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Live from Sea Asia

IMO urges offshore to explore possibility of global governance

IMO urges offshore to explore possibility of global governance
The IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu has urged the offshore marine industry to explore the possibility of having a global governance similar to the shipping sector.

The offshore marine industry is “considered new” to the UN organisation, unlike the shipping sector which is already heavily regulated, Sekimizi told delegates at the Sea Asia 2015 offshore marine forum..

“When it comes to the offshore sector, the issues are directly related with the sovereignty of the states, so it is not easy to think about global governance in this (offshore) field,” Sekimizu said.

Michael Chia, managing director of Keppel Offshore & Marine, pointed out that offshore activities occur in state waters, hence there are specific rules and requirements that the respective governments require, making it a challenge to implement global governance.

Offshore industry players were urged by Sekimizu to explore and discuss amongst themselves on whether they are happy with the current state of matters without any forms of global governance or they would prefer some measures of regulations by an international organisation.

In the conventional shipping sector, IMO has a range of regulations including ship safety standards, ship operating standards, pollution preparedness and prevention standards, regime for oil damage compensation, maritime shipping security, technical cooperation and training, among others.

“Currently, members of the IMO Committee do not represent the interests of the offshore industry. Industry players can cooperation among yourselves and explore the potential of cooperating with an international organisation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sekimizu highlighted that IMO is looking at the possibility of providing “some sort of international guidance on manning”, which is directly related to the welfare of seafarers.

“Even within the shipping industry that is so heavily regulated by the IMO, when it comes to a standard for manning, the fact is that IMO has not yet decided on this,” he shared.

He added that the issue of preventing oil pollution may be connected to manning and training, where better standards on manning would translate to higher competencies of seafarers so as to reduce the chances of pollution due to human errors.