COVID-19: Shipping must continue, says IMO

The IMO has commended member states’ efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus Photo: IMOThe IMO has commended member states’ efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus Photo: IMO

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council has urged that shipping continues despite the coronavirus pandemic during its thirty-first extraordinary session, the first not to be held live in organisation’s history.

The Council also expressed its appreciation to the Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, for his swift action in response to the pandemic and to the all workers in the maritime and aviation communities for enabling international trade to continue.

Recognising that delivering vital goods, including medical equipment, was critical in responding to the pandemic, the Council urged flag and port states to ensure the smooth operation of maritime traffic and availability of shipping services and to protect the welfare of . The Council also endorsed a pragmatic approach for repairs, survey and licensing of seafarers and encouraged governments to share best practices in keeping workers safe.

The Council also requested member states to submit proposals to the thirty-second extraordinary session on measures to ensure that shipping services were not unnecessarily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future meetings

The Council also asked the Secretary-General to submit reports to a future session on working remotely and holding meetings by teleconference and to provide a preliminary analysis of the budgetary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the thirty-second extraordinary session, with a full report made available to the 124th session of the Council.

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