During its meeting in London on 15-19 July, the Council of the IMO condemned the recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman, with IMO Secretary General urging all Member States to shed efforts to ensure maritime security in the region.
The Council namely emphasised the need for flag States and shipowners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the heighted security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.
Addressing the IMO Council, Secretary-General Kitack Lim emphasised that “threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.”
The remarks come amid a particularly intense period for diplomatic relations between the West and Iran which has brought disruption in a major shipping route for world oil supplies.
The IMO Council decision recognizes the strategic importance of the navigational routes in and near the Strait of Hormuz, and reminds all flag States, ship owners and operators of the need to implement appropriate security measures for their ships at all times, in the light of the recent attacks in and near the Strait of Hormuz,
To remind, on 12 May 2019, a total of four vessels, comprising two Saudi Arabian-flagged vessels, Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian-flagged vessel Andrea Victory and the Emirati flagged vessel A.Michel, were attacked off Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage.
Following a month, on 13 June 2019, the Marshall Islands flag Front Altair and Panama flag Kokuka Courageous were attacked, suffering hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.
The US accused Iran of being behind the coordinated attacks, but Tehran denied any involvement.
I strongly urge all Member States to redouble their efforts and to work together to find a long lasting solution to ensure the safety and security of international shipping around the globe and the protection of the marine environment. We owe it to our industry, which is indispensable to the world, and to our seafarers,
…Mr Lim added.
IMO’s mandatory maritime security measures, contained in the SOLAS and the ISPS Code, require ship owners and operators to implement appropriate measures to address security risks corresponding to a variety of operational factors, such as the ship’s location and destination.
The IMO Council is meeting for its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, UK, on 15-19 July. The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO, consisting of 40 Member States elected by the IMO Assembly.