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Live From Posidonia 2016
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IMO sec-gen looks to technology to meet environment, social and regulatory goals

IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim says that the regulatory framework for shipping will need continuous adjustment to allow the industry to adopt the technologies it requires for the future, but also promised new regulations would not be developed unless there is a clear need.

Speaking at the Tradewinds Shipowners Forum during Posidonia 2016 on Tuesday, Lim said that it was not an easy time for shipping with public expectations around social and environmental issues possibly more challenging than ever. “But at the same time the opportunity afforded by new technology places shipping potentially on the brink of a new era.”

New technologies covering emissions, efficiency, safety and other areas he said, “bring improvement in all the areas the IMO’s regulates, and economic viability and profitability too, that I think is part of the voyage we are taking together”.

The regulatory framework would require continual adjustment to ensure that the technological benefits were integrated into daily ship operations and could be harnessed for the benefit of all. However, this does not mean more new regulations for the industry.

“Notwithstanding the need for occasional adjustment the regulatory framework conducted by IMO is highly comprehensive and it is well understood that development of new regulations should only be undertaken if there is clear and demonstrable need to do so,” Lim stated.

“Indeed IMO has been actively in engaged through efforts in the UN to reduce the regulatory burden and those related to compliance for shipowners and their staff.”

Expanding on what the IMO’s role will be in the coming years he said it would be in the implementation of the existing regulatory framework, where often it takes many years for regulations to come into force with emphasis on capacity building in developing countries.

“We will be building capacity for countries to write IMO standards into their national legislation and then to implement and enforce these regulations,” Lim explained.

Through this he believes that: “We will be able to simultaneously serve the interests of the environment, the society and the economy which have been identified as three pillars of sustainability.”

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