An advisory mission from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was in Ukraine from December 14 to 18 to assess the performance of the functions of a flag state, port state, and coastal state by Ukraine. This was necessary for preparation for an IMO audit, which will become mandatory in 2016, the press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure announced.

Representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ukrmorrichinspektsiya, Gosgidrografiya, the Shipping Register of Ukraine, the Seafarer Training and Certification Inspectorate, and the Administration of Seaports of Ukraine participated in the organization of the mission’s work.

International experts familiarized themselves with the national legislation on shipping safety and prevention of pollution of the marine environment, as well as the general state of implementation of the IMO’s conventions. The mission had the opportunity to observe how the requirements of the conventions are fulfilled in practice in the port of Odesa, the Shipping Regulation Center, the pilot station, the Harbormaster Service, diploma/passport department, and the State Maritime Coordination and Rescue Center.

The mission drew conclusions on the outcome of its work at a final meeting on 18 December. In general, the IMO representatives positively assessed the activities of the enterprises facilitating performance of the functions of the Maritime Administration and noted the high professional level of the specialists at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ukrmorrehinspektsiya, and state enterprises, the press release states. At the same time, the mission highlighted the absence of a unified maritime administration in Ukraine that could fully ensure full adherence to international standards and bear consolidated responsibility in front of other maritime powers and the IMO. The functions of such an administration are currently distributed among several organizations and duplicated in some cases.

The report on the outcome of the experts’ work will be submitted to the IMO. The next mission is expected in Ukraine in approximately 6-8 months. Until then, the country will need to take the comments of the consultants into account and ensure full performance of the functions of a state flag, port state, and coastal state in accordance with the convention and other instruments of the IMO.