BIMCO has, together with a number of European countries and international organizations, submitted a document to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), offering support for new output on the mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea.
Coastal States in the EU, as well as in the rest of the world, are regularly faced with the consequences of container losses off their shores, such as in the wake of severe weather conditions. As the consequences can be very negative for maritime safety and the environment, BIMCO is co-sponsor of a document supporting new output, and drawing attention to the operational system at EU level for the detection and reporting of containers lost at sea.
The operational system can help enhance the positioning, tracking and recovery of such containers which could serve as an inspiration for a system at the international level.
Currently, at EU level, the issues of detection, reporting, positioning and tracking containers are covered in the EU legislation on Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information Systems and in Investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector.
For the purposes of reporting containers lost at sea, a reporting template has been elaborated with the participation of the EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Maritime Safety Agency. The template has been systematically used since 2012. The system is operational, and the required incident reporting is used to share information among all concerned coastal States, as well as to provide the necessary navigational warnings to mariners.
Three steps to improve procedures are supported by the co-sponsors of the document submitted to the IMO; the establishment of a system of formatted declarations, an obligation to report through a standardised procedure and lastly, additional information to be provided by possible means to track and communicate their location.
Co-sponsors, together with BIMCO, are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, EC, BIMCO and World Shipping Council (WSC).