IMSAS: IMO Member State Audit Scheme, 2015 Edition (K118E)
This publication contains all relevant resolutions adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the process of the institutionalization of the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS), as well as other documents developed to support its effective implementation.
- Framework and Procedures for IMSAS
- IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code)
- 2013 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code
- Amendments to conventions making the use of the III Code mandatory in audits of Member States Other resolutions
- Auditor’s Manual for IMSAS
This publication contains all relevant resolutions adopted by the International Maritime Organization in the process of establishing and institutionalizing the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS), as well as other documents developed to support its effective implementation.
The Scheme has been developed to promote the consistent and effective implementation of applicable IMO instruments and to assist Member States to improve their capabilities, whilst helping them enhance their individual and overall performance in compliance with the requirements of the instruments to which they are Parties.
Resolution A.1067(28), presented in section 1 of this publication, was adopted in December 2013 by the Assembly at its twenty-eighth session and contains the Framework and Procedures for IM SAS. The Framework provides the overall strategy for the Scheme, establishing its objective, principles, scope and responsibilities. The Procedures are designed to guide all those involved in preparing, conducting and reporting on mandatory Member State audits under the Scheme. These are expected to commence in 2016, contingent on the entry into force of amendments to most of the relevant mandatory IMO instruments that will make the auditing, and the use of the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), mandatory (section 5).
Section 2 contains resolution A.1070(28), which was also adopted by the Assembly at its twenty-eighth session. Its annex contains the III Code, which has been developed to provide regulatory connectivity between the provisions of the many mandatory IMO instruments and the requirements they contain that specifically concern a Member State’s obligations and responsibilities for their effective implementation and enforcement. The Code also serves as the audit standard under the mandatory scheme.
Resolution A.1077(28), also adopted by the same Assembly session, is presented in section 3. This contains the 2013 “non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code”. The seven annexes of this resolution provide supporting information for use by Member States and auditors in the preparation and conduct of audits. The list will be kept under review and revised for adoption by each Assembly session, in order to update amendments that have entered into force in the intervening period and future amendments to the relevant IMO instruments that are anticipated to come into force immediately thereafter. It should be recognized that new requirements relating specifically to the obligations and responsibilities of Contracting Governments/Parties under the mandatory IMO instruments are not extensive, since the principal treaty obligations and responsibilities of the Contracting Governments/Parties to those mandatory IMO instruments covered by the III Code are already reflected in this resolution.
Section 4 contains all the amendments to the mandatory IMO instruments included in the scope of the Scheme that were adopted by the respective IMO bodies in the process of institutionalizing the Scheme in order to make the auditing of Member States and the use of the III Code mandatory. The Assembly, again at its twenty-eighth session in December 2013, adopted resolution A.1083(28) on Amendments to the International Convention on Load Lines, amending regulation I/1 and adding a new annex IV; resolution A.1084(28) on Amendments to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of ships, 1969, amending regulation I/2 and adding a new Annex III; and resolution A.1085(28) on Amendments to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, adding a new part F. Similar amendments were adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee at its ninety-third session in May 2014, including resolution MSC.366(93) amending the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, by adding a new chapter XIII ; resolution MSC.373(93) amending regulation I/1.36 and adding a new regulation I/16 to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention), 1978; resolution MSC.374(93) amending the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code by adding a new section A-I/16; and resolution MSC.375(93) amending regulation I/3 and adding a new annex I V in annex B to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (1988 Load Lines Protocol). The Marine Environment Protection Committee adopted, at its sixty-sixth session in April 2014, resolution MEPC.246(66), which amends MAR POL Annexes I , II , III , IV and V by inserting definitions related to the Scheme in regulation 1 of each annex and adding new chapters 10, 9, 2, 6 and 2, respectively; and resolution MEPC.247(66) amending regulation 2 and adding a new chapter 5 to MAR POL Annex VI. Under the provisions of Article I(2) of the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, the aforementioned amendment to SOLAS also covers the Protocol and Parties to it.
Other relevant resolutions presented in section 5 are resolution A.946(23) adopted by the Assembly at its twenty-third session in November 2003, which established the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme with a view to it being made mandatory in the future; and resolution A.1068(28) adopted by the Assembly at its twenty-eighth session in November 2013, which sets out the arrangements for the transition from the voluntary scheme (VIM SAS) to the mandatory scheme (IM SAS).
The Auditor’s Manual for IMSAS, presented in section 6, has been developed as guidance to assist auditors in their planning, conducting and reporting duties as defined in the Framework and Procedures for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (resolution A.1067(28)). The Auditor’s Manual also serves as detailed guidance for maritime administrations on the audit process, to facilitate their effective execution of the various tasks and responsibilities involved in preparing, conducting and reporting on audits.
The intention of this publication is to provide easy reference to the latest documents relating to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme.
Footnotes in this publication have been added for ease of reference and do not form part of the original documents.
Framework and Procedures for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme
Framework for the IMO Member State audit
3 Audit standard
4 Vision statement
9 Technical cooperation
Procedures for the IMO Member State audit
5 Preparing for the audit
6 Conducting the audit
8 Member State’s Corrective Action Plan
9 Audit follow-up
11 The audit process
Appendix 1 Model Memorandum of Cooperation
Appendix 2 Pre-audit questionnaire
Appendix 3 Audit scheme sequence of activities
Appendix 4 Model appendix forms for audit reports
Appendix 5 Model executive summary report
Appendix 6 Audit process
IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code)
Communication of information
Delegation of authority
Flag State surveyors
Flag State investigations
Evaluation and review
Evaluation and review
Evaluation and review
2013 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code
Annex 1 Obligations of Contracting Governments/Parties
Annex 2 Specific flag State obligations
Annex 3 Specific coastal State obligations
Annex 4 Specific port State obligations
Annex 5 Instruments made mandatory under IMO conventions
Annex 6 Summary of amendments to mandatory instruments reflected in the non-exhaustive list of obligations
(Annexes 1 to 4)
Annex 7 Amendments to IMO instruments expected to be accepted and to enter into force between 1 January 2014 and 1 July 2014
Amendments to Conventions
1 Amendments to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (Resolution A.1083(28))
2 Amendments to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Resolution A.1084(28))
3 Amendments to the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (Resolution A.1085(28))
4 Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (Resolution MSC.366(93))
5 Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 (Resolution MSC.373(93))
6 Amendments to the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code (Resolution MSC.374(93))
7 Amendments to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as amended (Resolution MSC.375(93))
8 Amendments to the Annex of the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (Resolution MSC.246(66))
9 Amendments to the annex of the Protocol of 1997 to amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (Resolution MSC.247(66))
1 Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (Resolution A.946(23))
2 Transition from the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (Resolution A.1068(28))
Auditor’s Manual for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS)
2 General guidance to auditors
3 Planning for the audit
4 Commencement of the audit
5 The audit
6 Organizational performance
7 Flag State
8 Coastal State
9 Port State
10 Reporting on the audit
11 Drafting of findings and observations
12 Audit follow-up
Annex 1 Model Timetable and Programme
Annex 2 Model Draft Audit Interim Report
Annex 3 Annexes to documents MSC 81/24/1 and MSC 81/24/4
Annex 4 Appraisal of Audit Team Members
As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.
In other words, its role is to create a level playing field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.
Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.
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