IUMI at the International Maritime Organisation

By Nick Gooding FCII, IUMI Alternate Officer at IMO

Since the last edition of IUMI Eye there have been three meetings at the IMO to report upon:

  • The 103rd session of the Legal Committee met on 8 - 10 June;
  • The Council met on 4 - 8 July;
  • The Sub-Committee on the Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) met on 18 – 22 July.

The Legal Committee discussed, among other matters, the need for support on the ratification of the 2010 International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS Convention). In order to encourage further support for ratification and entry into force of the treaty, a Correspondence Group was tasked to develop a series of HNS scenarios for a presentation in order to highlight the sort of incidents where such damage and subsequent liability would occur. Such a presentation would also highlight the benefits the Convention would bring to Member States, by reason of the safety net included therein.

Another topic discussed was the delegation of authority to issue insurance certificates under the CLC and HNS Conventions. A Correspondence Group was established to develop an Assembly resolution to deal with this matter.

A proposal for a new output on an international convention on the recognition of the judicial sale of ships was debated but the Committee did not wish to take this forward.

The meeting of the IMO Council mainly deals with internal administrative topics which include HR matters, accounts, budgets and investments. It also receives for approval the reports of all the subordinate IMO Committees that have met since the last meeting of the Council.

The III Sub-Committee discussed, among other things, the lessons learned and safety issues identified from the analysis of marine and safety investigation reports. To this end there is a working group on casualty analysis. Unlike the data looked at by the IUMI Facts and Figures Committee there is no detail on the monetary cost of the casualties under review. This report is based on the cause and effect of the casualty which, hopefully, acts as a risk management tool for ship owners, operators, flag states and port state control.

The following was approved at the meeting:

  1. Changes to the text of casualty analysis for release to the public on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) Marine Casualties and Incidents module;
  2. Encouragement of the inclusion of supporting information, such as diagrams or photographs, when presenting lessons learnt;
  3. The draft text of lessons learnt for release on the IMO website;
  4. The progress made on the development of the new draft marine safety investigation report analysis procedure;
  5. The re-establishment of the Correspondence Group (CG) on Casualty Analysis;
  6. The agreement that the Survey Questionnaire, once completed by Member States, should be collated and forwarded to the CG in an anonymous and usable format for preliminary analysis and advice for the next meeting of the Sub-Committee.

The meeting also considered a submission by Australia relating to poor navigational practices and difficulties in operating navigation equipment by some ships visiting Australian ports, although as pointed out by other delegations, this is a worldwide problem. Australia proposed that additional guidance be developed for Port State Control Officers on the topic of electronic navigation systems and after discussion, the Sub-Committee noted the many views expressed an overreliance on the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). In this context, note was also taken of the intended future conduct of a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) by the Paris and Tokyo MOUs on SOLAS Chapter V, including the ECDIS related requirement and recent development of Port State Controls Guidelines on ECDIS. The Sub-Committee invited the Paris MOU to consider submitting their guidelines to the next meeting of the Sub-Committee and other relevant IMO bodies.