South Africa organizes a national seminar on the prevention of stowaways in Cape Town
Stowaway incidents are a human tragedy that hurts the the national economy by increasing the cost of transporting import and export flows. Representatives of the South African government, ports and maritime sector attended a national seminar on the prevention of stowaways in Cape Town (27-29 June), organized by IMO in association with the South African Department of Transport .
For ship masters, shipping lines, shipowners and ship operators, stowaway events make it very difficult to disembark stowaways from ships and bring them into the care of the proper authorities. According to the International Group of P&I Clubs, there were 364 cases of stowaways worldwide between February 2020 and February 2021, with a total of 1,050 stowaways. Costs were estimated at US$8.9 million.
In order to prevent and deal with stowaway occurrences, seminar participants reviewed the issues that need to be addressed on board ships and in major ports in South Africa, as well as additional measures that are needed. .
The objective of all parties is to develop a holistic and integrated approach to risk management, port security and procedures allowing the disembarkation of stowaways. Practical solutions for owners, captains and crew on board ships are needed. The negative effects of stowaways on international trade and the South African economy will thus be mitigated.
United States Coast Guard, Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS), BIMCO, International Group of P&I Clubs, Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), representatives of the main South African ports and shipping companies (Mae) were also present at the seminar.
In order to better understand the provisions of the IMO Convention to facilitate international maritime traffic and to assist South Africa in its efforts to ratify the FAL Convention, a second two-day national seminar is being held on June 30 and July 1 with the main border agencies involved in the clearance of ships in South Africa. The aim is to help government organizations implement the convention, which is currently in the process of being formally ratified by South Africa.
Participants receive training on the idea, the actual planning and the execution of a maritime single window for the clearance of ships, which the FAL Convention will require from 2024. The main obstacles to digitization information the sharing of the ship-to-shore interface will be discussed by the participants.
IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Program funds the National Seminars (ITCP).