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Member State Audit Scheme & Implementation Support


​IMO was established to adopt legislation and Governments are responsible for implementing them. When a Government accepts an IMO Convention it agrees to make it part of its national law and to enforce all of the provisions contained therein.

IMO’s Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) has a remit to review issues relating to implementation, and its tasks include:
  • review the rights and obligations of States emanating from the IMO treaty instruments; 
  • assess, monitor and review the current level of implementation of IMO instruments by States in their capacity as flag, port and coastal States, with a view to identifying areas where States may have difficulties in fully implementing them;
  • identify the reasons for the difficulties in implementing provisions of relevant IMO instruments, taking into account any relevant information collected through, inter alia, the assessment of performance, the investigation of marine casualties and incidents and port State control (PSC) data, while paying particular attention to difficulties faced by developing countries;
  • consider proposals to assist States in implementing and complying with IMO instruments by the development of appropriate instruments, guidelines and recommendations.
  • analyse investigation reports into marine casualties and incidents and maintain an efficient and comprehensive knowledge-based mechanism to support the identification of trends and feed into the IMO rule-making process;
  • review IMO standards on maritime safety and security and the protection of the marine environment, to maintain an updated and harmonized guidance on survey and certification related requirements; and
  • promote global harmonization of PSC activities.

IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS)

The mandatory audit of all Member States commenced from 1 January 2016,​ with the aim of determining the extent to which they give full and complete effect to their obligations and responsibilities contained in a number of IMO treaty instruments. The mandatory IMO instruments included in the scope of the Scheme cover safety of life at sea (SOLAS 1974 and its 1988 Protocol); prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL); standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW 1978); load lines (LL 66 and its 1988 Protocol); tonnage measurement of ships (Tonnage 1969); and regulations for preventing collisions at sea (COLREG 1972).

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