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REPUBLIC OF Marine Notice
THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
OFFICE OF THE
MARITIME ADMINISTRATOR Rev. 7/10
TO: ALL SHIPOWNERS, OPERATORS, MASTERS AND OFFICERS OF MERCHANT SHIPS AND RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS
SUBJECT: International Safety Management (ISM) Code.
References: (a) IMO Resolution A.741(18), International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention, 1993, as amended, including by IMO Resolution MSC.273(85), 2008
(b) SOLAS 74 Chapter IX, Management for the Safe Operation of Ships
(c) IMO Resolution A.1022(26), Guidelines on the Implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations
(d) IMO Resolution A.739(18), Guidelines for the Authorization of Recognized Organizations (RO) acting on behalf of the Administration, as amended by IMO Resolution MSC.208(81)
(e) MSC/Circ.1059-MEPC/Circ.401, Procedures Concerning Observed ISM Code Major Nonconformities
Amendments to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code entered into force
1 July 2010. They are contained in IMO Resolution MSC. 273(85) (see reference (a) above). The purpose of this Notice is to advise owners, operators, and Masters of Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) registered vessels of these amendments so that their ISM Safety Management System (SMS) can be reviewed and any necessary adjustments made and implemented prior to the next scheduled audits of Companies and ships. The amendments modify §§ 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and the Appendix of the ISM Code. This Notice supersedes Rev. 9/08 and should be considered as a new Notice due to extensive revisions.
In general, this Notice provides the RMI Maritime Administrator’s (the “Administrator”) requirements for compliance with the ISM Code, the international standard. It provides the RMI safety management requirements for Companies and vessels seeking ISM Code certification; and the Administrator’s policies and interpretations regarding application and implementation of the ISM Code.
The amendment that will have the greatest impact on a Company’s SMS is that to ISM Code § 126.96.36.199 as it introduces a mandatory requirement for a Company to assess all identified risks to their vessels, personnel and the environment and to establish appropriate safeguards. While this provision does not specifically require a Company to adopt a formal approach to risk management, it is clearly implied. The Administrator does not plan to issue separate guidelines on risk assessments. There are many methods of and approaches to conducting such assessments. See Appendix I.
It is a Company’s responsibility to: 1) demonstrate that a systematic examination of their operations has been conducted; 2) identify all areas where things may go wrong; and 3) develop and implement adequate controls to address these risk areas. The means by which a risk assessment is achieved must be described in a Company’s safety and environmental protection policies as required by ISM Code § 2.1.
Sections 7 and 8 of the ISM Code have been rephrased to clarify the requirements for: 1) established procedures, plans and instructions (including checklists) for key shipboard operations concerning the safety of personnel, ship and protection of the environment; and 2) the identification of potential emergency shipboard situations and procedures to respond to them.
Another consequential amendment is to ISM Code § 12.1 which requires a Company to conduct internal safety audits onboard and ashore at intervals not exceeding 12 months. Even though the Administrator's requirements for this have been in place since the original implementation of the ISM Code, this is now a regulated requirement. Also amended are ISM Code § 10.3, in which the requirement for a procedure to “identify equipment and technical systems…” is removed and replaced with a requirement for a simple identification of those systems; and ISM Code § 13 in which the renewal verification requirements for the extension of validity of the Safety Management Certificate (SMC) are addressed to harmonize with those of SOLAS certificates and the International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC).
Importantly, the RMI National requirements and recent amendments outlined below are not intended to be all-inclusive or to prohibit a Company from incorporating or requiring items in its SMS beyond those contained in this Notice. In fact, Companies are encouraged to consider in their SMS regulations enforced by port State control wherever their ships may call, including national, regional or coastal State rules that may be in addition to, at variance with or preempt international rules, such as in the United States or European Union. Increasingly, when port State control officers have suspicions about whether a ship is fully compliant with safety and pollution regulations, they often choose to look at the SMS documentation.
Another area where Companies should prepare to ensure full implementation and compliance as part of their SMS is where the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) overlaps with provisions of the ISM Code. These provisions include medical certification, training and qualifications, hours of work and rest, manning levels and medical care on board and ashore. The MLC, 2006 requirements will be subject to port State control as well as flag State inspection.
Questions regarding the ISM Code should be referred to the Office of the Maritime Administrator, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Marine Safety, c/o Marshall Islands Maritime and Corporate Administrators, Inc., 11495 Commerce Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1506 USA; telephone: +1-703-620-4880, fax: +1-703-476-8522, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The requirements of the ISM Code are mandatory under SOLAS Chapter IX and may be applied to all ships. The Administrator is applying the ISM Code to:
a. passenger ships (including high speed craft) regardless of tonnage,
b. oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and cargo high-speed craft, special purpose ships and other cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards, and
c. self-propelled mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and Dynamically Positioned (DP) MODUs of 500 gross tonnage and over engaged on international voyages.
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