These Instructions to Surveyors have been produced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT), for the guidance of surveyors auditing safety management systems both at sea and ashore.
Additionally, they provide guidance for those concerned with the procedures adopted by the MCA for carrying out audits for verification of compliance with the International Safety Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code).
The ISM Code
The ISM Code was adopted by the IMO as Resolution A.741(18), in November 1993. It came into force on 1 July 1998 through SOLAS Chapter IX, ‘‘Management for the Safe Operation of Ships’’.
The ISM Code provides an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.
The UK policy
The MCA recognizes that the ISM Code encourages an enhanced safety and pollution prevention culture within the shipping industry.
Therefore, it was decided that the MCA (as the UK Flag State Administration) would retain direct responsibility for the assessment and audit of UK shipping companies and ships against the ISM Code.
All UK flag vessels are expected to have the SMS Manual written in or translated into English to enable MCA Auditors to carry out audits.
The ISM audit for compliance
Audits are carried out to verify compliance with the ISM Code in accordance with the ‘‘Guidelines on Implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations’’, IMO Resolution A.1022 (26).
In addition, the International Chamber of Shipping, in association with the International Shipping Federation, has produced ‘‘Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code’’ and IACS has produced PR 09 on “Procedural requirements for ISM Code certification”.
It is recommended that surveyors become familiar with these publications as they establish underlying principles for verifying that a shipping Company’s SMS complies with the ISM Code.
Index of documents
The following documents are particularly relevant to the ISM Code:
The ISM Code: IMO Resolution A.741 (18), adopted in November 1993;
Revised guidelines on the implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations: IMO Resolution A.1118 (30) adopted on 6 Dec 2017;
Guidance to Companies operating multi-flagged fleets and supplementary guidelines to Administrations: IMO MSC/Circ. 762 of 11 July 1996;
Guidelines on the application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code, third edition, published jointly in 1993 by the ICS/ISF, amended and updated in 2018;
The Merchant Shipping (International Safety Management (ISM) Code) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014 No. 1512);
Guidance on the Qualifications, Training and Experience necessary for undertaking the role of the Designated Person under the provisions of the International Safety Management Code (ISM). IMO Circular (MSC-MEPC.7/Circ. 6 19 October 2007);
Revised guidelines for the Operational Implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code by Companies. IMO Circular MSC-MEPC.7/ Circ. 8 28 June 2013); and
Regulation (EC) No. 336/2006 on the implementation of the ISM Code within the community.
Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems - Resolution MSC.428(98) (adopted on 16 June 2017)
Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management (MSC-FAL.1/Circ.3)