The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recently signed a new partnership agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which practices in the maritime and port sectors and is experienced in supporting comprehensive transport related development activities. 

The purpose of this agreement is to help promote sustainable shipping through a range of safety and environment-focused capacity building activities in the maritime and port sectors in selected countries.

“This strategic partnership, combining IMO’s global mandate and outreach and EBRD’s experience and expertise on investment and finance, is expected to contribute a great deal to sustainable maritime transport and the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” explained IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

Malta and the IMO

The IMO is an agency of the United Nations and has responsibility for setting global standards for safe, secure, efficient and environment-friendly international shipping.

It has 173 Member States, including Malta, but the Malta has stronger ties than most to the organisation. In addition to its strong maritime background as a result of its strategic location at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta is also home to the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), which was established by the IMO to help ensure the continued availability of experts in maritime law to support its implementation and enforcement. A particular focus is placed on the international regulations adopted by IMO.

One of the top priorities for the IMO is working towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, it highlights that most of the elements of the 2030 Agenda will only be realised with a sustainable transport sector supporting world trade and facilitating the global economy.

The IMO/EBRD Memorandum of Understanding represents the first such arrangement to be established between IMO and a multilateral development bank.

In addition to providing investment financing, IMO and EBRD will work together under the agreement to provide technical advisory services, project preparation and planning, capacity building and institutional development, focusing initially on joint projects with the national authorities of Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.

Joint Projects

Gap analysis will be carried out with specific projects likely to focus on a range of safety- and environment-related issues, centred on implementing and enforcing IMO regulations. Possible projects include:

  • investment opportunities in sustainable transport,
  • safe transport of solid bulk cargoes and dangerous goods,
  • facilitation of maritime traffic and electronic business and implementation of a maritime single window,
  • identification of locations and business models for port reception facilities for ship-generated waste,
  • sensitivity mapping and oil spill exercises,
  • promoting acceptance and implementation of IMO’s 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety,
  • assessing emissions in ports and developing emission-reduction strategies,
  • looking at opportunities to improve ships in terms of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency, and
  • potential regulatory and policy reforms associated with ships using shore-based power sources in port (known as ‘cold ironing’).

Contact our Maritime Lawyers today

Maritime law remains very much at the core of our profession at GMX, and we represent the full spectrum of those involved in the maritime industry, be they offshore, ship and/or yacht owners, charterers, P&I Clubs, banks, yards, marine insurance underwriters, governments and brokers. We understand that night or day, the industry is at work and offer an emergency response team which is available around the clock. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

For expert legal advice on Maritime in Malta then contact our specialist lawyers in Malta today. Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre and Despoina Xynou have been involved in multiple cases in this area of law and will be more than glad to assist or schedule a call.