"I wish to thank our members for providing the necessary expertise which is crucial for us to maintain our consultative position at the IMO. I encourage you to contact me or my team of advisers if you want to know more about our activities at IMO and how we make a difference to the maritime industry."
This month I’d like to focus on our work at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
OCIMF has consultative status at IMO as a Non-Governmental Organisation and this is one of the ways we advocate for safe shipping on an international scale.
We aim to participate in all relevant IMO meetings, whether at committee level or at the sub-committees and working groups, which support the work of the five main committees. We engage with member states, other NGOs and the IMO Secretariat when it advocates at IMO both during formal committee work and intersessionally. OCIMF also engages regularly with IMO Secretary General – a report of the meeting that took place in March is included in this newsletter.
During the sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping in February, OCIMF successfully supported a proposal to develop new mandatory training standards to deal with personal safety, bullying and sexual harassment in the maritime industry. At the sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response in April, OCIMF was invited to participate in discussions on managing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the shipping value chain. OCIMF is very engaged in IMO’s work on GHG emission reduction and the Forum has particular interest in ensuring safety and training requirements are at the forefront of technological innovation and the introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping.
I wish to thank our members for providing the necessary expertise which is crucial for us to maintain our consultative position at the IMO. I encourage you to contact me or my team of advisers if you want to know more about our activities at IMO and how we make a difference to the maritime industry.
Also in this month’s newsletter you will read about progress with SIRE 2.0. The end-to-end testing of SIRE 2.0 is underway to check that all components, including the iSafe tablet, will deliver a system that meets industry needs now and in the future. As we move closer to the roll out, I would strongly encourage all programme users to ensure preparedness by reviewing the materials and videos on the SIRE 2.0 webpage here.
I hope you enjoy reading about our recent activities in this month’s newsletter.
OCIMF's Ton Mol (third from left, standing) onboard a barge during his trip to China.
China's barging industry welcomes OCIMF
OCIMF visited members in Shanghai and Nanjing, China, in the last week of March.
Barge Adviser Ton Mol held meetings with representatives of CNOOC, UNIPEC and Shell and visited operators, barges and terminals. A two-day Regional Barge Meeting was followed by a meeting with members and experts.
Over 8,000 tank barges are operational in China – 2,400 on the main channel of the Yangtze River – which makes this region the biggest in barging. OCIMF’s focus is to establish a Barge Inspection Questionnaire for China and to create the Global Barge Guide, which will cover this region.
The visits to barges, operators’ offices and terminals were very impressive and OCIMF was warmly welcomed. OCIMF would like to thank regional members for facilitating this trip.
OCIMF Barge Adviser Ton Mol gave presentations in New Delhi and Mumbai during a recent visit to India. OCIMF was invited to join a trade delegation to India from 4–7 April. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management asked OCIMF to promote the safe and sustainable transport of liquid bulk on inland waterways.
Left to right: Mrs Heike Deggim, Director, Maritime Safety Division, IMO; Nick Potter; Mr Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary General; Karen Davis; Abhijit Aul; Mr Arsenio Dominguez, Director, Marine Environment Division, IMO.
OCIMF meets with IMO Secretary General
Fruitful discussions around the long-term priorities of the IMO and OCIMF took place at the meeting in late March.
OCIMF Chairman Nick Potter, Managing Director Karen Davis and Risk and Regulatory Affairs Adviser Abhijit Aul met Mr Kitack Lim his leadership team at the IMO headquarters in London.
A particular focus was seafarer welfare and a desire to understand and target the root cause of high impact maritime incidents. Ongoing and planned future work of OCIMF in the areas of safety, security, environment and human factors was shared with the Secretary General.
Workshop sees support for HNS Convention
OCIMF attended a joint IMO-IOPC Funds Workshop on the 2010 HNS Convention held on 3–4 April at the IMO in London.
The aim of this workshop was to encourage member states to support ratification of the HNS Convention on the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by sea. Ratification would ensure that those who have suffered damage caused by HNS cargoes would have access to a comprehensive and international liability and compensation regime.
OCIMF's Saurabh Sachdeva voiced support for ratification at the workshop, as our members play in important role in carriage, transportation and storage, as well as in respect to compensation and liability. Other industry bodies representing all sides of the shipping industry, such as ICS, P&I Clubs, European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), Federation of European Tank Storage Associations (FETSA) and World LPG Association, were unanimous in wanting to see the HNS Convention enter into force.
Some concerns were raised about aspects of the Convention specific to particular sectors, and the need for a level playing field was emphasised. However, the ‘polluter pays’ principle and the concept of globally shared responsibility were cited as reasons to support the Convention. The ratification call was also supported by member states Canada, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, France, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, as well as the IMO and IOPC Funds secretariat. Bahamas raised that the Convention could also investigate the impact of storage and carriage of alternative fuels, but the overall consensus among attendees was first to seek ratification ‘as is’ as a priority before opening up for any future amendments.
More information on the HNS Convention can be found here.
Programmes Document Library goes live
OCIMF programmes (SIRE, BIRE, OVID, MTIS and the MSAs) has deployed a new library that streamlines programme participants' access to information here.
Known as the Programmes Document Library (PDL) all programme participants can access the latest information about OCIMF programmes and the policies and procedures to use the existing programmes. The PDL introduces new terms and conditions for all programmes as well as a programmes Code of Conduct.
The PDL provides a single access point for all documentation. Information found in different areas of the OCIMF website and programmes user access will be migrated to this library. Programme participants can use their OCIMF programmes account login details to download documents and give feedback to OCIMF.
For the time being the SIRE 2.0 Question Library and Supporting Documentation will remain on the SIRE 2.0 webpage and will not be included in the PDL.
Adherence to the OCIMF Code of Conduct
To further strengthen the integrity of its programmes and deliver on its Vision and Mission, OCIMF has now introduced its Code of Conduct, which applies to all participants in OCIMF programmes.
The Code of Conduct formalises the expectations OCIMF places on all programme participants to operate with the utmost integrity. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to provide clear guiding principles to support and supplement the existing detailed programme rules for each programme, provided in the Programmes Document Library (PDL). The Code of Conduct does not replace programme rules, laws or regulations.
To use OCIMF’s programmes, all programme participants – both individuals and the companies they represent – must accept and agree to abide by OCIMF’s Code of Conduct, support its principles and commit to compliance with all laws, regulations and programme rules.
The Code of Conduct is available on OCIMF’s website here and includes overarching commitments to OCIMF’s vision and mission, health, safety, security and environment (HSSE), ethical treatment of people, anti-corruption, gifts and entertainment and programme integrity.
Under the Code of Conduct, any reported non-conformance to laws and regulations as well as non-compliance with OCIMF programme rules by any programme participant will be subject to investigation by OCIMF. Where non-conforming activity has been established OCIMF may apply restrictions to programme participants to protect programme integrity.
Anonymous reporting hotline for programmes
OCIMF has partnered with compliance reporting helpline, EthicsPoint, which allows all programme participants to anonymously report any issues relating to observed non-compliance.
This will help us to maintain the highest standards of compliance across OCIMF’s programmes. It is essential that all programme participants feel confident in reporting any issues of non-compliance with OCIMF programme rules, Code of Conduct, laws and regulations.
Operated by Navex Global, EthicsPoint is an online platform used across multiple industries. The platform allows instances of non-compliance by any user of OCIMF’s programmes to be reported anonymously, without altering the substance of the report, before any information is shared with OCIMF to action.
The platform can be accessed at: http://ocimf.ethicspoint.com/
Please note that EthicsPoint is not an Emergency Service. Do not use this site to report events presenting an immediate threat to life or property. If emergency assistance is required, you must contact the appropriate local authorities. EthicsPoint is also not part of the inspection questionnaire validation process. Vessel operators must not use this site to challenge inspection observation content.
Maritime security snippets
The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) announced the lowest level of reported global piracy and armed robbery incidents since 1993 but calls for continued vigilance and naval response.
Its first quarter report for 2023 on Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships, released on 13 April, shows 27 incidents reported, a marked decline from 37 incidents for the same period in 2022. Of the 27 incidents, perpetrators boarded the victims’ vessels in 24 cases, two vessels reported attempted incidents and one vessel was hijacked. Despite the drop in numbers, the threat of violence remains – six crew kidnapped, two taken hostage, two threatened and one assaulted.
The continuing trend of low numbers of attacks against seafarers is an encouraging sign, but the threat remains and all mitigations, including BMP should be used to keep seafarers and vessels safe. The full report can be downloaded here.
Since the report was issued there have been further attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, a clear sign maritime threats are ever present.
P&A Tankers, Barges and Terminal Interfaces Committee
6th meeting: 30–31 March (Singapore)
Chair: Aled Roberts (bp)
Vice Chair: Raj Shetty (ENOC)
Vice Chair: Newly appointed – James Sagar (ExxonMobil)
Secretary: Saurabh Sachdeva (P&A Director)
The 6th meeting of P&A Tankers, Barges and Terminal interface (P&A TBT) committee was held over 2 days at the bp offices in Singapore.
Key decisions at this meeting include:
- Renewed support for investigating safety considerations with future fuels.
- Identified increase in enclosed space fatalities from incidents data and tasked the Human Factors Committee and Nautical Expert Group to consider further steps to support raising awareness.
- Reviewed the Annual OCIMF Publications plan and supported the development of two flagship publications as per the plan for 2023:
- Commence revisions to Ship-to-Ship Transfer Guide in collaboration with ICS, SIGTTO and CDI.
- Develop Terms of Reference for the new Global Barge Guide.
- Noted progress with the revised Jetty Maintenance and Inspection Guide, due for publication in Q3 2023, and progress on writing information papers on drug and alcohol use, environment and security.
- Noting an increase in unreported ship-to-ship activity in the Danish Straits, agreed to investigate further to understand key risks and next steps, including supporting conversations at the IMO.
- Approved the IMO engagement plan for short to mid-term and noted OCIMF’s co-sponsoring of submissions covering health, safety, environment, human factors and crew welfare and security related issues at the IMO.
- Noted regional engagement and advocacy plans to deliver on OCIMF’s mission, vision and scope across South East Asia.
110th session of the IMO Legal Committee (LEG 110)
LEG 110 was held at the IMO headquarters from 27–31 March 2023. The meeting was conducted in hybrid-mode, with facilities for registered delegates dialling-in remotely. The following summary outlines topics of relevance to OCIMF and its members, which were discussed or agreed during LEG 110.
- Commencement of development of guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers detained on suspicion of committing maritime crimes.
- Adoption of guidelines for port state and flag state authorities on how to deal with seafarer abandonment cases.
Implementation of IMO Instruments
- Evidence of ship-to-ship transfer activity in the high seas:
- Calls for flag states to ensure that tankers under their respective flag adhere to the spirit of the safety requirements under the relevant IMO conventions to minimise the risk of oil pollution.
- Proposals for port states to ensure enforcement of the IMO safety and liability conventions.
Liability and compensation
- General push for member states to ratify and bring into force the 2010 HNS Protocol (on the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea) as soon as possible.
- Approval of the 2023 edition of the Claims Manual for the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.
Fraudulent registry of ships
- Need to establish a genuine link between a state and a ship flying its flag.
- An intersessional correspondence group has been tasked with defining elements of “due diligence” to be followed when registering ships with a flag state.
- Explore potential misuse of the IMO identification number schemes.