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.
On 19 February the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) published its Position Paper on the European Green Deal objectives in ports.
The publication of this position paper fits into the European Shipping Week (ESW), taking place in Brussels from 17 February. In the framework of the ESW, ESPO and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) organised on 19 February a workshop on Decarbonising the shipping industry: What’s already happening and how can we help accelerate it?
The Executive Summary of the ESPO Position Paper reads as follows:
Following reports received regarding the impacts on the shipping industry of the sudden and rapid outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), IMO issued a Circular Letter* on 19 February advising Member States and others on implementation and enforcement of relevant IMO Instruments.
The letter urges Flag State authorities, port State authorities and control regimes, companies and ship masters to cooperate, in the current context of the outbreak, to ensure that, where appropriate, passengers can be embarked and disembarked, cargo operations can occur, ships can enter and depart ship yards for repair and survey, stores and supplies can be loaded, certificates can be issued and crews can be exchanged.
The principles of avoiding unnecessary restrictions or delay on port entry to ships, persons and property on board are contained in articles I and V and section 6 of the annex to IMO’s Facilitation Convention.
IMO will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide additional information as and when appropriate.