Shipping & Logistics

Global maritime meetings put off over pandemic

A ship arrives at the Mombasa port. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Several high level international maritime meetings have been postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in a statement said meetings are expected to resume end of May.

“Taking into account the rapid increase of cases worldwide and the continuing difficulties for some delegates from IMO Member States travelling from abroad to attend IMO meetings, and the determination by the World Health Organization(WHO), on March 11,2020 that the outbreak is now pandemic, the decision has been taken to postpone IMO meetings until the end of May,” said IMO in its statement.

Some of the meetings postponed include the scheduled to take place from April 20 to 24, the 102nd session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which had been scheduled to take place from May 13 to 22.

Others are the second meeting of the IMO Expert Group on Data Harmonization (IMO EG (EGDH)) which had been scheduled to take place from April 27 to May 2 and the ‘Port Symposium: A Holistic approach to standards for port operational data in maritime supply chains’, scheduled to take place on April 30.


Covid-19 monitored

“These postponements are in addition to those already announced on March 6 and March,12 specifically the postponement of the 7th meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of greenhouse gas Emissions from ships, which had been scheduled to take place from March 23 to 27,” IMO said in a statement.

Other earlier postponements were the 33rd meeting of the E&T Group (IMSBC), scheduled to take place on March 23- 27, the 75th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee, scheduled to take place from March 30 to April 3, the meeting of the Scientific Group of the London Convention and London Protocol slated to take place on March 9-13 and the 107th session of the Legal Committee, expected to take place on March 16-20.

“The IMO Secretariat will continue to monitor all developments related to Covid-19 and will follow advice provided by the World Health Organisation, the Government of the UK (as the host government) and actions taken by other UN agencies. It will advise as soon as possible on future developments,” said IMO on the London meeting.

“Rescheduling of the meetings listed above will be announced in good time for delegates to make appropriate arrangements. Updates about other future meetings will be provided as appropriate and as soon as possible.”