The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been a firm supporter of seafarers, mostly now, as the COVID-19 pandemic is seriously impacting their working environment.
IMO's work to combat climate change, as well as the difficulties seafarers face were discussed during a virtual meeting organized by IMO (23 April), to brief permanent representatives and liaison officers from 78 IMO Member States and one Associate Member.
During the meeting, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the need for seafarers to be designated as keyworkers and appealed to all permanent representatives and liaison officers to convey this message to their governments. Seafarers, he said, are beneficial to the smooth operation of shipping and enable the industry to support the global supply chain.
In the meantime, IMO discussed about the GHG goals, while it was noted that the 4th IMO GHG study, which will provide data on GHG emission from ships up to 2018 and future projections, is on schedule to be completed by late 2020.
The meeting also focused on COVID-19 related technical guidance IMO has issued to address the fall-out from the pandemic, following requests from Member States for uniform recommendations on how to address certain issues.
The meeting was informed that in-country audits under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme had been paused and that the remaining audit schedule from 2020 onwards would be moved one year forward from 2021 whilst follow-up audit work will continue as usual.