Guidelines on implementing IMO safety management code updated

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released the fully revised edition of its “Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code.”

The guidelines on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) ISM Code provide straightforward and comprehensive guidance on compliance for anyone involved with developing, implementing and maintaining a safety management system or SMS, the ICS said in a release.

The ISM Code is a key mandatory requirement for merchant ships, critical to the improvement of maritime safety and environmental performance.

Replacing the fourth (2010) edition, the new fifth and fully revised edition of these ICS guidelines includes comprehensive advice on compliance with the ISM Code for anyone involved with developing, implementing and maintaining SMSs, which are critical to successful and efficient ship operations.

This includes shipping company executives, designated persons ashore and masters and all other personnel—shipboard and shore-based—with responsibility for ISM related compliance; plus other stakeholders such as flag administrations, external auditors and training institutions.

This new edition has been completely rewritten to provide additional detailed advice on the elements of an effective SMS, taking advantage of experience gained over the past 20 years since compliance with the ISM Code became mandatory, ICS said in a release.

This includes objectives of the ISM Code and an SMS, clearly explaining what and who is involved in continuous SMS improvement; elements of an effective SMS, clearly explaining the functional requirements of an SMS and how these can be addressed; techniques and tools for improving the SMS beyond mandatory requirements; and commentary on the use of modern technology in the face of the increasing complexity of modern ship operations and regulatory developments, with an emphasis on approaches to keep the SMS and its documentation as simple as possible.

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