ABU DHABI, 8th December 2022 (WAM) — The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) and the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (IGP&I) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide a prompt and efficient response to serious maritime incidents or accidents and for the possible removal of the wreckage caused by the mishap.
In the presence of Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and Nick Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of IGP&I, signed the MoU. The signing ceremony was attended by several other officials from both parties, various maritime authorities, companies, and UAE ports at the HQ of the International Maritime Organisation in London.
Al Mazrouei said, “The UAE is considered one of the key members of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and has played an integral role in the evolution of maritime safety and response to accidents. In the past, the country has been a founding member of the Riyadh MoU that aims to achieve maritime safety and effective and efficient maritime transport in the Arabian Gulf region. We continually strive to improve the safety of ships and seafarers. Our partnership with IGP&I is a commendable step that aligns with our goals and supports the IMO’s cause of protecting the ships, environment, and crew. We are certain that this MoU will not only improve the situation in the region, but will also have an impact internationally as UAE is a member of IMO Council in Category B, alongside countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany and others.”
The MoU will positively impact the shipping industry in more than one way. UAE is one of the major international maritime centres and the country’s ports are some of the busiest in the world, catering to over 25,000 ships and handling about 17 million containers every year. IGP&I provides liability coverage for about 90 per cent of the world’s ocean-going tonnage. The partnership thus can help the industry on not only the safety front, but also on financial, environmental and other avenues as well.
Al Malek explained, “The UAE holds a key position when it comes to the maritime sector. The country connects shipping lines from all over the world, and its ports handle thousands of ships annually, which speaks volumes of the importance of the UAE in the global shipping sector. This MoU will help us improve our safety measures and prepare for better and prompt responses in case of any emergency. Though international organisations are working for the safety and well-being of seafarers, it is our responsibility, as a part of this industry, to ensure the safety of our frontline workers and smooth maritime operations under all circumstances.”
Nick Shaw said, “It is an honour for the IGP&I to establish stronger ties with the UAE, as a key regional player in the international maritime industry. We firmly believe that this collaboration represents an important step towards improving safety and helping to preserve the marine environment. Since we cover a wide range of liabilities, including loss of life and personal injury to crew, passengers and others on board, pollution, cargo loss and damage, wreck removal and other claims, we are looking forward to working with the UAE to help minimise the damage caused by such incidents in this part of the world.”
According to the MoU, training sessions and workshops will be offered to industry professionals. In case of serious accidents, MoEI and IGP&I member Clubs will jointly participate in response and Post-Incident Assessment Activities. A prompt and efficient response will be provided to serious maritime incidents or accidents, particularly those that include actual or possible wreck removal operations, environmental damage or the threat of the same.