Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/665311
38 Proceedings Spring 2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings On January 1, 2016, the International Maritime Organiza- tion (IMO) implemented a mandatory system of audits for its 170 member states to verify the degree to which each member state effectively implements the mandatory IMO instruments to which it is signatory. 1 This mandatory pro- gram follows a successful voluntary program that ran from 2006 to 2015, in which the United States and approximately 70 other member states participated. Going forward with the mandatory system, experienced government maritime authority personnel from the IMO member states will con- duct these mandatory audits, and the London, U.K., Inter- national Maritime Organization staff will support these volunteer auditors to ensure audit program continuity and consistency. The audits will highlight areas where IMO member states demonstrate exceptional competence in implementing the IMO instruments and note areas where further develop- ment is needed to achieve full, effective implementation. The member states that did not participate in the voluntary program are frst in line to be audited, followed by those that participated in the voluntary audits. 2 Triple I The audit standard comes from the International Maritime Organization Code for the Implementation of IMO Instru- ments (referred to as the "triple I" or "III" Code). 3 As such, the audits focus on maritime safety and environmental protection programs; maritime security programs aren't included in the audit scheme. Each member state will have access to a summary of the audit findings, including any observations and noncon- formances, but without attribution to the member states involved. The full audit report will only be available to the auditors and the audited member state unless the mem- ber state voluntarily elects to make the report public. For example, the U.S., among many other nations, has chosen to make public the full IMO voluntary audit report. The member state must submit a corrective action plan to the International Maritime Organization for all nonconfor- mances in the audit report, but the IMO won't make those corrective actions available to other member states. The International Maritime Organization subcommittee for Implementation of Mandatory IMO Instruments (also known as the III subcommittee) has a standing work group that annually evaluates the fndings to examine areas where the IMO could improve instrument implementation. The III subcommittee may make recommendations to the parent IMO committees for additions, deletions, or amendments to one or more of the IMO mandatory instruments if the audit fndings reveal that some provision has proven problematic when it comes to effective implementation. The main areas of the audit are: • common areas, • fag states, • port states, and • coastal states. The applicability of these sections varies from country to country, depending on the geographical location of the member state and organization. For example, some IMO member states are landlocked, with no sea ports or coastline whatsoever. However, these member states register ships under their fag, and therefore, have responsibility to imple- ment the IMO instruments that apply to those ships. So, in such an instance, the audit would omit the port state and The IMO Mandatory Member State Audit Program Appraising the fag. by mR. John J. hAnnon Offce of Commercial Vessel Compliance Domestic Vessel Compliance Division U.S. Coast Guard USCG Mission Management System