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HANSA 02-2021

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Kooperation HANSA & MRP · DNV GL · Hafen Hamburg · Port Hub · MPP-Marktbericht · 3D-Druck in der Schifffahrt · Interview IMO-Chef Lim · Maritime Future Summit · SMM Digital 2021

SMM »Global concerted

SMM »Global concerted action is required« In an exclusive interview with HANSA, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim reports on the work of the organization in times of the Covid-19 pandemic and what needs to be done in the near future for the industry and member states What is your message for the maritime sector on the occasion of SMM 2021, which will take place under special circumstances? Kitack Lim: As the SMM audience knows, maritime trade is vital to the world’s economy. We must all work together to enable a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and to ensure that shipping has a truly sustainable, decarbonized future. Collaboration, cooperation and communication has never been more important. Also, we Kitack Lim have to thank the more than one million seafarers on board the world’s merchant ships. Their dedication and professionalism in the face of mounting challenges is worthy of our great admiration and gratitude. We still have a huge task ahead to resolve the crew change crisis. The World Maritime theme for 2021 is »Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future«. Let’s all put seafarers at the heart of our conversations and actions this year. In our last interview in September 2018, you said: »Shipping cannot just sit back« when it comes to the adoption of new regulations and environmental patterns. What is your assessment of the last two years in this respect? Lim: We have seen great commitment from many stakeholders and a willingness to step up. Of course, the pandemic has impacted everyone but at IMO we have got the regulatory agenda back on track. We have also stepped up our capacity building work, partnerships and collaborations with industry and financial institutions. Considering the need for scaling-up our partnerships efforts, IMO established a new Department of Partnerships and Projects (DPP) in March 2020 which will focus on developing innovative partnerships with both public and private sector and mobilise resources to support such partnerships, in addition to implementing long-term projects and advocating innovation. All of our initiatives provide opportunities for the maritime industry to get involved and contribute. As IMO Secretary-General, you normally travel a lot. How do you manage this programme in times of severe travel restrictions? Lim: From our side, we have adapted to virtual and online working. We have rebuilt the IMO meetings programme and we have been delivering webinars and online training sessions as part of our capacity building work. Of course, remote working has its challenges. We are all in the same boat. However, I was © IMO impressed with the cooperation and support of all IMO Member States, IGOs and NGOs that enabled us to deliver very successful meetings. With regard to me personally, I was in the fortunate position, while not being able to travel as usual, to be able to attend many events, meetings, and webinars virtually, many more than I would have been able to attend in person. Can the IMO still work effectively in such times? Lim: I believe we have shown adaptability and flexibility, with the support of Member States. Following extraordinary session of the Council, our governing body, by correspondence in the first half of 2020, we held the first ever »AL- COM« meeting of all five Committees in September 2020, which adopted interim guidance to facilitate remote sessions of the IMO Committees during the Covid-19 pandemic. This set the process for allowing IMO’s important technical work to continue through the pandemic, until its Headquarters can be reopened for physical meetings. Importantly, the Committees agreed on a procedure for decision-making in remote sessions. We then saw all Committees meet in virtual session and make significant progress on their agendas, including adoption of amendments to mandatory instruments, including SOLAS and MARPOL. What is, in your view, the most urgent homework to be done by politicians on the one hand and the maritime industry on the other? Lim: It is clear that there is much work to be done. The focus must be on finding solutions and preparing for the post-Covid world. The ability for shipping services and seafarers to deliver world trade is central to responding to, and eventually overcoming this pandemic. Governments which have not already done so must designate seafarers as key workers. They must also look at the national maritime transport policies, and their commitments to meeting the United Nations 24 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 02 | 2021

SMM Sustainable Development Goals. We also need to ensure digitalization is embraced. Standards under IMO’s Facilitation Convention to make electronic data exchange mandatory came into effect in April 2019. The pandemic has shown just how vital this is. The wider endorsement of the maritime single window concept is needed, to strengthen efficiencies, by allowing submission of all information required by various Government agencies through one single portal and to streamline port activities to the benefit of the supply chain. The maritime industry needs to ensure implementation of the relevant standards and look ahead to a future which is going to have to be greener and more sustainable. What is your opinion on regional policy initiatives, such as the European Union’s plan to include shipping in emissions trading schemes? Lim: In order to have a positive impact on climate change and the environment, global concerted action is required. Pollution is not confined by boundaries. It is only by working together that we can make the necessary impact. IMO, with 174 Member States, is the platform for global consideration of international shipping issues. Unilateral or regional measures might result in unintended consequences for shipping, world trade and economies. After being re-elected you will hold the post of Secretary General until the end of 2023. Where do you hope the shipping industry will be when your second term expires? Lim: The year 2020 showed us that we must always be prepared for the unexpected. First, from my perspective, and in line with the IMO’s strategic directions, I would like to see shipping continue to move forward on its path towards decarbonisation. Second, I would say that digital disruption has already arrived in the shipping world. Advancements in technologies such as robotics, automation and big data will usher in structural changes. Fully autonomous ports and semi-autonomous ships are already close to becoming a reality in some countries. And a key strategic direction for IMO is the integration of new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework - balancing the benefits derived from these technologies against safety and security concerns, the impact on the environment and on international trade facilitation, the potential costs to the industry, and their impact on personnel, both on board and ashore. Third, I am sure that progress will be made to enhance the efficiency of shipping. I hope to see a big roll out of the maritime single window. And most importantly, I want IMO to ensure that no one in left behind. I have put a focus on strengthening the Organization’s capacity building initiatives by increasing the financial sustainability of our programmes. Apart from ensuring the financial sustainability, our focus is to support the implementation of IMO regulations with targeted capacity building activities, in particular with IMO projects that support R&D and technology transfer, assisting our Member States in overcoming barriers to the uptake of energy-efficiency technologies and operational measures in the shipping sector. I am committed to redoubling efforts to provide assistance towards the capacity development of Member States, in particular Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States. Above all, the next three years have to be about the seafarers. What do you think will be the most important and significant measures the industry will take to achieve the environmental targets for 2030 and 2050? Lim: IMO’s Initial GHG Strategy has sent a clear signal that now is the time to start developing the vessels, the fuels and all the other necessary infrastructure to support zero-emission of shipping. Decarbonization will only be possible with targeted investment and strategic partnerships, which also address the needs of developing countries. Achieving the targets set will require both investment in zero-carbon marine fuels – renewable hydrogen or ammonia for example – and action by shipowners to embrace the transition. Interview: Michael Meyer With RINA certification it’s all plain sailing Biosafe Ship & Biosafety Trust Certification. Innovative solutions to prevent and control the spread of infections. Make it sure, make it simple. rina.org © IMO HANSA – International Maritime Journal 02 | 2021 25

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