The IMO Committee on Facilitation held its 45th Session (FAL 45) from Monday 01 through Monday 08 June 2021 under the Chairmanship of Mrs Marina Angsell (SWEDEN), supported by her Vice-Chair, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman (NIGERIA). Mrs Angsell was unanimously re-elected as Chair for 2022 but noting that Ms Usman might not be available for re-election, it was agreed to postpone the election of Vice-Chair for 2022 to FAL 46. Members may recall that FAL 44 staged the first virtual regular session of an IMO Committee on-line using the KUDO platform and FAL 45 was a repeat performance.
The meeting was ably conducted by Mrs Angsell supported by IMO Moderator, Ms Anna Grygiel (Secretariat) whose job it was on behalf of the Chair, to control the sequence of delegates requesting to speak. The traditional on site working of 5 hours continued to be reduced to a virtual 3 hours, based on a daily time slot from 1100 to 1400 thus catering for all time zones, plus a daily one hour precursor for all participants to check in with the KUDO platform.
Two Working Groups (WGs) were formed and chaired as follows:
- WG1Electronic business, Mr Mikael Renz (Sweden); and,
- WG2Facilitation Instruments, Mr Fabien Joret (France)
Whilst WG2 dealt purely with ‘Facilitation Instruments’, WG1, under the umbrella of ‘Electronic business’, considered items 5, 6, 7 and 9 as follows:
- Application of single window concept;
- Review and revision of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including additional e-business solutions;
- Developing guidance for authentication, integrity and confidentiality of content for the purpose of exchange via maritime single window; and,
- Development of guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls.
Given the restricted time available, the following agenda items were deferred to FAL 46:
- Consideration and adoption of proposed amendments to the FAL Convention;
- Consideration of descriptions of Maritime Services in the context of e-navigation;
- Development of amendments to the Recommendations on the establishment of National Facilitation Committees;
- Unsafe mixed migration by sea;
- Consideration and analysis of reports and information on persons rescued at sea and stowaways;
- Regulatory scoping exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS);
- Technical cooperation activities related to facilitation of maritime traffic;
- Relations with other organisations; and,
- Application of the Committee’s procedures on organisation and method of work.
The virtual meeting was well attended by delegations from 90 Member Governments, Associate Members, UN and Specialised Agencies, Intergovernmental Organisations, and Non-Governmental organisations.
ADRESS BY THE IMO SECRETARIAL GENERAL. Mr Kitack Lim, the SG-IMO, welcomed delegates to the 45thregular session of the Facilitation Committee and paid tribute to their pioneering efforts in conducting the first full IMO Committee virtual meeting at FAL 44.
He encouraged Member States to recognize seafarers as “key workers”, as was also advocated by the UN General Assembly Resolution adopted in December 2020. He revealed that, to date, only 60 relevant notifications, marking about a third of IMO membership, had been received.
A further important action, essential to facilitate the movement of seafarers across borders, is the prioritisation of their vaccination and he wholeheartedly welcomed the resolution on ‘Recommended action to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination of seafarers’ adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee at its 103rd session.
As to the number of seafarers awaiting repatriation or joining ships, there has recently been a significant reduction from 400,000 to 200,000 but there remains much to be done. In this regard, he felt that we must translate our commitment to this year’s world maritime theme: “Seafarers: at the core of Shipping’s future”. The theme provides a unique opportunity to help protect seafarers’ rights and raise awareness of their exceptional contribution as key and essential workers, always on the front line of delivering world trade despite the ongoing pandemic.
On a different note, he reminded delegates that in February this year, IMO, together with WISTA International, launched a study to collect and analyse data on the number of women employed in the maritime sector and that the consequent online survey closes on 30 June 2021.
One of the main topics at this session will be finalisation of the new version of the IMO Compendium, with new data sets related to the ship/port interface. It is a critical instrument to accelerate digitalisation of shipping business, a matter of great importance which has gained enormously in significance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another important item on the agenda will be that to finalise the alignment of the FAL Convention with electronic data exchange by moving away from paper forms and preparing relevant amendments to the Convention. Once approved, they will then be adopted at FAL 46. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the facilitation of international maritime traffic and the acceleration of digitalisation in the maritime sector.
The Secretary–General also expected good progress regarding relevant guidance under development, such as that to address maritime corruption, the tool to measure domestic implementation of the FAL Convention and the guidance for authentication, integrity and confidentiality of content for the purpose of exchange via maritime single window.
He wished the Committee open and informative discussions, leading to agreement on the agenda items under consideration.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA. Having noted the decision to postpone agenda item 15, Regulatory scoping exercise for the use of autonomous surface ships (MASS), approved an intersessional Working Group on MASS to complete the regulatory scoping exercise on the FAL Convention to be held from 12 to14 October 2021.
REVIEW AND UPDATE OF THE ANNEX OF THE FAL CONVENTION. It was recalled that
- Had agreed to delete all the lists of data provided for each of the FAL declarations and replace those lists in Standard 2.10.5 with a single reference to a table that would sum up all the data required in the various declarations;
- Had agreed to merge, in a single Standard, the existing Standards related to the authentication requirements for each of the declarations in the annex of the FAL Convention;
- In respect of the use of the FAL Form 2 and the possibility of deleting it from the FAL Convention, had approved the questionnaire on the use of the document Cargo Declaration, inviting Member States to complete it by 15 December 2020;
- Agreed to instruct the CG on the Review and update of the annex of the FAL Convention, to further consider amendment of section 4, based on the outcome and recommendations of the seminars organized by IMO in Africa in 2014 and 2018 to reduce the number of incidents involving stowaways; also to consider further amendments to the annex of the FAL Convention to ensure the facilitation of maritime traffic during a public health emergency of international concern; and,
- Had re-established the CG on the Review and Update of the annex to the FAL Convention under the coordination of France, extending the target completion year to 2023.
The Committee considered the issues raised by the CG in paragraphs 11, 20 and 25 of its report (FAL 45/4) that had not been resolved and took the following actions:
Cargo Declaration. When considering the alternatives proposed by the CG on the cargo declaration, a slight majority of delegations were in favour of merging FAL Form 2 and the ship’s manifest into one declaration. However, the Committee, recognizing the difficulty in completing the work on the cargo declaration and the need to further analyse the feasibility and effect of such a merger, agreed not to include any amendments related to cargo declarations in the set of amendments to be approved at this session, and instructed the WG on Facilitation Instruments to:
- Prepare a work plan for developing the relevant amendments regarding the cargo declaration; and,
- Consider the necessity to re-establish the CG to consider the issue of cargo declaration further and prepare draft terms of reference, if deemed appropriate
Definition of passenger. Having noted the diverging views expressed by delegations, similar to that within the CG, the Committee agreed to omit the definition of passenger from this revision of the FAL Convention. It was further recognized that such a definition is a complex issue with potential implications outwith the FAL Convention, demonstrating a need to take into consideration other existing IMO instruments, e.g. the SOLAS Convention, and the work on industrial personnel currently carried out by MSC. With this in mind, the Committee agreed to invite Member States and international organisations to submit proposals for a new output on the matter.
Review of the International Health Regulations (IHR). Noting that WHO has not yet decided on the timeline for the review of the IHR, the Committee agreed to instruct the WG on Facilitation Instruments to consider the draft amendments prepared by the CG on the new Subsection E of the FAL Convention, “Response to a public health emergency of international concern”. A number of delegations supported the belief that there is a need to ensure consistency between the FAL Convention and other international instruments, in particular WHO, on the terminology used in relation to public health emergencies. In addition, the application of the provisions of the FAL Convention regarding the facilitation of maritime traffic during a public health emergency of international concern needs to be harmonized with the International Health Regulations in their reviewed form and other rules or guidelines approved by WHO.
Establishment of the Working Group on Facilitation Instruments. Having considered the above matters, the Committee established the WG on Facilitation Instruments and instructed it, to:
- Complete the revision of the FAL Convention annex, with a view to adoption by FAL 46;
- Prepare a work plan for developing the relevant amendments regarding the cargo declaration;
- Consider the necessity to re-establish the CG to consider the issue of cargo declaration further and prepare terms of reference; and,
- Submit a report to plenary.
In considering the subsequent report of the WG, the Committee approved it in general, and in particular:
- Endorsed the Groups agreement on the need to ensure consistency in application between the FAL Convention and the International Health Regulations (IHR) in order to avoid any unintentional conflict between the two instruments;
- Invited the WHO Secretariat to inform the Organisation of the progress made by WHO relating to the IHR that could have an impact on maritime traffic;
- Noted the discussion of the Group on pending matters and modifications introduced to the draft amendments contained in document FAL 45/WP.7;
- Noted that the Group had finalized the review of the annex of the FAL Convention and approved the draft amendments prepared by the Group, with a view to adoption at FAL 46;
- Endorsed the work plan for developing the relevant draft amendments regarding the Cargo Declaration, taking action as appropriate; and,
- Re-established the CG on the review of the FAL Convention annex, with proposed draft terms of reference to consider the issue of cargo declaration further.
APPLICATION OF SINGLE WINDOW CONCEPT. Document FAL 45/5 by IAPH provided information on the outcome of the IAPH survey to assess conformity level with the FAL requirement for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports and to highlight any respective challenges that ports are facing. It also informed of the intention by IAPH to conceive a permanent dashboard to track progress on digitalisation in ports worldwide, and to identify the needs and target IAPH engagement in capacity-building to assist. An IMO initiative addressing accelerating digitalisation in the maritime sector and ports with a focus on capacity-building, referring to the joint IMO/Norway GreenVoyage2050 project on decarbonisation, where IAPH was a partner, was thought to be a good model.
Update on initiatives to implement maritime single window systems. The Committee noted the two technical cooperation initiatives launched during 2021 by IMO to support Member States in implementing maritime single window (MSW) systems that are in compliance with the FAL Convention requirements, i.e. the “Work Bank Group/IMO maritime single window for SIDS” and the “Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWIFT) project with Singapore”.
Amendments to the Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window. Committee members supported in general, amendments to the Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window (MSW Guidelines) proposed by Japan in document FAL 44/5. These will correct the manner in which the IMO Compendium is referenced in the Guidelines and correct editorial errors or text that might confuse readers from a technical viewpoint. It was also agreed to further explore a proposal to set up a GISIS module, replacing annex A to the Guidelines, which contain examples of Member States’ systems, to allow for more examples to be collected.
Examples of single window application. Singapore has developed a new single window platform described under digitalPORT@SGTM, whilst Colombia’s SITMAR system facilitates automated arrival clearance and departure clearance of ships in Colombian waters. China also has established a single window system in their country whilst Chile too, reported implementation of an electronic data exchange and single window approach to the clearance of ships.
Establishment of the Working Group on Electronic Business (WG 1). Having considered the relevant part of the WG’s report on this item, the Committee took action as follows:
- Approved the revised guidelines for setting up a maritime single window;
- Approved the recommendation of the Group to develop a GISIS module to replace annex A of FAL.5/Circ.42, and requested the Secretariat to set it up;
- Concurred with the recommendation of the Group that the module has the same information requirements that are described in Annex A of the FAL circular, and that reporting to this module will be voluntary; and,
- Noted the discussion on the need to encourage harmonization of maritime single window solutions.
REVIEW AND REVISION OF THE IMO COMPENDIUM ON FACILITATION AND ELECTRONIC BUSINESS, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL E-BUSINESS SOLUTIONS. The Committee recalled that FAL 44 approved FAL.5/Circ.43 on Revised IMO Compendium on facilitation and electronic business. Further, two meetings of the Expert Group on Data Harmonisation (EGDH) were approved whilst agreement had been given to submit three Data Maintenance Requests (DMRs) to UNECE. Of these, two of IMO’s DMRs were considered during the UN/CEFACT Forum on 5 May 2021 and were approved with minimum change; the third was not submitted pending further clarification required by the Secretariat from EGDH.
Reports of the Expert Group on Data Harmonisation. The Committee noted with appreciation the reports of EGDH (FAL 45/6) and thanked all participants of EGDH 2 and 3 and members of the modelling team for the work done, as well as the IMO Secretariat. Having considered document FAL 45/6, and the actions requested, the Committee:
- Noted the progress made on the data set related to “Ship reporting system;
- Noted the discussion on working procedures related to the work on maintenance of the IMO Compendium;
- Invited MSC to instruct NCSR to report to EGDH on any development that has an impact on the IMO Compendium;
- Noted the discussion on the use of UN/LOCODE child codes;
- Noted the discussion on silent clearance procedure;
- Noted the discussion on the inclusion of sequence diagrams in the IMO Compendium;
- Noted the discussion on facilitating administrative processes in connection with the management of electronic certificates;
- Noted the discussion on the possible inclusion of STCW certificates in the IMO Compendium;
- Noted that the data set “Port logistic operational data and real time data” has been submitted to the NCSR Sub-Committee, although postponed until NCSR 9; and,
- Noted the discussion on the scope of the IMO Compendium.
The Committee decided to forward document FAL 45/6 to WG1 for the issues referred to in the document requiring consideration by the Group.
Challenges and options in expanding the IMO Reference Data Model. The Committee noted the view of UNECE that the IMO Reference Data Model should not go beyond reporting requirements directly linked to the FAL Convention and that special attention should be paid to the alignment of the IMO Compendium, as a maritime-focussed data model, with the broader international supply chain, to ensure that it truly supports digitalisation. However, the Committee confirmed the agreement at FAL 42 to extend the scope of the IMO Compendium beyond the FAL Convention, to include additional e-business solutions, further noting that the IMO Compendium is a facilitation tool covering ship and port processes, and limiting its scope would not correspond to the need for digitalisation of the maritime sector and ports. In response to the views raised by UNECE, the Secretariat was requested to liaise with the partner organisations of the MoU and to discuss the issues identified that might have an effect on the current working method and ability to work and deliver the Compendium, reporting to the next session of the Committee.
Provision of information supporting berth to berth route planning in IHO Standard S-131 (Marine Harbour Infrastructure). IHO confirmed that this standard is under development in cooperation with IHMA and has been making good progress. The Committee noted the request from IHO to include the “Data set on berth locations” in the priority list of data sets so that IHO can submit it directly to EGDH for inclusion in the IMO Compendium as soon as it is finalized by IHO.
Instructions to WG1. The Committee instructed WG1 to:
- Finalise the IMO Compendium on facilitation and electronic business;
- Prepare the working procedure of EGDH;
- Advise on the new data sets to be included in the priority list of data sets;
- Amend the terms of reference of EGDH if necessary; and,
- Submit a report to the Committee by 4 June 2021.
Report of WG 1. Having considered the relevant items in WG1s report, the Committee:
- Approved the new version of the IMO Compendium;
- Approved the revised working procedure of EGDH;
- Approved the revised priority list of data sets;
- Informed relevant committees about new data sets to be examined by EGDH with a view to inclusion in the IMO Compendium by FAL 46; and,
- Approved the terms of reference for EGDH.
DEVELOPING GUIDANCE FOR AUTHENTICATION, INTEGRITY, AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF CONTENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCHANGE VIA MARITIME SINGLE WINDOW. It was recalled that FAL 44, having approved the output “development of guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls”, had agreed to establish a single Correspondence Group on Developing Guidelines on Electronic Signature Systems and Operational Port Data for the Purpose of Digital Information Exchange to develop both sets of guidelines. The Committee noted with appreciation the CG report and agreed to re-establish it on Developing guidelines on Electronic Signature Systems and Operational Port Data for the Purpose of Digital Information Exchange. WG1 was instructed to review the terms of reference of the CG and address the need to align the guidelines with the work of EGDH and, time permitting, to progress further on the guidance for authentication, integrity and confidentiality of content for the purpose of electronic exchange of information.
Instructions to the Working Group. WG1 was instructed to:
- Address the need to align the guidelines with the work of EGDH;
- Review the ToRs of the CG on Developing Guidelines on Electronic Signature Systems and Operational Port Data for the Purpose of Digital Information Exchange;
- Time permitting, further develop the guidelines for authentication, integrity and confidentiality of content for the purpose of exchange via maritime single window; and,
- Submit a report to the Committee by 4 June 2021
Report of WG1. The Committee reviewed the report of WG1 pertaining to this item on the Agenda and took action as follows;
- Re-established the CG on Developing Guidelines on Electronic Signature systems and Operational Port Data for the Purpose of Digital Information Exchange and approved the terms of reference for the Group; and,
- Noted the recommendations for the alignment between the CG on Developing Guidelines on Electronic Signature Systems and Operational Port Data for the Purpose of Digital Information Exchange, and the work of EGDH.
DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES FOR HARMONISED COMMUNICATION AND ELECTRONIC EXCHANGE OF OPERATIONAL DATA FOR PORT CALLS. It was noted that, due to time constraints, the CG established for this item at FAL 44 had been unable to develop a table of contents for guidelines of harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls. The Committee therefore instructed WG1 to review the terms of reference of the CG and to develop the table of contents of the said guidelines for consideration by FAL 45, time permitting.
Report of WG1. As instructed, and subsequently approved by the Committee, the Group prepared terms of reference and a draft table of contents for the guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls for the CG’s consideration.
DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES ON CREATING A TOOL TO MEASURE DOMESTIC IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FAL CONVENTION. The Committee considered document FAL 45/11 (Chile et al) containing the draft text of a FAL circular on the subject and which the majority of delegates supported. Following discussion, several amendments in relation to the draft were agreed and the Committee approved a FAL.5/Circular on Guidelines on creating a tool to measure domestic implementation of the FAL Convention.
GUIDANCE TO ADDRESS MARITIME CORRUPTION. The Committee noted with appreciation the report of the CG on the Guidance to Address Maritime Corruption (FAL 45/14/1) containing interim work and agreed to re-establish the Group under the coordination of the Marshall Islands whilst Member States and international organisations were encouraged to participate in the Group, of which InterManager is a participant.
The Committee considered a submission by Vanuatu proposing the establishment of a new GISIS module on maritime corruption as a platform to report alleged cases for further use by the Organisation for statistical purposes, and the implementation of technical cooperation activities to be offered to alleged affected countries with the support of a new Facilitation Trust Fund.
- Proposal for a new GISIS module on maritime corruption to support technical cooperation assistance. In the ensuing discussion, the Committee noted the following comments:
- Concerns on the implications of anonymous reporting;
- In addition to Member States, NGOs and IGOs should be able to report alleged cases of maritime corruption to the GISIS module;
- Given the legal implications of the proposal, the Legal Committee should be consulted;
- The FAL Committee should consult the Technical Cooperation Committee on the technical cooperation activity aspects of the proposal; and,
- The Council should be consulted on possible financial implications of a new GISIS module.
The Committee agreed to request the CG on the Guidance to Address Maritime Corruption, to consider further the proposal of the GISIS module, taking into account the comments made during the discussion, and to advise FAL 46 accordingly.
Development of a new Facilitation Trust Fund. Following discussion, it was agreed that a new fund would not fit in the revised fund structure, but that the existing “Maritime Development and Facilitation Fund”, managed by the Technical Cooperation Department (TCD), could be utilised for provision of maritime corruption specific technical cooperation activities, if so decided.
Proposal for a new output. The Committee considered a proposal by Japan and others, to develop measures for passenger facilitation and control in the maritime environment in general, and in particular for the standardisation of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) for cruise ships and later, ferries in cooperation with WCO. Following consideration of the proposal, the Committee agreed to include an output in the 2022-2023 biennial agenda and the provisional agenda for FAL 46 on “Introduction of the API/PNR concept in maritime transport”, with a target completion year of 2023. Endorsement will be sought from Council 126.
Intersessional meetings. These were agreed as follows:
- MASS from 12 to 14 October 2021;
- EGDH 4, held back to back with FAL 45;
- EGDH 5, to be held in the second half of 2021;
- EGDH 6, to be held in the first half of 2022; and
- EGDH 7, to be held in the second half of 2022.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on safe crew changes and other safety-related matters. The Committee recalled that FAL 44 had:
- Endorsed resolution MSC.473(ES.2) on Recommended action to facilitate ship crew change, access to medical care and seafarer travel during the COVID-19 pandemic; and,
- Considered possible amendments to the annex of the FAL Convention to ensure the facilitation of maritime traffic during a public health emergency of international concern, and agreed to submit document FAL 44/20/5 to the CG on the Review and Update of the annex to the FAL Convention.
It was also recalled that MSC 103 had:
- Noted the latest developments relating to the pandemic, in particular that, as requested by MSC 102, of the new module on Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers available on GISIS for the notification and dissemination of information on ports that facilitate crew changes and on National Focal Points on the matter, as informed in Circular Letter No.4398 of 8 April 2021.Following deployment of the module, the MSC.7 circular series will be discontinued;
- Endorsed the revision of circular MSC.1/Circ.1636 with the revised Industry recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic; and,
- Adopted the resolution on Recommended action to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination of seafarers and requested the Secretariat to prepare a draft Assembly resolution consolidating issues related to crew changes, access to medical care, “key worker” designation and vaccination to further highlight the relevance of these problems, for consideration at MSC 104 and submission to Assembly 32 with a view to adoption.
The Committee noted that, as of 28 May 2021, 60 IMO Member States and 2 Associate Members had notified the Organisation of their recognition of seafarers as “key workers”, and urged Governments that had not yet done so, to designate seafarers as “key workers”, taking into account the relevance of this designation, including that of seafarers prioritisation for vaccination.
Cyber risk management for ships and ports. The Committee considered document FAL 45/21/1 by IAPH, which provided information on cybersecurity and cyber risk management initiatives for port communities and their intention to submit cybersecurity guidelines for ports and facilities to MSC 104 for consideration.
Having noted that MSC approved an update to the industry guidance listed in para 4.2 of the Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management (MSC FAL.1/Circ.3) to include the consolidated IACS Recommendation on cyber resilience, the Committee concurrently approved MSC-FAL.1/Circ.3/Rev.1, Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management.
Minimum training and education for mooring personnel. SDC 6 considered the inclusion of training and familiarisation provisions for shore-based mooring personnel in the draft guidelines for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment but had noted that the matter was outside the scope of the output. MSC 101 agreed that this matter was indeed outside the scope of these guidelines and invited FAL to consider the need to address training and familiarisation provisions for shore-based mooring personnel that might emanate from the new guidelines. In this regard, Member States and international organisations were invited to submit proposals for a new output
to the next session of the Committee to amend FAL.6/Circ.11/Rev.1, Guidelines on minimum training and education for mooring personnel. This should consider the need to address training and familiarization provisions for shore-based mooring personnel in relation to the guidelines for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment.
Using maritime transport as a channel for illicit trade. The Committee noted the intention of UNCTAD to submit a proposal for a new output to FAL 46 to develop IMO guidance identifying, compiling and sharing best practices and other relevant instruments that could reduce illicit trade activity that relies on maritime transport as the main channel.
The role of the Rotterdam Rules in safety and facilitation. The Committee noted document FAL 44/20/2 by CMI, highlighting the role of the Rotterdam Rules in reducing the risk of container fires by (1) requiring greater sharing of information between shippers and carriers; and (2) facilitating electronic commerce, which would better enable operational personnel to have timely access to the information they need to ensure vessel safety. Given the positive impact on facilitating trade and on the safety of the ship, the Committee recognized the importance of the Rotterdam Rules and encouraged Member States to consider its ratification.
Interference with navigation in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. The Committee noted information provided in document FAL 44/20/3 (Ukraine) on interference with navigation in the above Seas and Strait, together with information provided in document FAL 44/20/4 (Russian Federation) in response to Ukraine’s submission.
The delegations of Portugal and the United States made statements supporting Ukraine, also the United Kingdom and the EC observer associated themselves with the statements made by Portugal and the United States.
Report on regulatory action to promote access to shore leave for seafarers. The Committee noted information provided in document FAL 44/INF.3 (United States) on the regulatory action taken to guarantee access through regulated maritime facilities for seafarers and others such as pilots, representatives of seamens’ welfare and labour organisations, including the implementation of a system to provide access between vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate in a timely manner and at no cost to seafarers or other individuals.
Information on port and coastal State requirements related to privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships. The Secretariat issued Circular Letter No. 3366/Add.1 of 17 July 2014, reminding States of the need to submit the information contained in the annex to the Questionnaire on information on port and coastal State requirements related to privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships (MSC-FAL.1/Circ.2) to the Organisation at their earliest convenience. The Committee noted that only a limited number of responses had been received, from 22 Member States and 1 Associate Member, 8 of which bordered the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden or Red Sea, and requested Member States to complete and send the questionnaire in MSC-FAL.1/Circ.2 to the Secretariat for posting on the IMO website.
Guidelines for the use of electronic record books under MARPOL and amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II, V, MARPOL Annex VI and the NOx Technical Code 2008, to allow for the use of electronic record books. The Committee noted that MEPC 74 had adopted:
- Resolution MEPC.312(74) on Guidelines for the use of electronic record books under MARPOL;
- Amendments to annexes I, II, and V to the MARPOL Convention related to electronic record books by resolution MEPC.314(74);
- Amendments to annex VI to the MARPOL Convention related to electronic record books and EEDI regulations for ice-strengthened ships by resolution MEPC.316(74); and,
- Amendments to the NOx Technical Code concerning electronic record books and certification requirements for SCR systems by resolution MEPC.317(74).
Encouragement of cooperation between the port and shipping sectors to reduce GHG emissions from ships. MEPC 74 adopted resolution MEPC.323(74) on Invitation to Member States to encourage voluntary cooperation between the port and shipping sectors to contribute to reducing GHG emissions from ships, inviting Member States to promote the consideration and adoption by ports within their jurisdiction of measures to facilitate the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, including:
- Onshore power supply (preferably from renewable sources);
- Safe and efficient bunkering of sustainable low- and zero-carbon fuels;
- Incentives promoting sustainable low- and zero-carbon shipping; and,
- Support for the optimisation of port calls.
The resolution includes the concept of just-in-time arrival of ships which is related to work carried out by EGDH 1 on the data set Port Logistic Operational Data Related to Just-in-Time Concept.
List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships. It was recalled that FAL 43 had concurred with the decision of MSC 99 to issue a corrigendum amending the List with a view to avoiding the use of two different terms, i.e. “stability information” and “intact stability booklet”. The Committee noted that III 6 agreed to:
- Reflect the amendments to MARPOL Annex I, II, and V, the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, and the amendments to the NOx Technical Code 2008, all as adopted by MEPC.314, .316 and .317 (74) respectively, so that the issue regarding electronic record books under MARPOL could be addressed comprehensively; and,
- Task the CG on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations under Instruments Relevant to the III Code with further developing the amendments to the relevant FAL, MEPC, MSC and LEG circulars, with a view to submission, in a consolidated form, to the Committee for approval.
Difficulties in shipments of IMDG class 7 radioactive materials. It was noted that CCC 6 agreed that training material related to class 7 could be incorporated and enhanced in the existing model course 1.10 on Dangerous, Hazardous and Harmful Cargoes, when an update is next initiated, and the Committee instructed the Secretariat to consult IAEA with a view to developing an e-learning model course for sea transport. An e-learning model course for sea transport is also being considered by the Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC) and, further, the Secretariat is closely cooperating with the IAEA Secretariat, participating in its technical meetings and working groups to address denial of shipment of IMDG Code class 7 radioactive materials.
Captain Paddy McKnight