FSI progresses on port reception facilities
The Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI), at its 18th session, reported good progress in work aimed at tackling the inadequacy of port reception facilities, with completion of all tasks assigned to the Sub-Committee, under an action plan initiated in 2006 under the auspices of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).
The tasks completed by the Sub-committee are aimed at improving the provision and use of adequate port reception facilities, through improved information, standardised reporting systems and procedures and practical guidance.
Development of a Code for recognized organizations
The Sub-Committee made progress on the development of a new Code for recognized organizations (ROs), with discussion on its purpose, framework and structure, based on all existing requirements and recommendations of IMO instruments regarding recognized organizations.
The Code would provide a consolidated instrument containing criteria against which recognized organizations (which may be authorized by flag States to carry out surveys and issue certificates on their behalf) are assessed and authorized/recognized, and give guidance for subsequent monitoring of ROs by Administrations.
A correspondence group was established to further progress the development of the Code intersessionally.
Progress towards making IMO audit scheme mandatory
The procedures for making the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory were discussed, following the timescale agreed by the IMO Assembly in 2009 through resolution A.1018(26), under which the IMO Member State Audit Scheme would be phased in as an institutionalized, mandatory scheme, through the introduction of appropriate requirements in the relevant mandatory IMO instruments. Amendments to these instruments would be adopted in 2013, for entry into force in January 2015.
The Sub-Committee acknowledged that the preferred option for making mandatory the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments (the audit standard) would be through amending the annexes to the 10 mandatory instruments concerned through the tacit amendment procedure. The MSC and MEPC were invited to concur with this proposal with respect to the relevant instruments.
A timescale and work plan were agreed for pursuing the work needed in order to revise the Code to make it mandatory under the relevant instruments.
In the meantime, voluntary audits will continue. The Sub-Committee made progress in developing the updated Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments, to include the requirements deriving from amendments to relevant IMO mandatory instruments that will enter into force up to and including 1 July 2012, with a view to its submission to IMO’s 27th Assembly in late 2011 for adoption, following approval by the MSC and MEPC.
The Sub-Committee continued its work on casualty analysis and approved casualty analyses for release on the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) (http://gisis.imo.org/), as well as "lessons learned for presentation to seafarers", for release on the IMO website.
Following on from analysis of specific incidents, the Sub-Committee agreed that safety issues relating to the inadequate integration of pilots into bridge teams should be referred to the Sub-Committees on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) and Safety of Navigation (NAV), as well as to the Joint MSC/MEPC Working Group on Human Element, for consideration and follow-up.
The correspondence group on casualty analysis was tasked with mapping accidents and possibly identifying trends related to inadequate integration of pilots into bridge teams contributing to or directly causing an accident.
Member States were reminded of the need to provide information on marine casualties and incidents, including those involving fishing vessels, and to provide precise information on root-causes and details of accidents and to consider any potential trend when conducting a marine safety investigation or analysis of marine safety investigation reports.
Correspondence group to develop revised PSC procedures
The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to further develop the text of revised procedures for port State control, intended to provide basic guidance on conduct of port State control inspections and afford consistency in the conduct of these inspections, the recognition of deficiencies of a ship, its equipment, or its crew, and the application of control procedures.
The revised text would update and replace those adopted previously (resolution A.787(19), as amended by A.882(21)). The text would be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection and Maritime Safety Committees, before being submitted to the next IMO Assembly for adoption.
The correspondence group is also tasked with preparing draft guidance for port State control officers on long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) systems; developing a draft revised text of the Guidelines for inspection of anti-fouling systems on ships (resolution MEPC.105(49)); and considering existing guidelines on port State control under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 in order to advise the Sub-Committee on their further development.
Updating of HSSC guidelines continued
The updating of the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC), to include reference to requirements deriving from amendments to relevant IMO instruments that will enter into force up to and including 31 December 2011, progressed. The revised HSSC survey guidelines would be eventually submitted to the next IMO Assembly in late 2011 for adoption.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee agreed revised Guidelines for Survey and Certification of Anti-Fouling System on Ships, for submission to MEPC 61 for adoption.
Mandatory reports under MARPOL reviewed
The Sub-Committee considered the summary analysis of the reports submitted for 2008 in relation to the MARPOL Convention, by 37 Parties to MARPOL and one Associate Member, and noted that the rate of reporting in 2008 remained low at 25 per cent (MARPOL has 150 Parties). The Sub-Committee urged all Parties to MARPOL to submit mandatory reports on time.