IMO Archives - SHIP IP LTD


This important message aligns with the various activities undertaken by IMO over the years to make the maritime sector more gender inclusive and to enhance the contribution of women as key maritime stakeholders. 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity for everyone in the maritime sector to askAre we doing enough to make our industry more diverse? 

We have seen time and again that having women in all roles, particularly in leadership creates a more prosperous and dynamic workforceMoving forward, we must embrace these principles to ensure a sustainable recovery from the impacts of the COVID19 Pandemic, and to shape a fairer future for all,” the Secretary General continued. 

As part of IMO’s remit to meet the Sustainable Development Goal for gender equality (SDG 5) under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the organization has been taking tangible steps to make maritime more inclusive, including the Women in Maritime Programme, 2019 World Maritime Theme, and more. 

He said “It is vital that the maritime sector shows support for the many talented women in our industry. We take this support seriously and at IMO we launched our my maritime mentor online campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day, and to highlight the 2021 World Maritime Theme Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future. We encourage everyone to recognize the support and to share their stories about their inspiring mentors in the maritime industry, who have helped them shine brighter. 

We are currently working with WISTA International to gather data for the first “Women in Maritime” survey, to assess the participation of women in the maritime sector. The results of this will create a baseline for our industry to measure effort and track progress. I look forward to working with each and every one of you to continue on the path to making maritime more inclusive,” he said.  

IMO has focused its diversity efforts via its gender and capacity building programme, which is now in its thirty-third year. The Women in Maritime gender programme supports women in both shore-based and sea-going roles. 

This programme spearheaded activities around the IMO’s 2019 World Maritime Theme, ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’. The programme has supported the creation of a number of regional associations for women in the maritime sector across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Arab States and the Pacific Islands. Women from developing countries are also being given support to move into leadership roles via sponsorships to the Maritime SheEO leadership accelerator programme. 

To increase visibility of women in maritime, IMO has produced video showing how the Women in Maritime Programme is helping to support gender diversity. It has also made available a photo bank of images of women in maritime from submitted content. The use of these real-life photos in news stories, social media posts and brochures is vital to more diverse representation in the maritime world.  

IMO Member States, NGOsand the maritime industryare encouraged toparticipate in the inaugural IMO and WISTA International Survey 2021 to help gather data about women in the maritime and ocean fields for an accurate baseline that can be used to allocate resources and measure progress.


Source: imo

If ‘IMO 2021’ brings clarity on cyber security, attention must now turn urgently to ship system interoperability so that the true rewards of digitalization are not allowed to slip through shipping’s grasp.
International Association of Classification Societies Recommendations on Cyber Resilience unsurprisingly feature shipowners and connectivity providers among the “many stakeholders” involved in the International Safety Management (ISM) Code cyber provisions from 2021.
With ship owners/operators tasked with keeping software onboard updated and crew alert to meet cyber threats, ‘service providers’ are to ensure procedures, technical competence, reporting and remote maintenance are up to requirements.
However, stakeholders also include data providers, whose ability to acquire data from shipboard sensors, store it, pre-process and transform it, then evaluate it and use the results for decision-making purposes provide the platform for shipping’s digital revolution. In this context, cyber security relies on preserving data ‘quality’, its safe production, delivery and integration.
Data stake holding
As one such data provider, METIS Cyberspace Technology already uses the scalability, unlimited storage and processing power of cloud computing to empower Big Data analytics, machine learning and AI onboard 250+ ships. Today, its solution gathers 1.5bn sensor measurements every month, using these inputs as a game-changer in decision-making across a range of performance parameters, including fuel consumption, emissions, hull fouling and charterparty agreement fulfilment.
In doing so, and based on real installations, the METIS platform has been refined to standardize interoperability with leading navigation, cargo control and alarm monitoring systems, as well as with torque meters, flowmeters, steam production and Power Management & main switchboards.
METIS does not specialise in cybersecurity, therefore, its position as stakeholder rests in the need for its cloud-based platform data acquisition, pre-processing, uploading and transmission to be fully cyber resilient.
Regardless of its source, the METIS solution allows data to be filtered and stored in a central database, while any processing, analysis, functionality and service implementation are executed by independent microservices.
All microservices are interconnected either through an Application Programming Interface or a common Message Bus System, so that none has direct access to the main database to execute SQL inquiries. Any applications or users are prevented from accessing a vessel’s information without permission, while the administrator can see, set and revoke user and app permissions.
Ships typically feature diverse digital interfaces and fragmented systems, and their IT networks are can sometimes be of low quality and do not unify all systems on board. Given these conditions, vessel control and monitoring systems are accepted as the most viable route to digitalisation.
Here, stakeholders look to the International Standards Organization for recommendations covering a ship’s control and monitoring systems encryption and threat detection capability, rather than to IMO itself. However, at a time when cyber security is uppermost in the maritime consciousness, a CIMAC ‘Systems Integration’ Working Group merits separate attention, given its special focus on the design and use of alarm and control systems to manage marine hybrid propulsion.
Cyber security requirements provide a ‘golden thread’ running through the work of this group, of which METIS is a member. Even so, while some stakeholders may still be catching up with IMO2021 regulations, the group is also deconstructing the shipboard control and monitoring system itself in a way that aims to conserve cybersecurity while advancing interoperability.
In doing so, the Systems Integration WG defines monitoring system functionality as:
■ Data Acquisition (including hardware/software for measurement and conversion to signals)
■ Data Storage – in the acquisition module, the virtual server, the cloud or backend system
■ Data Pre-Processing and Transformation
■ Interpretation and Evaluation (may vary)
■ Information and Recommendations supporting decision-making
Interoperability standards
Looked at from the practical situation as it exists today, the group’s work suggests, opportunities exist to avoid duplication by ‘synthesizing’ modules from multiple systems within each category, and standardizing system or module interfaces to enable interoperability by sharing data and services.
International Electrotechnical Commission data exchange standards can already be used to access data from navigational equipment, for example. Again, while standardisation has not so far been achieved for ships’ machinery, equipment, etc., ISO standards do provide unified rules for developing machine and human-readable identifiers and data structures to enable exchange and processing of sensor data from ships.
What is more, ISO standards provide guidelines for the installation of ship communication networks for equipment and systems: this means a monitoring system defined as a shipboard data server and sharing information to any other system can already be designed to ISO recommendations.
At a time when owners can feel pressurised to follow the digital lead of individual equipment makers, or to settle for the absurdity of multiple cloud-based solutions, METIS therefore believes strong focus should be placed on standardising shipboard control and monitoring systems. We will therefore continue to work closely with our partners to realise a vision for the digitalized maritime industry whose common goals of safety, security, environmental performance and efficiency are best served by common solutions.
Source: xindemarinenews


It contains information about rules relating to crew changes in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the rules and guidelines that are relevant for seafarers. Please note that the Norwegian health authorities are responsible for legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the legislation is regularly amended as the situation develops.

Therefore, please refer to the links below that will keep you up to date. Please refer to the COVID-19 Regulations and other relevant legislation to read the entire texts.

The NMA considers these guidelines to be consistent with the IMO guidelines for crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For inquiries, please send an e-mail to or call +47 52 74 50 00.


Source: sdir


February 2, 2021 IMO

A new emissions monitoring system from ABB is designed to help the maritime industry meet emissions regulations that entered into force in 2020.

In January 2020, the low sulphur and nitrous oxide emission limits in the International Maritime Organization regulations became effective worldwide. ABB’s CEMcaptain is designed to help owners and operators comply with the new rules, and it also provides measurement and digital capabilities increase on-board safety, provide process optimization and substantially reduce ownership costs, according to the manufacturer.

CEMcaptain is a multi-component analyzer system that continuously provides real-time emissions measurement data.

The system integrates analyzer modules and sample handling components in a standalone cabinet. Equipped with ABB’s renowned Uras26 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer, CEMcaptain simultaneously and continuously measures sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in line with regulation requirements. Each analyzer has two separate gas paths to allow for continuous CO2/SO2 measurement of separate streams, with up to four different components per analyzer module.


Source: marinelink


The coming of a new year often holds promise for the future. With the coronavirus pandemic dominating center-stage last year, many have their eyes keenly focused on new beginnings with the start of 2021. For some in the maritime industry, especially owners and operators of commercial vessels involved in international trade, 2021 brings a new set of guidelines for protecting vessels—the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) guidelines on maritime cyber risk management.

These new guidelines, a milestone for maritime safety and security, are the product of collaboration and hard work among shipping industry leaders and IMO Member States. Some in the shipping industry consider this development to be game changing. Whether game changing or not, implementation of this new model is a vital step toward forging a uniform approach for combating cyber threats against vessels.

Notably, however, the 2021 guidelines leave an equally vital, and maybe just as vulnerable, part of the shipping industry—port facilities—without a similar set of principles. Now that the IMO’s vessel guidelines are in the implementation phase, Member States and maritime industry leaders should again prioritize cybersecurity and collaborate at the IMO to develop uniform cybersecurity standards for port facilities.

The IMO and International Maritime Regulation

Before exploring the need for port facility cybersecurity standards, it may be useful to review the IMO’s role in developing international regulations. In 1948, the Member States of the United Nations created the IMCO, which changed its name to IMO in 1982, to facilitate global cooperation with regulation and practices of shipping engaged in international trade. The IMO’s goal is to ensure safe, secure, and sustainable shipping, facilitating trade and friendly relations among all states. Because shipping is historically and inherently an international endeavor, the IMO depends on and promotes cooperation among its 174 Member States to build uniform regulations that support this essential goal. The IMO construct has remained durable and inclusive since its inception.

Few maritime regulatory regimes exemplify the IMO’s impactful work across the globe more than the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). SOLAS is a treaty from the early 1900s drafted in response to, among other things, the infamous sinking of the RMS Titanic. After its initial adoption in 1914, SOLAS further evolved via multiple conventions over many years with the last convention adopted in 1974. Consequently, the treaty is commonly referred to as SOLAS 1974.

In general terms, SOLAS establishes minimum safety standards related to ship construction, equipment, and operation. Countries party to the treaty ensure vessels under their flags comply with SOLAS’s terms by way of nationally administered certification programs. At the time of this writing, 166 countries, representing about 99 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage, were contracting parties to SOLAS 1974.

Although the last SOLAS convention was adopted in 1974, the treaty has been amended various times since then via the IMO’s “tacit acceptance” procedures. And like SOLAS itself, these amendments often followed tragedy, such as when the International Safety Management (ISM) Code was added as a chapter of SOLAS after a 1987 ferry accident in Belgium killed nearly 200 people. Because casualty investigators found the company’s poor safety culture contributed to the accident, IMO Member States developed the ISM Code, a global safety management standard, to combat what one investigator called the “disease of sloppiness” on ships and ashore. Entering into force in 1998, the ISM Code has made “shipping safer and cleaner” for more than two decades.

The IMO’s 2021 Cyber Guidelines

The ISM Code serves as the foundation upon which IMO Member States have built the 2021 guidelines for cyber risk management. The guidelines were consigned in 2017 via three key declarations. First, in Resolution MSC.429(98), Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems, the IMO affirmed a view that the ISM Code already requires mitigation of cyber risks. Per this view, cyber risk management is already encompassed in the code’s existing general requirement that companies establish safeguards against all risks to ships, personnel, and the environment.

Resolution MSC.429(98) also contains a second important declaration. In it, the IMO encouraged countries to “appropriately address” this preexisting requirement no later than January 1, 2021. Put in more practical terms, now that the anticipated deadline for IMO’s cyber guidelines has arrived with the start of this new year, the IMO encourages Flag States not to issue compliance documents to vessels if cyber risks are not appropriately addressed in the respective safety management system.

The third important IMO declaration is in a July 2017 circular, in which the IMO announced that its Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and its Facilitation Committee jointly approved specific cyber risk management guidelines. Member States developed these non-mandatory guidelines in partnership with shipping industry leaders to promote compliance with the aforementioned preexisting ISM Code requirement to mitigate cyber risks. In the July 2017 circular, the IMO recommends vessels and Flag States utilize the guidelines during compliance checks to assess whether cyber risks have been appropriately addressed.

As a risk management regime, the ISM Code is expected to adapt well to the management and mitigation of cyber risks. Government officials and maritime industry leaders, experienced from roughly 18 years of ISM Code practice, are expected to rise to the challenge of applying the code in the emerging cyber arena. Moreover, by identifying in the ISM Code a preexisting, albeit seemingly dormant, cyber requirement and then complementing that requirement with non-binding industry guidelines, Member States avoided the lengthy process of amending SOLAS 1974 and the ISM Code.

This is all to say, harnessing the ISM Code’s risk management framework to mitigate cyber threats was an efficient approach. In 2021, Flag States will begin to utilize this approach and work toward global uniformity.

The Work that Remains to Secure Ports

SOLAS 1974 has been amended numerous times, often to implement subsidiary regulations such as the ISM Code. Another subsidiary regulation within SOLAS is the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, the IMO’s comprehensive mandatory security regime developed after a different tragedy—the 9/11 attacks. Interestingly, as the IMO’s new model for addressing cyber threats was being considered, the MSC reported, via MSC 97/22, that some Member States felt ISPS might be more suitable for addressing cyber threats. Nonetheless, seemingly moved by the United States’ 2017 assertion that the ISM Code’s “application is sufficiently wide to include emerging risks associated with cyber-enabled systems,” the IMO chose to harness the ISM Code, not ISPS, to promote global maritime cyber standardization.

While tapping into the ISM Code’s wide framework was efficient, such resourcefulness also came with a major limitation. Unlike the ISPS Code that covers certain ships and the port facilities that serve them, the ISM Code, even with its broad risk management concepts, applies only to vessels. This limitation means owners and operators of port facilities around the world will not reap the protective benefits realized with 2021’s implementation of IMO’s new cyber guidelines.

Port facilities play a vital role in global trade and rely heavily on technology to operate. As the May 2020 incident at Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port terminal demonstrates, a cyberattack at a port facility can be crippling. Since 2017, each of the four biggest maritime shipping companies in the world have been the victim of a cyberattack, with a recent attack taking place only a few months ago in September 2020. Considering these events, one should have no doubt that port facilities across the globe are presently vulnerable to cyber threats and the potential that these vulnerabilities will be exploited is undeniably real.

With the reality of cyber threats in mind, Member States and maritime industry leaders should collaborate at IMO to develop uniform cybersecurity standards for port facilities, just as they did to protect vessels. Coincidentally, in 2016 the Islamic Republic of Iran offered this exact proposal to the MSC. In MSC 97/4, Iran stressed the critical need for cyber risk management guidelines specific to ports. This proposal, somewhat prophetically considering the 2020 events at the Port of Shahid Rajaee, underscored the serious consequences a cyberattack could have on a port and on critical infrastructure.

While the MSC did not act on Iran’s proposal, in December 2016 the MSC expressly thanked Iran for its recommendation and “invited interested Member States to submit a proposal” for consideration at a future MSC session. No record has been found that any Member State has submitted such a proposal. Now is the time for Member States to accept the invitation.


The IMO’s guidelines for managing cyber risks on vessels are a key development for the shipping industry. Flag States and shipping companies worldwide now have an industry-sponsored framework from which to recurringly assess cyber safeguards on ships. There is more work to be done, however, to appropriately protect the rest of the maritime transportation system. Like Flag States and their vessels, Port States and their ports require guidelines to ensure cyber risks are uniformly addressed at maritime facilities. With 2021 finally ushering in cyber standards for vessels, now is the time for Member States, in partnership with the maritime industry, to assemble at the IMO and develop similar standards to secure ports across the globe.

Commander Michael C. Petta, USCG, serves as Associate Director for Maritime Operations and professor of international law in the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College. The views presented are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Navy, the Naval War College, or the Department of Defense.

This article appears courtesy of CIMSEC and may be found in its original form here


Life itself arose from the oceans. The ocean is vast and covers 140 million square miles, some 72 per cent of the Earth’s surface. The ocean has always been an important source of food for the life it helped generate, and from earliest recorded history it has also served trade and commerce, adventure and discovery. It has separated and brought people together.

Even now, when the continents have been mapped and their interiors made accessible by road, river and air, most of the world’s people live no more than 200 miles from the sea and relate closely to it.

Freedom of the Seas

The oceans had long been subject to the freedom of-the-seas doctrine – a principle put forth in the 17th century, essentially limiting national rights and jurisdiction over the oceans to a narrow sea belt surrounding a nation’s coastline. The rest of the seas were declared free for all and belonged to none. While this situation lasted into the twentieth century, by mid-century there was an impetus to extend national claims over offshore resources.

There was a growing concern over the toll taken on coastal fish stocks by long-distance fishing fleets and over the threat of pollution and wastes from transport vessels and oil tankers carrying noxious cargoes that plied sea routes across the globe. The threat of pollution was always present for coastal resorts and all forms of ocean life. The navies of the maritime powers were competing for a worldwide presence in surface waters and even under the sea.

United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS)

The United Nations is working to ensure the peaceful, cooperative, legally defined uses of the seas and oceans for the individual and common benefit of humankind. Urgent calls for an effective international regime over the seabed and the ocean floor beyond a clearly defined national jurisdiction set in motion a process that spanned 15 years and saw the creation of the United Nations Seabed Committee, the signing of a treaty banning nuclear weapons on the seabed, the adoption of the General Assembly’s declaration that all seabed resources beyond the limits of national jurisdiction are the common heritage of mankind, and the convening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

The UN’s groundbreaking work in adopting the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention stands as a defining moment in the extension of international law to the vast, shared water resources of our planet. The convention has resolved several important issues related to ocean usage and sovereignty, such as:

  • Established freedom-of-navigation rights
  • Set territorial sea boundaries 12 miles offshore
  • Set exclusive economic zones up to 200 miles offshore
  • Set rules for extending continental shelf rights up to 350 miles offshore
  • Created the International Seabed Authority
  • Created other conflict-resolution mechanisms (e.g., the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf)

Protection of marine environment and biodiversity

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), particularly through its Regional Seas Programme, acts to protect oceans and seas and promote the sustainable use of marine resources. The Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans is the world’s only legal framework for protecting the oceans and seas at the regional level. UNEP also created The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. It is the only global intergovernmental mechanism directly addressing the link between terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, coordinates programmes in marine research, observation systems, hazard mitigation and better managing ocean and coastal areas.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the key United Nations institution for the development of international maritime law. Its main task is to create a fair and effective, generally accepted and implemented legal framework for the shipping industry.

Marine shipping and pollution

To ensure that shipping is cleaner and greener, IMO has adopted regulations to address the emission of air pollutants from ships and has adopted binding energy-efficiency measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. These include the landmark International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973, as modified by a 1978 Protocol (MARPOL), and the 1954 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil.

Polar Code

In 2017, the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) entered into force. The Polar Code covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles. It was an important regulatory development in the field of transport and trade facilitation, alongside a range of regulatory developments relating to maritime and supply chain security and environmental issues.


MONUSCO peacekeepers land at beach to guard against piracy

In recent years there has been a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea. Pirate attacks are a danger to the welfare of seafarers and the security of navigation and commerce. These criminal acts may result in the loss of life, physical harm or hostage-taking of seafarers, significant disruptions to commerce and navigation, financial losses to shipowners, increased insurance premiums and security costs, increased costs to consumers and producers, and damage to the marine environment.

Pirate attacks can have widespread ramifications, including preventing humanitarian assistance and increasing the costs of future shipments to the affected areas. The IMO and UN have adopted additional resolutions to complement the rules in the Law of the Sea Convention for dealing with piracy.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), through its Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) combats transnational organized crime in Africa focusing on countering piracy of the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Guinea. The programme has delivered support to states in the region by carrying out trials and imprisonment of piracy suspects as well as developing maritime law enforcement capabilities through the facilitation of training programmes. From the piracy prosecution model, prisoner transfers and training of members in the judicial system of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, to full-time mentoring to coast guards and police units in Somalia, Kenya and Ghana, the UNODC GMCP has accomplished many successes in a challenging environment. This has been achieved through a variety of programmes aimed at promoting maritime safety and bolstering the countries’ rule of law and justice systems.


At times in the year running up to the start of the IMO 2020 global 0.5% sulphur cap on marine fuel it felt like a constant refrain of “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” from the shipping industry.

There were all sorts of often repeated dire warnings of likely widespread lack of availability of compliant fuels, mass breakdowns of vessels due to poorly blended fuels, large numbers of ship failing to get their tanks cleaned in time, and contentious detentions for non-compliance.  Ten days into 2020 it is fair to say the sky has not fallen, world trade continues as normal, and it is tempting to believe this has been closer to the Y2K bug in terms of being a non-event than the “once in a century” change it was flagged as being.

So has the transition been really that smooth? Well not exactly, but widescale dislocation of the shipping market has fortunately not materialised, however, there has certainly been an impact on the industry, and some of the possible problems could take a while to materialise.

Fuel price uncertainty

Price uncertainty for compliant very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) remains and has spiked markedly in recent weeks as IMO 2020 came into force. According to Ship & Bunker the price of VLSFO in the world’s largest bunkering port of Singapore has softened slightly to $723.50 per metric tonne (pmt) compared to $740 pmt on 6 January, but remains sharply higher than the $520-550 pmt seen between July to November 2019.

At current levels compliant fuels – either VLSFO or similarly priced MGO – are at levels that equate to some of the highest prices owners ever paid for heavy fuel oil (HFO). Where prices will head remains very much up in the air, even if there is an expectation that VLFSO prices will soften as the market settles. What is clear is that owners are experiencing both high and uncertain fuel prices in the early days of IMO 2020.

Owners with scrubbers cleaning up

The multi-million dollar question for owners opting to install exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, was would the fuel price spread justify the investment with a short pay back period. As of 10 January the answer is a resounding “yes” with the soaring VLSFO price noted in the previous paragraphs and the HFO price actually falling resulting a spread in the $300 pmt plus range currently.

So is it nothing but good news for scrubber owners? Not entirely. For those who joined the rush to install exhaust gas cleaning systems in the 12 – 18 months it’s turned out the process is more complicated than anticipated with widespread delays at yards taking ships out of service for significantly longer than expected with installations reported to take 45 – 60 days, rather than the advertised 30-day range, equating to longer periods of lost earnings. And whether owners will experience operational and corrosion issues will take a longer time to become clear.

Fuel unavailability

The unavailability of compliant fuels, particularly in smaller ports for vessels on the tramp trades, was an oft repeated concern in 2019. However, by and large it would seem compliant fuels are available. One of those who had flagged such concerns over the last year – International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) chairman Esben Poulsson – told CNBC on 1 January, “Availability was for a long time a concern, but from everything we are hearing availability is there.”

There has been some anecdotal evidence of owners that had not secured supplies in advance experiencing difficulties in procurement fuel on the spot market. Analyst Alphaliner reported at least six containerships idle off Singapore from the end of 2019 that appeared to be awaiting supplies of compliant fuel.

Fuel contamination and incompatibility

The nature of the new blended fuels being used to comply with IMO 2020 has raised concerns of contamination and incompatibility between blends leading to engine issues and possible breakdowns. Just 10 days into IMO 2020 is probably too early for evidence of widescale problems, if there are any, to have emerged. For example the fuel contamination that started in the Gulf of Mexico in 2018 took several weeks to emerge as a pattern of issues flagged up by fuel testers and months for the problem to spread globally.

Detentions for non-compliant fuel

At the time of writing there have been no reported detentions by Port State Control regimes for using non-compliant fuel despite some fairly high figures expected for non-compliance. Whether this is simply regulators being relatively lenient in the early phases of IMO 2020, and the fact it takes time to test fuel samples to prove non-compliance remains to be seen.

Early days

The early days of IMO 2020 coming into force have certainly had impact on the industry, not least in the months spent preparing for it, but so far it appears that preparation has paid off with fears of widespread major problems for global shipping not having transpired.

Source: seatrade-maritime

The proposed amendments to the MARPOL convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity.

Shipping has had a mixed reaction to last week’s Intersessional Working Group on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which agreed to make an existing target legally binding:

to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% compared with 2008 levels in the next 10 years.

The proposed amendments to the MARPOL convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity.

The proposed 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 newbuild 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 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.

These are two new measures: 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).

“The dual approach aims to address both technical (how the ship is retrofitted and equipped) and operational measures (how the ship operates),” the IMO explained in a release. The CII rating would be given on a scale – operational carbon intensity rating A, B, C, D or E. 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.

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

The draft text will now be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), scheduled for November 16 to 20, where parties are expected to adopt the recommendations from the working group.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) welcomed the package of additional CO2 reduction measures for the existing global fleet. ICS secretary-general Guy Platten maintained:

“Industry needs certainty, and this agreement provides a clear signal about the investments we need to make to further reduce our emissions, and ultimately becoming a zero emissions sector.” More circumspect was BIMCO, shipping’s other mega association. “Important elements are still missing, it is impossible to judge the effect,” a BIMCO release noted.

“The IMO initial strategy’s ambition to improve carbon efficiency of the fleet by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008 is silent on how carbon efficiency shall be measured.

Thus the 2030 ambition may, or may not, result in lower total emissions from the fleet – it all depends on the metric chosen and resulting change in operational behaviour of ships,” BIMCO noted.

John Butler, CEO of liner lobbying group, the World Shipping Council (WSC), commented: “Whilst it is easy to criticise the outcome of the intercessional, it is worth remembering that anything short of a global solution represents long-term failure on climate change.

We need to stick with this hard work, but the task is urgent, and we must move further, faster.

As long as our only fuel options are carbon based, GHG reductions will be limited. Efficiency is important, but it will not solve the problem.”

A host of NGOs were less than impressed with the deliberations at IMO last week, suggesting the hybrid, compromise measures, known as J/5, agreed upon will not cap, let alone reduce, shipping emissions this decade.

“We urge all countries to reconsider their support for the J/5 decision ahead of MEPC75 this November 16 to 20, and reject it, unless it can be fundamentally strengthened,” said John Maggs, president of the Clean Shipping Coalition, which had observer status at the talks.

Faig Abbasov, shipping programme director at Transport & Environment, said:

“Governments have ridden roughshod over the Paris Agreement by agreeing a measure that will see ship emissions grow for decades to come.

The UN maritime agency again showed the world it can only deliver cosmetic changes. EU countries should work through the European Green Deal to fill the gap left by the IMO.”

Source: turkishmaritime


The IMO Assembly, meeting for its 31st session (25 November-4 December 2019) adopted a resolution on “Preserving the Legacy of the World Maritime Theme for 2019 and achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector”.

The resolution urges governments, maritime administrations and the industry to endeavour to reach a barrier-free environment for women, so that all women can participate fully, safely and without hindrance in the activities of the maritime community, including seafaring and shipbuilding activities.

The resolution notes testimony from women from across the various maritime industries which demonstrates that barriers and obstacles still exist at every level. The work towards gender equality, including the fostering of a safe environment for women in the maritime sector, remains incomplete and should continue to be pursued.

IMO member States have pledged further firm action in coming years to advance gender equality throughout the maritime sector and reach a barrier-free environment, following a year of action to “empower women in the maritime community” – the World Maritime theme for 2019.

Governments, maritime administrations and the maritime industries should consider ways to continuously identify and overcome existing constraints in all aspects of the maritime sector, particularly with regard to recruitment, promotion, training, capacity-building and technical cooperation.

The resolution encourages sharing best practices in achieving gender equality. It also encourages efforts to collect, consolidate and analyse data relating to the participation of women in the maritime sector, in order to establish an evidentiary foundation that will set baselines, identify gaps and inform policies aimed at removing barriers and increasing female participation in the sector.

The resolution also encourages IMO, and its relevant subsidiary bodies to take into consideration gender equality, including the fostering of a safe environment for women in the maritime sector, and integrate these considerations into their work. Open dialogue and wider engagement between the Member States and observer delegations is encouraged.

Creating a barrier-free environment for women will help achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality.

Source: issuu


About 90% of global trade moves in the approximately 51,000 ships composing the world fleet. In the meantime, the insatiable demand for the fuel that drives maritime global trade is estimated at 2.1 billion barrels (88.2 billion gallons) annually, or 244 million gallons per day.

The noxious emissions, largely sulfur oxides, as well as nitrous oxides and particulate matter, have become a major environmental concern and have been proven to adversely affect global health as they’re discharged into the atmosphere. According to a Goldman-Sachs study, burning standard bunker fuel (Heavy Fuel Oil or HFO) accounts for almost 90% of a sulfur emissions globally, with the largest 15 vessels producing more sulfur than the combined total of all the world’s automobiles.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations limiting sulfur content of bunker fuel to 0.5% (down from 3.5%) will take effect on January 1, 2020. A small portion of the 51,000 ships in the global fleet already burn compliant fuel, but the remainder will have only four viable options, including one temporary “hall pass” to comply with the law: convert to low-sulfur (e.g., MGO, VLSFO, diesel) or a blend of HFO and low-sulfur that meets the emission standards; install expensive scrubbers and continue to burn HFO, the cheapest grade of fuel; convert to LNG by replacing HFO-burning ships with new LNG vessels; or obtain waivers/non-compliance. For the latter, IMO-2020 provides waivers in a situation where compliant fuel is not available (ships would be required to present a record of the actions taken to attempt to achieve compliance).

Goldman Sachs estimates that the overall impact on consumers in 2020 could be as much as $240 billion, as the added costs cascade across global supply chains, adding approximately $40 billion in increased shipping costs. “This is the largest regulatory change in the oil space ever, and it will have a massive effect far outside of shipping,” says Svelland Capital portfolio manager Kenneth Tveter.

Analysis by the commercial maritime and refining industries indicate about 84 million gallons/day of shipping fuel will transition to low-sulfur alternatives, with some estimates reaching as high as 168 million gallons/day. This tectonic shift means significant additional demand for middle distillates, the fraction of the refined barrel that includes ultra-low-sulfur diesel for truck and rail freight, as well as domestic barge operations.

One strategy, first deployed on a significant scale during the excess capacity of the last downturn, was slow steaming. It saved in fuel cost and used up a portion of the idle capacity, filling out vessel strings that needed more ships due to slower speeds. With operating costs such a vital element for vessel owners, slow steaming and super-slow steaming will invariably arise again. The impact on cost is undeniable, but the lengthening of supply chain lead-times will prove problematic.

This will drive further examination of alternative supply sourcing (i.e., near-shoring or on-shoring.) For supply chain professionals, this is a bit like navigating into a traffic circle in the dark, in the rain, with no lights and trying to find the right exit. Derek Leathers, CEO of national trucker Werner Enterprises posed an insightful question: “Does this do anything broader, for example, to impact near-shoring versus off-shoring? Will it tip the balance?”

The new world order will produce a significant ripple effect, especially when combined with rising labor costs in China, increasing tariffs and longer cycle times. A significant shift in manufacturing to more favorable total cost of ownership (TCO) options will be on the table. Planning for potential impacts and outcomes can’t start soon enough.

The fallout

There is little question that costs will rise: The key question is where the hammer will fall and who will bear the additional cost.

The world’s two biggest container shipping lines—Denmark’s Maersk and Swiss headquartered MSC—say that they face annual extra costs of more than $2 billion each. In the meantime, 25 logistics company executives told Reuters recently that they would pass along any IMO-related costs, such as ship upgrades or more expensive fuel, to customers.

But that’s not all, as the ripple effect is predicted to wash ashore in North America and affect domestic land transportation. While IMO rules don’t apply to domestic modes, they will face new competition from ships for low-sulfur fuel. This is expected to raise the cost of diesel fuel and much as 100% and also affect availability of supply in certain key markets. In summary, we can expect large-scale disruptions in global supply chains as the upheaval in fuel markets takes root and carriers scramble to comply.

Fuel availability will be more challenging under the new rules because blend specs and compatibility remain non-standardized. “At the moment, no one knows which types of fuels will be available at what price, specification or in what quantity,” says Esteban Poulsson of the International Chamber of Shipping. “We could be faced with an unholy mess with ships and cargo stuck in port.”

A reasonable hypothesis is this: All responsible marine vessel operators will be compliant with the IMO-2020 regulations. Some will convert—as some already have—to distillate fuels. Some—estimates say less than 5%—will install scrubbers. Some will resort to HFO/low-sulfur blends. Some will replace aging vessels with LNG-fueled ships.

The net effect will be a surge in demand for distillate fuels as both a source for burning directly and for blending. Refining capacity will not keep up with demand, leading to rising prices for diesel fuel in major markets, like North America.

“Rarely do you see such a potentially massive disruption,” says John Kartsonas, managing partner of Breakwave Advisors. “Delays, a reduced active fleet supply, slow steaming and port congestion can push freight rates to decade highs—and beyond.”

Regardless of the magnitude this change will have, and its ripple effect along the supply chain, it should be viewed seriously by all modes and equally so by those who buy transportation services from these carriers.

North American domestic impact

Predictions are that the wholesale conversion of the ocean-going vessel fleet will significantly increase the demand and competition for fuels used by other modes, with a consequential rise in price—some estimates say as high as 100% increases—and possible constriction of availability.

We were curious about how shippers viewed IMO-2020: Was it high on their radar or buried in the back-scatter? Logistics Management partnered with Breakthrough, a leading transportation energy management firm, in creating a survey to assess the attitudes and readiness of shippers to cope with the impending changes:

More than 90% of the respondents have little or no awareness or knowledge of IMO and the impending regulations, and 80% have done no analysis or forecasting relating to impact on their domestic transportation cost. While the IMO sulfur cap was announced more than 10 years ago, vessel operators said little or nothing to their customers until recently (Q4, 2018). This gave a false sense of security, even to those who have been actively monitoring progress.

Our going-in presumption was, for North American-centric shippers (meaning those spending the bulk of their transportation dollars on truck, rail and barge freight), the level of awareness was not high and the impact not viewed as relevant or of great magnitude.

Bolstering the survey, we interviewed a cross-section of senior-level executives from the ocean, rail, truck and shipper communities, as well as several from the refining and energy markets. A consistent theme was people were “generally aware” of the new IMO-2020 regulations, but had not done any significant analysis to assess the effect on their business.

BNSF Railway burns more fuel than anyone in North America, with the exception of the U.S. Navy. Railroad veteran Matt Rose shepherded BNSF through a drastic rise in fuel costs during the past 20 years. “Fuel went from about $770 million in 2000 to a peak of $4.6 billion,” he said.

“At one point, fuel was 10% of operating cost, and at its peak it equaled labor cost at 32%,” adds Rose. “Railroads will have to make choices on fuel for the longer term. Going to LNG is billions of dollars in infrastructure and equipment cost. The net price of fuel would have to go up $0.75 to $1.00 per gallon before it would drive a major shift.”

While a 50% increase in the cost of diesel would achieve this, the timing and capital to convert would be large in scale and likely need to extend to most, if not all, the Class I railroads, due to interoperability of equipment.

Derek Leathers runs one of the nation’s largest motor carriers. As CEO of Werner Enterprises, Leathers has his eye on the ball. “We very much have this on our roadmap and have discussed at the board level. It will put more demand on refining capacity, which will have more of an impact in our space. Diesel will have more homes to go to, so our best response is to push the envelope on MPG.”

Source: logisticsmgmt