What is the IMO procedure for the designation of PSSAs and the adoption of APMs ?

An application for PSSA designation should be submitted to the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in accordance with the procedures set forth in the PSSA Guidelines and the rules adopted by IMO for submission of documents. The MEPC will assess each application on a case-by-case basis to determine whether identification of the area as a PSSA and the implementation of any proposed APMs are warranted. If appropriate, following its assessment, the MEPC may approve, in principle, the designation of the PSSA and will inform the appropriate Sub-Committee or Committee responsible for considering the proposed APMs (most commonly, this is the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue). After approval of the APMs by the appropriate Sub Committee or Committee, the MEPC may designate the area as a PSSA. After designation of a PSSA, relevant information is communicated to the maritime industry and APMs are identified on charts in accordance with the symbols and methods of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).