International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the significant progress on the implementation of Black Sea Grain Initiative and the critical role of seafarers in delivering global trade during visits to Odesa, Ukraine and Constanta, Romania.

In Odesa earlier this week(29 August), Secretary-General Lim was able to see first-hand the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and hear how ship safety and port management is being implemented. "Secretary-General Lim boarded the MV Helga, one of the ships inspected under the Black Sea Grain Initiative and approved to journey to Odesa to pick up grains from Ukraine for export," says a statement from IMO.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (Left) was hosted by Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Ukraine

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (Left) was hosted by Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Ukraine

Secretary-General Lim was hosted by Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Ukraine and they had a fruitful discussion during the visit, the statement added.

"I am deeply appreciative to see the strong commitment of the seafarers to support the Initiative," says Lim. "The safety and well-being of seafarers is my top priority. I am pleased that the designated maritime humanitarian corridor under the initiative is allowing seafarers to do their job and deliver vital foodstuffs. IMO instruments, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, underpin safe and secure shipping everywhere and especially through the Black Sea."

The Black Sea Grain Initiative specifically allows for significant volumes of foodstuffs. The Joint Coordination Centre has been established in Istanbul with representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and Türkiye, under United Nations auspices, to coordinate the safe passage of ships of all flags, the statement said.

Total tonnage of grain and other foodstuffs exported from the three Ukrainian ports is 1,677,396 metric tonnes as of 1 September. A total of 146 voyages (78 inbound and 68 outbound) have been enabled so far.