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  • 2019 November 23

    Kitack Lim: “We are very much concerned about the beginning of 2020 in part of marine fuel, but we continue to look up at the situation”

    The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Kitack Lim visited Moscow at the invitation of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and took part in Transport of Russia Exhibition. In a short interview with PortNews IAA Mr. Kitack Lim spoke about main challenges the industry is facing.

    - Dear Mr. Kitack Lim, thank you for the opportunity to ask you some questions from IAA PortNews. Our interview that we have had during your last visit to Russia was of much interest to our readers. Since we have limited in time due to your busy schedule, let me dwell only on the most relevant issues.

    Q: What challenges will the shipping industry face because of the entering into force IMO 2020, the Sulfur limit regulation?

    A: There are a few areas: the first is non-availability of compliant fuel oil, the second is the quality of fuel oil. The third is Port State Control. In my opinion, these are the main challenges, but we, the IMO in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, have been preparing, and have put a lot of effort to get ready for these challenges. Regarding the availability of fuel oil, we are discussing concerns expressed by the shipping industry with oil refineries, bunkering services, and other stakeholders to mitigate these concerns. Regarding potential safety issues, we have been cooperating with ISO and discussing all safety aspects within the meetings of our technical bodies to ensure a smooth implementation of IMO 2020. We are producing a very important guidelines for port State control to support the enforcement of the global sulphur cap. With all our actions and initiatives, we are focusing on minimizing the impact to the industry and to our Member States as well, and overall I believe we have made significant progress here.

    Q: What do you expect after January 1, 2020?

    A: There are still some concerns about the beginning of the next year. We continue to monitor the situation to support our Member States and the industry in every way possible.

    Q: What do you think about Russian policy for the development of the Northern Sea Route?

    A: Actually, it’s inevitably expanding, and I believe there is good progress. I particularly appreciate the Russian Government’s contribution to enabling the navigation through the Northern Sea Route. This is a very important route, impacted by a changing climate, and the related melting of ice, therefore inevitably there will be more opportunities for international shipping to utilize the Arctic route. So, we all have to work together, with the Russian Government and all other Arctic States, in terms of safety and environmental protection. So, we are very much welcoming the growing opportunities provided through the Northern Sea Route.

    - Thank you, Mr. Kitack Lim for the interview! We wish you good luck for your second term as IMO Secretary General!

    During his visit to the Transport of Russia Exhibition, the IMO Secretary-General met with the management of PAO Sovcomflot and the Russian Chamber of Shipping. Mr. Kitack Lim also visited the JSC Vostochny Port’s booth, where he was presented with the existing project of the coal handling complex Phase 3. Mr. Kitack Lim visited the coal complex P3 construction site in 2017.