The purpose of the INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT CODE (ISM Code) is to provide an global standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention. The safety management system should ensure compliance with mandatory rules and regulations; and that applicable codes, guidelines and standards recommended by the Organization, Administrations, classification societies and maritime industry organizations are taken into account.
The purpose of ISM Code is:
SOLAS adopted the ISM Code in 1994 and incorporated it into chapter IX. By 1998 much of the commercial shipping community was required to be in compliance with the ISM code. By 2002 almost all of the international shipping community was required to comply with the ISM Code.
SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SMS) - In order to comply with the ISM Code, each ship class must have a working Safety Management System (SMS). Each SMS consists of the following elements:
Commitment from top management
It should be noted that another requirement of the ISM Code is for the ship to be maintained in conformity with the provisions of relevant rules and regulations and with any additional requirements which may be established by the Company.
AUDIT - Auditing is another important factor of any management system. There are at least two related audits which will be carried out to verify compliance with the ISM Code:
Each ISM compliant ship is audited, first by the Company (internal audit) and then each 2.5 to 3 years by the Flag State Marine Administration to verify the fulfillment and effectiveness of their Safety Management System.
CERTIFICATION INTERIM & INITIAL - Once SMS is verified and it is working and effectively implemented, the ship is issued with The Safety Management Certificate. Every individual ship must have a SMC which ensures that it complies with the onboard Safety Management Manual based on ISM. If a company owns 25 oil tanker ships, then SMC is issued to each ship with total of 25 SMC. SMC is issued after successfully auditing the ship for making sure that it is operating as per the SMS based on ISM code.
To ensure Safety at Sea - To prevent injury or loss of life - To avoid damage to the environment and ship.
To comply with the ISM Code, each ship class must have a working Safety Management System (SMS).
There are at least two related audits which will be carried out to verify compliance with the ISM Code.
Issued after successfully auditing the ship for making sure that it is operating as per the SMS based on ISM code