The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments held its 5th Session from

24 – 28 September 2018.  Vice Admiral Jean-Luc Le Liboux (FRANCE) chaired the meeting for the last time, having elected to retire on completion, however his Vice Chair,  Mrs Claudia Grant (JAMAICA) was promoted to the Chair for 2019 and Captain Marek Rauk (ESTONIA) as her Vice Chair.


Three Working Groups (WG) and one Drafting Group (DG) were formed in addition to a group comprising interested Member Governments and relevant International Organisations to work on a revised agenda for the fourth session of the upcoming joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc WG on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Related Matters (JWG) in 2019.  The Groups were formed and chaired as follows:


WG1  Analysis of Marine Safety Investigation Reports, Mr K Nakra (SINGAPORE)


WG2  Measures to harmonise port State control (PSC) activities and procedures

          worldwide, Captain M Chapelle (MALTA)


WG3  Analysis of Consolidated Audit Summary Reports, Mrs C Grant (JAMAICA)


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 M Rijsdijk (MARSHALL ISLANDS)



The meeting was attended by representatives from 89 Member States, 2 IMO Associate Members, 2 UN and Specialised Agencies, 10 Inter-Governmental Organisations and 20 Non-Governmental Organisations.  The InterManager delegation was ably supported by Mr Gerd Schneider of SGS.


Items of particular interest to InterManager members are as follows:


ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL.  Mr Ki-Tack Lim commenced his welcoming address by mentioning with great sadness the recent casualty of the Nyerere, a domestic ferry flying the flag of TANZANIA sailing on Lake Victoria, and sent his deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of all who perished in the accident.


Reminding delegates that 2018 is the 70th year since the IMO Convention was adopted, he encouraged delegates to use the occasion to promote the World Maritime Day theme “IMO 70: Our heritage: better shipping for a better future”, to be celebrated on Thursday 27 September at IMO London headquarters.


During the meeting, he expected the preparation of at least three draft resolutions in relation to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code, and the Procedures for port State control, all for adoption by the Assembly at its thirty first session next year.


Turning to specific items on the agenda, he singled out the expected finalization of a ‘draft Model agreement on behalf of the Administration’ to be in line with the requirements of the Code for Recognised Organisations (RO) Code.  Work in relation to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme would also continue, based on the detailed analysis of the first consolidated audit report from the 18 mandatory audits conducted under its purview.


With regard to port State control matters, detailed consideration would also be given to the outcome of the seventh IMO Workshop for PSC MOU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers.  He hoped this might stimulate the harmonization of PSC activities and innovative thinking arising from increased cooperation among PSC regimes and between them and the Organisation to the benefit of all.


Rounding off his opening remarks, the S-G referred to the Sub-Committee’s core competency in casualty-related matters, illustrated by the review of the analysis of 63 reports  intersessionally, and his desire to make the process more efficient.  Towards this end, redevelopment of the GISIS reporting facilities, particularly those on casualties, remains a priority.  The sampling of such casualty-related data will be presented by the Secretariat when considering illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing-related matters. Finally, still in relation with IUU, preparations will be made for the next meeting (possibly next year) of the Joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on IUU Fishing and Related Matters (JWG).


CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS OF REPORTS ON ALLEGED INADEQUACY OF PORT RECEPTION FACILITIES.  The Sub-Committee was reminded that the format for reporting alleged inadequacies of port reception facilities is set out in Circular MEPC.1/Circ.834 and that the actual reporting of inadequacies is accommodated by a dedicated module in GISIS.  However, a revised version of the Guidance taking into account the latest amendments to MARPOL Annex V (new categorisations of garbage and Form of Garbage Record Book) was issued in March 2018 and therefore does not yet impact the reporting for 2017.

Document III 5/3 submitted by the Secretariat revealed that there were 75 reported cases of alleged inadequacies of PRFs, five more than in 2016, received from eight flag States, and an Associate Member plus one Territory of the United Kingdom.  The 75 reports addressed 244 waste categories in 36 different countries of which 212 (>85%) related to waste categories under MARPOL Annex V, notably “plastics”, “domestic wastes” and “operational wastes”.  Despite a reminder at the last meeting that port States are obliged under MARPOL to respond to reports by flag Administrations on cases of alleged inadequacies of reception facilities, only three port State authorities reported on their actions taken via GISIS.

Following discussion, it was decided to forward document III 5/3 to MEPC 73 (22–26 October 2018) for consideration in the context of the agenda item seeking to develop an action plan addressing marine plastic litter from ships whilst also addressing the importance of adequate port reception facilities, so accurately spear-headed in Plenary debate by INTERCARGO.


LESSONS LEARNED AND SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED FROM THE ANALYSIS OF MARINE SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORTS.  The Sub-Committee noted the information of other IMO bodies on casualty-related matters, in particular that of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW).  Following the release of marine safety investigation reports to the public in the GISIS module on Marine Casualties and Incidents (MCI), MSC 99 had concurred with III 4’s invitation to HTW to advise Member States on the release and the availability of these reports for the benefit of seafarers’ training and education.  Member States and international organisations were thus invited to submit proposals to HTW 6 with which to develop guidance on the application of maritime casualty cases and lessons learned to the benefit of seafarers’ training and education.

Following a very short discussion on the report of the CG on Analysis of Marine Safety Reports (III 5/4), which had identified a potential fire safety issue involving chemical tankers, it was decided to refer the report to WG1 which was given appropriate terms of reference and duly convened.  Subsequently, the Sub-Committee approved WG1’s report 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. Highlighted the difficulties of carrying out analysis of incomplete casualty investigation reports based on inadequate evidence;
  3. Agreed to bring the observation in ‘2.’ to the attention of Administrations by means of an III Circular;
  4. Approved the draft text of Lessons Learned from Marine Casualties and their release on the IMO website;
  5. Gave approval that a safety issue concerning the presence of flammable vapour in spaces classified as non-hazardous should be sent to MSC for action;
  6. Instructed the CG to test cases as specified using the supplied table to link potential safety issues with underlying safety deficiencies for consideration at III 6;
  7. Approved a revised procedure on casualty analysis as set out by the CG;
  8. Agreed a revised procedure for development of lessons learned by marine safety investigating States and requested the Secretariat to make suitable provisions in the GISIS MCI module to upload the lessons learned;
  9. Agreed criteria for selection of analysts;
  10. Concurred with the relevant processes in order to achieve comprehensive reporting and the gathering of meaningful statistical information;
  11. Concurred with WG1’s advice that the use of complementary sources of casualty data would make GISIS more comprehensive;
  12. Concurred with the Groups view regarding casualty statistics for fishing vessels and encouraged Member States to provide relevant information to IMO; and,
  13. Approved re-establishment of the Correspondence Group.


MEASURES TO HARMONISE PORT STATE CONTROL (PSC) ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES WORLDWIDE.  The Sub-Committee recalled that III 4 had established a CG on Measures to harmonise PSC activities worldwide and to continue working on the Procedures for port State control (resolution A.1119(30)) with a view to accommodating new requirements and/or amendments.  WG2 was established following Plenary discussion and instructed to consider the CG’s report, including proposed amendments to the Guidelines for PSC officers on the ISM Code, it also being referred to HTW 6 for technical review.

Following a submission from Australia proposing that, in order to assist PSCOs using their professional judgement to assess whether operational proficiency of a crew is sufficient to allow the ship to sail without danger, it was agreed to seek technical input from the HTW Sub-Committee in addition to Australia making a new submission to III 6 for further consideration of its proposals.

With regard to the 2009 Guidelines for PSC under the revised MARPOL Annex VI prepared by the CG, plus proposed modifications by China, the Sub-Committee was advised that PPR is currently updating them under the outputs for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of Marpol Annex VI and Use of electronic record books.  It was therefore decided to forward proposed III amendments as reviewed by WG2, direct to PPR 6.

The Sub-Committee noted that the Equasis information system has expanded its data, adding safety and environmental information on fishing vessels and offered a technical solution to the problem of double-accounting when detentions have occurred in a port of a State being a member of more than one regime.

In examining the report submitted by WG2, the Sub-Committee approved it in general and in particular, agreed :

  1. That the revised 2009 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI should be inserted as an appendix in the Procedures for port State control;
  2. To refer the draft amendments to PPR 6 for technical review and then to III 6;
  3. To refer draft amendments to the Guidelines for port State control officers on the ISM Code and the Guidelines for PSC officers on certification of seafarers, manning and hours of rest, to HTW 6;
  4. That the draft revision of the Procedures for port State control, 2017 be referred to the CG on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures Worldwide for finalization;
  5. That future PSC Workshops should examine the harmonized global recommendations for duplication of entries in the PSC information system and to pursue the holding of PSC Workshops which would consider statistical analysis of PSC data and development of a methodology suitable for processing the data;
  6. That the CG on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures Worldwide should be re-established; and;
  7. That MSC and MEPC should be requested to authorize the outcome of III 6s work on the Procedures for PSC be directly referred to Assembly 31


ANALYSIS OF CONSOLIDATED AUDIT SUMMARY REPORTS (CASR).  This item is not of direct interest to InterManager Members but is included for interest.  Following debate in Plenary, WG3 was formed, basically to review the outcome of the first CASR from 18 audits conducted under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme.  The Sub-Committee approved the subsequent report by WG3 in general, and in particular:

  1. Endorsed the audit findings of five main areas which lack effectiveness in implementation and enforcement of mandatory IMO instruments and the III Code;
  2. Endorsed the outcome of the analysis of the audit findings regarding the high number of non-compliances against specific provisions of the mandatory instruments, which identified the lack of their effective implementation;
  3. Agreed the four main reasons for the shortfall in the effective implementation and enforcement, namely legislation, policies and procedures, management and implementation;
  4. Endorsed the identified areas where technical assistance might help to address recurrent shortcomings;
  5. Approved the criteria for the evaluation of appropriateness and effectiveness of regulations, including triggering mechanism and format of data;
  6. Approved draft guidance on the communication of information by Member States; and,
  7. Invited relevant submissions in relation to further development of communication of information facilities in GISIS.


UPDATED SURVEY GUIDELINES UNDER THE HARMONISED SYSTEM OF SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION (HSSC).  During Plenary discussion, it was recalled that III 4 had established a Correspondence Group on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive list of obligations, coordinated by China.  The Sub-Committee referred the relevant part of the CG report to a drafting group (DG1) having assigned appropriate terms of reference, following which it :

  1. Endorsed WG1s recommendations regarding exemption from survey and certification requirements for UNSP barges under the MARPOL Convention so that further work could be referred to a correspondence group;
  2. Agreed, with regard to the draft Unified Interpretation relating to SOLAS regulation III/20.11, the draft text prepared by DG1, with a view to advising SSE 6. This included Guidelines for the evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval systems(MSC.1/Circ.1392) with a provision that all tests should be witnessed by the Administration or a Recognised Organisation (RO) acting on its behalf, as espoused by the majority of the Sub-Committee;
  3. Agreed draft text prepared by DG1 on the consistency of in-water survey (IWS) provisions for passenger and cargo ships with a view to reporting the outcome to MSC 101;
  4. Noted the amendments to the Survey Guidelines in relation to Universal Interpretations (UIs) of the IGC and IGF Codes;
  5. Noted the amendments to the Survey Guidelines requiring confirmation of compliance for the SEEMP part II; and,
  6. Endorsed DG1s recommendation that the review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC in relation to the BWM Convention in light of the 2016 Guidelines (G8) be referred to the correspondence group with appropriate terms of reference.


NON-EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER INSTRUMENTS RELEVANT TO THE IMO INSTRUMENTS IMPLEMENTATION CODE (III CODE).  The Sub-Committee was advised that Assembly 30 adopted resolution A.1121(30) on the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) (2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations), which included the requirements derived from all amendments to relevant mandatory IMO instruments that entered into force up to and including 1 July 2018.  Added to that, III 4 agreed that the annexes to the list need to be amended up to and including 1 July 2020 and established a CG on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under the coordination of China, to inter alia, continue to develop the draft amendments to the list.  The relevant part of the CG report was referred to DG1 at this meeting which in turn rendered a report to the Sub-Committee, who:

  1. Agreed draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO III Code deriving from amendments to relevant mandatory instruments that will enter into force up to and including 1 January 2020;
  2. Concurred that the draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO III Code, need to be further developed to include the requirements deriving from all amendments to mandatory instruments, entering into force up to and including 1 July 2020;
  3. Will seek authorization from MSC and MEPC ,in the absence of sessions between III 6 and A 31, to refer the outcome of its work direct to the Assembly;and,
  4. Concurred that the CG on the review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations be re-established.


REVIEW THE MODEL AGREEMENT FOR THE AUTHORISATION OF RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE ADMINISTRATION.  It was recalled that III 4 had agreed to retain a Model Agreement aligning it with the provisions of the RO Code  and also, had established a CG on the Review of the HSSC Survey Guidelines and the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO III Code.  Co-ordinated by China, it sought to develop a draft revised Model Agreement for the authorization of ROs acting on behalf of the Administration.  DG1 was tasked to finalise the CG’s draft, using  document III 5/8 (Annex) as the basis for an MSC-MEPC circular on the ‘Model agreement for the authorization of recognized organisations acting on behalf of the Administration’ and this was duly completed.  Note was taken of the concern expressed by the drafting group  that if any future amendment to the mandatory RO Code entered into force, there could be a risk that the obligations in the RO Code might not be reflected in the legally binding agreements, given that the existing authorisation agreements containing the text of the RO Code, which was signed between the Administrations and the ROs,  would remain in force for some time.


ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING MATTERS.  Anyone wishing details on this item should come direct to the author as I do not intend to cover it in this summary report.


BMW CONVENTION-RELATED MATTERS.  China submitted document III 5/14/2 which contained proposals to encourage Member States to develop port reception facilities for the discharge of ballast water; to consider the use of port reception facilities as a conventional means to meet the D-2 ballast water performance standard; to amend the Port Reception Facilities Module in GISIS to allow for reporting on the availability of reception facilities for ballast water; to encourage cooperation on research for the use of port reception facilities for ballast water and to submit proposals on how to increase the availability of reception facilities for ballast water.  Similarly, China also submitted III 5/14/3 proposing to conduct surveys of the retrofitted piping systems on board ships that intend to use port facilities as means of compliance with the D-2 ballast water performance standard, and accordingly to amend  the Survey Guidelines under the BWM Convention and the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2017. To complete the trilogy, China also submitted an Information paper providing a description on the outcome of a feasibility test of the application of barge-based ballast water reception and treatment facilities conducted on 14 June 2018 in the port of Shenzhen, China.

A debate in Plenary ensued following the Chairman’s recollection that the Organisation has already developed guidance which supports the development of port facilities for discharging ballast water as a possible means of complying with the BWM Convention’s D-2 performance standard.  Also, the Secretariat has already developed a new GISIS module entitled “Ballast Water Management”, and made modifications to existing modules, including that on Port Reception Facilities(Circular Letter No.3773).  In the Port Reception Facilities module, information on the availability of reception facilities for ballast water and sediments and on alleged inadequacies related to sediment reception facilities has been added.

Having thoroughly discussed the matter, the Sub-Committee advised and agreed that the proposals to conduct surveys on ships using port reception facilities for discharging ballast water and amendment of the Survey Guidelines under the BWM Convention and the HSSC 2017, may accordingly constitute a new output for which relevant proposals would have to be submitted.  Thus in accordance with the Organisation and method of work of MSC and MEPC and their subsidiary bodies, China was invited to make application for such an output if it so wished.


DATE OF NEXT MEETING.   The next meeting of the Sub-Committee (III 6) has been tentatively scheduled to take place from 1 to 5 July 2019.


END                                                                                   CAPTAIN PADDY McKNIGHT







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