What is International Safety Management Code or ISM Code for Ships?

Over the countless years that the maritime domain has been in existence, there have been several important landmarks carved through. These include the establishments of important law making bodies and setting up of necessary rules and regulations.

All these laws and law-implementing authorities have transformed and made the maritime sector the powerful domain that it is today.

ISM Code

Known as the International Safety Management Code, the ISM Code is one of the aforementioned required regulations in the marine industry. From the year 1994, it has been a very vital component of the SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea). It was in this year that this code was formally adopted and integrated as a part of the SOLAS Convention.

In other words, it can be also highlighted that the ISM Code Shipping is an intrinsic part of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in its efforts to ensure, maintain and effectuate safety for the seafarers as well as simultaneously providing a pollution free zone for the sector entirely.

It can be said that the code focuses on bringing the aspect of marine safety to a common platform for vessels of all nationalities. This eliminates any discrepancies that could arise about the maintenance of a much-needed safety protocol.

According to the stipulations of the Code it is mandatory that all ships follow this code. In order to execute its appropriate functionality, the International Safety Management Code is supported by a Safety Management System. This system, abbreviated as SMS, details the various requirements that need to be followed like

–          Establishment of a managerial committee to oversee the various proceedings

–          Ensure that the managerial officers carry out their outlined duties appropriately

–          Corroborate the differences between the outlined responsibilities and the actual performance to resolve them

–          Audit the vessel – both internally and externally so as to eliminate all possibilities of safety problems

The latter aspect comes under the ambit of Planned Maintenance System. It is expected of every shipping corporation that it carries out auditory analyses of its safety management system and enforces the same, wherever lacking. While the internal auditing is carried out by the company itself, the external auditing is carried out, every two to three years, by the officials of the country where the vessel is registered to. If the vessel has successfully incorporated all the safety requirements, then the officials issue it with a Certification of Safety Management or the Safety Management Certificate which brings the entire chain of process to a fruitful completion.

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