16th Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies session held in China
As Secretariat of APHoMSA, Australia has a central role in facilitating the forum.
This year’s APHoMSA welcomed the attendance of Mr Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), who presented the keynote address, focusing on domestic passenger ship safety and loss of migrants at sea. Participants also endorsed offers for Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tuvulu to become official members, bringing APHoMSA’s total membership to 23. In total, 15 Member States and territories were represented, as were 4 standing observer organisations: IMO; ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre; International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA); and the Secretariat of the Tokyo MoU.
The forum built on improved governance reforms made over the past few years. Support was also provided for a number of matters of significance for Australia, including:
- Australia’s submission to the IMO to extend the existing Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Particularly sensitive Sea (PSSA) to the south-west Coral Sea
- Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) plans to approach the IMO to establish a PSSA in the southern waters of the Milne Bay Province
- sharing of experiences between members of implementation of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code)
- requesting technical assistance from the IMO to assist APHoMSA members with preparations for upcoming IMO mandatory audits
- increased plans for cooperation between Member States to progress areas of mutual interest.