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  • 2017 May 5 13:19

    Russia acknowledges IMO as the only international regulator of shipping – Victor Olersky (photo)

    When speaking at the Third Joint Ministerial Conference on Port State Control in Vancouver (Canada), Victor Olersky, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot), confirmed once more the position of Russia according to which International Maritime Organization (IMO) should be the only international regulator of shipping while none of the regional approaches to setting international rules are not acceptable, says press center of RF Transport Ministry.

    According to Victor Olersky, regional regulation of issues related to reduction of GHG emissions from ships will not bring the expected result. It will only redistribute cargo flows in favour of less environmentally friendly types of transport, like road transport.

    Victor Olersky also referred to port state control as an effective instrument to enforce international norms and regulations. Its mechanisms are more effective if countries’ activities are coordinated on a regional basis. For geographical reasons, Russia is a member state in three regional agreements on port state control: Paris, Tokyo and Black Sea MOUs on Port State Control.

    Deputy Minister of Transport officially invited the members/observers of Tokyo MOU and IMO Secretary-General to the meeting of PSC Committee of the Tokyo MOU which is to be held in Vladivostok in September 2017.

    Victor Olersky expressed the support to the efforts of Paris and Tokyo MOUs on modification of the methods applied for calculation of ships’ inspection results when making white/grey/black lists of flag states and called on simple, clear and pragmatic approach.

    The official also called on IMO to apply a more thoughtful and cautious approach to the development of new regulations to ensure compliance with them by the time stipulated. According to him, IMO sometimes approves regulations that cannot be met by the fixed date (like requirement for loaded container weight verification and Manila amendments to the STCW Convention).

    Victor Olersky believes that Polar Code that has taken effect recently is a good instrument and there is no reason to revise it in the nearest time which is the idea of some environmental organizations willing to impose restrictions on the use of heavy oil and oil products in shipping. Such restrictions could just endanger indigenous population of the Arctic regions. He said the proposal on regulation of soot emissions from ships is not well-reasoned either as the share of shipping in such emissions is very small.

    E-documentation, e-navigation and crewless ships are becoming a reality. Port state control authorities should be prepared for innovations, said Victor Olersky. “When we meet for this conference in 13 years, e-documents and self-operative vessels will be a routine. Both MOUs should think about operation in such conditions right now,” emphasized Deputy Minister of Transport.

    Victor Olersky also reminded that seafarers play the key role in shipping and its safety. Port state control should be arranged in a way ensuring no additional problems for crews with the appearance of inspectors on board the ships. Instead, they should help correct faults and ensure proper level of safety for seafarers and vessels.

    The Third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control was held on May 3 to 4, 2017. The First and the Second Joint Ministerial Conferences were also held in Vancouver in 1998 and in 2004. IMO was represented by Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

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