IMO SUB-COMMITTEE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF IMO INSTRUMENTS, 3rd SESSION 18 – 22 JULY 2016

The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments held its 3rd Session (III
3) from Monday 18 through Friday 22 July 2016 under the Chairmanship of Captain Dwain Hutchinson (BAHAMAS), his final appearance in which to lead the Sub-Committee.  Mr Aji Vasundevan (INDIA)  was later elected as Chairman for the next meeting, III 4, provisionally arranged for 3 – 7 July 2017 with Mr Jean-Luc Le Liboux (FRANCE) as Vice Chairman.

The meeting was attended by delegations from 89 Member States, 3 Associate members, 1 UN Representative (FAO) , 10 Observers from Inter-Governmental organisations, 21 Non-Governmental organisations, WMU, and 5 Technical Experts.

Three Working Groups (WG) and one Drafting Group (DG) were formed and chaired as follows :

WG1    Casualty Analysis, Mr Paul van den Berg (CANADA)
WG2    Analysis of consolidated audit summary reports, Mr Aji Vasudevan (INDIA)
WG3    Harmonisation of Port State Control (PSC), Mr Kenny Crawford  (NEW ZEALAND)
DG1    Updated Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-Exhaustive List of
Obligations relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), Mr Mark Rijsdijk (MARSHALL ISLANDS)

Following are points of most interest to InterManager members:

•    IMO SECRETARY-GENERAL’S ADDRESS.  The Secretary General opened his welcoming address by expressing condolences to FRANCE for the atrocious attack carried out against innocent people in Nice looking forward to a joyful day of national celebrations, also the victims of different nationalities and their families, a theme echoed by those of all the many delegations that spoke.

Mentioning that he had chaired the III (triple I) Sub-Committee’s predecessor (FSI) about a decade ago, he felt his past experience and knowledge of its functioning would serve him well.  The Sub-Committees main areas of expertise remained, i.e. survey and certification, casualty and port State control (PSC) and how to deal with difficulties encountered by Member States in the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments.  Referring to the benefits of evidence based decision making, he looked forward to the development of robust mechanisms promoting clear and meaningful assessment of the beneficial impact of IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme (MSAS). Referring to recent III achievements, he singled out development of the IMO Instrument Implementation Code and the Code for Recognised Organisations as two major cross-sectoral corner stones in IMO’s work.  As to issues on the agenda for this session, first was casualty analysis, data for which can be used to identify trends and develop risk-based recommendations.  Next, PSC-related activities, the second line of defence in the safety chain as it ensures that ships sailing from a port present no apparent risk to safety and the environment as well as those who sail on them.  Finally, he reiterated strong enthusiasm for the work of the consolidated audit summary report and its potential to provide guidance to the regulatory work of IMO, as well as offering support to its Membership.

•    CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS OF REPORTS ON ALLEGED INADEQUACY OF PORT RECEPTION FACILITIES (PRF).  Two papers were submitted on this item, one by the Secretariat, the other by INTERCARGO.  The Secretariat document III 3/3, contained summaries of annual enforcement reports on PRF, as posted in GISIS for 2015.  The Sub-Committee noted that:

(1)    there were 86 reported cases of alleged inadequacies of PRF received from seven flag States, one Associated Member and two UK territories;
(2)    total waste types reported were 110, covering 34 ports States and 1 NL territory;  and
(3)    five port Administrations responded to actions taken on alleged inadequacy reports, covering 15.1% of the total reports submitted by flag Administrations.

Intercargo’s submission (III 3/3/1) described the difficulties faced by the bulk carrier industry with regard to PRF for cargo residues and hold washings deemed harmful to the marine environment (HME), as required by MARPOL Annex V.  This highlighted feedback from bulk carrier masters between October 2015 and April 2016, that, of the 215 ports in 55 countries / regions visited, 192 were reported to have inadequate PRF while only 23 were described as adequate.  In an intervention supporting Intercargo, InterManager commented that the figure of approximately only 10% of ports providing adequate reception facilities to be somewhat dispiriting and in dire need of improvement.

Following discussion, it was agreed that item G under ‘MARPOL Annex V-related’ in the table of Appendix 1 to circular MEPC.1/Circ834 on ‘Consolidated guidance for port reception providers and users’, should be made specific to HME cargo residues and hold washings and, consequentially, the remaining three waste types that include cargo residues which are not HME to be retained as separate categories.
•    LESSONS LEARNED AND SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED FROM THE ANALYSIS OF MARINE SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORTS.   In consideration of the actions requested by the Working Group on Casualty Analysis (WG-1), the Sub-Committee:
(1)    approved changes to the text of casualty analysis for release to the public on the GISIS Marine Casualties and Incidents module:
(2)    encouraged inclusion of supporting information such as diagrams or photographs, when presenting Lessons Learned;
(3)    approved draft text of Lessons Learned for release on the IMO website;
(4)    noted progress made on development of new draft marine safety investigation report analysis procedure;
(5)    re-established the Correspondence Group (CG) on Casualty Analysis; and
(6)    agreed that the Countries Survey Questionnaire, once completed by Member States, should be collated and forwarded to the CG in an anonymous and usable format for preliminary analysis and advice to III 4.
•    MEASURES TO HARMONISE PORT STATE CONTROL (PSC) ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES WORLDWIDE.   The Sub-Committee approved the report of the working group (WG-3) on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures worldwide, and in particular:

(1)    agreed that the draft revision of the Procedures for port State control be referred to the CG on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures Worldwide for finalisation;
(2)    noted the outcome of discussions with regard to matters relating to the early implementation of amendments to SOLAS 1974;
(3)    agreed to refer draft amendments to the 2009 Guidelines for PSC under the revised MARPOL Annex VI regarding regulations on energy efficiency for ships to MEPC for further instruction and associated technical review by the PPR Sub-Committee;
(4)    agreed draft ‘Guidelines for PSC Officers on certification of seafarers hours of rest and manning’ for referral to HTW4 for conclusion and subsequent incorporation into the revised Procedures for PSC;  and
(5)    established the CG on Measures to harmonise PSC activities and procedures worldwide together with agreed draft terms of reference.

•    IDENTIFIED ISSUES RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF IMO INSTRUMENTS FROM THE ANALYSIS OF PSC DATA.  Of particular interest to InterManager was a submission by AUSTRALIA (III 3/5/5) relating to poor navigational practices and difficulties in operating navigation equipment by some ships visiting Australian ports, though as pointed out by other delegations, this is a worldwide problem.  AUSTRALIA proposed that additional guidance be developed for PSC Officers on the topic of electronic navigation systems and after discussion, the Sub-Committee noted the many views expressed on the over-reliance on ECDIS, which echoes a (potential) similar situation identified in the aviation sector.  In this context, note was also taken of the intended future conduct of a CIC (Concentrated Inspection Campaign) by the Paris and Tokyo MOUs on SOLAS Chapter V, including the ECDIS-related requirement and recent development of PSC Guidelines on ECDIS.  The Sub-Committee invited the Paris MOU to consider submitting their guidelines to III 4 and other relevant IMO bodies, whilst also noting that the USA, while supporting the proposal to develop PSC guidelines on ECDIS, also intends to make a submission on this matter.

•    ANALYSIS OF CONSOLIDATED AUDIT SUMMARY REPORTS.  WG2 was established to review the analysis of recurrent areas of findings, indicative of common difficulties that Member States have in implementing the mandatory IMO instruments and the audit standard, also to review underlying causes for shortfall in effective implementation, as identified by audited Member States.    It was confirmed that there are a number of major areas of recurrent findings, viz:  flag State Surveyors; delegation of authority;  initial actions / legislation; also implementation and enforcement, for example:
(1)    flag State surveyors – mainly the lack of a documented system for qualification of flag State surveyors and continuous updating of their knowledge;
(2)    delegation of authority – lack of an oversight programme for ROs and delegated work without a formal agreement between the Administration and ROs;
(3)    initial actions / legislation – non promulgation of laws plus a lack of legal basis for enforcement of its national legislation;
(4)    implementation – non-issuance of national legislation and guidance also instructions / interpretative national regulations;  and
(5)    enforcement – lack of enforcement measures, control and monitoring and insufficient numbers of qualified personnel and training.
WG2 also established four main areas of root causes for a majority of shortcomings to be:
(1)    legislation – lack of national provisions / capacity to promulgate / keep updated;
(2)    policies and procedures – absence / lack of policies, commitment, written procedures, processes, and absence of a dedicated unit;
(3)    management – absence / lack of a comprehensive management system;  and
(4)    implementation – absence / lack of technical instructions / guidelines, poor records / database, training programmes and technical capabilities.
The Sub-Committee endorsed WG2’s recommendation that the Committees be requested  to forward the proposed areas as identified, to the Technical Cooperation Committee for consideration of current technical assistance activities in order to establish whether they adequately cover the areas of current shortcomings in audits and / or to develop any new technical assistance programmes that might provide more specific support to Member States.
•    UPDATED SURVEY GUIDELINES UNDER THE HARMONISED SYSTEM OF SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION (HSSC).  The Sub-Committee approved the report of the drafting group (WG1) in general and in particular:
(1)    endorsed recommendations regarding exemption from survey certification requirements under the MARPOL Convention for UNSP (Unmanned Self-Propelled Barges) barges for reporting progress to MEPC 70;
(2)    noted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, IV and VI concerning such exemptions which will include respective exemption certificates at a later stage plus consequential draft MEPC circular;
(3)    agreed draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines 2015 for ships operating in Polar Waters, together with associated draft MSC and MEPC resolutions (option1) and MSC-MEPC.5 circular (option 2) for submission to MEPC 70 and MSC 97 for approval or adoption as appropriate;
(4)    agreed a draft circular on Unified interpretation on the expiration date of statutory certificates for submission to MEPC 70 and MSC 97 for approval;
(5)    agreed draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2015 (resolution A.1104(29)), derived from the amendment to the relevant instruments entering into force up to and including 1 January 2017;
(6)    concurred that draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines need further development to include the requirements deriving from amendments to relevant IMO instruments entering into force up to and including 31 December 2017 in preparation for III 4;
(7)    agreed to the draft amendments to resolution A.1105(29)) on the 2014 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (resolution A.1070(28)) deriving from relevant instruments that will enter into force up to and including 1 January 2017;
(8)    concurred that draft amendments to the 2015 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instrument Implementation Code need to be further developed prior to III 4 for consideration, as also are separate draft amendments to the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations for adoption in accordance with the four-year cycle of entry into force of amendments to SOLAS 1974;
(9)    agreed to seek authorisation from MSC and MEPC, in the absence of sessions of the Committees between III 4 and A 30, to refer the outcome of its work on the Survey Guidelines and the Non-exhaustive list of Obligations directly to the Assembly for consideration with a view to adoption;
(10)    agreed to the draft amendments to FAL.2/Circ.127-MEPC.1/Circ.817-MSC.1/Circ.1462 on the List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships for submission, as a consolidated version to be annexed to the report of III 3, to MEPC 70 and MSC 97 for approval, taking into account the need to involve the Facilitation and Legal Committees, as appropriate, in a joint FAL, MSC, MEPC and LEG circular;  and
(11)    agreed to re-establish the Correspondence Group on the review of the Survey guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations.
Captain Paddy McKnight                                END

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