Tuesday, 24 February 2015


February 24, 2015.

The International Safety Management Code comes with a mandatory compliance requirement by virtue of its adoption in to SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Chapter IX, and has come in to force since 1st July 1998. The background for the Code is certain tragic Shipping accidents including the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 and the loss of the Estonia in 1994.

Under the Code, effective for most vessels (including Tankers) of 500 gt and above from 1998 and for other cargo ships and mobile offshore drilling units of 500 gt and above from 2002, Companies needed to develop, implement and maintain a Safety Management Systems (SMS) for their vessels. Compliance requires both shore (Management) and ship side (Officers and Ratings) implementation.

The Code aims to ensure safety at sea, the prevention of injury and loss of life, and protection of the marine environment, in addition to ensuring safe practices on vessels and creation of a safe working environment for crews. An unmentioned objective is the sustainability of the maritime industry.

While the Code requires that Companies develop such a SMS for their vessels, it was left broadly open as to the terms and was deliberately intended to be sufficiently flexible to allow adoption by companies of varying sizes and across different industry sectors. 



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