Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, the United Nations´ agency for safety and security of shipping and prevention of pollution from ships, is looking forward to discuss Sea Traffic Management at the IMO.
“I am very grateful for the contribution made by STM in exploring ways to connect the maritime world in real time, creating an efficient information exchange among parties involved: ships, port actors, service providers and shipping companies. And also in establishing mechanisms to avoid human errors and reduce workload through the use of technologies, improving the efficiency of navigation and reducing the risk of grounding and collisions”, says Kitack Lim.
IMO is currently addressing a number of e-navigation-related issues focusing mainly on standardisation and harmonisation of digital information, bridge design and automated reporting to name a few examples. The Secretary-General says that the solutions developed by STM may contribute to e-navigational objectives.
Although IMO does not address the commercial side of global shipping, universal regulations help in ensuring a level playing field for all ships. Kitack Lim wants to make sure that any necessary measures or solutions are agreed and adopted by IMO in order to achieve global and harmonized implementation.
“We are facing structural changes in robotics and automation and some countries are close to autonomous ports and semi-autonomous ships. The IMO has a strategic direction of integrating new and advanced technology in the regulatory framework while balancing the benefits derived from new and advancing technologies against safety and security concerns, the impact on the environment, as well as on international trade facilitation, the potential costs to the industry and the impact on personnel. “
The Sea Traffic Management testbeds are currently in Europe. How do we welcome the rest of the world to STM?
“International trade is always universal and global – so the approach must also be on a global level. I invite the Swedish government to introduce STM at an IMO meeting so it can be discussed by all interested member States.”
How does one manage to maintain good intergovernmental cooperation? Especially when it comes to digitalisation and standardisation of digitalisation?
“We have a good record when it comes to cooperation amongst our member states. When it comes to STM issues, we need more global communication. The work conducted so far as part of the e-navigation strategy implementation plan, which has been approved by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, is addressing already a number of issues related to standardization of maritime digital information transmitted to or from ships. The Facilitation Committee is also working on the standardization of forms, certificates and other documents, in electronic format, and the implementation of the Maritime Single Windows.”
“The work done by STM is relevant for the safety and efficiency of ship operations, it is a very important crusade. I really appreciate the Swedish Maritime Administration’s work in bringing forward this really important and meaningful development.“
Author: Emma Edström