LONDON, U.K.–Kitack Lim, incoming Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body responsible for the safety and security of global shipping, has been announced as the opening keynote speaker at the ICHCA International 2016 conference, taking place from 29 February to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain.
The biennial conference will focus on safety, security and efficiency along the maritime container and cargo handling chain in the era of bigger ships and cargo concentration, with cross-sector debate from key industry and institutional stakeholders.
Lim, who was elected in June during the 114th session of the IMO Council, takes up his new position at the IMO on January 1, 2016 for an initial term of 4 years. He was the President of Busan Port Authority, South Korea’s largest port, prior to his election as the Secretary-General of IMO. Lim began attending IMO meetings in 1986 as part of the Republic of Korea’s delegation and served as Korea’s Deputy Permanent Representative to IMO from 2006-2009, among other senior maritime and port administration roles.
As the international NGO trade association for cargo handling, ICHCA has been an active participant at IMO over many decades. Among many other ongoing issues, the association has been deeply involved in development of the new SOLAS rules on container weight verification, coming into force on July 1, together with the new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice on Packing of Cargo Transport Units. Lim is expected to comment on these issues as part of his broader keynote remarks on challenges and priorities for global shipping and maritime trade.
Container weight verification, packing and securing will be the focus of a full half-day session during the ICHCA conference and IMO has also confirmed that Joseph Westwood-Booth, Senior Deputy Director, Sub-Division for Marine Technology and Cargoes, Maritime Safety Division, will take part in this focused panel.
ICHCA has just issued FAQs on the new SOLAS VGM rules jointly with Global Shippers Forum (GSF), World Shipping Council (WSC) and TT Club. GSF and TT Club, both members of ICHCA, will also take part in the conference with senior speakers confirmed.
“We are honoured that Kitack Lim has made time to attend and address our conference just after he takes up his position as head of IMO,” said ICHCA International Chairman David Bendall. “The participation of both Mr. Lim and Mr. Westwood-Booth will further serve to strengthen the crucial dialogue between industry and regulators to ensure the safety, security and sustainability of global shipping and maritime cargo chain operations.”
The high-level event will feature two days of conference sessions and a site visit to the Port of Barcelona, one of the Mediterranean’s largest and most diverse cargo handling and logistics hubs. There will also be extensive networking opportunities including two drinks receptions.