The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is to address maritime corruption by including the issue in its work programme for the Facilitation Committee.
The decision to include an anti-corruption agenda came at the latest meeting of the IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL) in response to a submission from Liberia, Marshall Islands, Norway, United Kingdom, United States and Vanuatu.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) co-sponsored the submission along with a number of other non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“Corruption erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract. Corruption impedes investment, with consequent effects on growth and jobs. This is a global issue but we all need to work to eradicate corrupt practices,” Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, said.
According to the Maritime Anti-Corruption Networks anonymous reporting mechanism, which was set up in 2011, there have been over 28,000 incidents already reported.
“We are all aware that corruption in the maritime sector exists in many areas and as we have heard from the document introduction, corrupt practices, particularly with respect to the ship/shore interface, can lead to interruptions to normal operations, can incur higher operational costs for the shipowner and can have an impact on seafarers’ well-being,” Chris Oliver, Nautical Director at the International Chamber of Shipping, said.
“In addition to the potential consequences for ship owners and seafarers, it should not be underestimated the impact it can have on trade, investment, social and economic development of ports, local communities and even Member States themselves,” Oliver concluded.