2015 December 23 10:09

IMO mandatory audits and other amendments enter into force on 1 January 2016

A number of important amendments to IMO treaties enter into force on 1 January 2016, including new requirements for verification of compliance, making audits mandatory under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme, IMO said in its press release.

Other amendments entering into force include SOLAS amendments to require inert gas systems on board new oil and chemical tankers of 8,000 dwt and above; the latest amendment to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code; requirements for stability instruments on tankers and new testing requirements for life-jackets.

Amendments to a number of treaties covering safety, training, prevention of pollution, load lines, tonnage measurement and collision prevention make the audits under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory for all IMO Member States from 1 January 2016.

Up to 25 Member State audits per year are expected under the audit scheme, which aims to provide a mechanism by which Member States can be assessed, in order to determine to what extent they are implementing and enforcing the applicable IMO instruments by identifying areas in need of improvement, as well as areas of good practices.

The idea behind the scheme is to support the enhanced implementation of IMO instruments, as the scheme will provide Member States with an overview of how well they are carrying out their duties as flag, coastal and port States, under the relevant IMO treaties. The process will also feed into IMO’s extensive technical cooperation programme, to provide targeted assistance and capacity-building to States, as well as to the Organization’s regulatory process.