The IMO Council, meeting for its 109th session in London has endorsed, in principle, a restructuring of IMO's Sub-Committees.
The Council meeting was the first “PaperSmart” meeting for the Organization, and was considered a success by delegates. Delegates were invited to make the meeting "paperless" (PaperSmart), to reduce costs and make IMO meetings "environment friendly". Delegates were asked to come to the meeting with their own laptops, tablet computers, etc., together with their own Internet cables to connect to wired access points in the main meeting room. An enhanced wireless facility (Wifi) was provided for improved wireless access to the IMO documents site (IMODOCS) and to the Internet.
The restructuring is part of a review and reform process initiated by Secretary-General Mr. Koji Sekimizu aimed at ensuring the Organization meets current challenges as a forward-looking, efficient and cost-conscious Organization.
IMO’s main technical Committees, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) were invited to consider the proposals, which could see the number of Sub-Committees reduced from nine to seven, potentially saving four meeting weeks per biennium.
Under the proposals:
• The Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) would be renamed the Sub-Committee on the Environment
• The Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) would be renamed as the Sub-Committee on Cargoes
• The Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR) and the Sub-Committee on Navigation (NAV) would be amalgamated
• The Ship Design and Equipment, Fire Protection, and Stability, Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety Sub-Committees to be amalgamated into two new technical sub-committees
• The Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) would be renamed the Sub-Committee on Implementation
For the time being, the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Is unaffected by the proposals.