First Singaporean Takes on IMO MEPC Role

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Credits: Hunters Race/ Unsplash
  • This marks the first time a Singaporean has assumed the Vice-Chair appointment for the IMO MEPC since its inception in 1985. 
  • The MEPC addresses environmental issues under the IMO’s remit including the decarbonization of the global maritime sector.
  • Singapore has played an active role in the organization, including to drive digitalization and decarbonization efforts, enhancing navigational safety.

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) officer, Mr Tan Hanqiang, currently First Secretary (Maritime), High Commission of the Republic of Singapore to the United Kingdom (UK), has been appointed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as Vice-Chair of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) with effect from 16 December 2022. Mr. Tan succeeds Mr. Harry Conway (Liberia). 

New Vice-Chair

This marks the first time a Singaporean has assumed the Vice-Chair appointment for the IMO MEPC since its inception in 1985. 

Previously, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Operations), Captain M Segar, served as the Vice-Chair of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee from 2012 to 2015. 

As one of the five main Committees at the IMO, the MEPC addresses environmental issues under the IMO’s remit including the decarbonization of the global maritime sector, control and prevention of ship-sourced pollution such as air pollutants, as well as matters such as ballast water management and pollution preparedness and response. 

Climate change efforts

The appointment is a strong recognition of Singapore’s commitment to a multilateral, rules-based approach for international shipping and supports Singapore’s long-standing efforts as a bridge-builder to bring together parties for constructive dialogue and consensus-building at various international fora, including climate change efforts. 

With the impact of climate change and the maritime industry’s transformation to meet global targets for decarbonization, Singapore will also support the IMO by sharing our expertise and co-developing global standards with Member States to drive the decarbonization of the maritime sector. 

Former position

Mr. Tan has been Singapore’s Liaison Officer to the IMO since 2019, during which he has represented Singapore at IMO-related meetings with distinction. 

He has worked extensively with the IMO Secretariat on various IMO-Singapore projects such as NextGEN and Future of Shipping Conferences. 

Prior to his stint in the UK, Mr. Tan held positions in policy work pertaining to international relations, port development and port regulations at the MPA.  

Safeguard marine environment

“I am honored and humbled to take on the role of Vice-Chair of the Marine Environment Protection Committee and look forward to supporting the Chair and working with fellow Member States to advance the interests of the international maritime community to safeguard the marine environment and bring the maritime industry closer to the United Nations sustainable development goals and maritime decarbonization efforts through partnership, and mutually-beneficial initiatives in an inclusive and progressive manner,” said Mr. Tan. 

Digitalization efforts

Singapore has been a member of the IMO Council since 1993. As an IMO Council member, Singapore has played an active role in the organization to advance the interests of the international maritime community, including to drive digitalization and decarbonization efforts, enhance navigational safety, promote efficient and sustainable shipping, and protect the marine environment. 

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Source: MPA

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