The IMO SUB-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments held its 1st Session (III 1) as part of the 2014 reorganisation and restructuring, from Monday 14 through Friday 18 August 2014. 79 Member States were represented and in addition 2 UN Specialised Agencies, 13 Intergovernmental Organisations, 22 Non-Governmental Organisations and 7 specially invited technical experts. Captain Dwain Hutchinson (BAHAMAS) was unanimously elected Chairman for 2014 as also was his Vice-Chairman, Mrs Julie Gascon (CANADA); both were subsequently re-elected for 2015.
During the course of the meeting, 3 Working Groups (WG) and 1 Drafting Group(DG) were formed and chaired as follows :
WG1 Casualty Analysis, Mr P van den Berg (CANADA)
WG2 Harmonisation of port State control activities, Mr Chris Wiley (CANADA)
WG3 Review of audit findings identified through the analysing process, Dr Ismael Cobos (SPAIN)
DG1 Review of the Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-Exhaustive List of Obligations, Ms Hannelore Keim (GERMANY)
It should be noted that III replaces the former FSI Sub-Committee but it is armed with a much broader scope than just Flag State Implementation and thus will be able to focus more widely on issues such as Port State Control matters together with issues arising from the various MOUs. Salient points of particular interest to Intermanager members are as follows:
- USE OF PRINTED VERSIONS OF ELECTRONIC CERTIFICATES. The Sub-Committee noted oral information by DENMARK of an initiative developed to promote the use of printed versions of electronic certificates and, further, the validity of electronic certificates. Regarding the former and their acceptance by port State control authorities, views were expressed that the potential difficulties to fully implement and accept such certificates as requested in the Interim Guidelines might be due to some national legislations still stipulating traditional paper certificates, both as a requirement as a Flag State and also, acceptance of certificates by authorities of the State. On the other hand, many PSC regimes are already recommending port State control officers (PSCOs) to accept printed versions of electronic certificates and they were further encouraged by the Sub-Committee to fully implement the Guidelines contained in FAL.5/Circ.39, though without applying additional conditions. .
- MANDATORY REPORTS UNDER MARPOL. Mandatory reports under MARPOL for 2012 submitted by 41 Parties and 1 Associate Member showed:
- 7 incidents of 50 tonnes spillage or more of various hydrocarbon oils;
- 658 incidents of less than 50 tonnes;
- 35 cases of alleged discharge violations;
- 68,220 ships boarded and 764 (or 1.12%) of those boarded were either detained or denied port entry;
- 560 ships reported as having IOPP Certificate discrepancies;
- 2132 Oil Record Books and 1,983 MARPOL equipments also contained discrepancies;
- Reporting rates, already low, declined further from 2011 to 2012 by 2% to 24.3%.
- REPORTS ON ALLEGED INADEQUACIES OF PORT RECEPTION FACILITIES. Alleged inadequacies that arose in 2012 were :
- 9 reports posted on GISIS, comprising 6 x Annex(A)I, 1 x AII, 1 x AIV and 1 x AV;
- 2 Parties submitted 7 reports (BAHAMAS 6, UK 1);
- 2 responses from 1 port State, the UK; no other State responded.
In summing up discussion under this item, the Chairman encouraged Member Governments to remind ships under their flag of their reporting obligations and to ascertain the impediments and concerns behind low reporting. The Sub-Committee approved the text issued as MEPC.1/Circ.834 on Consolidated guidance for port reception facility providers and users.
- CASUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS. Following are the most notable / relevant action points recommended by WG1 and agreed by the Sub-Committee:
- To take note of casualty-related decisions of other IMO bodies;
- To bring the issue on the quality of investigation reports identified by the analysts to the attention of Administrations;
- An analysis of the marine safety investigation report of the COSTA CONCORDIA incident. In addition to many recommendations on the finer points of ship construction, the need for more detailed assessment criteria for recognising manning agencies was pointed out, as also was the need to assign appropriately trained crew to emergency duties. Operationally, the necessity for comprehensive risk assessment, passage planning and position monitoring, effective bridge resource management (including the removal of distractions), were all highlighted;
- Strongly reminded Administrations of their investigative responsibilities under the Casualty Investigation Code;
- Forwarded marine safety investigation reports on DANNY F II and SWANLAND to MSC and took note of those related to YEOMAN BONTRUP and UNIVERSAL GLORIA.
- Approved changes on the draft text of Lessons Learned for Presentation to Seafarers;
- Re-established the Correspondence Group on Casualty Analysis and Statistics.
- HARMONISATION OF PORT STATE CONTROL ACTIVITIES. WG2:
- Drafted an MSC-MEPC.4 circular on Guidelines for port State control officers (PSCOs) related to the ISM Code for HTW consideration and forwarding to MSC and MEPC;
- Drafted an MSC circular on Guidelines for PSCOs on certification of seafarers’ rest hours based on the relevant provisions to the 1978 STCW Convention, again to HTW for its input and hence to MSC;
- Devised a process for advancing recommendations to relevant IMO bodies resulting from reports of concentrated inspection campaigns (CICs);
- Provided advice on IMO’s role to provide PSCOs with a decision support tool.
- DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES ON PORT STATE CONTROL UNDER THE 2004 BWM CONVENTION. 40 Governments have now contracted to the BWM Convention representing 30.25% of the world merchant fleet tonnage. A further 4 countries are expected to sign by the end of 2014 but the projected figure will still be 0.8% short of the required 35% of world GT. Following an instruction from MEPC 52, FSI 21 established a Correspondence Group (CG) on Guidelines for port State control inspection for compliance with the BWM Convention. The Co-Ordinator of the CG, CANADA, tabled document III 1/8 containing its report and draft Guidelines. These were considered in Plenary, as also was document III 1/8/1 by JAPAN and others (to which InterManager was a co-sponsor) which contained specific comment on the CG report. ICS commented separately on the report and informed the Sub-Committee of its intention to make a substantive submission to MEPC 67 discussing the industry’s main concerns regarding the implementation of the BWM Convention.
During WG 2 discussions, there was agreement on the principle of four-stage inspections as advocated by JAPAN although the compromise involved deleting the illustrative diagrams. With regard to the issue of indicative analysis, the WG agreed that it would be premature to include detailed provisions in the Guidelines. Furthermore, it was agreed that all matters related to sampling and indicative analysis should be referred to MEPC for decision, in particular whether indicative analysis can be used for determining compliance or non-compliance with regulation D-2. The Sub-Committee agreed the draft Guidelines for port State control under the BWM Convention for consideration and adoption by MEPC 67 and recommended that they be kept under review following the trial period associated with the guidance in BWM.2/Circ.42.
- COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF IMO INSTRUMENTS. 5 major areas of recurrent findings in audits established by the sections of the Code are related to flag State surveyors; delegation of authority; initial actions (legislation); communication of information and implementation (flag States). In order to reach more specific conclusions and recommendations on the major areas that lack effectiveness in implementation and enforcement of the requirements of mandatory IMO instruments, the Secretariat will be requested to expand future analysis of findings in such a way as to include more detailed information on the issues involved with each subgroup of findings and to link specific root causes to any such subgroup. This will afford the clarity necessary for decision-making.
Some reasons for the shortfall in effective implementation and enforcement include: absence / lack of procedure / process / mechanism; absence / lack of natural provisions; insufficient resources; lack of coordination among various entitles; absence / lack of training programmes; prolonged legislation process; responsibilities of entity / person not assigned; and absence of dedicated units. The Technical Cooperation Committee will review current technical assistance activities to assess adequacy in covering the major areas of recurrent findings in audits whilst the Secretariat will update the list of reporting requirements in selected mandatory IMO instruments. The Secretariat will also continue the analysis of future CASRs using the new proposed elements of the methodology, with a view to making substantial recommendations for consideration by the Committees, ahead of the institutionalisation of the Audit Scheme, in particular, capacity building or technical assistance and on the recurrent areas of findings.
- REVIEW AND UPDATE OF THE SURVEY GUIDELINES UNDER THE HARMONISED SYSTEM OF SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION (HSSC) AND THE NON-EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER INSTRUMENTS RELEVANT TO THE IMO INSTRUMENTS IMPLEMENTATION CODE (III CODE). The Sub-Committee approved DG1’s report in general and in particular:
- noted that the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines to align the survey windows for the cargo ship safety construction renewal survey are included in the proposed amendments to Survey Guidelines;
- endorsed the proposed amendment to SOLAS regulation XI-1/2 and the Survey Guidelines to align the survey intervals of the intermediate survey referring it to a subsequently established CG;
- agreed a draft MEPC 67 circular on the Guidelines for exemption of unmanned non-self-propelled barges from the survey and certification requirements under MARPOL;
- noted that proposed amendments to the Survey Guidelines related to secondary barrier testing requirements are included;
- noted the progress of draft amendments to the 2013 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO III Code that will enter into force up to and including 1 July 2016;
- agreed to a draft MSC-MEPC.5 circular on a Unified Interpretation for establishing the keel laying date of FRP craft;
- re-established the CG on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-Exhaustive List of Obligations in accordance with specified Terms of Reference.
- REVIEW OF GENERAL CARGO SHIP SAFETY. There were no submissions on this item but the target completion year has been extended (by MSC 93) to 2015. .
- PORT STATE CONTROL INSPECTOR TRAINING FOR GENERAL CARGO SHIPS (RCO 20). The Sub-Committee noted the information contained in documents III 1/INF.3 (Paris MOU) and III 1/INF.34 (Caribbean MOU) indicating that the current training of PSCOs with regard to General Cargo Ship Safety is not considered to be deficient, taking into account that PSCOs have a great deal of expertise and experience with general cargo ships, which is an intrinsic element of most PSCO training courses. In the ensuing discussion, the Sub-Committee, on the basis of support expressed by a majority of those who spoke, invited all other PSC regimes to make use of the information in INF.3 and INF.34 and encouraged them to promote and deliver such knowledge for transfer between themselves. Notwithstanding the outcome of the debate, the Sub-Committee recognised that this is a high-risk type of ship which remains an area of concern and MSC is expected to issue further instructions.
Captain Paddy McKnight END