Operating & Environmental Standards

IMO 2022 meeting schedule

Public input integral to U.S. delegations effectiveness when representing U.S. interests

Submitted by the Office of Commercial Regulations & Standards (CG-5PS)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) continues to make a positive impact on safety, security and environmental stewardship in the maritime sector with an aggressive Programme of Meetings for 2022.  Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, meetings will be held remotely through at least mid-April.  The location of any meetings beyond that has yet be determined. Despite the challenges that remote meetings present, the IMO was able to successfully carry out its work in 2021 and will continue to make progress towards improving the safety and security of international shipping in the year ahead. Starting with the 8th Session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction in January and the 8th session of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping in February, the United States continues to send strong delegations, composed of subject matter experts representative of the U.S. government and maritime industry, to negotiate in support, of U.S. positions at IMO. The complete meeting schedule and summaries can be found at https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries.  

This year, the IMO’s theme is “New technologies for greener shipping” which focuses on supporting environmentally friendly maritime practices while progressing steadily towards a sustainable future.  Highlighting research and development, innovation, and new technologies, this initiative is directly in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of marine sustainability and climate action.  Many topics will be addressed, including biofouling, marine plastic litter, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting the Artic.  Beyond greener shipping, other important issues will include such concerns as cyber safety and security, the well-being of seafarers, mariner training and certification, and autonomous technology.  Documents and agendas for each meeting can be found on the IMO’s public website for documents: IMODOCS.

As always, assistance from those working in the public sector is imperative towards ensuring the broadest consideration of knowledge, experiences and concerns when formulating U.S. positions on these issues. As in the past, public meetings will continue to be held prior to IMO meetings. The discussions at these meetings provide the delegations an opportunity to analyze each agenda item with the public and gather insight from the participants. This is an integral part of each delegation’s preparations and contributes directly to their effectiveness in representing U.S. interests at IMO. 

For more details on how to attend and participate in these public meetings, watch for meeting announcements in the Federal Register and on the Maritime Commons Blog. More information can be found regarding the IMO at https://www.dco.uscg.mil/IMO.

For any questions regarding the IMO or the public meetings, please contact the Coast Guard’s Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate at IMO.MAILBOX@uscg.mil.

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 publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.