present for the signing of the memorandum.

Source: Times of Malta

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The relevance of short sea shipping to maritime industry

The European Union has, since its foundation, recognised the relevance of facilitating the free movement of goods between its Member States as this fosters trade and growth.

Over the years, the EU gave more impetus to short sea shipping (SSS), which can be considered as the movement of cargo by sea both intra Europe, as well as between EU Member States and other countries in the proximity of Europe, such as those bordering the Mediterranean.

In 2001 the EU launched the concept of SSS which laid down the basic objectives, namely: freight flow concentration on sea-based logistical routes; increased cohesion; and reducing road congestion through modal shift.

The EU came to the conclusion that SSS offers a set of positive features that no other mode of transport can provide, especially in relation to the environmental considerations for the transport of large volumes of cargo.

This European outlook has a geo-economic relevance in that around 70 per cent of European industrial production is located within 150-200km from sea, 40 per cent of EU population live in EU coastal regions, and there are over 1,200 commercial seaports operating along EU coasts that cover a length of 70,000km.

To promote this modal shift, the EU set up specific financing programmes including: the Pilot Action for Combined Transport between 1997-2001 with a fund of €22.4 million, €102 million in Marco Polo I between 2003-2006, €450 million in Marco Polo II between 2007 and 2011 and €8 billion on the Ten T programme between 2007-2013.

The question is how much has Malta benefitted from these programmes and what can Malta do to integrate itself better into these schemes?

Malta has a unique position in the reality of SSS because the lack of a domestic market is amply overcome by the fact that Malta is an island and relies on the sea for its trade. Hence the relevance of these EU programmes should not be underestimated because Malta has a crucial role to play and stands to benefit financially if the local maritime industry is in line with the mechanics of such funding programmes.

One of the areas that Malta has to address is the removal of bureaucratic obstacles that hinder the free flow of cargo. As things stand at present, cargo imported in containers is discriminated against when compared with cargo arriving by trailer. Whereas the latter mode of transport is afforded direct clearance from port and delivery to the receiver, containers suffer a longer port stay even if only in terms of days.

Our port infrastructure has to be developed to permit more berths for vessels calling at Malta. For this purpose the EU votes substantial funding to assist in the infrastructural development of ports, terminals and warehousing. The local approach whereby ports and terminals are considered to be a public service, needs readdressing through private public partnerships in order to attract investment in these sectors both by local enterprise as well as foreign entities. After all, this is already evidenced in Malta through the models of Malta Freeport Terminals, Valletta Gateway Terminal and Valletta Cruise Port.

Development of other terminals and berths in Malta should not be considered a public investment exercise, but rather a means to attract private investment from within this sector. Such a development can be eligible for partial funding through the Motorways of the Sea Pillar 11, which is earmarked for port infrastructure and upgrade of maritime links. The intention on this EU finance package is to develop port infrastructure, handling facilities, freight terminals and logistics platforms to improve port access.

If one were to look at the experiences of other European countries, such as Spain, Italy, Norway and Finland, one can note a number of projects which these countries managed to realise within the ambit of short sea shipping and financed, in part or in full by EU funds.

Although Malta is synonymous with the role of a maritime nation, enough is never enough, and the next step is to develop a comprehensive long-term plan for our ports infrastructure, together with a marketing plan to prioritise the activities best suited for our ports in terms of cost and benefit. Moreover, Malta should embark on an investment promotion campaign aimed specifically at attractive investment in maritime infrastructure.

A forum such as the Malta Maritime Forum is the ideal vehicle to co-ordinate such efforts together with government, so that we produce a cohesive and comprehensive programme.

The land limitation should not be a deterrent to further development in this area which, as evidenced by developments in other European countries can be undertaken within the balance of environmental and socio-political exigencies.

From research undertaken by our company, we have established that there are over 170 different shipping services going by Malta on a west-east Mediterranean trajectory and another 50 on a north to south axis. If Malta were to attract even a small fraction of this short sea traffic, Malta’s seaborne trade would increase exponentially generating a multiplier of economic activity that is characteristic of the maritime industry.

Godwin Xerri is managing director of Combined Maritime Services and a member of the Malta Maritime Forum. The opinion expressed by the author does not necessarily reflect the position of the Malta Maritime Forum.

www.mmf.org.mt

Source: Times of Malta

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Malta reelected to IMO council

Malta was re-elected in Category C of the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) during the 30th session of the IMO General Assembly held in London. Malta was elected for the 11th consecutive time.

Malta was re-elected in Category C where states have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council ensures the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

A member of the IMO since 1966, Malta is a strong supporter of the aims and objectives of the organisation and is a firm believer that real enhancement of safety, security and pollution prevention standards at sea and in port can only be achieved through the universal implementation of IMO rules and regulations.

Through its re-election, Malta further consolidated its active role in maritime affairs.

Over the years, several initiatives have been taken by Malta, particularly the one which brought the need for a new international law of the sea to the fore, as well as initiatives which led to the setting up of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

Both REMPEC and IMLI are run by the IMO and are located in Malta.

Malta’s re-election also contributes to the representation of not only the Mediterranean region, but also of a number of small island economies in the IMO’s governing body.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela thanked all those who contributed to this re-election, including both Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion and Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects employees.

Source: Timesofmalta

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European Shipowners welcome the agreement reached on CO2 Emissions Trading System

Intensive negotiations came to an end two weeks ago when the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission reached a provisional agreement on the reform of the emissions trading system, which today was approved by the Member States.

“European shipowners have a strong interest to decarbonise the industry and we think it is the right decision that the EU will leave regulation of shipping’s CO2 emissions to the International Maritime Organization”, commented Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General. “The IMO is currently busy drawing up its strategy for reducing CO2 emissions from the international shipping. IMO is the organisation to regulate our global industry”, he concluded.

The IMO has certain agreed milestones in its plan of global climate strategy. In April 2018 the IMO should adopt an initial strategy for comprehensive emissions reductions from ships and in 2023 it should adopt a final strategy.

In the last IMO intersessional meeting in October, the industry proposed that the sector’s total CO2 emissions should not increase above 2008 levels, thus establishing 2008 as the year of peak emissions from shipping, and that IMO should agree upon reduction percentages per ton-km as well as upon an reduction percentage by which the total emissions from the sector should be reduced by 2050.

Source: ECSA

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EU delivers on blue economy commitments made at Our Ocean conference

In a rapid follow up to the EU-hosted 2017 Our Ocean conference, and in the run-up to the COP23 Ocean Day in Bonn (11 November), the European Commission today launched a new EUR 14.5 million investment initiative to further promote sustainable blue growth across the EU.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “At the Our Ocean conference in Malta, the European Union led by putting the blue economy on the agenda for the first time. Now we are leading in the follow up. Today we launch a EUR 14.5 million investment initiative for green projects to safeguard our marine ecosystems. On ocean energy, tackling marine litter, and along Mediterranean coastlines, I am delighted that we are so quickly following up on our Our Ocean pledges.”

Funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, EUR 8 million from this initiative are set aside to help SMEs, including start-ups, testing novel products and services in high-potential emerging blue economy sectors, including ocean renewable energy. In order to better tackle the growing challenge of marine litter, a further EUR 2 million will target innovative technologies to prevent, monitor, remove and recycle marine litter from EU waters. Furthermore, EUR 3 million will support twinning projects in the Mediterranean Sea, including between maritime training and education institutions, blue economy businesses and local fishing communities. Finally, EUR 1.5 million is allocated to restoring marine and coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean, including mitigation of climate change.

The Our Ocean conference (5-6 October in Malta) generated an unprecedented level of commitments: 437 were announced, including EUR 7.2 billion in financial pledges. The EU alone announced 36 commitments amounted to over EUR 550 million. Moreover, the EU–hosted conference saw for the first time large-scale mobilisation of the private sector in ocean conservation.

Please see a video selection of commitments here and a list of all blue economy commitments here.

Source: DG Move

 

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Maritime Transport: final adoption of the Passenger Ship Safety package

The European Commission welcomes the final adoption by the Council of the EU of three legal texts that simplify and improve passenger ship safety.

The adopted package ensures that the rules are clear, proportionate and deliver a common level of safety for EU citizens. For example, once fully implemented by Member States, all competent authorities will have immediate access to passenger data in case of emergency and all passenger ships longer than 24 meters made of steel and aluminium will be built according to common European safety standards.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The adoption of these new safety rules is an important deliverable in our EU maritime year. At times when citizens expect the European Union to protect them, we are sending a clear message: your safety is our priority.  I applaud the constructive approach of the co-legislators that allowed reaching an agreement still in 2017.”

The adopted package is a result of proposals made by the European Commission in June 2016, as a follow-up to the recommendations of the fitness check driven by the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) Programme. The update responds to lessons learnt, including from accidents, and technological developments. The new rules will provide for easier compliance for operators and better monitoring and enforcement for national competent authorities as well as the European Commission, assisted by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The European Parliament had given its approval on 4 October.

Next steps

The new rules will enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States then have 2 years to transpose the updated rules into national legislation. Member States have 4 more years for the introduction of electronic data reporting. In the course of the coming months, the Commission will follow up on the remaining recommendations of the fitness check such as relating to standards for small passenger ships (below 24 meters in length) built from innovative materials.

 

Key changes

These are the key changes to the safety standards and requirements for passenger ships sailing in EU waters:

  1. Amendments to Directive 2009/45/EC on technical requirements for passenger ships on domestic voyages clarify that ships built in aluminium have to be certified according to this Directive and meet its fire safety requirements (in 10, respectively 12 years for new and existing aluminium ships after the amendments enter into force). Passenger ships below 24 metres are excluded from the scope of the Directive.
  2. Amendments to Directive 98/41/EC on registration of persons on board introduce the requirement to register passenger data in a digital manner, using harmonised administrative procedures (the so-called single window established under Directive 2010/65/EU) to facilitate search and rescue operations in case of emergency. For a period of 6 years after entry into force, Member States may continue to apply the old rules, i.e. keeping data concerning persons on board by the companies’ registrar. The delay in reporting data on persons on board is shortened from 30 to 15 minutes after the ship’s departure.
  3. A new Directive replacing and repealing Directive 1999/35/EC on surveys for passenger ferries and high-speed craft in regular service eliminates overlaps between various inspection regimes. This preserves the safety level while reducing the administrative burden on shipowners and rationalising the inspection efforts of Member States’ authorities.

Source: DG MOVE

 

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World Maritime Day 2017: Connecting Ships, Ports and People

World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities, and to highlight the significant contribution of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States to global efforts to improve the safety, security and efficiency of shipping and to protect the marine environment. It does this by emphasizing particular aspects of  IMO’s work. Each World Maritime Day has its own theme. Often the theme will coincide with a particular anniversary. Themes may also reflect current events or wider United Nations initiatives. The World Maritime Day themes for 2016 and 2017 are complementary and may be seen as a response to United Nations post2015 sustainable development agenda and, in particular, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For 2016, the theme was “Shipping: indispensable to the world” – chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and the everyday lives of people all over the planet, and to raise awareness of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping. One of the key messages was that the importance of shipping in supporting and sustaining today’s global society gives IMO’s work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 80% of global trade by volume and over 70% of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide. The theme for 2017 – “IMO – Connecting Ships, Ports and People” – builds on the 2016 theme. It focuses on helping Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses a wide range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security. It encourages Member States, United Nations agencies, other organizations, and industry to work with developed and developing countries, shipping and public- and private-sector ports to identify and promote best practices and to build bridges between the many diverse actors involved in these areas.  Key objectives include improving cooperation between ports and ships and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors; raising global standards and setting norms for the safety, security and efficiency of ports and for port and coastal State authorities; and standardizing port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials.

The global challenge we live in challenging times. The population of the world exceeds 7 billion and is increasing. The populations of many developing states are set to double by 2050. In addition to population increase the world today faces many, often related challenges: climate change; threats to the environment; unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; threats to food security; societal threats posed by organized criminals and violent extremists; and instability leading to mixed migration. All of these threaten the cohesion of societies and impact on developing countries’ ability to trade and to grow.

To address these and other challenges, in September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations (including 170 Member States of IMO) unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 SDGs and 169 related targets. The SDGs apply to all countries and, through the adoption of the Agenda, States have committed to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind – by 2030. The Agenda emphasizes the need to simultaneously consider the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda is supported by other UN strategies such as the prevention of violent extremism, as well as many regional initiatives. Although some may feel that the maritime contribution to many of the SDGs is peripheral, the truth is that the world relies on international shipping and benefits from its smooth operation, by which food, commodities, raw materials, energy and consumer goods are moved reliably and effectively around the globe at low cost. International shipping is, therefore, central to the functioning of global trade by connecting producers, manufacturers and consumers and, as such, provides a way for IMO Member States to enhance trade with one-another. Indeed, this was reflected in the 2016 theme “Shipping: indispensable to the world”. As the 2030 Agenda and SDGs will be implemented principally at the State level, IMO will act to help Member States to develop and formulate innovative policies and strategies taking into account cross-cutting issues to respond to the needs of countries at the national, regional and global levels. In the words of the IMO Secretary-General, Mr. Kitack Lim, “Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people.” Enhancing efficiency Ships, crewmembers and the goods and passengers that they carry across borders are subject to a range of government controls, both on arrival and departure. These controls address a wide range of issues including public health, revenue protection, security, immigration, enforcing controls on importing and exporting prohibited and restricted items, and sanctions enforcement. Some of these controls may be specific to the ship itself, some to crewmembers, some to passengers, some to the cargoes carried, and some to more than one of these categories. However, in addition to the regulatory controls traditionally associated with customs, immigration, law enforcement and security, there are also a range of practical procedures and processes that must be followed in relation to the enhancement of maritime safety as well as to the provision of general port services to ships. As with the regulatory controls, these may be due to national requirements or may be mandated by international conventions and agreements. All these controls and procedures, be they local, national or international, regulatory or commercial, have features in common – they all require provision of information to a range of different agencies and entities, they require action to be taken by ships, crews and ports, there are consequences if they are not followed, they take time and, if not coordinated, cost far more than they need to.  Facilitating maritime traffic the process by which these myriad regulations, requirements and procedures are harmonized is known as “facilitation”. If every country and every port within each country has different requirements for ships, cargoes and people, chaos and inefficiency ensue. The need for standardization and cutting of red tape was recognized by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee very early on in the life of what was then called the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) – now IMO – through the development of the Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, 1965, as amended (the FAL Convention). The FAL Convention was the first international convention developed by IMCO/ IMO. The Maritime Safety Committee started work on drafting it in 1961; it was adopted on 9 April 1965 and entered into force on 5 March 1967. It is currently binding on 118 Contracting Governments to the Convention and aims “to promote measures to bring about uniformity and simplicity in the documentary requirements and procedures associated with the arrival, stay and departure of ships engaged in international voyages”. The FAL Convention sets out internationally agreed ‘Standards’ and ‘Recommended Practices’ in respect of the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargoes and includes provisions in respect of stowaways, public health, and quarantine. In this context, ‘Standards’ are internationally-agreed measures the uniform application of which is “necessary and practicable in order to facilitate international maritime traffic” and ‘Recommended Practices’ are measures the application of which is “desirable”. Put more simply, Standards are what Contracting Governments must do, Recommended Practices are what Contracting Governments should do. The FAL Convention also assists in the reduction of red tape through standardized documentation known as ‘FAL Forms’.  As with all IMO Conventions, the FAL Convention evolves to take into account new developments and technologies worldwide.  A series of amendments to the FAL Convention will enter into force on 1 January 2018. These include new systems for the electronic exchange of information for the clearance of ships, cargo, crew and passengers by 8 April 2019. IMO is also working on development of so-called maritime ‘single window’ systems, in which all the many agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact, using harmonized and standardized data reporting formats. The FAL Committee The vehicle for the evolution of the FAL Convention is the IMO Facilitation Committee, a body that meets annually. Membership of the FAL Committee includes all IMO Member States, Contracting Governments to the Convention and observers from Organizations in Consultative Status with the Organization. As well as good facilitation being the key to connecting ships, ports and people, another core message of the 2017 World Maritime Day theme is that, for the FAL Committee to function effectively, all stakeholders, both government and industry, should be represented in national and observer delegations and participate actively in its meetings, exchanging views and best practices on more efficient measures and promoting their harmonization and standardization. It is also important to increase the representation of the port sector, border control authorities and related organizations at other IMO meetings, to foster better understanding of the implications and impact of IMO regulations on the port sector (and vice versa). Examples could include the need for ports to provide efficient and environmentally sound facilities and procedures for disposal of ships’ waste, and to develop procedures for complying with the need to verify containers’ weight. Maritime security for the connections between ships, ports and people to be sustainable, they must also be secure. To that end, IMO helps Member States enhance maritime security, focusing on what the civil maritime industry, embracing both the shipping and port sectors, can do to protect itself and to assist governments to protect global maritime trade. The emphasis is on preventive security through risk management, deterrence and threat transfer, rather than countering terrorism per se. However, through its work on the facilitation of international maritime traffic, IMO also has an interest in mixed migration by sea, prevention of drug smuggling, cybersecurity and prevention of stowaways. A diplomatic conference held at IMO in December 2002 adopted a number of amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), including the development of a new chapter XI-2 on ‘Special measures to enhance maritime security’ and the introduction of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which went into force in 147 States on 1 July 2004 (now 163).  These measures consolidated and added to all the previous IMO guidance on security, prevention of drug smuggling, stowaways, and port State control regimes. Essentially, these ‘special measures to enhance maritime security’ were about reassuring the port States that the ships entering their waters did not pose a threat; and reassuring flag States that the ships flying their flag would be protected while in other States’ ports and territorial waters. In terms of the practical implementation of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, the main challenges are in the port facilities. Unlike on ships, where an existing safety culture was relatively easy to evolve into a security culture, the security structure in ports is generally far more complex – involving many players from different governmental, law enforcement and private entities. Many countries view ports as critical infrastructure and their security as a facet of national security. However, without clear national and local legislation, policies and direction coordinating the activities of all key stakeholders, security responses in port facilities are, at best, fragmented. A well-coordinated, risk based preventive strategy is critical to the success of port and port facility security regimes, be they for protecting port infrastructure against terrorist attack, countering theft and other criminal activity, or preventing access to ships by terrorists, drug smugglers or stowaways. Emerging issues the world has changed since the introduction of the special measures to enhance maritime security in SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code. Ongoing threats to the port and shipping sectors continue to evolve and so does IMO’s response. Emerging issues include the fallout from piracy and armed robbery, including challenges posed by the embarkation and carriage of privately contracted armed security personnel, their weapons, ammunition and licensable equipment; cyber threats; more widespread terrorism and violent extremism; the increasingly urgent need to address destructive and unsustainable levels of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; the uncontrolled export of illegal wildlife and illegal wildlife products that threatens ecosystems and sustainable tourism ashore; and the need to sensitize ports, develop tools and implement programmers for climate change mitigation. As with facilitation, maritime security needs a multi-agency response. However, it also needs a multi-functional approach to encourage governments of land-focused countries to engage. In many countries, security is about protecting the government and infrastructure, rather than creating the stability that allows for economic development. The IMO maritime security strategy is, therefore, focused on working with other United Nations agencies and international organizations to encourage and help governments to meet all their responsibilities at sea, as mandated in IMO conventions and other international instruments.  The maritime security focus for 2017 is, therefore, to help national governments develop their national oversight capability for safety and security and promote application of the ISPS Code and ILO/IMO Code of practice on security in ports. Key to this is promoting the establishment of port security and facilitation advisory committees as vehicles for inter agency cooperation for wider security – addressing all security-related threats including theft, drugs, illegal wildlife, stowaways, migrant smuggling, terrorism. As an example, in January 2017, States from the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden area, taking inspiration from the success of the Djibouti and Yaoundé Codes of Conduct, adopted the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, which expands the scope of the original Code from countering piracy only to addressing maritime crime and maritime governance in general. This also supports IMO’s role within the wider UN family’s efforts to meet the sustainable development goals and to prevent violent extremism and mixed migration by tackling their root causes. Conclusion Investment, growth and improvement in the shipping and ports sectors is a clear indication of a country or a region that is enjoying success in the present and planning for more success in the future. By promoting trade by sea, nurturing national shipping lines and promoting seafaring as a career; by improving port infrastructure and efficiency, by developing and strengthening inter-modal links and hinterland connections; by managing and protecting fisheries, exploring offshore energy production and even by fostering tourism – maritime activity can both drive and support a growing national economy. Improved economic development, supported by sustainable maritime development and underpinned by good maritime security, will support the Post-2015 Development Agenda and complement United Nations initiatives on the prevention of violent extremism by addressing some of the stress factors that lead to instability, insecurity and uncontrolled mixed migration.  IMO’s 2017 theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas. The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea. For this to succeed, the full support of the port sector will be needed. A port sector supported by government, able to streamline procedures and remove excessive barriers to trade, to embrace new technologies, to root out corruption and to treat safety, security and reputation as both desirable and marketable, will be a major driver towards stability and sustainable development. Over the past half century, IMO has had a huge beneficial impact on shipping and this has been felt by all those who rely on the industry. Looking ahead, the positive benefits of IMO’s work should be felt further, throughout the supply chain. IMO can, and should, be the catalyst for dialogue and communication – not just at the governmental level but within and throughout the shipping industry, the transport industry and the logistics industry – in short, the entire global supply chain and everything that affects it. The search for synergies and the promotion of partnerships across the maritime and logistics sectors are worthy objectives. Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people.

Source: IMO News

 

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World Maritime Day 2017: What our 2017 theme really means

Our World Maritime Day theme for this year is “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”. It enables us to shine a spotlight on the cooperation between ports and ships to maintain and enhance a safe, secure and efficient maritime transportation system – for the benefit of people everywhere. The benefits of a free and efficient flow of goods and trade extend far beyond the ships and ports themselves. An effective interface between them can improve the lives of people everywhere, especially in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IMO’s role as the global regulator of the shipping industry can enhance this integration – as consistent, uniform regulation facilitates the free flow of commerce. Last year, 2016, the theme was “Shipping: indispensable to the world”. It was chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and the everyday lives of people all over the planet, and to raise awareness of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping. “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” builds on the 2016 theme. It focuses on the importance of developing and implementing maritime strategies in a joined-up approach that addresses a wide range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security. It encourages stakeholders to promote best practices and to build bridges between the many diverse actors involved in these areas.

The World Maritime Day themes for 2016 and 2017 are complementary and may be seen as a response to the United Nations’ post-2015 sustainable development agenda and, in particular, the SDGs. By promoting trade by sea, nurturing national shipping lines and promoting seafaring as a career; by improving port infrastructure and efficiency; by developing and strengthening inter-modal links and hinterland connections; by managing and protecting fisheries, exploring offshore energy production and even by fostering tourism – maritime activity can both drive and support a growing economy. Improved economic development, supported by sustainable maritime development and underpinned by good maritime security, will support the Post-2015 Development Agenda and complement United Nations initiatives by addressing some of the factors that lead to instability, insecurity and uncontrolled mixed migration. The 2017 theme was chosen to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas. The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea. A port sector able to streamline procedures and remove excessive barriers to trade, to embrace new technologies, to root out corruption and to treat safety, security and reputation as both desirable and marketable, will be a major driver towards stability and sustainable development. Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people. This year, with our theme of “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” we aim to make a strong contribution towards these objectives – and I hope that you will join us, with your own activities and initiatives under this World Maritime Day theme for 2017.

Source: IMO News

 

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International Maritime Organization moves ahead with oceans and climate change agenda

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency charged with regulating international shipping, has progressed its environmental agenda at the recent meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 71st session (3-7 July). The Committee clarified the ballast water management schedule, progressed GHG and air pollution issues, adopted new NOx emission control areas, designated a further Particularly Sensitive Sea Area and agreed to work on implementation of the 0.50% global sulphur limit.

This work is helping IMO to fulfil its mandate to protect oceans and human health and to mitigate climate change, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 14 (oceans) and SDG 13 (climate change).

Ballast Water Management Convention clarity   
The MEPC agreed a practical and pragmatic implementation schedule for ships to comply with the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which aims to stem the transfer of potentially invasive species in ships’ ballast water.

The treaty enters into force on 8 September 2017. Currently, the BWM Convention has been ratified by 61 countries, representing 68.46% of world merchant shipping tonnage.

From the date of entry into force, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to avoid the transfer of potentially invasive species.  All ships will be required to have a ballast water management plan and keep a ballast water record book. Ships will be required to manage their ballast water to meet the so-called D-1 standard or D-2 standard.

The D-1 standard requires ships to conduct the exchange of ballast water such that at least 95% of water by volume is exchanged far away from the coast where it would be released.

The D-2 standard* requires ballast water management to restrict to a specified maximum the amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged and to limit the discharge of specified indicator microbes harmful to human health.

Draft amendments to the treaty approved by the MEPC clarify when ships must comply with the requirement to meet the D-2 standard.

The draft amendments will be circulated after the entry into force of the BWM Convention on 8 September 2017, with a view to adoption at the next MEPC session (MEPC 72 in April 2018).  Under the approved amendments, new ships, i.e., ships constructed on or after 8 September 2017, shall conduct ballast water management that at least meets the D-2 standard from the date they are put into service. For existing ships, i.e., ships constructed before 8 September 2017, the date for compliance with the D-2 standard is linked with the renewal survey of the ship associated with the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate under MARPOL Annex I. For existing ships this would be the first or second five-year renewal survey after 8 September 2017:

  • By the first renewal survey: this applies when that the first renewal survey of the ship takes place on or after 8 September 2019 or a renewal survey has been completed on or after 8 September 2014 but prior to 8 September 2017.
  • By the second renewal survey: this applies if the first renewal survey after 8 September 2017 takes place before 8 September 2019. In this case, compliance must be by the second renewal survey (provided that the previous renewal survey has not been completed in the period between 8 September 2014 and 8 September 2017).

An existing ship to which the IOPP renewal survey under MARPOL Annex I does not apply shall meet the D-2 standard from the date decided by the Administration, but not later than 8 September 2024.

The MEPC adopted a resolution which resolves that Parties to the BWM Convention should implement the schedule for compliance outlined in the draft amendments, ahead of their adoption and entry into force.

In other work focusing on implementation of the BWM treaty, the MEPC, inter alia:

  • adopted the 2017 Guidelines for ballast water exchange (G6);
  • adopted the 2017 Guidelines for risk assessment under regulation A-4 of the BWM Convention (G7);
  • adopted an MEPC resolution on “The experience-building phase associated with the BWM Convention”;
  • approved the Code for approval of ballast water management systems, and approved draft amendments to the BWM Convention to make the Code mandatory, for adoption at the next session;
  • approved amendments to section E (Survey and certification) of the BWM Convention, also for adoption at MEPC 72;
  • approved a manual on “Ballast Water Management – How to do it”;
  • approved Guidance on contingency measures under the BWM Convention;
  • approved a circular on Application of the BWM Convention to ships operating in sea areas where ballast water exchange in accordance with regulations B-4.1 and D-1 is not possible;
  • granted final approval to one and basic approval to two ballast water management systems that makes use of active substances. (The current list of approved ballast water management systems can be found here – it will be updated with latest approvals shortly.).

Implementation of the global sulphur limit – scope of work agreed
The MEPC agreed the scope of work needed to achieve consistent implementation of the 0.50% m/m global limit of the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, which will come into effect from 1 January 2020. The 0.50% limit is prescribed in regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI.

The Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) has been instructed to explore what actions may be taken to ensure consistent and effective implementation of the 0.50% m/m sulphur limit for fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated SOX Emission Control Areas and/or not making use of equivalent means such as exhaust gas cleaning systems; as well as actions that may facilitate the implementation of effective policies by IMO Member States.

To ensure this vital work is completed by 2020, the MEPC approved (subject to endorsement by the IMO Council) the holding of an intersessional working group meeting in the second half of 2018.

In other work related to air pollution matters, the MEPC:

  • adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to designate the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as emission control areas (ECAs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) under regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI.  Both ECAs will take effect on 1 January 2021, thereby considerably lowering emissions of NOx from international shipping in those areas;
  • adopted amendments to the information to be included in the bunker delivery note relating to the supply of marine fuel oil to ships which have fitted alternative mechanisms to address sulphur emission requirements;
  • adopted the 2017 Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system Guidelines.

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships 
The MEPC continued to build on the solid work the Organization has undertaken to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, with work on track for the adoption of an initial IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships in 2018, in accordance with a Roadmap approved at MEPC 70.

The MEPC noted agreement within a working group on a draft outline for the structure of the initial IMO Strategy.  The group met following a week-long meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (26-30 June), which reported on its detailed discussions.

The initial strategy is set to include:

  1. Preamble/introduction/context including emission scenarios
  2. Vision
  3. Levels of ambition
    Guiding principles
  4. List of candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impacts on States
  5. Barriers and supportive measures; capacity building and technical cooperation; R&D
  6. Follow-up actions towards the development of the revised Strategy
  7. Periodic review of the Strategy

The Committee approved terms of reference for the second and third meetings of the Intersessional Working Group.

In addition to further considering how to progress the matter of reduction of GHG emissions from ships and advise the Committee as appropriate, the second intersessional meeting (ISWG-GHG 2, 23-27 October 2017) has been instructed to further develop the structure and identify core elements of the draft initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships and develop draft text for inclusion in the initial Strategy, with submissions due by 22 September 2017.

The third intersessional meeting (ISWG-GHG 3, 3-6 April 2018) has been instructed, on the basis of the work of ISWG GHG 2, to finalize the draft initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships and submit a report to MEPC 72 (9-13 April 2018).

Energy efficiency measures for ships
Energy-efficiency design standards for new ships and associated operational energy-efficiency measures for existing ships became mandatory in 2013, with the entry into force of relevant amendments to MARPOL Annex VI. The Committee was informed that nearly 2,500 new ocean-going ships have been certified as complying with the energy efficiency standards. In other work related to the implementation of the mandatory energy efficiency measures in MARPOL Annex VI, the MEPC:

  • adopted 2017 Guidelines for Administration verification of ship fuel oil consumption data, to support the implementation of the mandatory MARPOL requirements for ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as additional specified data, including proxies for transport work, from calendar year 2019;
  • adopted 2017 Guidelines for the development and management of the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database;
  • approved an MEPC circular on Submission of data to the IMO data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships from a State not Party to MARPOL Annex VI;
  • approved draft amendments to regulation 21 of MARPOL Annex VI regarding EEDI requirements for ro-ro cargo and ro-ro passenger ships, with a view to adoption at MEPC 72;
  • established a correspondence group on review of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) beyond phase 2, to report on progress by MEPC 72 and make a recommendation to MEPC 73 on the time period and reduction rates for EEDI phase 3 requirements.

Protecting the Arctic from heavy fuel oil – work to begin at MEPC 72
The MEPC agreed to add a new output in its work programme on the development of measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. This new output will appear on the agenda for its next session (MEPC 72) in April 2018.

Member Governments and international organizations were invited to submit concrete proposals on what type of measures should be developed, including the scope of the work, to MEPC 72, so that clear instructions can be given to the PPR Sub-Committee which will carry out the detailed technical work, starting at PPR 6.

The use and carriage of heavy fuel oil is banned in Antarctic waters under MARPOL and the IMO Polar Code recommends that States follow the same practice in the Arctic.

Designation of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines) as a PSSA  
The MEPC approved the final designation of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, situated in the Sulu Sea, Philippines as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), following the adoption by the Maritime Safety Committee of a new Area to be avoided as an associated protective measure. The aim is to reduce the risk of ship groundings in the park, thereby preventing any resulting marine pollution and damage to the fragile coral reef ecosystem, as well as ensuring the sustainability of local artisanal fisheries.

This brings the number of marine areas protected in this way to 15 (plus two extensions).

OSV Chemical Code
The MEPC approved the draft Code for the transport and handling of hazardous and noxious liquid substances in bulk on offshore support vessels (OSV Chemical Code), prepared by PPR 4 and amended and approved by MSC 98, for submission to the thirtieth IMO Assembly for adoption later this year.

Oil pollution model courses approved
Updated IMO Model Courses on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC Model Training Courses) were approved by the MEPC. The OPRC model training courses have been revised to provide up-to-date guidance for preparedness and response to marine oil spills.

Major technical cooperation projects
The MEPC was informed about recent developments with regard to major environment-related technical cooperation (TC) projects. With a view to continuing the technical cooperation efforts in marine biosafety, which started with the GloBallast Partnerships Project which came to an end in June 2017, IMO has secured further funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to prepare a full-scale document for a new global project aimed at assisting with implementation of the IMO Guidelines for controlling and managing ships’ biofouling.

On the sidelines of the MEPC meeting,  leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, and oil companies signed up to a new Global Industry Alliance (GIA) to support shipping and its related industries make the transition towards a low carbon future.  The GIA has been established under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project, a GEF-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO project to support developing countries implement energy-efficiency measures for shipping.

Meanwhile, the European Union-funded Global MTCC Network (GMN) Project has successfully established maritime technology cooperation centres (MTTCs) in its five target regions – Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific. With the goal to support the move towards low-carbon shipping, the MTTCs will focus on capacity-building efforts and implementing pilot projects involving fuel oil consumption data collection and developing low-carbon technologies.

 

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