The Sub-Committee on the Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) 9th session took place 31 July to 04 August 2023 where key issues on implementation were discussed.
In particular, the Sub-Committee finalized the updating of four key IMO Assembly resolutions on implementation: the draft Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification, 2023; the draft 2023 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO instruments implementation Code (III Code); the draft Procedures for port State control (PSC), 2023; and the draft 2023 Guidelines on the implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations.
These will be forwarded for adoption by the IMO Assembly at its thirty-third session (A 33), which meets 27 November to 6 December 2023.
III Code Implementation Guidance
The Sub-committee finalized the draft text of the III Code Implementation Guidance. The guidance aims to assist Member States in the implementation of the III Code, and the standard of audits conducted under the IMO member state Audit Scheme (IMSAS). The draft will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for approval for issuing under an MSC-MEPC circular.
Guidance on assessments and applications of remote surveys, ISM Code audits and ISPS Code verifications
The Sub-Committee finalized part of a package of work on guidance on assessments and applications of remote surveys, ISM Code audits and ISPS Code verifications, as contained in draft Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) and Guidelines on implementation of the ISM Code, with a view to adoption by A 33 (26 November-6 December).
Review of the Casualty Investigation Code
The Sub-Committee considered proposals for a holistic and comprehensive review of the Casualty Investigation Code and to amend the Code, including proposals to amend and improve the quality and timeliness of marine safety investigation reports. Following discussion, which saw strong support for the proposed review of the Code, the Sub-Committee invited interested Member States and international organizations to submit a proposed new output on a holistic and comprehensive review of the Casualty Investigation Code to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).
The Sub-Committee considered the report of the Correspondence Group on Analysis of Marine Safety Investigation Reports, containing information based on the analysis of the 27 marine casualties and incidents.
The Sub-Committee approved the text of Lessons Learned from marine casualties and their release on the IMO website: Lessons-Learned. The Sub-Committee highlighted the importance of submitting the Lessons Learned while uploading marine safety investigation reports.
Safety issues related to risks of falls from height
The Sub-Committee considered the proposal developed by the Correspondence Group for a new output on guidelines addressing the identified safety issues of seafarers exposed to risk of falls from height (including, but not limited to, access to and egress from the location where the work will be conducted, working from height and work over the side) and agreed to forward to the MSC a proposal to develop guidelines addressing safety issues related to risks of falls from height.
Preventing the loss of containers at sea
The Sub-Committee considered the proposal developed by the Correspondence Group related to the development of measures to prevent the loss of containers at sea.
The Sub-Committee agreed to forward the proposal along with analysis to the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) for further consideration, under the CCC agenda item “Development of measures to prevent loss of containers at sea” in its biennial agenda for 2024-2025.
Fishing vessels – person overboard
The Sub-Committee considered safety issues resulting in man overboard from fishing vessels in relation to the use of personal flotation devices (PFDs) and the possible application of existing technology, such as radar search and rescue transponder (SART), to relocate a person falling overboard from fishing vessels. The Sub-Committee invited the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) to recommend that the ICAO/ILO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (JWG 30) should determine the most effective and appropriate means for locating a person falling into the water from fishing vessels and take further action to address the safety issue.
Issues relating to the implementation of IMO instruments from the analysis of data
The Sub-Committee noted that 10 documents had been submitted under this agenda item, which were considered under other relevant agenda items. The Sub-Committee invited Member States, international organizations and the Secretariat to continue submitting their analyses of various data sets under this agenda item, as well as proposals on the way forward in relation to effective use of analysis in support of the regulatory work of IMO and policy development.
Harmonizing port State control (PSC) activities and procedures worldwide
The Sub-Committee noted that information provided by all 10 PSC regimes revealed that 63,761 inspections were carried out in 2020, 74,574 in 2021 and 81,346 in 20222.
In 2020, 1,530 detentions were reported, 1,746 in 2021 and 2,160 in 2022. The overall detention rate increased from 2.34% in 2021 to 2.66% in 2022.
The Sub-Committee considered the regulatory basis for port State control, roles and responsibilities of Contracting Governments in their right to exercise port State control, and the supporting role of IMO. Additionally, the Sub-Committee considered the prospect of possible future developments, which include potential development of an overarching database under the umbrella of IMO; the need for analysis of PSC data stored in GISIS to establish trends to support regulatory and policy developments; and the increasing number of PSC MoUs/Agreements working on the development of a port State control regime for fishing vessels.
Draft guidance to assist in implementing Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety
The Sub-Committee progressed in developing draft guidance to assist competent authorities in the implementation of the Cape Town Agreement of 2012. A correspondence group was tasked with finalizing the text.
The Sub-Committee noted that, to date, there are 21 Contracting States to the Cape Town Agreement and an aggregate number of 2,603 fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over operating on the high seas. For the Agreement to enter into force, 22 States are required and 3,600 fishing vessels.
Joint FAO/ILO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on IUU Fishing and Related Matters
The Sub-Committee considered the matter on the preparation of the fifth joint FAO/ILO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Related Matters (JWG 5), which is expected to convene at the beginning of 2024. JWG is an open meeting, therefore, the participation of representatives of other Member Governments, as well as IGOs and NGOs, was strongly encouraged.
Marine plastic litter from ships
With a view to progressing the work under this agenda item, the Sub-Committee invited interested Member States and international organizations to submit documents to III 10 on work on marine plastic litter assigned to it by MEPC.
Analysis of GISIS module on port reception facilities
The Sub-Committee noted analysis of data contained under the Port Reception Facilities (PRF) module of GISIS.
PRF Inadequacies by waste type 2018 to 2022 shows that 93% of reported inadequacies relate to MARPOL Annex V (garbage). More than half (58%) of the reports state no facility available, while 14% report unreasonable charge for use of the facilities.
The Sub-Committee urged Parties to MARPOL to increase the level of reporting and to review their respective reports within the PRF module to ensure that these were accurate and up to date; The Secretariat was invited to provide periodic reports on the data analysis to future sessions in relation to the PRF module.