Abuja MoU: Harmonizing port State control and flag State implementation
Heads of Maritime Administrations in West and Central Africa have discussed port State control and flag State implementation during a three-day regional workshop in Lagos, Nigeria (9-11 May).
The main objective of the workshop was to provide a platform to create awareness on the duties and responsibilities of the Heads of Maritime Administrations on port State control matters and to exchange views and discuss experiences to enhance the harmonization of port State control (PSC) activities and flag State implementation in the Abuja MoU region. They also discussed information sharing capabilities.
The Abuja MoU is one of ten regional Port State control regimes.
The high-level workshop was a collaboration between IMO, the Secretariat of Abuja MoU, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigeria. Participants were more than 100 officials from 20* of the 22 Member States of Abuja MoU.
The Heads of Maritime Administrations were urged to take immediate action in giving effect to Corrective Action Plans following the IMO Member State Audit (IMSAS) of States in the region. To support gender equality, they were encouraged to include women when nominating personnel for IMSAS auditors following the applicable training.
Specific workshop outcomes included:
Familiarization on the need for an effective port State control regime and the risks and dangers of not doing so.
Enhanced procedures for port State control inspections, requirements for port State control officers (PSCOs) and understanding of the functioning and harmonization work among regional PSC regimes.
A progress report on the Abuja MoU on port State activities and Near Coastal Voyage Code.
Appreciation of IMO’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP) activities and how they relate to the region.
A draft assessment format for eventual consideration by the Abuja MoU Committee was developed. Participants were encouraged and guided on how to complete and submit an IMO flag State performance self-assessment form.
Three member States (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritania) made commitments to submit their letters of acceptance to attain full membership of Abuja MoU.
*The participating countries included Angola, Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Togo.