The London based International
Maritime Organization has warned of digital disruption taking place in the
shipping industry and said the regulatory framework should be in place before
its strikes the industry.
Addressing the Opening of the 30 the assembly of IMO at London last week,
the Secretary General of the organization Kitack Lim said the rapidly
increasing pace of change in every sphere raised a fundamental issue since
technology is expected to move far quicker than the regulatory process.
Digital disruption will arrive in the shipping world very soon; and, when
it does, IMO must be ready," Mr Lim said.
me, this means the regulatory framework for shipping must be based firmly
around goals and functions rather than prescriptive solutions. This is the only
way to ensure that measures adopted by IMO are not rendered obsolete by the
time-lag between adoption and entry-into-force. I know we have already made
good steps in that direction but we must go further and faster in the coming
The Organization as a whole needed to become more effective, more nimble
and more adaptive, Mr Lim said, drawing attention to his determination to push
forward a "knowledge-based organization" concept, embracing data in
the Secretariat’s work and in the decision-making processes.
are in the era of digitalization and at the United Nations level we are already
looking at frontier issues that include emerging technologies such as
artificial intelligence, and the benefits they could have in society as a
whole, and to remain relevant," Mr Lim said.
For IMO, we need to have more detailed and deeper analysis of statistics
and data so that we can really understand underlying trends and causal factors
behind shipping casualties. We must make sure that additions and amendments to
the regulatory framework are also based, wherever possible, on relevant
statistics, studies and analysis. This would pave the way for better
regulation, one that not only takes into account the work carried out to reduce
administrative burdens, but to avoid disproportionate requirements, as well as
addressing obsolete and unnecessary ones."
concluded his address by referring to the forthcoming anniversary in 2018,
marking 70 years since the Convention establishing IMO was adopted in March
1948. "The theme we have selected for next year—"Our heritage - better shipping for a better future"—looks
both at the past and into the next 70 years that lie ahead. It provides an
opportunity to reflect and showcase how IMO has adapted over the years as a
crucial player to the global supply chain," he said, as per a release.
Secretary-General Lim has urged member states to seize the opportunity to set
bold and ambitious goals when they adopt an initial strategy for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping in 2018.
1,500 delegates from IMO member states, international governmental and
non-governmental organizations attended the 30th session of the IMO Assembly
meet from November 27 to December 6.
outlined the key elements of the new "Strategic Plan for the
Organization" for 2018 to 2023, which has been adopted by the Assembly.
seven strategic directions point us now towards more effective rule-making and
implementation processes by integrating new and advancing technology to respond
to our challenges, among others, to increase ship safety, including addressing
new emerging technologies such as autonomous vessels, our contribution to
combat climate change, engagement in ocean governance, mitigation of cyber
crimes, and facilitation of international trade, whilst continuing to take due
consideration on the human element factor," Mr Lim said.
He highlighted his
ambition to transform IMO into a "knowledge-based organization", with
appropriate analysis to support and improve the already effective rule-making
process and enhance implementation.