The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments held its 7th Session on-line from12-16 July 2021. Mrs Claudia Grant (JAMAICA) chaired the meeting, supported by her Vice Chair Captain Marek Rauk (ESTONIA), both of whom were re-elected for 2022. Three Working Groups (WGs) 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,
Mr. H Meyer (EC); and,
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).
The session was attended by Members and Associate Members; representatives from the United Nations Programmes, specialized agencies and other entities; observers from intergovernmental organisations in consultative status, non-governmental organisations, and experts invited under rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure of MSC and MEPC.
Items of particular interest to InterManager members are as follows:
OPENING ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL. In responding to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General spoke of continuing to work tirelessly with United Nations sister organisations and industry partners encouraging member States to recognize Seafarers as “key workers”, as also advocated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted in 2020, and to prioritise their vaccination, thereby facilitating safe movement across borders. He felt that this would emphasise commitment to this year’s World Maritime Theme, “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future” and spring it into action. On a related topic, he expressed gratitude for the support received when convening three video conferences of port State control regimes in 2020, so as to harmonise practices in the context of the pandemic. In this regard, III 7 will be expected to prepare the 2021 version of the Procedures for PSC.
In terms of meeting in an Assembly year (December 2021), III 7 will also be expected to finalise preparations of Assembly resolutions on matters related to casualty analysis, port State control, survey and certification, and obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code.
Regarding casualty related matters, he announced the release of the new taxonomy of the GISIS module on casualties and incidents and said that discussions will facilitate progress on more timely reporting following casualty investigations.
Mr Lim welcomed the implementation of the agreed methodology for analysis of consolidated audit summary reports [CASRs] and felt that the analysis of four CASRs would provide good feedback from audits for further development of technical assistance to Member States.
In addition to the expected finalization of two Assembly resolutions on the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC and the updating of the non-exhaustive list of obligations, the list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships will be updated. Also, preparation of the draft Model agreement for the authorization of Recognised Organisations acting on behalf of the Administration will be drafted for approval as an MSC-MEPC.5 circular by the committees.
Finally, he welcomed the strong spirit of cooperation between FAO, ILO, and IMO, as demonstrated by the fourth session of the Joint Ad Hoc Working Group on IUU [Ilegal, Unreported and Unregulated] fishing and related matters, also the Ministerial Conference on Fishing vessel Safety and IUU fishing.
CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS OF REPORTS ON ALLEGED INADEQUACY OF PORT RECEPTION FACILITIES (PRFs).
Matters considered by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting. Document III/7/3 (Secretariat) provided a summary of 107 reports on alleged inadequacy of port reception facilities (PRFs) for 2019 submitted by five Parties to MARPOL, one Associate Member and two territories, also III 7/3/Add.1 provided a summary of 91 reports on alleged inadequacy of PRFs for 2020 submitted by six Parties to MARPOL.
With respect to alleged inadequacy of PRFs uploaded into the Global Integrated Information System (GISIS), the number of responses by port States on the 107 figure for 2019 had increased from 32 to 43 responses (40%) after publication of document III 7/3. For 2020, the port States concerned only provided a response to the alleged inadequacy claims in 13 out of the 91 reported cases (14.28%), a significant decrease in comparison with 2019, the Marshall Islands being the main provider of the reports. In 2020, 85 out of the 91 reports related to inadequacies of PRFs under MARPOL Annex V, notably garbage and plastics.
During discussion, the most notable intervention was made by the delegate of INTERTANKO supporting the call for the Sub-Committee to consider further ways to assess progress in port State response to alleged inadequacy reports, as well as ways of more prominently displaying non-responding port States in GISIS, emphasising that follow-up is essential to identify existing challenges and consequently tailoring the work in supporting the Organisation to better address issues related to MARPOL.
Matters deferred to III 8. Owing to time constraints, consideration of document III 7/3/1 (China) on difficulties with reception facilities for exhaust gas cleaning residues encountered by port States and corresponding proposals, was deferred to the next session, III 8.
LESSONS LEARNED AND SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED FROM THE ANALYSIS OF MARINE SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORTS.
Matters considered by correspondence. In accordance with the arrangements of the remote session, the Sub-Committee considered by correspondence a total of twenty documents.
Casualty-related decisions of other IMO bodies. The Sub-Committee noted the information on the decisions of other IMO bodies on casualty-related matters, in particular, the outcomes of MSC 102, MSC 103 and SSE 7.
Report of the Correspondence Group (CG) on Analysis of Marine Safety Investigation Reports (MISRs). Having considered the CG report on MISRs (III 7/4 and Add.1) (Sweden) containing information based on the analysis of the 43 maritime casualties and incidents listed in documents III 7/4/1 and Add.1, the following outcomes, in particular, were noted:
- two safety issues were identified in the areas of man overboard from fishing vessels and pilot-ladder deficiencies;
- collisions and occupational accidents were identified as the types of accidents which occur more frequently than others;
- highlighting of ISM Code-related concerns on unsatisfactory implementation of safety management systems; and,
- development of a proposal for a new output related to progressing measures to ensure safe operation of elevators on board ships.
Establishment of the Working Group. The WG on Analysis of MISRs was established and given terms of reference to encompass the findings of the CG based on individual MISR reports and GISIS, plus aspects to reflect the discussion during plenary.
Report of the WG on Analysis of Marine Safety Information Reports. Having approved the report of the WG in general, the Sub-Committee took decisions as follows:
- approved the findings of the CG based on the analysis of MISRs and GISIS, including changes to the text casualty analyses and to authorize their release to the public on the GISIS MCI module;
- to bring pertinent observations to the attention of Administrations by means of an III.3 circular with the objective of improving future MISRs;
- approved draft text of Lessons learned from marine casualties and their release on the IMO website;
- to forward a proposal to MSC addressing the design, installation, maintenance, inspection and operation of elevators as a whole, with reference to an ISO standard, as appropriate;
- requested the Committees to reinstate the provision to have continuous output in the agenda so that expeditious action can be taken on safety issues and deficiencies received from the III Sub-Committee;
- endorsed the WG’s recommendation regarding an additional provision in the MCI 2 module in order to provide the status of investigations in progress;
- invited the marine safety investigation State(s) to upload to the GISIS MCI module, the MSI reports of the ships involved in particularly serious marine casualties highlighted in document III 7/4/4 for further referral to the CG to be included in the CA process;
- noted the discussion in documents III/7/6 and III 4/6/9 on the industry guidelines for static towing operations and inclusion as an appendix to the Lessons Learned;
- noted that the information related to MSC Zoe has been included in the Lessons learned and the document referred to the CG for further analysis regarding the very serious marine casualty involving the ship;
- invited MSC to take note of document III 7/4/7 and to consider extending the scope of the output validated by MSC 103 to deal with the issue of container losses;
- re-established the CG on Analysis of MSIRs under proposed TORs; and,
- agreed to the early establishment of the WG/DG on Analysis of MISRs at III 8.
Reminder for submission of casualty-related data. The Sub-Committee reminded Member States to:
- submit reports of investigation as required by the Code (the International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (Casualty Investigation Code);
- encourage MSI Authorities to further develop the systematic investigation method and investigation report structure in accordance with the Guidelines to assist investigators in the implementation of the Casualty Investigation Code;
- ensure that the information on reports of maritime casualties and incidents is provided to the Secretariat;
- provide the Secretariat with preliminary information on casualties derived from
RCCs, possibly through the development of protocols for electronic data transfers, enabling the Organisation to provide Member States with timely and accurate information on casualties;
- consider any potential trend when conducting a marine safety investigation or analysis of MSI reports;
- encourage the reporting of near-miss occurrences and promote a safe culture; and,
- ensure the accuracy of the information available in the Contact Points module of GISIS.
MEASURES TO HARMONISE PORT STATE CONTROL (PSC) ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES WORLDWIDE.
Matters considered by Correspondence prior to the virtual meeting. The sub-Committee considered by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting, a grand total of 52 documents.
Report of the Correspondence Group. With regard to documents III 7/5 and III 7/5 Add.1 (European Commission), providing the report of the CG on Measures to Harmonise Port State Control (PSC) Activities and Procedures Worldwide, the Sub-Committee instructed that the Working Group be established taking into account, in particular, the TORs agreed by III 6.
Establishment of the virtual WG on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures Worldwide. The WG was given terms of reference taking into account comments, proposals and decisions made in plenary and set to work. Following the Group’s deliberations and submission of its report, the sub-Committee approved it in general, and in particular:
- agreed to the text of the draft Assembly resolution on Procedures for port State control, 2021 for submission to MSC and MEPC for approval prior to submission to A 32 for adoption;
- invited PSC regimes to consider providing training or guidance in relation to the detention of ships which are not furnished with a valid Statement of Compliance – Fuel Oil Consumption Reporting due to a change in Flag or company;
- agreed to invite MEPC to revoke the 2019 Guidelines for port State control under MARPOL Annex VI chapter 3;
- agreed to invite PPR to refer the revised version of the 2011 Guidelines for inspection of anti-fouling systems on ships for review in order to have them incorporated as a new appendix of the Procedures and not as stand-alone guidelines;
- Agreed to invite MEPC to authorize the Sub-Committee to review the resolution on Guidelines for port State control under the BWM Convention with a view to it being added as a new appendix to the Procedures in future;
- Invited MSC to authorize the Sub-Committee to review the resolution on Interim guidance on control and compliance measures to enhance maritime security with a view to it being added as a new appendix to the Procedures in the future with the agreed methodology;
- Concurred with the Group’s recommendation to include in the individual PSC inspection report, information regarding the validity period and contact information of financial security providers of the insurance certificates required by the 2014 amendment to MLC 2006;
- Agreed to invite PSC regimes to consider a CIC on financial security regarding the 2014 amendments to MLC 2006;
- Noted that the majority of the Group was of the view that the issues raised in document III 7/5/8 concerning discrepancies in the enforcement of the 0.50% Sulphur limit were not under the purview of the Sub-Committee, suggesting instead, that it be referred to an appropriate IMO body;
- Concurred with the decision of the Group not to include the amendments proposed in document III 7/5/7 by China regarding remote PSC inspections in the Procedures;
- Concurred with the Group’s recommendation that the CG on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures worldwide be re-established; and,
- Concurred with the Group’s recommendation that the Working/Drafting Group on Measures to Harmonise PSC Activities and Procedures Worldwide, if re-established at the next session, should start their work on the first day of III 8.
ANALYSIS OF CONSOLIDATED AUDIT SUMMARY REPORTS (CASRs).
This item took up a substantial amount of the time available for the meeting. It will be of minimal interest to InterManager members but following is a brief outline of the issues discussed:
The Secretariat tabled two documents for consideration, the first, III 7/7 contained the summary of an analysis of four CASRs from 68 audits whilst the second contained the full analysis of the four CASRs under IMSAS. The analysis concluded that the number of findings and observations were essentially related to flag State and common area issues; the breakdown per instrument indicating that the most commonly used references were related to SOLAS 1974, MARPOL and STCW 1978; there were five specific areas in relation to which the highest number of findings and observations were recorded in 68 audits, viz, implementation plus enforcement (flag, coastal and port State), improvement, delegation of authority and initial actions (legislation). In addition, the analysis revealed that, for all mandatory IMO instruments, the four broad areas of root causes identified were related to legislation, policy and procedures, management and implementation.
Finally, the sub-Committee agreed to establish a Correspondence Group on III code Implementation Guidance, under the coordination of the Netherlands and a Working/Drafting Group on IMSAS-related matters will be established during III 8 and commence its work on the morning of the first day.
UPDATED SURVEY GUIDELINES UNDER THE HARMONISED SYSTEM OF SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION (HSSC).
Matters considered by correspondence. The Sub-Committee considered by correspondence, prior to the virtual meeting, documents containing the reports of the Correspondence Group on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-exhaustive list of Obligations under Instruments related to the III Code and presenting, among others, proposed amendments to the List of Certificates required to be carried on board ships, 2017, and proposed amendments to Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2019.
Terms of reference were drawn up for a Working Group to examine the HSSC Survey Guidelines and the list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships.
Report of the Working Group. Having approved the report of the Working Group on the Updated Survey Guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations under Instruments relevant to the III Code in general, the Sub Committee;
- Noted that the Group updated and included the items related to the amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, IV, and VI regarding measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping and unmanned non-self-propelled (UNSP) barges;
- Noted that the Group endorsed the CG’s recommendation that the implementation plan for the consistent implementation of the 0.5% Sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI, should not be included as a document to be carried on board in the context of the List, as it is not a mandatory requirement;
- Agreed to the text of the proposed amendments on List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017, with a view to submission in a consolidated form to MEPC 77, LEG 109, MSC 105 and FAL 46, as appropriate, for approval;
- Noted that the draft amendments to the survey item (B1) relating to the BWM system commissioning testing were made with reference to the updated 2020 Guidance for the commissioning testing of BWM systems;
- Noted that draft amendments to the relevant survey items were made so that expired primary batteries compliant with the requirements in resolution MSC.149 (77), could be used for no other purpose than to examine and check the operation of two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus;
- Agreed to the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC 2019 with a view to submission to MSC 104 and MEPC 77 for approval, prior to submission to
A 32 for adoption;
- Noted that the Group had finalized the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Survey Guidelines, with a view to maintaining the mandatory status for future amendments to the survey Guidelines;
NON-EHAUSTIVE LIST OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER INSTRUMENTS RELEVANT TO THE IMO INSTRUMENTS IMPLEMENTATION CODE (III CODE).
Matters considered by correspondence. A number of documents were considered by the Sub-Committee in correspondence prior to the virtual meeting and following plenary discussion, terms of reference relevant to the non-exhaustive list were issued to the WG.
Having considered the relevant part of the report of the WG on the Updated Survey Guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations under Instruments Relevant to the III Code with respect to the Non-exhaustive list of obligations, the Sub Committee took actions as follows:
- Noted that the Group agreed to inclusion of the proposed items in the Non-Exhaustive List of Obligations as set out in document III 7/9/1;
- Agreed to the draft amendments to the 2019 Non-exhaustive List of Obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code; and,
- Noted that the Group had finalized the list of amendments not yet included in the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations, with a view to maintaining the status of the mandatory items for future amendments to the List.
FOLLOW-UP WORK EMANATING FROM THE ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS MARINE PLASTIC LITTER FROM SHIPS. Owing to time constraints, consideration of this item on the Scope of work of the III Sub-Committee in relation to the Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships (resolution MEPC.310(73)) was deferred to III 8.
BIENNIAL AGENDA AND PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR III 8.
Proposed provisional agenda for III 8. Taking into account the progress made at this session and the relevant decisions of MSC 102, MEPC 75, MSC 103, and MEPC 76, the sub-Committee prepared its proposed provisional agenda for III 8.
Correspondence groups established at this session. Taking into account the urgency of the development of guidance in relation to IMSAS, the sub-Committee established correspondence groups on the following subjects, due to report to III 8;
- Lessons learned and safety issues identified from the analysis of marine safety investigation reports;
- Measures to harmonise port State control (PSC) activities worldwide – identified issues relating to the implementation of IMO instruments from the analysis of PSC data;
- Updated Survey Guidelines under HSSC – Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code; and,
- Development of guidance in relation to IMSAS to assist in the implementation of the III Code by Member States.
Arrangements for the next session. The sub-Committee agreed to establish at its next session, working/drafting groups on the following subjects:
- Lessons learned and safety issues identified from the analysis of marine safety reports;
- Measures to harmonise PSC activities and procedures worldwide – identified issues relating to the implementation of IMO instruments from the analysis of PSC data;
- Updated Survey Guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification;
- IMSAS-related matters; and,
- IUU fishing and related matters.
REVIEW OF THE MODEL AGREEMENT FOR THE AUTHORISATION OF RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE ADMINISTRATION.
Matters considered by correspondence. The Sub-Committee considered by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting, a number of documents and following discussion in plenary, issued terms of reference to the WG on the Updated Survey Guidelines under HSSC. Following the Group’s consideration with respect to the Model agreement for the authorization of recognized organisations acting on behalf of the Administration, the sub-Committee took decisions as follows:
- Endorsed the Group’s proposal to align the text of the draft MSC-MEPC.5 circular with that of part 3 of the RO Code in respect of the scope of the “statutory certification and services” as defined in the RO Code, and the proposed draft revised text of the draft MSC-MEPC.5 circular on Model agreement for the authorization of recognized organisations acting on behalf of the Administration;
- Concurred with the Group’s recommendation to authorize the Secretariat to effect any corrections when editing the documents;
- Concurred that the CG on the review of the Survey guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations be re-established; and,
- That the Working/Drafting Group at III 8 on the Updated Survey Guidelines under the harmonized system of survey and certification (HSSC) and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), should start work on the morning of the first day at III 8.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING.
The eighth session of the Sub-Committee has been tentatively scheduled to take place from 25 to 29 July 2022.
CAPTAIN PADDY MCKNIGHT