Editor’s note: To better inform our readers about international maritime shipping issues and regulations, Maritime Commons will begin publishing regular content highlighting the work the Coast Guard performs in its role with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Following major meetings and sessions of the IMO Assembly and/or Council or sub-committees, we will post summaries of activities and, if available, condensed transcripts of remarks or presentations by Coast Guard members. Today, we kick off this initiative with a summary of the recent 30th Session of Assembly and 119th Session of Council held in November/December 2017.
Submitted by the Directorate of Commercial Regulations & Standards staff
Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zukunft, with support from other Coast Guard members and the Department of State, led the U.S. Delegation at the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 30th Assembly November 27-December 6, 2017 in London. The IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
The Assembly’s most significant accomplishment over the two-week period was the approval of the Results-Based Budget for the 2018-2019 biennium. The United States abstained, and was among the countries that expressed concern about the increase in expenditures and the member state assessment. The biennial budget of £69,570,000 comprises an appropriation of £34,141,000 for 2018 and an appropriation of £35,429,000 for 2019. Member state assessments are predominantly based on percent tonnage; for this reason the United States is responsible for paying just 2.76 percent of the budget, according to our current standing.
Other work completed during the Assembly was the adoption of 20 separate Resolutions, among which included:
- 2018-2023 Strategic Plan
- Extension of payment of contributions in arrears
- Escape routes and markings
- Ship identification numbers
- Procedures for port state control
- Obligations relevant to implementation of IMO instruments
- Offshore Supply Vessel Chemical Code
- World Maritime University Charter
The Assembly also elected the members of the IMO Council for 2018-2019. The Council is the executive organ of the IMO and is comprised of 40 Member States that serve two-year terms beginning after the regular session of the Assembly. The Council meets two times per year and establishes the work program and budget for the organization. This year Member States from both categories B and C were contested, with 12 and 24 candidates respectively. Those elected were:
Category (a) Ten 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.
Category (b) Ten States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.
Category (c) 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: Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.
The newly elected Council held its 119th Session December 7, following the conclusion of the 30th Assembly, to elect its leadership for the next biennium (2018-2019). The previous chair of the Council was Mr. Jeffrey Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards for the U.S. Coast Guard who stepped down after holding the position since 2009. Mr. Xiaojie Zhang from China, the previous vice chair, was elected to the Chair position by acclamation. Elections for the Vice Chair position were deferred until July’s council meeting, as there were no declared candidates.
Visit the IMO’s website for more information about this meeting in particular or the IMO in general.
All posts in this topic will be tagged with “International Maritime Organization” to help you find related content. We hope you find this new series informative and, as always, we welcome your feedback.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.