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Director's Log

April has some significant historical anniversaries for our industry.

Apart from the tragic loss of life from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the effect that incident had on safety of life at sea, it is also the month both Samuel Morse and Guglielmo Marconi were born. Samuel Morse, born in 1791, was the inventor of telegraphy. Guglielmo Marconi, born in 1874, took Morse’s idea further to develop wireless telegraphy, which was eventually adapted to wireless telephony.

I’m sure you’ll agree that these inventions had remarkable impacts on the maritime industry, but looking back at the pace of progress, you’ll see that moving from wired telegraphy to wireless telephony took somewhere in the region of 100 years – much slower than the current pace of technological change.

With improved technology comes new opportunities and solutions, but sometimes the excitement of finding a new solution can leave us blindsided by unintended consequences. The recent tragic crash of the Ethiopian Airways Boeing 737 Max is an example where automation was supposed to provide safer transportation. However, the lack of a manual override to the automation meant that, although the pilots suspected the fault, they were unable to take corrective action.

As autonomous vessels are increasingly discussed at industry events, we need to make sure we have robust change management in place to ensure technological changes are safe. We need to ask ourselves: what could go wrong? And what is plan B?

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter and wish you a happy, safe and healthy May.

Rob Drysdale
Director OCIMF

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OCIMF Annual Report 2019

The OCIMF Annual Report covers the full extent of OCIMF activities throughout 2018.

It includes a review of the year from the Chairman and Director; OCIMF membership and Secretariat updates; key achievements from OCIMF committees, focus and working groups; new developments and statistics across OCIMF programmes, including SIRE, OVID and MTIS; and information on new and forthcoming publications.

Download the 2019 Annual Report

44th Shared Awareness and De-Confliction (SHADE) conference

OCIMF attended the meeting, held on 16–17 April in Bahrain, which was chaired for the first time by the Spanish navy since taking command of Operation Atalanta.

The event was supported by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and attended by over 100 multinational stakeholders, including independent naval counter-piracy representatives from India, Japan and Russia.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) spoke on behalf of the industry stakeholders, explaining to the audience the background and changes to the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA), which come into effect on 1 May.

Attendees agreed that although the number of pirate attacks are low, now is not the time to be complacent and the recommendations in BMP5 should be adhered to. The audience were reminded that many vessels continually transit through the Socotra Gap without applying any security guidance, making them vulnerable to attack.

OCIMF members are urged to ensure the continued application of Best Management Practices (BMP5) by ships in the High Risk Area and submission of timely reports to MSCHOA and UKMTO.

Principal committee updates

Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC)

10th meeting: 9–10 April, London, UK (hosted by OCIMF)

The PTC heard reports from all sub-committees and updates on the working groups. Good progress is being made and several working groups have completed their work since the last meeting.

Next meeting: 16–17 October, Singapore (hosted by ExxonMobil)

Offshore Marine Committee (OMC)

18th meeting: 3–4 April, San Ramon, USA (hosted by Chevron)

The OMC approved the amendment of the terms of reference for the OVID Accreditation and Training Programme Working Group (OAT WG), and approved the publications Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment, Second Edition (OVMSA2) and Guidelines for the Marine Assessment of F(P)SOs.

Next meeting: 2–3 October 2019, London, UK (hosted by OCIMF)

Help: ports and terminals data needed

The Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) is seeking help from members to improve the ports and terminals list that is used in the Marine Terminal and Information System (MTIS) database.

The list of contact details helps OCIMF communicate with terminal management and encourages them to sign up to use MTIS. OCIMF aims to build a comprehensive list of all global marine terminals involved with oil, gas and hazardous liquids by the end of 2019.

Details of how OCIMF members can help will be released shortly.

For more on MTIS and the latest news, visit:

Welcome Motonobu Tsuchiya

Motonobu (Moto) Tsuchiya joined OCIMF as the new Technical Adviser (Regulatory Affairs) on 18 April.

This is a new role at OCIMF that has been established initially for one year and reports to OCIMF's Deputy Director and Chief Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Moto will closely monitor regulatory activities at the IMO and other regulatory bodies and coordinate engagement from OCIMF members.

Moto has over 25 years of experience in the regulatory development of maritime affairs, as well as having been a navigator, a ship surveyor and an auditor of the IMO’s International Safety Management (ISM) and International Ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) codes.

Welcome Louise Britchford

OCIMF also welcomes Louise Britchford, who joined as Training and Accreditation Officer on 15 April.

Louise has 14 years of experience in administration and secretarial roles, working alongside senior management teams in communication companies. She has worked for the Federation of Communication Services, a trade and membership organisation in the communications industry.

Please join OCIMF in welcoming Moto and Louise to their new roles.

Preparation for MEPC 74

OCIMF’s new Technical Adviser (Regulatory Affairs) Moto Tsuchiya has prepared a brief for members on the upcoming 74th meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) (13–17 May).

At MEPC 74, OCIMF will engage in discussions on the safety implications from environmental initiatives, regulations and conventions being developed by the IMO.The member’s brief summarises key issues on the MEPC 74 agenda that are in line with OCIMF’s strategic goals and may be of interest to members. It also highlights the potential impact of the key issues and any action that OCIMF is or will be taking.

All members are invited to join the OCIMF delegation at this or future IMO meetings. Please send any feedback or questions to Sam Megwa or Moto.

Members can access the brief on the OCIMF members website Contact Rebecca Harrison for the password at

Engage at your Regional Marine Forum

OCIMF's North America Regional Marine Forum is less than three weeks away.

Places are filling up fast, but registration is still possible through the site below.

We are also now accepting bookings for the Europe and Africa Regional Marine Forum. Join the OCIMF Secretariat and invited speakers at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens, Greece, where you can learn about OCIMF’s current and upcoming projects and share critical safety and environmental issues and concerns facing the industry within the Europe and Africa region.

Register for the North America Regional Marine Forum

Register for the Europe and Africa Regional Marine Forum

Meeting updates

Cyber Working Group

9th meeting: 27 March, London, UK (hosted by OCIMF)

The Cyber Working Group took stock of their progress to date and priorities for the future. Members shared recent experiences of cyber events, emerging guidelines and policy.

Next meeting: July 2019, London, UK (hosted by OCIMF)

South and Central America CAT3 New Inspector Training Courses

Meeting: 26–28 March, Buenos Aires, Argentina (hosted by YPF)

Training of new CAT3 South and Central America SIRE Inspectors. Places were made available for existing CAT1 and CAT3 inspectors who inspect in the region to attend.

Next meeting: To be confirmed.