The Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), meeting for its 28th session in London, has adopted key resolutions and amendments relating to the Organization’s mandatory audit scheme, paving the way for the scheme to come into effect by 2016 once amendments to mandatory instruments have entered into force.
The mandatory audit scheme is seen as a key tool for assessing Member States’ performance in meeting their obligations and responsibilities as flag, port and coastal States under the relevant IMO treaties and then offering the necessary assistance, where required, for them to meet their obligations fully and effectively.
The Assembly adopted the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), which provides a global standard to enable States to meet their obligations as flag, port and/or coastal States; the Framework and Procedures for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme; the 2013 non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code; and a resolution on transitional arrangements from the voluntary to the mandatory scheme.
The Assembly also adopted amendments to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966; the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969; and the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended, to make the use of the III Code mandatory in auditing Member States to determine how they give full and complete effect to the provisions of those Conventions to which they are party.
Following this, the Organization is expected, during 2014, to adopt similar draft amendments (which have already been approved by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)) to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended; the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966; the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended; and Annexes I to VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, and its 1997 Protocol, as amended.
The adoption of the various amendments and their entry into force will form the basis for an institutionalized audit scheme.