Starting in 2026, IMO is introducing a reporting requirement for containers floating at sea
Starting in 2026, ships will be required to report the jettisoning of containers at sea to other ships in the vicinity and to the nearest coastal state.
IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has reached an agreement on this principle. Next year, the proposal will be on the agenda of the MSC’s fall meeting.
If it adopts the proposal, the reporting requirement will take effect Jan. 1, 2026.
A ship that loses on sea containers must also report this to the flag state. The latter in turn must share the incident with the IMO, which is developing a separate registration system for this purpose.
That will be part of the UN agency’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).
The reporting obligation will be included in two IMO conventions, Safety of life at sea (Solas) and Maritime Pollution (Marpol).
Sea containers lost overboard can pose a danger to shipping and safety at sea, according to the IMO.
Especially for yachts, fishing vessels and other small craft. In addition, container losses can cause serious pollution. The “MSC Zoe” is also a well-known example of this, with miles of polluted Wadden beaches.
According to WCS, World Shipping Council, an average of 1382 containers were lost per year between 2008 – 2019. This is a fraction of the 200 million containers shipped per year.