The 15th committee meeting of the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU) on Port State Control was held at Port Elizabeth in South Africa from 3-6 September 2012.
Mr Wilfred Kagimbi of Kenya Maritime Authority chaired the meeting, with delegates from nine member authorities, including Mr Alex Schultz-Altmann, AMSA’s Manager of Ship Inspections and Registration and Mr Abdul Hannan, AMSA’s Head of Inspections, in attendance.
In his opening speech, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, the Executive Head of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, mentioned the importance of port State control for South Africa as 98 per cent of its trade is dependent on shipping.
The committee’s robust discussion demonstrated the growing capacity of some members of the IOMOU.
However, a number of members reported continuing difficulty in implementing the objectives of the IOMOU with financial constraints limiting their access to training. To assist in overcoming these difficulties, AMSA was pleased to present $250,000 in funding under AusAID’s Public Sector Linkage Program.
The funding will be used to build capacity for port State control in the Indian Ocean Region through a three-year project from 2013-16 to facilitate technical cooperation in the area.
The project will be managed by the secretariat of the IOMOU and an agreement between AMSA and the IOMOU Secretariat will be finalised in the near future. In addition, the committee agreed to form a steering committee (comprising Australia, France, India, Iran and South Africa) to oversee the implementation of the project, and monitor the use of the funds. The Chairman thanked the Australian authorities (AusAID and AMSA) for the funding of the project which he hoped will assist in improving maritime safety standards in the IOR.
Mr Alex Schultz-Altmann presented a cheque to Mr Bimalesh Ganguli (Secretary), Mr Wilfred Kagimbi (Chairman) and Mr Dilip Mehrotra (Deputy Secretary) of the IOMOU.