As the year draws to an end I would like to thank the many people who help make OCIMF successful. OCIMF’s strength lies in the committee structure, which rests on the experienced, knowledgeable and passionate member company employees who make up those committees, sub-committees, focus groups and working groups.
They have dedicated many days of their working lives to producing and maintaining the OCIMF programmes and publications that are used across our industry and by other sectors of the shipping industry, too. In most cases this work is contributed in addition to their day-jobs. So to all involved - thank you very much for your hard work in 2015.
The committee structure is supported by the Secretariat who are the backbone of OCIMF. They connect the many activities of the committees and ensure a steady direction and speed is maintained with professional recommendations and best practices produced. The secretariat connects you to the wider industry through the many industry associations. Through our permanent representation to International Maritime Organization (IMO) OCIMF is able to support the implementation of practical regulation, in line with the IMO’s drive for better regulation. This year has seen many changes with eight new members of staff and secondees joining, or returning to, the team.
In addition to our main objectives OCIMF has been running the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre within the Gulf of Guinea region (MTISC-GoG) pilot project throughout 2015 under the direction of the Executive Committee. MTISC-GoG has had a very successful year under the management of Philip Pascoe and Fiona Rider who have taken MTISC-GoG from concept to being an integral part of the maritime security framework in the Gulf of Guinea today. In the last six months there have been >1,578 different individual vessels reporting to MTISC-GoG with the number of reports regularly exceeding 8,000 per month. Importantly, this is not a tanker specific service with these reports being divided roughly 50/50 between tankers and other vessels. In addition to its reporting function, MTISC-GoG has a role in building regional capacity. This is achieved through secondments from regional navies, organisations and companies with the support of a Merchant Navy Liaison Office supplied by OCIMF members (currently Maersk). Today the Officer in Charge of MTISC-GoG is from the Ghana Navy and watchkeepers from the Liberian, Nigerian and Ghanaian Navies, but several other regional countries have supported the centre this year. In 2016 project management of MTISC-GoG continues under Fiona, however Secretariat support for MTISC-GoG transferred from Philip to Russell this month.
I would like to wish all OCIMF members, our industry associations and regulators, and the many others that read the OCIMF newsletter a restful and enjoyable festive break and a happy, healthy and successful 2016.
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IMO assembly 29 was held from 23 November - 2 December.
During this meeting, the appointment of Mr. Ki Tack Lim as Secretary General was approved by the Assembly and he will take office for four years from 1 January 2016.
The Assembly bade a fond farewell to Mr. Koji Sekimizu who completes his 4-year term and did not seek re-election for a second term.
The Assembly also elected the Council members for the next 2 years. The Council comprises of 40 Members made up of:
10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services:
China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
10 other States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade:
Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden.
20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. Category C had 23 nominations for 20 seats and thus went to Secret ballot election.
The seats went to:
Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.
The three countries not elected were: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Jamaica. Saudi Arabia and Iran were not previously on the Council. Egypt replaced Jamaica as a Council member.
Maritime security - snippets
As previously reported, the European Union (EU) is conducting a comprehensive review of their approach to the Horn of Africa and the role of European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR).
To ensure the policy makers understand the industry message the OCIMF Chairman Grahaeme Henderson has held a series of high level meetings to ensure our concerns are noted.
Our high level message has not changed
The EU and the navies contributing to Operation Atalanta have been playing a critical role in the region, successfully containing pirate activities. The source of piracy is however not eradicated – drivers for piracy still exist in the region and pirate groups still have the intent and capability to act. They are currently being denied the opportunity to do so thanks to the presence and effort of naval forces in the region.
This assessment has been recognised by the European External Action Service in response to the recent review of the Indian Ocean High Risk Area and again underlined in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2246 on maritime security in Somalia.
The Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean remains areas of vital strategic importance to global trade and EU interests. The safety and security of seafarers passing through these waters remains the industry’s highest priority.
Indian Ocean High Risk Area Readers will be aware from last month's Director's log that a change to the High Risk Area (HRA) coordinates came into effect on 1 December. The Joint War Committee (JWC) also met in December issuing an amended version of the war risk Listed Areas. The eastern limit of the Indian Ocean defined area has been amended from Longitude 78º E to Longitude 65º E. Furthermore Bahrain, NE Borneo, the Port of Jakarta and the Sulu Archipelago have been deleted from the list of Listed Areas.
As OCIMF will appreciate there is no direct relation between the HRA and JWC Listed Areas.
Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Initiative
The 37th meeting of the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Initiative (SHADE) was held in Bahrain on 2 December.
The main points emerging from presentations and discussion were:
- There is no significant change to the threat environment.
- The current deterrent posture of active naval presence and industry risk mitigation measures continues to work.
- There has been a decrease in false alarms during the last quarter.
- Clearly identifying ‘Tripwires’ remains problematic.
- The risk has not gone away – suppressed but not eliminated.
- The capability for pirates to act still exists – networks/boats/seamanship skills etc.
- To gauge the intent on pirates to act remains difficult to understand but recent events associated with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing may be an indicator.
- Resurgence of Piracy is a real possibility if deterrence fails.
The SHADE welcomed the new head of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) Secretariat, Mr. Raymond St-Ange who was representing the new CGPCS Chair, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan.
The Seychelles Presidency will work on the basis of the following principles:
- Bringing the family together – an inclusive approach and process.
- Doing it together – strength lies in unity.
- The Seychelles aims to give a voice to the aspirations, needs and expectations of the entire Indian Ocean region.
- From the region to the region – the Seychelles Presidency aims to create a lasting legacy. Not alone in our approach but ensuring that we engage and work well within the ‘network’. In addition, Seychelles is also chairing since this year the Eastern Standby Force (ESAF).
A database of lessons and discussion relating to the High Risk Area and Somali based piracy can be found at:
G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea
Under the G7 banner, the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea met in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire earlier this month to review regional progress mandated by the Gulf of Guinea, Yaoundé Code of Conduct.
The Chair (France) led a lively debate on the “needs” and “solutions” for the region in an attempt to galvanise action among the regional maritime players. Whilst there is much enthusiasm among the GoG nations to volunteer in hosting maritime centers (Ghana will host Zone F, Cape Verde will host Zone G and Cote d’Ivoire will host the CRESMAYO) and clear intention these will be operational in the near future; the reality is somewhat distant.
The group encourages coordination of activities and better sharing of information among regional States and third States and seeks to develop the structures created as part of the Yaoundé Process but until the reporting centres and supporting structures are in place the light at the end of the tunnel is not yet visible. At the end of the meeting France passed the Chair to Portugal who will be supported by Japan.
OCIMF also representing Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), Intertcargo and International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) presented a unified message of concern on the level of unlawful activity in the region and the importance of keeping mariners safe. Industry remains committed to the MTISC-GoG.
G7++Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, Chaired by Marie-Hélène Maysounave Ambassador – Special Representative for the coordination of the international fight against maritime piracy
Seasons greetings - see you in 2016!
Instead of sending paper cards, OCIMF have made donations to the following marine charities:
"Apostleship of the Sea", "Jubilee Sailing Trust", and "Seafarers UK - Merchant Navy Fund".
2016 dates for your diary
||General Purposes Committee (GPC) 82
||Asia Pacific regional panel
||Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) 84
||Middle Eastern and African regional panel
||Offshore Marine Committee (OMC) 12
||Americas regional panel
||European regional panel
||Americas regional panel
||European regional panel
||Asia Pacific regional panel,
||Middle Eastern and African regional panel