Resolutions adopted by IMO 21st Assembly - summaries
Description of Resolutions adopted by the IMO Assembly at its 21st Session
Assembly adopted the following resolutions, including those submitted by the
Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), IMO's senior technical body, the Marine Environment
Protection Committee (MEPC) and other IMO subsidiary bodies.
with Non-Governmental Organizations
Endorses the enjoyment of consultative status of 52 non-governmental organizations.
The resolution urges Member States to make payment of any arrears
at the earliest possible date. It notes that the level of contributions
in 1995-1997 has not been maintained. (In 1995 and 1996, the level of contribution
receipts reached 95 percent and 96 percent respectively, while for 1999
to the date of the Assembly the level of payment for contributions reached
of accounts and audit reports
The resolution approves the accounts and audit reports for the
nineteenth financial period 1996-1997 and for the first year of the twentieth
financial period 1998-1999 and for IMO's participation in UNDP (United Nations
Development Programme) in 1997 and 1998.
programme and budget for the twenty-first financial period 2000-2001
The resolution approves budgetary appropriations totalling £36,612,200,
representing Zero Nominal Growth over the previous biennium. The total comprises
an appropriation of £18,155,000 for 2000 and £18,666,100 for 2001.
resolution also approves the work programme for the 2000-2001 biennium,
comprising ten major programmes divided into programmes and sub-programmes.
of the external auditor
Approves the appointment of India as external auditor for the Organization.
work plan of the Organization (up to 2006)
The resolution sets out the work plan for the Maritime Safety Committee,
the Legal Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Technical
Co-operation Committee and the Facilitation Committee for the period up
a non-exhaustive list of subjects for consideration by the Organization.
of the International Safety Management (ISM) code by 1 July 2002
The resolution urges Member Governments, Contracting Governments
to SOLAS and the shipping industry to take urgent appropriate action to
ensure that ships and shipping companies liable to ISM certification on
1 July 2002 comply with the Codes requirements by that date.
ISM Code entered into force on 1 July 1998 for passenger ships, including
passenger high-speed craft; and oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers,
bulk carriers and cargo high-speed craft of 500 gross tonnage and above.
It applies to other cargo ships and mobile offshore drilling units of
500 gross tonnage and above not later than 1 July 2002.
resolution also notes that SOLAS does not provide for any extension of
implementation dates for the introduction of the ISM Code.
ISM Code establishes safety management objectives which are:
- to provide
for safe practices in ship operation and a safe working environment;
- to establish
safeguards against all identified risks;
- to continuously
improve safety management skills of personnel, including preparing for
Code requires a safety management system (SMS) to be established by "the
Company", which is defined as the shipowner or any person, such as
the manager or bareboat charterer, who has assumed responsibility for
operating the ship. This system should be designed to ensure compliance
with all mandatory regulations and that codes, guidelines and standards
recommended by IMO and others are taken into account.
SMS in turn should include a number of functional requirements:
- a safety
and environmental protection policy;
and procedures to ensure safety and environmental protection;
levels of authority and lines of communication between and amongst shore
and shipboard personnel;
for reporting accidents, etc.;
for responding to emergencies;
for internal audits and management review.
Company is then required to establish and implement a policy for achieving
these objectives. This includes providing the necessary resources and
shore-based support. Every company is expected "to designate a person
or persons ashore having direct access to the highest level of management".
Code then goes on to outline the responsibility and authority of the master
of the ship. It states that the SMS should make it clear that "the
master has the overriding authority and the responsibility to make decisions
..." The Code then deals with other seagoing personnel and emphasizes
the importance of training.
are required to prepare plans and instructions for key shipboard operations
and to make preparations for dealing with any emergencies which might
arise. The importance of maintenance is stressed and companies are required
to ensure that regular inspections are held and corrective measures taken
required by the Code should be documented and compiled in a Safety Management
Manual, a copy of which should be kept on board. Regular checks and audits
should be held by the company to ensure that the SMS is being complied
with and the system itself should be reviewed periodically to evaluate
of Flag State performance
The resolution includes a flag State Performance Self-Assessment
Form, which is intended to establish a uniform set of internal and external
criteria which can be used by flag States on a voluntary basis to obtain
a clear picture of how well their maritime administrations are functioning
and to make their own assessment of their performance as flag States.
resolution states that flag States have the primary responsibility to
have in place an adequate and effective system to exercise control over
ships entitled to fly their flag and to ensure they comply with relevant
international rules and regulations. It urges Member Governments to carry
out a self-assessment of their capabilities and performance in giving
full and complete effect to the various instruments to which they are
resolution also encourages Member Governments to use the self-assessment
form when seeking technical assistance from or through IMO however,
it notes that submission of a completed form is voluntary and is not a
prerequisite for receiving technical assistance.
invites Member Governments to submit a copy of their self-assessment report
in order to enable the establishment of a database which would assist
IMO in its efforts to achieve consistent and effective implementation
of IMO instruments.
to the procedures for port State control (resolution A.787(19))
The resolution is aimed at updating resolution A.787(19),
which contains comprehensive guidelines and recommendations on port State
sections incorporate procedures for port State control relating to the
International Safety Management (ISM) Code.
resolution notes that port State control related to the ISM Code should
be an inspection and not an audit and that port State control officers
should have the requisite training in, and appropriate knowledge of, the
provisions of the ISM Code.
and uniform implementation of the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification
The resolution is aimed at encouraging all States to implement
the harmonized system of survey and certification (HSSC), even if they are
not parties to the relevant Protocols, which enter into force on 3 February
HSSC covers survey and certification requirements of the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, the International
Convention on Load Lines, (LL) 1966 and the International Convention for
the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol
of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), as well as the International
Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals
in Bulk (IBC Code), Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying
Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code) and International Code for the
Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC
these instruments require the issuing of certificates to show that requirements
have been met and this has to be done by means of a survey which can involve
the ship being out of service for several days. The harmonized system
is intended to alleviate the problems caused by survey dates and intervals
between surveys which do not coincide, so that a ship should not have
to go into port or repair yard for a survey required by one convention
shortly after doing the same thing in connection with another instrument.
system of survey and certification was introduced by the 1988 Protocols
to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS)
and the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (1966 Load Line Convention).
MARPOL 73/78 was amended on 16 March 1990 to introduce the harmonized
system of survey and certification, with the proviso that the amendments
enter into force at the same time as the entry into force date of the
1988 SOLAS Protocol and the 1988 Load Lines Protocol.
to the code for the investigation of marine casualties and incidents (resolution
The resolution adds Guidelines on investigation of human
factors to resolution A.849 (20) - which requests flag States to
conduct an investigation into all very serious and serious marine casualties
and to supply the Organization with all relevant findings.
States should use as a basis the Code for the Investigation of Marine
Casualties and Incidents, which is aimed at providing a standard
approach to the investigations, in order to correctly identify the causes
and underlying causes of casualties and incidents.
Guidelines on investigation of human factors were developed by a Joint
IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO) Working Group on Investigation
of Human Factors in Maritime Casualties.
guidelines are comprehensive and include sections on:
procedures and techniques including fact-finding, conducting
interviews, selection of interviewees and topics to be covered by the
and training of investigators
covering: the ILO/IMO process for investigating human factors; areas of
human factors inquiry including sample questions designed to aid the investigator
while investigating for human factors; definitions - common human element
terms; selected bibliography of UNCLOS/ILO/IMO requirements and recommendations
related to the investigation of human factors in marine casualties and
for the identification of particularly sensitive sea areas and the adoption
of associated protective measures and amendments to the guidelines contained
in resolution A.720(17)
The resolution includes new procedures for designation of a "particularly
sensitive sea area" (PSSA), which supersede the procedures set out
in the Guidelines in resolution A.720(17) (adopted in 1991).
are currently two designated PSSAs: the Great Barrier Reef, Australia,
and the Sabana-CamagŁey Archipelago in Cuba. The Sabana-CamagŁey Archipelago
was designated a PSSA in September 1997. In these two areas, international
shipping has to comply with specific measures, including routeing measures,
to protect the environment and amenities in the designated areas.
the Guidelines, an application to IMO for identification of a PSSA and
the adoption of Associated Protective Measures, or an amendment thereto,
may be submitted by a Member Government or by two or more Members where
there is a common interest.
application should include a summary of the objectives of the proposed
PSSA identification, the location of the area, the need for protection
and a preliminary proposal for Associated Protective Measures, including
the reasons why these proposed measures are the preferred method for providing
protection for the area to be identified as a PSSA.
should then set out, firstly, a description of the area, the significance
of the environmental characteristics of the area at risk of damage from
particular international maritime activities, and an assessment of its
vulnerability to damage by these activities. Secondly, the application
should show how the proposed Associated Protective Measures - such as
routeing measures, strict application of MARPOL discharge and equipment
requirements for ships, such as oil tankers; and installation of Vessel
Traffic Services (VTS) - will protect the area from the identified risks.
for the adoption of, and amendments to, performance standards and technical
The resolution states that the Maritime Safety Committee and the
Marine Environment Protection Committee should be responsible for adopting
performance standards and technical specifications, as well as amendments
resolution is intended to establish a uniform procedure for the adoption
of, and amendments to, any performance standards and technical specifications
developed by the Maritime Safety Committee and Marine Environment Protection
Committee to ensure that such standards and specifications are kept abreast
of technological and industry developments,
replaces an earlier resolution A.825(19) Procedure for adoption and
amendment of performance standards for radio and navigational equipment
which gave the MSC the responsibility for adoption of and amendments to
performance standards and technical specifications for that type of equipment.
updating and retrieval of the information contained in the registration
databases for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
The resolution includes recommended procedures to follow to ensure
that information on ships using GMDSS equipment is up-to-date and easily
and continuously available, for example to Maritime Rescue and Co-ordination
State requiring or allowing the use of GMDSS systems should make suitable
arrangements for ensuring registrations of identities are made, maintained
revokes resolution A.764(18) on Establishment, updating and retrieval
of the information contained in the registration databases of satellite
for the provision of mobile satellite communication systems in the Global
Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
The resolution recommends Governments provide the mobile-satellite
communication system elements necessary for the proper operation of the
annex to the resolution outlines criteria for the provision of satellite
communications systems and coast earth stations in the GMDSS, including
giving priority to distress alerts and urgent and safety calls. Governments
providing mobile-satellite communication systems and coast earth stations
should inform IMO, so that the information can be analysed with a view
to possible acceptance of those systems for the GMDSS.
notes that the Inmarsat system is at present the only mobile-satellite
communication system recognized by SOLAS Contracting Governments for use
in the GMDSS, but that the Organization needs to have in place criteria
against which to evaluate the capabilities and performance of other mobile-satellite
communication systems which may in the future be proposed for the GMDSS.
The resolution includes Recommendation on Pilot Transfer Arrangements,
which notes that ship designers, equipment designers and manufacturers are
encouraged to consider all aspects of pilot transfer arrangements at an
early stage in design. The aim is to ensure the safety of pilots, especially
in embarking/disembarking a ship.
recommendation includes detailed recommendations for specifications of
the various elements involved in pilot transfer, including: pilot ladders;
ropes; accommodation ladders used in conjunction with pilot ladders; mechanical
pilot hoists; ladder or platform section; operation of the hoist; access
resolution revokes three earlier resolutions relating to pilot transfer
arrangements: A.257(VIII), A.426(XI) and A.667(16).
of safe manning
The resolution replaces resolution A.481(XII) adopted in 1981 and
is intended to take into account developments in the shipping industry since
includes basic principles to be applied when considering manning levels
in order to ensure the safe operation of the ship.
ship should be issued with a "minimum safe manning document",
specifying the minimum safe manning levels for that particular ship. The
document can then be produced for inspection during port State control.
resolution includes detailed guidelines for the application of principles
of safe manning and guidance on contents of the minimum safe manning document
as well as a model format.
on training of personnel on mobile offshore units (MOUs)
The resolution includes a recommendation on Training of Personnel
on Mobile Offshore Units (MOUs). The resolution covers minimum
standards for familiarization and basic safety training instructions and
competencies for all MOU personnel; recommendations on specialized training
and qualifications of key personnel (offshore installation manager, barge
supervisor, ballast control operator, maintenance supervisor); and guidance
on safety and emergency response drills and exercises.
practices associated with certificates of competency and endorsements
The resolution highlights the problem of fraudulent certificates
of competency issued in relation to the International Convention on Standards
of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978, as
amended, and encourages action by Member States to eliminate the circulation
of fraudulent certificates.
resolution follows concern about a proliferation of fraudulent certificates
of competency, or authentic certificates reportedly issued on the basis
of forged foreign certificates, which have been found during port State
control inspections and applications for recognition of certificates.
resolution urges Member Governments to take all possible steps to investigate
cases and prosecute, or assist in the investigation and prosecution of,
those found to be involved in the processing or obtaining of fraudulent
certificates or endorsements, including the holders of such certificates
resolution also urges Governments who endorse certificates issued by another
Party to first confirm the authenticity of the original certificate from
the issuing authority and to include details of the underlying certificate
on the new document.
MSC circular on Fraudulent certificates of competency (MSC/Circ.900),
issued 2 February 1999, also invites Member States and Parties to STCW
to report to IMO and to the relevant Administration any cases or suspected
cases of fraudulent certificates, to intensify efforts to eliminate the
problem, and to act under the terms of the Convention, including prosecution
of those involved, if seafarers on board are found to be holding fraudulent
certificates - this could also mean detaining the ship.
for voyage planning
The resolution includes guidelines on voyage planning and notes
the view of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) that voyage planning is
important for all ships engaged on international voyages.
Guidelines note that the development of a plan for voyage or passage as
well as the close and continuous monitoring of the vessel's progress and
position during the execution of such a plan is of essential importance
for the safety of life at sea, the safety and efficiency of navigation
and the protection of the marine environment.
are several factors that may impede the safe navigation of all vessels
and additional factors that may impede the navigation of large vessels
or vessels carrying hazardous cargoes - and these should be taken into
and passage planning includes: appraisal, i.e. gathering all information
relevant to the contemplated voyage or passage; detailed planning of the
whole voyage or passage from berth to berth, including those areas necessitating
the presence of a pilot; execution of the plan; and the monitoring of
the progress of the vessel in the implementation of the plan.
of voyage/passage planning are outlined in detail in the Guidelines.
Guidelines update Guidance on voyage planning issued as
a Safety of Navigation Circular (SN/Circ.92) in 1978.
aeronautical and maritime search and rescue (IAMSAR) manual
The resolution sets out the procedure for updating
the Manual, which was jointly developed by IMO and International Civil Aviation
resolution gives the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) the responsibility
for adopting amendments to the IAMSAR Manual after receiving and evaluating,
through its subsidiary bodies, proposals for amendments and/or additions.
IAMSAR Manual, published by IMO/ICAO in 1998, is designed to help States
meet their obligations under the Convention on Civil Aviation, SOLAS and
the SAR Convention.
IAMSAR Manual replaced two manuals earlier developed by IMO: the Merchant
Ship Search and Rescue Manual (MERSAR) adopted by the IMO Assembly in
l97l; and the IMO Search and Rescue Manual (IMOSAR), adopted in 1978 by
systems used on ships
The resolution states that the Marine Environment Protection
Committee should develop a global legally-binding instrument to address
the harmful effects of anti-fouling systems used on ships.
states that the global instrument should ensure a global prohibition on
the application of organotin compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling
systems on ships by 1 January 2003, and a complete prohibition on the
presence of organotin compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling
systems on ships by 1 January 2008.
paints are used to coat the bottoms of ships to prevent sealife such as
algae and molluscs attaching themselves to the hull - thereby slowing
down the ship and increasing fuel consumption. In the early days of sailing
ships, lime and later arsenic was used to coat ships' hulls, until the
modern chemicals industry developed effective antifouling paints using
compounds slowly "leach" into the sea water, killing barnacles
and other marine life that have attached to the ship - but studies have
shown that these compounds persist in the water, killing sealife, harming
the environment and possibly entering the food chain. One of the most
effective antifouling paints, developed in the 1960s, contains the organotin
tributyltin (TBT), which has been proven to cause deformations in oysters
and sex changes in whelks.
harmful environmental effects of organotin compounds were recognized by
IMO in 1990, when the Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC) adopted
a resolution which recommended that Governments adopt measures to eliminate
the use of antifouling paint containing TBT on non-aluminium hulled vessels
of less than 25 metres in length and eliminate the use of antifouling
paints with a leaching rate of more than 4 microgrammes of TBT per day.
to TBT paint include copper-based coatings and silicon-based paints, which
make the surface of the ship slippery so that sealife will be easily washed
off as the ship moves through water. Further development of alternative
anti-fouling systems is being carried out. Underwater cleaning systems
avoid the ship having to be put into dry dock for ridding the hull of
sealife, while ultrasonic or electrolytic devices may also work to rid
the ship of foulants.
also approved the holding of a Conference in 2001 to adopt the proposed
legal instrument to regulate the use of shipboard anti-fouling systems
and to phase out those containing organotins such as TBT.
and use of port waste reception facilities
The resolution requests the Marine Environment Protection Committee
(MEPC) to develop guidelines on the provision and use of port waste reception
resolution notes that while the IMO Comprehensive Manual on Port
Reception Facilities provides guidance and technical advice, there
is a need for guidelines on how best to plan the provision and utilization
of port waste reception facilities that meet the needs of their users.
MEPC correspondence group on reception facilities has already been working
on the first draft of such guidelines, which contain information for the
provision and improvement of port waste reception facilities and provide
information relating to the ongoing management of existing facilities,
as well as for the planning and establishment of new facilities.
lack of reception facilities for dirty ballast water, waste oil and garbage
is still a major problem in some areas for the shipping industry and represents
the main reason for pollution of the marine environment. Parties to MARPOL
have a duty to ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities in
ports, terminals, ship repair yards and marinas.
provision of reception facilities is particularly important when countries
wish their coastal areas to be designated as special areas.
provided by Member States, on provision of reception facilities is available
in the Circulars section.
to the revised specifications for the design, operation and control of crude
oil washing systems (resolution A.446(XI) as amended by resolution A.497(XII))
The resolution includes amendments to resolution A.446(XI), as
amended by resolution A.497(XII), relating to specifications for the design,
operation and control of crude oil washing systems.
oil washing, which was introduced into MARPOL 73/78 as part of the 1978
Protocol, involves cleaning of oil tanks using crude oil, rather than
water - in other words, the cargo itself. When sprayed onto the sediments
clinging to the tank walls, the oil simply dissolves them, turning them
back into usable oil that can be pumped off with the rest of the cargo.
There is no need for slop tanks to be used since the process leaves virtually
no oily wastes.
amendments are aimed at simplifying the system for monitoring and controlling
COW in order to avoid any health risks associated with internal examinations
of tanks by surveyors.
on shipowners responsibilities in respect of maritime claims
The resolution includes guidelines intended to encourage all shipowners
to take steps to ensure that claimants receive adequate compensation following
incidents involving their ships - in other words, to establish the minimum
insurance cover that ships should carry.
of CLC insurance certificates
The resolution clarifies the validity of certificates relating
to the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution
Damage (CLC) and those relating to the 1992 CLC Protocol.
parties to the 1992 CLC ceased to be party to the 1969 CLC from 16 May
resolution invites States Parties to CLC 69 not to require 1992 CLC ships
holding 1992 CLC certificates to obtain 1969 CLC certificates and to accept
certificates issued under the provisions of the 1992 CLC Protocol as meeting
the requirements of CLC 69; urges States Parties to the CLC 69 to become
parties to the 1992 CLC Protocol as soon as possible; invites CLC 69 States
Parties to issue to 1992 CLC ships 1969 CLC certificates only if they
are requested to do so by the States whose flag these ships are entitled
to fly; and requests the IMO Secretary-General to intensify his efforts
to ensure the wider acceptance of the 1992 CLC Protocol.
of the Organization in the 2000s
The resolution identifies IMOs main objectives for the 2000s
measures to implement the proactive policy agreed in the 1990s more
actively than in the past, so that trends which might adversely affect
the safety of ships and those on board and/or the environment may be
identified at the earliest feasible stage and action taken to avoid
or mitigate such effects. In implementing this directive, Formal Safety
Assessment should be used to the extent possible in any rule-making
emphasis onto people;
the effective uniform implementation of existing IMO standards and regulations;
the wide early acceptance of those Annexes to the MARPOL Convention
which have not yet entered into force;
a safety culture and environmental conscience;
the Organization's technical co-operation programmes; and
the intensification by Governments and industry of efforts to prevent
and suppress unlawful acts which threaten the security of ships, the
safety of those on board and the environment (in particular, terrorism
at sea, piracy and armed robbery against ships, illicit drug trafficking,
illegal migration by sea and stowaway cases).
- to continue
observing resolution A.500(XII) Objectives of the Organization
in the 1980s and resolution A.777(18) Work methods
and organization of work.
resolution highlights the efforts of the Secretary-General to promote:
- the objectives
of the Organization (in particular, his decisive action and leadership
provided towards enhancing the safety of ro-ro passenger ships and bulk
carriers and the expeditious revision of the STCW Convention); and
- the world-wide
implementation of the standards and regulations adopted by the Organization
(in particular, his efforts to ensure the wide and effective implementation
of the revised STCW Convention, ISM Code, MARPOL 73/78 and the FAL Convention),
resolution also notes the special contribution of the World Maritime University,
the IMO International Maritime Law Institute and the IMO International
Maritime Academy in achieving the IMO objectives.
and technical co-operation in the 2000s
The resolution states that capacity-building for safer shipping
and cleaner oceans is the main objective of IMOs technical co-operation
programme during the 2000s.
states that the development and implementation of IMO's Integrated Technical
Co-operation programme (ITCP) should continue to be based on a number
of key principles, including the following:
of the development and implementation process rests with the recipient
of IMOs regulatory priorities in the programme-building process;
of human and institutional resources, on a sustainable basis, including
the advancement of women;
of regional collaboration and technical co-operation among developing
of partnerships with Governments, the industry and international development
of regional expertise and resources for technical assistance activities;
with other development aid programmes in the maritime sector;
from recipients on the effectiveness of the assistance being provided;
systems and impact assessment so that programme targets are met and
lessons learned are transferred back to the programme-building process.
resolution urges Parties to IMO instruments that contain provisions on
technical co-operation to respond to their commitments and invites Member
States to use IMO as a co-ordination mechanism in relation to technical
co-operation in the maritime sector.
also invites Member States, the industry and partner organizations to
continue, and if possible increase, their support for the ITCP, and affirms
that the ITCP can and does contribute to sustainable development.
of IMOs technical co-operation work
in promoting sustainable development
the safety and efficiency of maritime transport
merchant and fishing fleets
turn-around of vessels and port throughput
balance of payments
marine environment protection
waters and coasts
access to protein through improved fisheries catches
sustainable livelihoods and poverty eradication
for seafarers in the global shipping and fisheries industries
of women in the maritime sector
beneficial impact at local level, especially in coastal/fishing