UAE contributes to IMO legal system to strengthen maritime industry

The UAE recently participated in the 109th Session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Legal Committee Meetings to discuss key maritime sector issues and international best practices.

This underscores the country’s commitment to serving the objectives of the IMO, developing the global maritime industry and promoting its competitiveness.

The UAE plays an active role in developing maritime strategies and policies, setting standards that regulate industry operations, and strengthening its legislation. By collaborating with IMO member states, the UAE aims to serve the shipping industry and facilitate the progress of international trade.

The UAE has assumed a great responsibility in this regard since it was first elected to the IMO Executive Council in Category B in 2017. The UAE has been re-elected to the IMO Executive Council three times from suite and obtained the highest number of votes. in the last IMO elections held in December 2021. This reflects the degree of confidence that IMO members have in the UAE’s impact on the global maritime industry, as they have the expertise to catalyze its advancement.

HE Eng. Hassan Mohamed Juma Al-Mansoori, Undersecretary for Infrastructure and Transport Sector at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “While most countries in the world are ranked according to their qualifications maritime, such as a flag country like Panama, a port country like Singapore or a coastal country like Norway, the United Arab Emirates possesses all three qualities.

“The flag of the United Arab Emirates is a model of respect for international maritime agreements and treaties; the country’s ports are among the largest and most advanced ports in the world; and its coastline is over 160 kilometers long, including 230 islands that are home to many endangered aquatic species. Thus, we can offer various solutions to improve the capabilities of the global maritime industry. We are proud of the distinguished experiences of the Emirati people; whose knowledge and skills are up to the highest international maritime standards.

Al-Mansoori added: “The participation of the United Arab Emirates in the meetings of the IMO Legal Committee adds value to the discussions, as the Emirates contributes to strengthening maritime safety and security regulations, as well as to solve problems of concern to the global maritime community. Every year, more than 25,000 ships from all over the world arrive at ports in the United Arab Emirates. As a member of the IMO Executive Council, we aim to use our industry expertise to address the challenges facing the sector and meet its needs. »

HE Mohamed Khamis Al-Kaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IMO, said: “As a member of the Executive Council of the IMO in category B, we present constructive proposals that benefit the global maritime sector and enrich the work of IMO. At the last meeting of the Legal Committee, we addressed a pressing issue in the maritime sector related to the development of a flexible and dynamic mechanism to calculate the value of inflation when estimating civil liability within the framework of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC). This convention was first put in place in the 1970s, revised in 1996 and amended again in 2012.

“In accordance with the Convention, inflation has been multiplied, but without a clear mechanism to calculate the value of claims based on inflation rates. The proposal was accepted and work is underway to study and develop the best methodologies for assessing the need to modify liability limits in liability and indemnification agreements such as the 1976 Limitation Convention. liability for maritime claims, as amended by the 1996 Protocol.”

Al-Kaabi added: “During the meeting, our proposal to form a team to prepare an in-depth study on the fraudulent registration of ships was accepted. The study will be based on several questions that the UAE presented to the Committee. The UAE also put forward other proposals, including the formation of a joint team of the Maritime Security Committee, Legal Committee and Facilitation Committee, to address common issues related to Maritime Autonomous Surface Vessels (MASS ). Additionally, the team will prepare guidelines for claims under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001.”

Jasmin Fichte, Founder and Managing Partner of Fichte & Co., said: “The development of the legal system is one of the greatest challenges facing the maritime industry worldwide. The process takes years, making trade laws in many cases outdated and out of context, as if they belonged to another era. The UAE’s proposal to make international agreements and treaties flexible, self-updating and changeable based on current trade and economic data is very important. This will greatly help ship owners and various other players in the maritime industry who are suffering from laws that are not updated with current developments.

“We hope that the UAE will continue to update legal regulations related to the maritime sector. At Fichte & Co., we are ready to lend our support through the expertise of our consultants to contribute to the efforts of the Department of Energy and Infrastructure and its success in developing the global maritime industry.

All of the proposals put forward by the UAE to develop the IMO legal system will significantly enhance the capabilities of the maritime industry. Maritime laws are a decisive factor in attracting investors and companies to inject capital into the sector.

Furthermore, there is a need to develop new legal systems that keep pace with new and emerging technologies that are gradually being developed and used to modernize maritime infrastructure globally, including autonomous vessels and artificial intelligence.