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This article summarizes and discusses the main issues addressed at two events hosted at the World Maritime University–Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute in Malmö, Sweden in the first half of 2019. The first event was the International Workshop on bbnj: Toward Development of a Balanced, Effective and Universal International Agreement on 7 February, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, and the second event was the 43rd colp Annual Conference on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Intractable Challenges & Potential Solutions co-hosted with the Center for Oceans Law and Policy (colp), University of Virginia School of Law and The Nippon Foundation. The two events covered topics including marine genetic resources – access and benefit sharing, area-based management tools including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, capacity building and transfer of technology, cross-cutting issues, and Arctic concerns.

In: Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy


The continuing reduction of Arctic sea ice has significant implications for longer seasons of navigation. The international community has shown growing concern over the potential environmental impacts that are associated with the increased presence of various types of vessels in Arctic waters. States, particularly user States of the Arctic shipping routes, are expected to diligently implement relevant international regulations of shipping, most importantly MARPOL, to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from shipping.

Ports located within East Asian States, notably China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, have the potential to become major departing and destination ports for ships transiting through Arctic waters between Asian and Europe and North America. According to Article 218 of the Law of the Sea Convention, port States may exercise enforcement jurisdiction over discharge violations that occurred outside its maritime zones of applicable international rules and standards. This paper argues that the East Asian port States should be more proactive in taking extraterritorial enforcement measures of ship-source pollution that is in violation of MARPOL and other application international regulations occurring during transit of the Arctic Ocean.

Open Access
In: Peaceful Maritime Engagement in East Asia and the Pacific Region


The use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by vessels in Arctic waters present unique challenges to the fragile marine environment and vulnerable Arctic communities. Discussions on the regulation of HFO use in Arctic waters have undergone several transformations, from strong resistance by several states before and during the negotiations of the Polar Code, to stalemate, to reluctant evaluation of options, before the emergence of a potential mandatory ban. An HFO ban is expected to be adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 2021 at the earliest. This article examines the formation, development and application of the ban on HFO use by vessels in Arctic waters, and discusses the potential effectiveness of the ban.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
In: Regulation on Navigation of Foreign Vessels
In: Asia-Pacific and the Implementation of the Law of the Sea
In: Global Commons and the Law of the Sea
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The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (unclos) is widely viewed as a “constitutive” instrument that provides a legal framework that is being filled in, rounded out and complemented by existing and subsequently enacted international agreements and customary international law. The International Maritime Organization (imo) is the preeminent international organization with competence to establish international rules and standards for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. In other words, on matters relating to international shipping, unclos outlines the rights and obligations of States parties in various maritime zones that must be exercised and fulfilled through implementation instruments under the auspices of imo.

This article will examine and discuss the relationship between unclos and imo instruments. First, it will provide an overview of imo, including its historical background, its mandates and structure, and the major instruments that are under its auspices. It will then look at the relationship between unclos and imo, and discuss how imo and its instruments have been incorporated into unclos. Furthermore, it will discuss the role of imo and its instruments in assisting States to exercise their rights and fulfil their obligations under unclos.

In: Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy
In: Governance of Arctic Shipping