The ISM Code
Implementation to date
Piraeus
10/12/2008
John Couyou
For the benefit of business and people
ISM Code
TEN (10) YEARS LATER
How it all begun
PROBLEM……..an accident and claims explosion
CAUSE………….human error
SOLUTION……..management systems
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ALMOST 10 YEARS OF ISM IMPLEMENTATION
What was the ISM intended for ?
Key players’ commitment - theory & practice
MAJOR Implications
Benefits & Drawbacks
Legal aspects – Court rulings
Enforcement – Enforcement penalties
Future prospects
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TEN (10) YEARS LATER
What was the ISM intended for ?
Provide an International Standard for management and
operation of ships.
(TMSA - ISO STANDARDS – BMSA ?)
Address the responsibilities of people who manage ships.
(ASHORE – MSC-MEPC7/Circ 6)
Address the responsibilities of people who operate ships.
(ONBOARD)
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What was the ISM intended for ?
Provide an International Standard for pollution
prevention.
( MARPOL – ISO 14001/2004 – Vessel General
Permit…….ISM 1.2.3)
Support and encourage the development of a
safety culture.
Establish safety management objectives.
Establish an SMS by the Company to fit its own
organization
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Other Key Players
.. agents , charterers, classification societies
acting in their capacity as classification society ,
classification societies acting on behalf of Flag
State Administration ,Flag State Administrations
,H&M Underwriters , P&I Clubs representatives
,PSC inspectors , pilots ,press , professional
bodies ,ship brokers ,ship owners associations ,
surveyors ,consultants ,auditors* , trade unions ,
university lecturers/academics …
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MAJOR Implications
Company organization & Masters
Ship specific SMS , structure and maintenance
Ship and Equipment maintenance
Rules & regulations awareness
Training
Legal aspects
Insurance
Administration & costs
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BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
It is a reliable management tool if used properly
It is effective in reducing accidents and damages (claims)
if used properly
Risks are assessed and sensible precautions are taken
when used sensibly
It helps increase awareness and compliance with rules
and regulations
It improves/enforces safety consciousness and improves
management skills of personnel
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BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
It is not a prescriptive enough management tool
(cf. TMSA)
Often , SMS Procedures may not be relevant
Working practices may be costly to change
Very scarcely ,time and resources are diverted from the
principal purpose of carrying cargo profitability
Checklists burden the system ,to satisfy auditing
requirements
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BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
It is increasingly becoming an administrative burden
Too many rules and regulations directed to poorly trained
personnel
Communication language ( too many languages ! )
Lack of “proper” training. Training needs are rarely
reported
Lack of adaptability –on company side-with regards to
ship-types and trade patterns
(number of shore personnel, frequency of onboard visits)
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ISM Code
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BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
R.O , R.S.O. , Flag Administration , P.S.C. behaviors may
create problems of application , interpretation ,variation
in objective standards
Lack of proper SMS monitoring and superficial evaluation
(Int. Audits-Master’s Reviews-Supt. InspectionsEvaluation of documentation received-Investigation &
analysis etc. )
Shipping is a multinational and multifaceted industry with
a globalized labor force. Diversity of opinions and
experiences play a significant role in ISM implementation
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BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
Non conformities still appear as a “black mark”
( In the company – to the Majors – to PSC- to Auditors )
Misguided ideas that large and repetitive quantities of
paperwork (and administration to function) and ticking
boxes and numerous checklists could ( ! ) replace good
seamanship and proper training.
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Legal aspects
EURASIAN DREAM…..car carrier…..07/02/02
Ruling : a framework upon which good practice should be hung.
………………………………………………………………………………………...
TOREPO…..product tanker…..18/07/02
Ruling : a prudent manager/master could very well organize their
companies’/ships’ work to follow best practice and reasonableness
guidelines
………………………………………………………………………………………...
PATRAIKOS II …..container ship…..09/05/2002
Ruling : failure to exercise due diligence in checking the background ,training
and qualifications of the second mate
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COURT RULINGS
The court has scrutinized the SMS and the
documented systems very closely .Voluminous and
particularly irrelevant manuals have been criticized by
the court.
It is unacceptable for a ship owner/manager to dump
ready made procedures, manuals, etc. onboard a ship
and just expect those onboard to get on with it.
The recruiting , vetting, familiarization and training of
sea staff has come under very close scrutiny particularly
when an incident occurs because of human error.
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TEN (10) YEARS LATER
ISM Code
COURT RULINGS
The evidence required has not been limited to the
particular incident. Evidence was needed to be produced ,
that , good procedures were in place and that, for most of
the time, those procedures were being correctly
implemented and followed.
The courts expect certain things (evidence) to be
produced , but will also expect “ audit trails” to be capable
of being followed.
If the operator can demonstrate that he has a good
system in place and all involved were doing their best to
properly implement their SMS , then they should not be
unreasonably punished by the courts.
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Enforcement
Commitment from the top Management
Designated Person & Master & ALL
Internal Auditors
Recognized Organizations
Flag Administrations
Port State Controls
Insurers
Courts
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Enforcement Penalties
Deficiencies
Detentions
Non Conformities & Additional Audits
Fines by Flag Administrations
Withdrawal of ISM Certificates ( RARE )
Loss of insurance claims
Extensive SMS revisions
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Future prospects
In the short and medium term ,the ISM Code was
designed to discover and eliminate substandard
ships ,together with substandard owners and
managers ,not to mention many others who
contribute to their survival and ,in some cases ,
prosperity. EXPERIENCE SHOWS THAT IT IS
WORKING
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Can then , the ships be safely managed … ?
…at one level the answer really is yes and no,
but at a deeper level there is a complicated and
often complex and conflicting picture , which
should not surprise anyone if one considers that
one is dealing with a multinational , multifaceted
industry with a globalised labor force.
Therefore diversity of opinions and experiences
are to be expected. IT IS A SLOW PROCESS
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Ships’ safe operation management
THANK YOU
FOR YOUR ATTENTION
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