The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments held its 6th Session from
1-5 July 2019. Mrs Claudia Grant (JAMAICA) chaired the meeting for the first time, supported by her Vice Chair Captain Marek Rauk (ESTONIA) following which, both were re-elected for 2020. Three Working Groups (WG) and one Drafting Group (DG 1) 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 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)
DG 1 Development of additional guidance in relation to the IMO Member State Audit
Scheme (IMSAS), Mr J Hannon (USA)
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.
Items of particular interest to InterManager members are as follows:
ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL. Mr Lim welcomed delegates to the sixth session of the Sub-Committee. In highlighting the positive impacts of knowledge-based decision making, he invited III 6 to consider putting forward to the committees and all IMO bodies, a robust strategy on the wider collection and utilization of casualty data statistics and on data analysis which would provide the backbone of policy development, providing input for the work of other IMO bodies. In his view, the mandate and expertise represented in Plenary make the Sub-Committee an ideal platform to assess, analyse and share the various sets of data currently available to the Organisation, be it casualty, IMSAS, PSC, or port reception facilities, to list but a few, and he trusted that with the support of the IMO Secretariat, such initiatives could be further advanced.
Looking ahead to the main agenda items for the meeting, he singled out:
- Draft Assembly resolutions for adoption at A 31 later this year, notably the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC); the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to IMO instruments implementation Code (III Code); and, Procedures for port State control;
- MARPOL-related matters-IMO 2020, viewing this session as an opportunity for all stakeholders to consider the implementation of requirements in respect of the global sulphur limit of 0.5% on 1 January 2020 in relation to the relevant set of guidelines developed by MEPC 74 and MSC 101;
- Reporting of Casualties, for which the Secretariat estimates a somewhat disappointing 50% reporting rate of very serious casualties notwithstanding a decrease in the number of casualties over the years. In view of this, he repeated his invitation to Member States, that of establishing more effective data transfer facilities to improve the reporting rate of incidents and investigations, whilst also acknowledging current teething problems with the associated GISIS module;
- Port Reception facilities, urging Member States to strengthen the reporting on the inadequacy of such facilities via the GISIS Port Reception Facilities module, which data has proved to be very useful in policy discussions on reducing pollution caused by marine plastic litter from ships [resolution MEPC.310(73)];
- Port State Control, where the harmonization of PSC activities is essential in ensuring that shipping remains efficient and sustainable, providing input for the next workshop of PSC MOU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers, also attended by Chairs of the PSC Committees;
- IMSAS, [IMO Member State Audit Scheme] welcoming the endorsement of the analysis outcome of the first consolidated audit summary report under IMSAS, including the process for providing feedback from audits to inform the regulatory work of the Organisation;
- Survey and certification related matters, stressing his belief that the ‘draft Model agreement for the authorisation of recognized organisations acting on behalf of the Administration’ approved by the Committees, to be in line with the requirements of the ‘Code for Recognised Organisations’ [RO Code], a non-binding but nevertheless powerful tool to support Member States in monitoring the authorisation granted by them to ROs;
- Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and IUU Fishing which will be held in Torremolinos, Spain, in October followed by the fourth session of the Joint FAO/ILO/IMO Ad hoc Working Group on IUU fishing related matters; and
- World Maritime Day which will be celebrated at IMO Headquarters on 26 September preceded by the annual parallel event in Cartagena from 15 to 17 September. This year’s theme is ‘Empowering women in the maritime community’.
In conclusion, the Secretary General wished all delegations a successful meeting.
CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS OF REPORTS ON ALLEGED INADEQUACY OF PORT RECEPTION FACILITIES. The Sub-Committee recalled that the compliance of ships with the discharge requirements of MARPOL depends largely on the availability of adequate port reception facilities (PRFs) and that the format for reporting such alleged inadequacies is set out in appendix 1 of the ‘Consolidated guidance for port reception facility providers and users’. The actual reporting of inadequacies is accommodated by a dedicated module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) in which flag States report their cases directly into GISIS following which the port State concerned receives a notification of the alleged inadequacy. In consideration of document III 6/3 by the Secretariat containing summary information on reported cases of alleged inadequacies of PRFs as posted in GISIS which reflected the withdrawal of case 7, it was noted that there were 96 reported cases of alleged inadequacies of PRFs in 2018, 21 cases more than in 2017, received from six flag States, one Associate member, and one territory of the UK. The alleged inadequacies per MARPOL annex can be summarized as follows:
- 3 reports covered more than one annex of MARPOL;
- 13 reports related to Annex I (oily substances);
- 85 reports related to Annex V (garbage);
- 1 report addressed Annex IV (sewage) and Annex VI (air pollution) waste categories;
- A relatively high number of Annex V-related cases concerned the inability to deliver organic (food) waste, usually quoting applicable quarantine regulations;
- In 46 cases, the problems encountered related to unavailability of PRFs, whilst in 27 instances, unreasonable charges for using the facilities were reported; and
- In 32 cases, the port State concerned provided a response to the alleged inadequacy claim.
It was recalled that the first consolidated audit summary report (CASR) under IMSAS demonstrated that the lack of provision of PRFs, in particular under MARPOL Annexes I, IV and V, is the most recurrent theme. A number of delegations expressed concern about the lack of reported follow-up action in GISIS by the port States concerned thus potentially discouraging flag States from reporting alleged inadequacies of PRFs. It was therefore suggested that the Secretariat should look into possible ways of more prominently drawing attention to non-responding port States within GISIS.
ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS MARINE PLASTIC LITTER FROM SHIPS. The Sub-Committee noted the outcome of MEPC 73 and MEPC 74 in relation to resolution MEPC.310(73) on ‘Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships’ and recalled that the Action Plan encouraged Parties to MARPOL Annex V to implement their obligation to provide adequate facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of garbage. In order to progress the work on the relevant short-term actions contained in the Action Plan, MEPC 74 approved an appropriate scope of work for Sub Committees PPR, III and HTW. In this regard, it was further noted that MEPC 74 had:
- Agreed to add output 4.3 (Follow-up work emanating from the Action Plan) to III 7’s agenda;
- Approved a scope of work for III 7 which considered action 8 of the Action Plan, namely the preparation of a circular reminding Member States to enforce MARPOL Annex V on fishing vessels through PSC measures and to consider proposals for enhancing the enforcement of MARPOL Annex V, where possible, through a risk-based approach; and
- Requested the secretariat to include the outcomes of investigations of reports of alleged inadequacies of PRFs in the document on Annual enforcement reports on PRF with a view to facilitating the identification of themes relating to the delivery and handling of plastic waste.
Following discussion on the outcome of the third session of the Joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) at JWG 3, proposals were invited to III 7 for enhancing the enforcement of MARPOL Annex V, including, where possible, through a risk-based approach, and if appropriate, proposals for draft amendments to the Procedures for PSC, including fishing vessels, taking into account the follow-up to the recommendation of JWG 3 and the outcome of JWG 4, as appropriate.
LESSONS LEARNED AND SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED FROM THE ANALYSIS OF MARINE SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORTS. The Sub-Committee noted the information on decisions taken by other IMO bodies on casualty-related matters, particularly those of MSC 100 and MSC 101. These included:
- An instruction to consider whether model course 3.11 on Marine Accident and Incident Investigation (year of publication 2014) needed revision;
- MSC 101 considered the safety issue of the presence of cargo vapours in non-hazardous closed spaces, based on analyses of three fire incidents on board Liang Sheng, Royal Diamond 7, also Border Heather and instructed SSE 7 to consider this particular safety issue for advice to the Committee; and
- Following MSC 101 discussion of document MSC 101/10/3 by IACS referring to the Procedure for identifying safety issues, instructed the IMO Experts Group on Formal Safety Assessment to review the Procedure and to provide its findings to III 7.
The report of the Correspondence Group on ‘Analysis of Marine Safety Investigation Reports’ (III 6/4) was next considered containing information based on the analysis of 27 recent marine casualties. Although no specific safety issues were identified, three areas of potential safety deficiencies were identified, those of; fatal accidents involving elevators; collisions with fishing vessels; and, falls due to height. The issues of safe pilotage practice and GISIS entries related to Marine Safety Reports were debated following which both were forwarded to the Working Group (WG 1). The Group was given very comprehensive terms of reference and subsequently submitted its report which the Sub-committee approved in general, and in particular:
- Approved the findings of the Correspondence Group based on the analysis of individual marine safety investigation reports and GISIS as reviewed by the Group, including changes on the text of casualty analyses, authorising their release to the public on the GISIS Marine Casualties and Incidents module;
- Agreed with the Group that there could be certain types of casualties which occur more frequently than others and it may be possible to identify these using data from casualty analyses conducted in the past. In addition, although the quality criteria was not fully met in 9 of the 27 investigation reports, there might be good reasons to retain these in the summary of analysis and these points will be brought to the attention of Administrations by means of a III.3 circular;
- In order to remove difficulties in locating the information related to casualty analysis, tasked the Secretariat to provide a link to the consolidated text of analyses in the meeting documents page of the III Sub-Committee;
- Approved draft text on the 10 cases of Lessons learned from marine casualties reported by the Correspondence Group (CG), and their release on the IMO Website;
- Noted that of the potential safety issues highlighted by the CG concerning three types of fatal accidents involving elevators, fishing vessels and falls from height, the one on elevators was considered a safety deficiency and duly referred to the SSE Sub-Committee;
- Noting that in each case of fire incidents on board Liang Sheng, Royal Diamond 7 and Border Heather, the presence of cargo vapours in the forecastle spaces was the primary cause of these serious marine casualties, leading the Sub-Committee to forward details of this safety issue to SSE 7;
- Noted that the procedure for marine safety investigation report analysis cannot be used until further notice, pursuant to the decision of MSC 101 to seek the views of the Formal Assessment Working Group on the procedure for identification of safety issues;
- Endorsed the recommendation of the Group that a review of the IMO Model Course 3.11 on Marine Accident and Incident Investigation is not needed at this stage;
- Invited Member States to provide additional information from their national databases about near-misses, incidents and lessons learned in safe pilotage practice, and to bring resolutionA.960(23) to the attention of authorities responsible for pilotage and to stress the importance of effective pilot-master exchange of information;
- Noted the Group’s view on the Stellar Daisy casualty and agreed that the marine safety investigation report submitted by the Marshall Islands may be assigned to an analyst and similarly that from the Republic of Korea (having secured photos, videos and the VDR from the wreckage) following their report expected by the end of 2019;
- Invited marine safety investigation Authorities to further develop systematic investigation method and report structure in accordance with the revised guidelines in order to assist investigators in the implementation of the Casualty Investigation Code;
- Noted the views of the Group regarding suggested improvements to the “Cooperation” section of the MCI module in GISIS and requested the Secretariat in the context of the ongoing review of the taxonomy to make the necessary amendments to the module;
- Endorsed the Group’s recommendation that the investigating State should be ultimately responsible for the creation of the entries related to a casualty under investigation with the support of a robust notification mechanism and that many entries in the GISIS MCI module could be duplicates or incorrectly entered especially by relying on other sources. This could possibly result in statistics that may be incorrect thus Member States were invited to review entries in the GISIS MCI module, informing the Secretariat if necessary; and,
- Re-established the Correspondence Group on Analysis of Marine Safety Investigation Reports under agreed terms of reference whilst also stipulating the early establishment and release of a Working/Drafting Group on the same subject at III 7.
MEASURES TO HARMONISE PORT STATE CONTROL (PSC) ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURE WORLDWIDE. The Sub-Committee recalled that III 5 had established the CG on Measures to harmonise port State control (PSC) activities and procedures worldwide, under the coordination of the European Commission, to develop, for finalisation at this session, the draft revision of the ‘Procedures for port State control, 2017’ (Procedures for PSC), annexed to resolution A.1119(30). Having considered the CG report in document III 6/5, this was referred to the WG together with relevant outcomes from HTW 6 and MEPC 74 related to the revision of Procedures for PSC as well as those from PPR 5 and MSC 101.
Plenary discussion included: consistent implementation of the 0.50% global Sulphur limit (IMO 2020) illustrated by a Secretariat presentation on the subject which is available in IMODOCS as III 6/INF; justification for a draft new output related to a Training Manual for new entrant as flag State surveyor and port State inspector; Guidelines for Control of operational requirements and Guidance on procedures for Operational Controls; performance of flag Administrations and Recognised Organisations; transparency and harmonization of PSC information, most notably Equasis noting that the Riyadh MoU has become the ninth PSC regime to provide it with PSC inspection data; analysis of PSC activities, practices and statistics; the next IMO Workshop for PSC MoU/Agreement secretaries and database managers, PSCWS 8, scheduled for the second half of 2020; and, issues relating to the implementation of IMO instruments from the analysis of PSC data.
Following discussion, Working Group 2 on Measures to harmonise PSC activities and procedures worldwide, and identified issues relating to the implementation of IMO instruments from the analysis of PSC data, was formed. In considering the Group’s subsequent report, the Sub-Committee approved it in general, and in particular:
- Agreed to invite PPR 7 to further review the amendments to the Procedures for PSC relevant to the use of electronic record books that had not been included by the Sub-Committee, considering that the amendments to the different MARPOL Annexes on the use of electronic record books have not yet entered into force, and invited MEPC 75 to instruct III 7 to review those amendments before consolidation into the Procedures for PSC;
- Agreed that the decision criteria listed under the 3 headings of Ship Certification, Crew Certification and Ship operations should be applied when considering the introduction of certificates and documents into part A of appendix 12 of the Procedures for PSC in the future;
- Approved a draft Assembly resolution on Procedures for PSC, 2019, to revoke resolution A.1119(30) for direct submission to A 31 for adoption;
- Agreed the justification for a new output on “producing a new entrant training manual for PSC personnel”, for submission to MEPC 75 and MSC 102;
- Agreed on the identified subject matters to be addressed by the PSCWS at its eighth session;
- Agreed to re-establish the CG on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures Worldwide and to its draft terms of reference;
- Noted that, during the previous round, the CG had experienced various technical issues restricting its work. The Secretariat was therefore invited to look into the matter in order to better facilitate the future work of the CG; and,
- Agreed that at III 7, the working/drafting group dealing with PSC matters will be released early in order to consider the report of the CG.
ANALYSIS OF CONSOLIDATED AUDIT SUMMARY REPORTS. The Sub-Committee was advised that MEPC 74, due to time constraints, deferred consideration of the action items related to the analysis of the consolidated audit summary reports (CASRs) stemming from III 5, to MEPC 75, but for III to take any actions emanating from MSC 101 based on its consideration of the outcome of III 5. A resolution drafted by the Secretariat on the Guidance on communication of information and pertinent information for enhancements in the communication of information by Member States was considered and approved for direct submission to Assembly 31 later this year. Following Plenary discussion proposing to develop additional guidance documents to assist in the implementation of the III Code, it was noted that the principles and policies for the Audit Scheme were contained in the Framework and procedures for IMSAS under the purview of the Council and the Assembly, not the Committees. Thus the proposed guidance should be predominantly restricted to the implementation of the III Code by Member States. Acknowledging that the development of the proposed guidelines went beyond its existing work programme, a Drafting Group was established to develop the justification for a new output on “Development of additional guidance in relation to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) to assist in the implementation of the III Code by Member States”. This was subsequently achieved and their recommendation duly blessed by the Sub-Committee with a view to approval by MEPC 75 and MSC 102.
UPDATED SURVEY GUIDELINES UNDER THE HARMONISED SYSTEM OF SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION (HSSC). It was recalled that III 5 had agreed to the text of the Model agreement for the authorization of ROs acting on behalf of the Administration for submission to MEPC 74 and MSC 101 for approval. MSC agreed to amendments of an editorial nature proposed by Marshall Islands rather than those of a substantive nature, and stressed the fact that the model agreement should remain fully in line with the mandatory provisions of the RO Code. WG 3, established under a separate agenda item was instructed to finalise the draft revised Model Agreement together with an associated draft MSC-MEPC.5 circular.
Following further discussion, WG 3 was instructed to develop amendments to relevant circulars, on ‘List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017’, with a view to submission, in a consolidated form, to MSC 75 and MSC 102 for approval, also FAL 45 and LEG 108, taking into account the comments made in Plenary.
With regard to Exemption of survey and certification requirements under the MARPOL Convention for unmanned non-self propelled (UNSP) barges, following discussion, WG 3 was tasked to finalise the draft amendments to MARPOL concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements and the associated draft guidelines, with a view of submission to MEPC 75 for approval.
A CG, coordinated by China, on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, updated the Guidelines up to and including 31 December 2019, subject to approval at A 31. The Sub-Committee was advised that MEPC 73, whilst approving BWM.2/Circ.70 on ‘Guidance for the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems (BWMS), instructed the above-mentioned CG to ensure that the validation of BWMS at their commissioning, be incorporated in the ‘Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2019’ for all ships, including new BWMS installations on existing ships.
Following further consideration of the report by the CG, the Sub-Committee instructed the Working Group to finalise the proposed draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2017; prepare the terms of reference for a CG to continue the work; and, to examine the list of new and outstanding requirements as contained in document III 6/INF.4.
Having generally approved the report of WG 3 on this item, the Sub-Committee took specific decisions as follows;
- Endorsed the decision to keep the text of the second half sentence of paragraph 6.5.5 of the draft Model Agreement as it was in the report of III 5, ensuring consistency with the RO Code;
- Agreed the draft MSC-MEPC circular on the revised Model Agreement for the authorization of recognized organisations (ROs) acting on behalf of the Administration with a view to approval by MEPC 75 and MSC 102;
- Noted the progress made on draft amendments to relevant circulars on the ‘List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017’;
- Concurred with the Group’s view that it is necessary for the updated version of the List of Certificates to reflect the latest amendments to MARPOL so that the issue regarding electronic record books under MARPOL and the NOx Technical Code 2008 can be comprehensively addressed;
- Concurred with the recommendation that the relevant draft amendments to the List of Certificates be tasked to an intersessional CG for further development;
- Endorsed the removal of the technical and operational requirements in the square brackets from the text of the draft amendments to MARPOL and the addition of two new paragraphs in the Guidelines to address the applications of such technical and operational requirements;
- Endorsed the Group’s decision on invalidity of certificates on proposed conditions in the draft amendments that relevant paragraphs in the proposed amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, IV, and VI and associated guidelines be removed;
- Agreed that draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, IV and VI concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements be submitted to MEPC 75 for approval;
- Agreed to the draft MEPC.1 circular on the Guidelines for exemption of UNSP barges from the survey and certification requirements under MARPOL for consideration and approval at MEPC 75, in conjunction with associated amendments to MARPOL;
- Noted that, as per the instructions of MEPC 73, the survey item (B1) 220.127.116.11 regarding the validation of BWMS at their commissioning has been incorporated into the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines;
- Approved the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2017, (resolution A.1120(30)), together with the draft requisite Assembly resolution to A 31 for consideration and adoption, as appropriate; and,
- Noted that the Group finalized the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Survey Guidelines, with a view to maintaining the status of the mandatory items for future amendments to the Survey Guidelines.
NON-EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER INSTRUMENTS RELEVANT TO THE IMO INSTRUMENTS IMPLEMENTATION CODE (III CODE). It was recalled that III 5 had agreed that the draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code (resolution A.1121(30)) needed to be further developed intersessionally to include the requirements deriving from all amendments to the relevant mandatory IMO instruments entering into force up to and including 1 July 2020, with a view to submission to A31 for adoption. A CG was thus established by III 5 on the Review, co-ordinated by China, to continue development of the draft amendments intersessionally to the Non-exhaustive list of obligations. In this context, the Sub-Committee had for its consideration the report of the CG with proposed amendments and a submission by the Secretariat containing a list of provisions, deriving from amendments to mandatory instruments pertinent to the task, which was then allotted to WG 3, that of conducting a detailed review for finalization of the text of draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list. In considering the findings of the Group, the Sub-Committee:
- Approved the draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations for adoption at Assembly 31;
- Noted that the Group finalized the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Non-exhaustive list of obligations, with a view to maintaining the status of the mandatory items as already described;
- Concurred with the recommendation that the Secretariat be authorized to effect any necessary editorial corrections when preparing the final texts of the revised Model Agreement, UNSP barges exemption, Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-exhaustive list of obligations;
- Concurred with the recommendation that the CG on the review of Survey guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations relevant to the III Code be re-established under the proposed terms of reference; and,
- Concurred that the Working Group on the Survey Guidelines, if re-established at III 7, should begin work early on the morning of the first day.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The seventh session of the Sub-Committee (III 7) has been tentatively scheduled to take place from 20 to 24 July 2020.
Captain Paddy McKnight