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May 31,2010

ISM CODE - Amendments from 1st July 2010

Convention : SOLAS CH IX ISM Code

Flag :ALL FLAGS

Ship type :ALL TYPES

The next ISM Code amendments and some considerations (outcome of the IMO/MSC85)

The Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization has considered at its 85th session (MSC 85) through the Resolution MSC.273 (85), the following amendments to the ISM Code that shall enter into force on 1 July 2010 :

► DEFINITIONS (1.1.10)
“Major Non-Conformity (MNC) means an identifiable deviation that poses a serious threat to the safety of personnel or the ship or a serious risk to the environment that requires immediate corrective action, or the lack of effective and systematic implementation of a requirement of this Code.”
The idea of replacing “and includes” by “or” is to highlight that the only “lack of effective and systematic implementation of a requirement of this Code” may constitutes a MNC.

► OBJECTIVES (1.2.2.2)
The existing paragraph “establish safeguards against all identified risks” will be replaced by: “assess all risks to its ships, personnel and the environment and establish appropriate safeguards.”
To emphasize that, besides a formal risk assessment is not mandatory required, the revised version of this clause by IMO had considered an explicit requirement for companies to carry out operational risk assessments.
All risks involved shall be accessed by the Company when developing its Safety Management System besides it shall be avoided driving companies into a bureaucratic compliance approach by the use of specific formal risk assessment methodologies.
The auditors, while accessing a Company’s SMS shall satisfy themselves with the adoption by the companies of more informed and more responsible approaches to operational risk assessment.

► MASTER’S RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY (5.1.5)
“periodically reviewing the SMS and reporting deficiencies to the shore-based management.”
The word “periodically” was introduced expecting a periodicity of the Master’s review to be considered and clearly defined in the SMS.

► SHIPBOARD OPERATIONS (7)
The existing paragraph “The Company should establish procedures for the preparation of plans and instructions, including checklists as appropriate, for key shipboard operations concerning the safety of the personnel, ship and protection of the environment. The various tasks should be defined and assigned to qualified personnel.” was replaced by: “The Company should establish procedures, plans and instructions, including checklists as appropriate, for key shipboard operations concerning the safety of the personnel, ship and protection of the environment. The various tasks should be defined and assigned to qualified personnel.”
The Company shall establish procedures for key shipboard operations and not procedures for identify those operations.

► EMERGENCY PREPAREDENESS (8.1)
The existing paragraph “The Company should establish procedures to identify, describe and respond to potential emergency shipboard situations.” was replaced by: “The Company should identify potential emergency shipboard situations, and establish procedures to respond to them.”
Again the idea is that the Company identifies procedures to respond to potential shipboard operations and not procedures to identifying those operations.

► REPORTS AND ANALYSIS OF NON-CONFORMITIES, ACCIDENTS AND HAZARDOUS OCCURRENCES (9.2)
“The Company should establish procedures for the implementation of corrective action, including measures intended to prevent recurrence.”
The idea here in adding the last sentence is to have the Company more proactively driven working on a real management system process.
► MAINTENANCE OF THE SHIP AND EQUIPMENT (10.3)
“The Company should identify equipment and technical systems the sudden operational failure of which may result in hazardous situations.”
The words “establish procedures in its SMS to” will be deleted.
The most important here is the Company to consider in their maintenance system all equipment sudden failure would compromise the safety at sea and pollution prevention and do not just try to list critical equipment to be concentrated on as a definition of “critical equipment” would be very vague and should not achieve the aim of this requirement.

► COMPANY VERIFICATION, REVIEW AND EVALUATION (12)
(12.1) – “The Company should carry out internal safety audits on board and ashore at intervals not exceeding twelve months to verify whether safety and pollution-prevention activities comply with the safety management system. In exceptional circumstances, this interval may be exceeded by not more than three months.”
A periodicity for the internal audits was defined and a window of 3 months accepted only in exceptional circumstances.

(12.2) – “The Company should periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the SMS in accordance with procedures established by the Company.”
The word “efficiency” was replaced by “effectiveness” which is what shall, in fact, be evaluated.

► CERTIFICATION AND PERIODICAL VERIFICATION (13)
Following new paragraphs were introduced in this section:

(13.12) – When the renewal verification is completed after the expiry date of the existing SMC, the new SMC shall be valid from the date of completion of the renewal verification to a date not exceeding 5 years from the date of expiry of the existing SMC.
(13.13) – If a renewal verification has been completed and a new SMC cannot be issued or placed on board the ship before the expiry date of the existing certificate, the Administration or RO by the Administration may endorse the existing certificate and such a certificate shall be accepted as valid for a further period which shall not exceed 5 months from the expiry date.
(13.14) – If a ship at the time when a SMC expires is not in a port in which it is to be verified, the Administration may extend the period of validity of the SMC but this extension shall be granted only for the purpose of allowing the ship to complete its voyage to the port in which it is to be verified, and then only in cases where it appears proper and reasonable to do so. No SMC shall be extended for a period of longer than 3 months, and the ship to which an extension is granted shall not, on its arrival in the port in which it is to be verified, be entitled by virtue of such extension to leave that port without having a new SMC. When the renewal verification is completed, the new SMC shall be valid to a date not exceeding 5 years from the expiry date of the existing SMC before extension was granted.
The requirements for the certification process for ISM were added aligning it with the SOLAS certificates including the ISPS Certificate.
An updated form of the SMC was introduced to comply with the above.

► INTERIM CERTIFICATION (14.4.3) – “the Company has planned the internal audit of the ship within 3 months.”
The word “internal” was inserted.

Note: The items described in this article do not intend to be exhaustive and can be supplemented on the specific official publication and/or by contacting the BV local managers or by writing to the contact : Roberto Nahon (dns_ctd@bureauveritas.com).
Email :roberto.nahon@bureauveritas.com