Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
We provide here a summary of some of the news received from the excellent IMO Media service in recent weeks and relative to Kenya, Treaties and Brazil. Material is reproduced with grateful thanks.
Support to boost maritime security in Kenya
It is well known that proper implementation of IMO’s maritime security measures is essential for trade.
Kenya is the latest country to benefit from training on the implementation of SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
It was reported from IMO last month that a national workshop was held in Mombasa, Kenya, from 5 to 9 August and brought together Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) as well as representatives of all bodies involved in maritime and port security in the country, including those from Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Maritime Authority, Customs, Kenya Coast Guard Service, the maritime police, and several other port operators.
At the event PFSOs discussed ways to cooperate at the national level to provide the necessary support required in order to take ownership of implementation and compliance with IMO maritime security measures – and to gain the knowledge needed to train others.
Such oversight roles and responsibilities of the designated authority for implementing the ISPS Code were also covered during the workshop.
The workshop on the ISPS Code for Designated Authority (DA) and Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) was organized by IMO and the Government of Kenya, under the auspices of IMO’s Global Maritime Security Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).
Implementing IMO treaties – the legal activities
IMO treaties need to be implemented into national law so that they can be applied on ships flying the flag of a particular country and so that those countries can implement effective port State control and comply with other obligations under specified IMO instruments.
This topic was introduced by IMO on 9 August at a course providing lawyers and legislative drafters with the skills they need to understand IMO treaties, how they are developed and adopted – and the implementation of those treaties into national legislation.
Participants from Latin America attended a regional workshop on the general principles of drafting maritime legislation to implement IMO Conventions, in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 5-9 August.
Relevant treaties covered by the IMO mandatory Member State audit scheme were covered, as well as liability and compensation conventions.
It was reported that participants learned best practices in the legal implementation process. Special attention was given to the implementation of amendments to IMO treaties which are adopted through the tacit acceptance procedure.
The ultimate goal of the workshop is to leave participants able to develop national legislation and to keep it up to date to ensure compliance with the IMO standards.
This regional Workshop which concerned the Transposition of IMO Instruments into National Legislation for ROCRAM Countries was organized by IMO and the Secretariat of the Operative Network for Regional Cooperation among Maritime Authorities of the Americas (ROCRAM), in collaboration with Prefectura Naval Argentina and Directorate General of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DIRECTEMAR) of the Republic of Chile, who provided experts at no charge.
It is understood that IMO sponsored 21 participants from: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Eight national participants from Ecuador also took part.
Brazil readies its biofouling task force
Biodiversity can be threatened by organisms which can build up on ships’ hulls and other marine structures. This process is known as biofouling*.
On 5 August during a workshop in Arraial do Cabo, Brazil, experts on biofouling and invasive species and others took the first steps towards setting up a national task force to tackle the issue. This was reported by IMO on 13 August. (See illustration here IMO ©).
Brazil is one of 12 lead partnering countries in the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project, which aims to protect marine biodiversity by addressing the subject of biofouling.
Each lead partnering country’s national task force will define a national policy on biofouling and invasive species and draft the national strategy and action plan to implement the IMO Biofouling Guidelines⸸.
It is understood that the next step for GloFouling Partnerships in Brazil will be to develop national baseline reports to assess the current situation with regard to non-indigenous species, to identify any research currently available on the subject, and to analyse the economic impacts and to determine the national legal framework.
Brazil’s Glofouling workshop was held during the XIII Biofouling, Benthic Ecology and Marine Biotechnology Meeting (XIII BIOINC), hosted by the Instituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo Moreira from 5-9 August. As well as national experts on biofouling and invasive species, participants included representatives from Marinha do Brasil, from other departments from federal and state administrations and from leading private sector companies such as Petrobras and Vale.
IMO’s GloFouling Partnerships ProjectØ to address bioinvasions by organisms which can build up on ships’ hulls and other marine structures is a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IMO.
Furthermore, twelve lead partnering countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tonga), four regional organizations with IOC-UNESCO, the World Ocean Council and numerous strategic partners have signed up to the project.
Coronavirus: Let’s keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing
Statement on 25 March by UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi
Note: There is a series of related links to be found at the foot of this article*
‘As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, the global maritime transport industry is playing a critical role in the response.
‘A call by the industry to all governments to keep maritime trade moving by allowing commercial ships continued access to ports worldwide and by facilitating the rapid changeover of ships’ crews should not go unheeded.
‘Around 80% of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, which moves the world’s food, energy and raw materials, as well as manufactured goods and components, according to UNCTAD statistics.
‘This includes vital medical supplies, which are sorely needed at this time, and items that are necessary for the preservation of many jobs in manufacturing – without which modern society cannot function.
Trinity House has been closely monitoring the developments of the impact of COVID-19 and has followed advice provided by HM Government.
With regard to its function as the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, the Trinity House priority is to keep staff safe while delivering its statutory functions.
The three GLAs of the UK and Ireland* are deemed essential services vital for the safety of marine navigation and the continuous flow of food, fuel, medical and hygiene supplies, along with the many other commodities upon which the nation depends daily.
In accordance with Government advice a significant majority of Trinity House personnel are now working from home where possible, but some staff are required to attend their normal workplace because of the essential nature of their work.