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The Regional Meeting for Directors and Heads of Maritime Administrations (formerly known as the Workshop of Senior Maritime Administrators), jointly organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Maritime Authority of Suriname (MAS), was held in Paramaribo, Suriname (28-29 July 2022).

The meeting was considered an important transition to a more formalized structure to address matters affecting sustainable maritime transport in the Caribbean Sea. This would include: transport of cargoes and passengers by sea, facilitation of maritime transport, legal and legislation matters, marine technology, maritime education and training, maritime safety, protection of the marine environment, navigation and rescue and any other relevant matters.

The meeting agreed to formalize the role of the Chair, which will be the host country, and a Vice Chair, to be instituted on a rotational basis amongst the participating States and Territories. A Sub‑Committee was established to formalize rules of procedure, intersessionally, for future meetings.

Other important decisions of the meeting included the provision of additional support for the development of the regional casualty incident/investigation database, progressing the GloLitter Programme in the region, increased collaboration among Caribbean maritime training institutions and increased support for the gender-based data collection by the regional Women in Maritime Association, WiMAC.

IMO was requested to reconvene a High-Level Symposium of Ministers responsible for maritime transport to focus on legislative issues and climate adaptability matters.

The meeting was conducted in the hybrid format and it was attended by forty representatives of the maritime administrations from the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and the territories/regions of Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Bermuda (United Kingdom), the Cayman Islands (United Kingdom), Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands) and Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom).

The following organizations also participated in the meeting: Caribbean Maritime University (CMU); Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMoU); Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC); International Telecommunications Union (ITU); Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Caribbean; Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Regional Activity Center Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre – Caribe (RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Cartagena Convention Secretariat; The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT); US NOAA National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS); Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC); and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Europe’s largest ports have teamed together to create the world’s longest Green and Digital Corridor. Decarbonising shipping is a top priority for the agency addressing climate change and calls for the cooperation of the entire maritime industry.

“As a trusted global maritime hub, Singapore contributes actively to IMO’s efforts to make international shipping more sustainable, and global supply chains more resilient,” says S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Singapore.

He added that the collaboration demonstrates how like-minded partners can collaborate to supplement the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) efforts and that it will serve as a valuable platform to pilot concepts that can be scaled up for more green and global shipping.

The MoU will bring together stakeholders from the entire supply chain to launch the first sustainable vessels on the route by 2027. While international shipping currently relies heavily on marine gas oil (MGO) and low-sulfur fuel oil, sustainable alternatives such as biofuels, including biogases, are becoming more widely available.

Other alternatives, such as synthetic methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia and methanol, are in various stages of research and development in preparation for future trials and deployment.

Each alternative fuel has its own set of challenges in terms of cost, availability, safety, and range limitations due to lower energy density when compared to fossil fuels. To address these issues, the MOU will bring together a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers, and other businesses to collaborate on potential solutions.

Apart from alternative fuels, the MoU aims to improve maritime efficiency, safety, and the transparent flow of goods by establishing a digital trade lane for the exchange of relevant data, electronic documentation, and standards. This will allow for the smooth movement of vessels and cargo while also optimising vessel arrival times from port to port.

The port authorities will collaborate with some action partners as well as other supply chain partners. This will allow the Green and Digital Corridor project to gain investor trust, attract green financing, and launch joint bunkering pilots and trials for digitalization and the use of low- and zero-carbon fuels along the route.

Moreover, shipping is one of the most important industries to decarbonize because of its extensive international reach and growing volume. Authorities can enable carriers to switch to zero-carbon fuels and accelerate the transition to more sustainable shipping by bringing parties from across the supply chain together along one of the world’s busiest trade lanes.

The MoU bolsters Singapore’s strong economic partnership by reaffirming the country’s commitment to facilitating a multi-fuel bunkering transition as part of the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050 and accelerating digitalisation efforts to improve maritime efficiency and supply chain resilience.

The pilot will supplement efforts by the shipping industry and partners to support the decarbonisation and digitalisation transition for international shipping, with a focus on developing and scaling up green and digital solutions for wider adoption.

On the other hand, OpenGov Asia earlier reported that the MPA will keep advancing research and development, implementing marine technology (MarineTech), and enhancing maritime cybersecurity skills to establish industry-wide capabilities. This should increase the nation’s resilience and ability to handle disruptions.

Beyond 31 December 2022, MPA will continue to provide cash support for the deployment of previously authorised digital solutions to marine firms that qualify. More than 3,000 SMEs in the Sea Transport subsectors will be qualified to apply for co-funding because of the expansion.


MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on’ has been selected as the upcoming theme for the International Maritime Organization’s 2023 World Maritime Theme, which will culminate in a World Maritime Day celebration on 28 September next year.

The theme reflects the organization’s long history of protecting the environment from the impact of shipping via a robust regulatory framework and emphasizes its ongoing commitment to this important work.

The theme spotlights the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which covers prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “A lot has changed in shipping in the 50 years since the MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973, and IMO’s commitment to protecting and preserving the marine environment has remained unwavering. The World Maritime Theme for 2023 will allow us to celebrate this legacy, while also underscoring our dedication to building on the existing foundations as we move towards a brighter future together.

“Our work to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions is critical, and – given the urgency of the climate crisis – we must act now to strengthen our ambitions on this matter. We must also tackle other issues including protecting biodiversity, biofouling , the transfer of invasive species, and plastic and noise pollution. Protecting the marine environment requires shared action and I look forward to what the next 50 years will bring.”

The theme, which promotes discussions on the next phase of IMO’s work to further protect the planet and the oceans, is also linked to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources (SDGs 13 and 14); and the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals (SDG 17).

The IMO Council, meeting for its 127th session, endorsed the theme following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

History of the Convention

The Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967, the largest oil disaster at the time, was one of the key moments that led to the development of the MARPOL Convention. The 1970s saw increased global awareness of the need to protect the marine environment from all sources of pollution, subsequently resulting in the adoption of the MARPOL Convention and the 1978 MARPOL Protocol in 1973 and 1978, respectively. The combined instrument entered into force on 2 October 1983.

MARPOL 73/78 is the most important international instrument covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. In 1997, a Protocol addressing prevention of air pollution from ships was adopted and entered into force on 19 May 2005.

Evolution of MARPOL

Today, MARPOL covers pollution of the sea by oil, noxious liquid substances in bulk, harmful substances in packaged form, sewage from ships and garbage from ships, air pollution from ships, and regulation of energy efficiency. It also allows for the adoption of special areas with even stricter controls on operational discharges.

The Convention has evolved through the years. Some highlights include the requirements for oil/water separators on ships, phasing out of single hull oil tankers in 2010, the establishment of several special areas including the Antarctic area, the introduction of the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) in all MARPOL annexes, the introduction of the IMO 2020 global sulphur limit, and the adoption of technical and operational measures to enhance the energy efficiency of ships.

The adoption of the Initial IMO Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Strategy in 2018 to decarbonize the sector as soon as possible before the end of this century has set the policy framework for the development and adoption of further measures within MARPOL to enhance energy efficiency of ships.



  • Flag State contact points for PSC matters, Casualty investigation services and Ships’ inspection services (including Secretariats of Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control)
  • List of national operational contact points responsible for the receipt, transmission and processing of urgent reports on incidents involving harmful substances, including oil from ships to coastal states (see annex under Related Documents) – From January 2018 onwards, the official version of the updated list will be issued electronically and uploaded here on a quarterly basis (quarterly dates: 31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October)
For ship inspection purposes, the only official version of the List of national operational contact points responsible for the receipt, transmission and processing of urgent reports on incidents involving harmful substances including oil from ships to coastal States annex is the updated version, which is issued electronically on a quarterly basis. The quarterly date for this official version is specified at the top of each page of the above list.
From January 2018 onwards, the quarterly dates for the official version of the updated list will be as follows:
31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October. It will be available on the IMO website and can
be downloaded as stated in paragraph 5. In this connection, the next circular under this title
(MSC-MEPC.6/Circ.17) will be issued on 31 January 2019.


The following updates are based on information from countries that notified IMO of additions,
changes, or amendments to MSC-MEPC.6/Circ.19:

Updates from 30 April to 29 July 2022


Updates from 30 October 2021 to 31 January 2022

Updates from 1 August to 29 October 2021
Note: This summary page will appear on the Internet whenever changes or amendments
are received by the Secretariat before the printed copy of the list is re-issued


Independent classification society DNV has verified that Signal Ocean’s estimates of vessel CO2 emissions comply with IMO guidelines.

All aspects of a voyage, as well as any route deviations already taken by any vessel, are considered in the calculation. Additional factors such as vessel size, age, speed, loading conditions, shipyard, use of scrubbers, and fuel type are also considered and accounted for in the algorithm. Shipowners and traders of tankers, dry bulk and LPG vessels use the service to support their chartering decisions. Users can see historical estimates back to 2018 for all tankers over 25k dwt, all dry cargo vessels over 20k dwt, and all LPG vessels.

Signal Ocean’s emissions estimates have now been recognized as valid and robust by DNV’s formal Letter of Professional Opinion.

As a result of a detailed review, Dr. George Dimopoulos, Principal Specialist and Head of DNV Maritime’s R&D and Advisory Unit, said:

“After the review, our qualified professional opinion is that the subject Vessel Emissions Algorithm of Signal Ocean meets the required standards detailed in MARPOL’s carbon intensity calculation guidelines. DNV invests substantially in research, development, and innovation to provide value to our customers and the society at large. We will continue to actively support initiatives and developments that advance digital smart solutions to tackle decarbonization of the maritime industry.”

David Watts, VP of Business Development and Partnerships at Signal Ocean said:

“The maritime industry is working hard to improve its emission performance. The provision of robust and consistent estimates for a vessel’s emissions performance is a crucial step in providing greater transparency and allowing market participants to make more informed decisions. Coverage will be expanded to include smaller wet and dry vessels later this year with Container ships estimates being added after that. The service allows users to compare a vessel’s or fleet’s performance against the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator, Poseidon Principles and Sea Cargo Charter targets. We will continue to invest in this area and respond to new measures as they are introduced by the IMO.”


A new report from Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, highlights the role of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2021 Cyber ​​Risk Management Code in providing a framework for cyber resilience , but warns that combating attacks is not limited to compliance alone. Compiled by maritime innovation consultancy Thetius, Beyond Compliance – Cyber ​​Risk Management After IMO 2021 encourages proactivity in preventing and mitigating the impact of cyberattacks.

“Ensuring data resilience and cybersecurity are key concerns for the shipping industry,” said Ben Palmer, president of Inmarsat Maritime. “The IMO guidelines on maritime cyber risk management have helped stakeholders deal with cyber threats, but the nature of digital attacks continues to evolve due to advances in computer technology and the development of geopolitical conflicts. In the 12 months between May 2020 and May 2021, cyberattacks targeting the maritime sector increased by 168% in the Asia-Pacific region alone. [1]

“To ensure the resilience of their digital infrastructure, shipping companies need to look beyond regulatory compliance and be more proactive in their approach to managing cyber risks.”

One of the pillars of this approach is Unified Threat Management (UTM). By combining solutions such as firewalls, anti-virus programs, content filters, and intrusion detection and detection systems into a single hardware and software package, Inmarsat’s Fleet Secure UTM streamlines installation, configuration, administration and maintenance of the network security infrastructure. It helps shipping companies, like Denmark-based Evergas, raise safety standards beyond regulatory compliance.

Evergas IT Manager, Poul Rævdal, said: “The regulations are a good start, but it is important from our point of view to go beyond the guidelines, and Inmarsat’s comprehensive Fleet Secure solution facilitates a proactive approach to network security. Being able to unify the different parts of our network security into one solution and deal primarily with one vendor allows our IT team to focus on optimizing day-to-day support to our vessels and systems.

The continued development of seafarer training has been another key bulwark in shipping cybersecurity defenses. Inmarsat’s Fleet Secure Cyber ​​Awareness training program contains everything crew need to know to be aware of vulnerabilities and suspicious behavior online with guidance on best practices. This training module is offered free of charge to all Fleet Secure Endpoint users.

Effective cyber risk management must consider multiple attackers and various lines of attack – targeted and random. Threat actors are making continuous efforts to update their strategies, developing malicious coding, scanning for vulnerabilities in hardware and software, and responding to human behavior. Only by being proactive can shipping stay ahead of cybercriminals.


A Chinese chief officer has been honoured by the International Maritime Organization for a harrowing rescue of two sailors stuck on a sinking lifeboat.

Bo Xu was given the agency’s Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea after he leapt from the 4,930-dwt product tanker Jian Qiao 502 (built 2013) after spotting a life raft with two survivors of a sunken cargo ship too weak to tie themselves to a life rope.

The IMO said Xu had been searching for the sinking ship for 90 minutes roughly 56 km northeast of Zhifu Bay in the Yellow Sea after a distress call.

“Mr Xu jumped into the freezing waters without hesitating and swam relentlessly towards the raft, battling high waves and strong currents,” the IMO said.

“After several attempts, he reached and pulled himself to the life raft and tied the ropes to the survivors, who were successfully transferred to the deck with the help of other crew members.”

Once on board, Xu performed emergency resuscitation on both of the sailors.

One survived, the other died due to hypothermia.

Xu was one of 41 nominations and was put forth by China. He will receive the award in November during a meeting of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee.

Additionally, five certificates of commendation and six letters of commendation will be presented to crews and individuals involved in maritime rescue operations.

Three merchant vessels involved in the rescue of migrants will be awarded certificates.


Industry partners could still do more to ensure the safety of crews, says INTERCARGO, as it has submitted its latest Bulk Carrier Casualty Report to the Sub-Committee on IMO Instruments (III 8), convening at the end of the month.

Despite high levels of awareness from shipowners themselves of the dangers of improperly loaded cargo, the Report identified that liquefaction continues to be the greatest contributor to loss of life in the bulk sector. In the last ten years the lives of 70 seafarers were lost as a result of five bulk carrier casualties, four carrying nickel ore and one carrying bauxite.

Image for representation purpose only

During this period the Report identifies a total of 27 bulk carriers over 10,000 dwt as total losses, and 92 crew members lost their lives. Liquefaction accounted for 18.5% of the total vessel casualties in the past ten years yet was the cause of 76.1% of the total loss of life.

The Report highlighted that not only were IMSBC Code requirements not being followed, especially in relation to testing and certification of cargo condition, but that there was also lack of adequate assessment and monitoring of the condition of cargoes being loaded in the cargo holds by representatives of all interests.

Uttam Kumar Jaiswal, Vice-Chairman of INTERCARGO says: “Unusually, this report is not targeted at ship operators. They are well aware of the risks to their crews and their vessels caused by carrying cargos prone to liquefaction and make every effort they can to mitigate those risks.

“It is the lack of consolidated effort and commitment from many stakeholders to resolve the problem that is evident. These can include shippers, receivers and port state authorities at loading and discharging ports. We need action from those our industry relies upon for its safety – the IMO, legislators, and suppliers to ensure that that the minimum obligations under the IMSBC Code are properly fulfilled. The industry is simply talking to itself, if we cannot force action from our other stakeholder groups.

“INTERCARGO urges all shipowners, operators, and seafarers to exercise extreme caution when accepting, for carriage, nickel ore, bauxite, iron ore fines, ball clay and other cargoes that have the potential to liquefy. They need to be especially cautious when loading during a wet season as is currently being experienced in certain parts of South-East Asia and West Africa. We would like to stress the importance of adhering to the provisions in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) to ensure the safety of lives at sea and the safe transportation of dry bulk cargoes.”

The Report highlights grounding as the most common reported cause of bulk carrier losses from 2012 to 2021, with 13 casualties, representing 48.1% of total losses. The investigation reports available highlight that human error both operationally and in navigation contributed to the majority of the 13 casualties.

Accident reporting also comes under the spotlight. It is well known that lessons from incidents and casualties and sharing of experience are effective approaches to raise safety awareness and vital to deepen understanding and knowledge of existing rules, regulations and skills. All too frequently however, there is a significant delay between the time at which a report, or an initial report is submitted by an accident investigating organisation and when that information becomes publicly available.

There is some good news. Statistics of ship losses and consequential seafarer fatalities suggest that safety performance of the bulk carrier industry is heading in the right direction, with a clear trend of improvement. However, there is no room for complacency and there are still opportunities for further improvement by re-evaluating and implementing enhanced measures to address cargo safety and safe navigation, thereby striving to eliminate losses in the future.
The INTERCARGO Bulk Carrier Casualty Report can be accessed free of charge from the Association’s


A NEW treaty under the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (Solas) will impose further administration and regulatory measures on the shipping industry, reports the Borneo Post.

Malaysian Transport Minister Sri Lee Kim Shin said this when launching a briefing on the act with relevant agencies as well as industry players and stakeholders.

‘Malaysia as a member state of this treaty will be audited sometime in June 2023 on effectiveness of its administration and implementation of the mandatory imo (International Maritime Organisation) instruments covered by the scheme.

‘It is important to be prepared to implement and strategise the administration in compliance with the mandatory IMO instruments under the scheme, specifically on the six IMO Conventions,’ he said.

The six mandatory IMO instruments included in the scope of the scheme cover Safety of Life at Sea [The 1974 Safety of Life at Sea Convention (Solas) 1974 and its 1988 Protocol]; Prevention of Pollution from Ships (the Marpol Convention); Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 1978); Load lines (LL 66 and its 1988 Protocol); Tonnage Measurement of Ships (Tonnage 1969); and Prevention of Collisions at Sea (Colreg 1972).

‘Thus, the Ministry of Transport Sarawak has been proactively engaging and getting feedback from the relevant stakeholders both from the government agencies and the private sector to be updated on the new development of maritime related matters, which are pertinent to Sarawak,’ Mr Lee said.

He stressed everyone has a role in ensuring compliance with international maritime standards.

He pointed out that 59 of the 100 shipyards currently in operation across Malaysia are located in Sarawak.

‘In Sarawak, five shipyards are in Kuching, 40 in Sibu, one in Bintulu, 12 in Miri, and one in Limbang. Compared to other states in Malaysia, most of the shipyards and shipbuilding activities are dominant in Sarawak. Hence, Sarawak is a significant player in Malaysia’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry,’ he said.

He added that today’s briefing will be a stepping-stone for everyone present to better understand the subject matter.