The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments held its 4th Session from 25 – 29 September 2017.  The elected Chair, Mr Ali Vasudevon (INDIA), being no longer available (having joined the IMO Secretariat), the elected Vice-Chair, Vice Admiral Jean-Luc Le Liboux (FRANCE) chaired the meeting, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Committees.  He was subsequently elected to Chair the 2018 meeting (III 5) with Mrs Claudia Grant (JAMAICA) as Vice Chair.  Two Working Groups (WG) and one Drafting Group (DG) were formed in addition to a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising FAO, ILO and IMO Secretariats to reflect on the third session of the joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc WG on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Related Matters (JWG) held in London from 16 to 18 November 2015.  The Groups were formed and chaired as follows:


  • WG1 Lessons learned and safety issues identified from the analysis of marine safety investigation reports, Mr Kunal Nakia (SINGAPORE)
  • WG2 Measures to harmonise port State control (PSC) activities and procedures worldwide, and identified issues relating to the implementation of IMO instruments from the analysis of PSC data, Mr Mark Chapelle (MALTA)
  • DG1 Survey Guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC and the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code, Mr Mark Rijsdiyk (MARSHALL ISLANDS)
  • JWG Recommendations of the third Session of the Joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc WG on ILUU Fishing and Related Matters, Mr Miguel Nunez (SPAIN)


The meeting was attended by representatives from 89 Member States, 1 IMO Associate Member, 2 UN and Specialised Agencies, 12 Inter-Governmental Organisations and 23 Non-Governmental Organisations.  The InterManager delegation was ably supported by Vice-President George Hoyt, who was primarily attending a meeting of fellow IMO ambassadors in concert with IMO World Maritime Day on 28 September.


Items of particular interest to InterManager members are as follows:


  • ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL. Mr Ki-Tack Lim alluded to the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day, “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” which he viewed as building on that of the previous year “Shipping: indispensable to the world”.  At the behest of MSC and MEPC, four draft resolutions will be considered and finalised by III for adoption by the Assembly (A30) later this year.  Turning to specific items on the agenda, he singled out the importance of updating the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification, 2015, to incorporate aspects of the 2004 Ballast Water Management Convention.


Another updating task would be that of the non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO III Code. Also work on a new output, reviewing the Model Agreement for the authorisation of recognised organisations (ROs) acting on behalf of the Administration would be of great importance to a vast number of flag Administrations whilst a correspondence group report containing a draft consolidated text of the revised Procedures for Port State Control will be finalised for submission to Assembly 30 for adoption.  He envisaged that the declaration adopted by the Third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda on Port State Control might trigger better harmonisation of PSC activities, so important to shipping.  The Secretary-General spoke of IUU Fishing and related matters, highlighting a draft Assembly resolution to be considered on the IMO Ship Identification Number Scheme which would expand the scope of the scheme to further support the FAO Global Record of fishing vessels.


Finally, he thanked Member States and organisations for making resources available to constantly improve data collection and analysis relating to marine casualties.


  • PORT RECEPTION FACILITIES. Only 2 documents were submitted on this item, one by the IMO Secretariat, the other by Intercargo, co-sponsored by InterManager.  Whilst the Secretariat reported on its Annual Enforcement on port reception facilities for 2016, our paper detailed the difficulties faced by bulk carriers when confronted by inadequate, and sometimes lack of, port reception facilities to receive cargo residues and hold washing water.  The submission pointed out the obligations on port States to provide such facilities which are essential if ships are to comply with MARPOL Annex V requirements.  Following a fairly extensive discussion in Plenary, the Sub-Committee:


  1. urged Member States to report inadequacies, using the format in MEPC.1/Circ 834, Appendix 1; to update and review existing data on PRFs within GISIS, in particular those for HME cargo residues and hold washings; and provide incentives for ports and terminals to increase investment in the provision of adequate PRFs;  and
  2. invited interested Member Governments to submit proposals to MEPC in pursuance of developing a model course PRF concept which would constitute a new output.


  • LESSONS LEARNED AND SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED FROM THE ANALYSIS OF MARINE SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORTS. The Sub-Committee considered the report of the Correspondence Group on Casualty Analysis and noted the casualty-related outcome of other IMO bodies.  With regard to ‘Lessons Learned’, in respect of potential inconsistencies between the findings of investigation reports and the corresponding text contained in the Lessons Learned from Marine Casualties, it was agreed that, since the analyst does not have access to all the information at the disposal of casualty investigators, the issuance of discordant lessons learned should rightly be discouraged.


Following receipt of WG1’s report, the Sub-committee approved it in general, and in particular:


  1. approved changes to the text of casualty analyses for release to the public on the GISIS Marine Casualties and incidents module;
  2. agreed bringing observations regarding the quality of marine investigation reports to the attention of Administrations by means of an III circular;
  3. approved draft text of Lessons Learned from Marine Casualties and their release on the IMO website;
  4. invited the HTW Sub-Committee to advise Member States that they should make use of the report on GISIS MCI module for the benefit of seafarers education and training;
  5. noted that the current casualty analysis procedure will remain in force until the new one is duly endorsed by the Sub-Committee;
  6. took note of the outcome in IACS’ review using data from GISIS Ship and Company Particulars (SCP) and MCI modules for conducting FSA Studies;
  7. re-established the Correspondence Group under the stated terms of reference;
  8. agreed early establishment of the WG at III 5; and
  9. agreed with the Group that, statistically the responses (25%) to the ‘Countries Survey Questionnaire’ were insufficiently significant for a meaningful analysis,  thus leading to insubstantial conclusions when determining the reasons for under-reporting.


  • MEASURES TO HARMONISE PORT STATE CONTROL (PSC) ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES WORLDWIDE. A wide-ranging discussion took place in Plenary covering items such as: the report of the Correspondence group set up by III 3;  guidelines for port State control officers on certification of seafarers hours of rest and manning;  guidance on provision of documentary evidence required under the STCW Convention;  fire integrity of certain bulkheads;  voluntary early implementation;  performance of Flag Administrations and ROs;  transparency and harmonisation of PSC information, including the Equasis system;  analysis of PSC activities, practices and statistics;  issues in relation to the updating of existing ECDIS;  and, the IMO Workshop for PSC MOU Agreement Secretariats and Database Managers.


Following discussion, WG2 was established  and set to work.  The Group succeeded in meeting all of its Terms of Reference and submitted a comprehensive report which was subsequently approved in general by the Sub-Committee, and in particular:


  1. approved text intended to provide PSCOs with clear guidance and agreed to the revised text of the draft Guidelines for port State control officers on certification of seafarers, manning and hours of rest;
  2. agreed a draft revision of resolution A.1053(27) on the Procedures for port State control 2011, with a view to adoption at A30;
  3. agreed draft text for the action to be taken by port States on the required update of ECDIS, which can be used as the text for an III circular. (This essentially noted the fact that some ECDIS manufacturers have been unable to provide the required updates by 31 August 2017 and requests PSCOs to take a pragmatic and practical approach where ships have been unable to comply, through no fault of their own.  In doing so, PSCOs should check whether relevant documentation has been issued by the flag State and in the absence of documentation, to consult with the flag State accordingly.  Member Governments were invited to bring this advice to the attention of PSCOs, ROs, companies and other relevant parties.  It was decided that the revocation date of the Circular would be left for NCSR 5 to decide when it meets in February 2018.);
  4. agreed to establish the Correspondence Group on Measures to harmonise part State control activities and procedures worldwide, also its draft terms of reference; and
  5. agreed that the WG dealing with PSC matters plus reviewing the report of the CG, should be released from Plenary as early as possible at III 5.


  • UPDATED SURVEY G/Ls UNDER HSSC, NON-EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF OBLIGATIONS AND REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATION/ROs MODEL AGREEMENT. These items were discussed thoroughly in Plenary and included:  MSC 98’s view that voluntary early implementation should be communicated through a new GISIS module on “Survey and Certification”;  further development of the GISIS module on ROs;  exemption of survey and certification requirements under MARPOL for UNSP barges;  consistency of in-water survey (IWS) for passenger and cargo ships;  survey guidelines for the purpose of BWMC under the Harmonised SSC;  amendments to the non-exhaustive list of obligations;  review of the Model Agreement for the authorisation of ROs acting on behalf of an Administration;  and, the Recognised Organisation Oversight Programme (ROOP).


The Drafting Group was then given appropriate terms of reference and produced a comprehensive report back to the Sub-Committee for approval which was given in general, and in particular, the Sub-Committee:


  1. agreed to a new draft survey item (B1) bis to address the instruction of MEPC 71 introducing provisions for validating the compliance of individual BWMS, with regulation D-2 of the BWM convention at the commissioning stage;
  2. endorsed DG1s view that this should not apply to vessels which have already been subject to an initial survey prior to the entry into force of the proposed guidelines;
  3. invited MEPC to consider whether detailed aspects regarding validation compliance of individual BWMS with regulation D-2 of the BWMC in conjunction with their commissioning need to be addressed;
  4. invited MEPC to consider whether a review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC in relation to the BWMC may be required in light of the 2016 Guidelines (G8);
  5. noted the Groups revised paragraph 5.13 and other items in the proposed amendments to Survey Guidelines under the HSSC;
  6. endorsed the Groups recommendation that the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC should be adopted in the consolidated version for every Assembly year;
  7. approved the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2015 (resolution A.1104(29)) plus Assembly resolution with a view to adoption;
  8. concurred that the Secretariat be authorised to effect editorial corrections when preparing such final texts;
  9. noted that the Group finalised the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Survey Guidelines with a view to maintaining their status in future amendments to the Guidelines;
  10. approved draft amendments to the 2015 Non-exhaustive list of obligations relevant to the IMO Instrument Implementation Code with a view to Assembly adoption;
  11. concurred that the Secretariat be authorised to effect editorial corrections when preparing the consolidated version of the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations;
  12. noted that the Group finalised the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Non-exhaustive list of obligations with a view to maintaining their status for future amendments to the list;
  13. agreed to the draft terms of reference for the review of the Model agreement for the authorisation of ROs acting on behalf of the Administration;
  14. concurred that a Correspondence Group for all these items be re-established as well as that of the WG which would start work on the morning of the first day of III 5.


  • OUTCOME OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE JOINT FAO/IMO AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING AND RELATED MATTERS. Following Plenary discussion, a (Joint) Working Group on the Recommendations of the third session of the Joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on IUU Fishing and Related Matters was set up.  Suffice to say that this particular JWG was prolific in its output and ventured a total of 34 ‘Actions Requested’ of the Sub-Committee.  Given the subject matter, I do not intend to report these in this summary but should anyone have the urge to see them, please let me know and I will happily relay them.


  • DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The next meeting, III 5, has been provisionally scheduled for 24 – 28 September 2018.




Captain Paddy McKnight                                                                                                   End


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