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United in the fight against corruption

On International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 (9 December), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the Organization’s support for the fight against corruption in all its forms.  

In his statement issued on the Day, Mr. Lim acknowledged that the maritime sector, which is vital for the post-COVID recovery, is exposed to the risk of corruption, and highlighted the efforts led by IMO’s Facilitation Committee, which is currently working to develop guidance to implement and embrace anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices and procedures.  

IMO Secretary-General Lim said:

“The International Maritime Organization supports the United Nations family in the fight against corruption in all its forms. 

The maritime industry is frequently exposed to the risk of corruption

The maritime industry is frequently exposed to the risk of corruption. Shipping is part of a vital multinational transport and logistics chain, delivering 11 billion tonnes of goods annually – including much-needed medicines and protective equipment during the pandemic. However, research has identified that seafarers may be subjected to corrupt demands, such as unlawful requests for payments to allow ships to enter and depart the port or disproportionate penalties applied for minor errors. This can lead to interruptions to normal operations, delaying ships and creating a risk to navigation and seafarer safety. The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) anonymous reporting mechanism has collected close to 40,000 reports of corrupt demands globally. This is most certainly a cause for concern.

  Corrupt practices impact legitimate shipping and port operations

Corrupt practices impact legitimate shipping and port operations and can lead to damaging effects on trade and investment. IMO’s Facilitation Committee addresses the ship/port interface and is currently working to develop guidance to implement and embrace anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices and procedures to assist all stakeholders.  

We stand #UnitedAgainstCorruption.”

Combating corruption is a challenge for all of us. We must not allow the COVID-19 crisis to provide an excuse for a lack of vigilance. The maritime sector will be the foundation for the post-COVID recovery, a recovery which must be inclusive and sustainable with integrity and accountability. On the International Anti-Corruption Day, we stand #United Against Corruption.”

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