Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2016

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.

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39 Spring 2016 Proceedings Flag State The very heart of the IMO audit is the member state's responsibility to ensure that the ships that fy its fag are safe and environmentally compliant. All other International Maritime Organization regulations spring from this basic principle. So even when inspection functions are delegated to third-party organizations, the ultimate responsibility to verify compliance with the IMO instruments remains with the member state. That said, the III Code allows delegating inspection and sur- vey functions to recognized organizations, and most IMO member states do rely on recognized organizations to pro- vide the global reach necessary to carry out all of the inspec- tions and surveys IMO regulations require. To ensure that these third parties meet high standards, the International Maritime Organization recently created a code for recog- nized organizations, and each member state must verify their recognized organizations meet code requirements. 4 The U.S. delegates various inspection activities to a variety of recognized organizations, primarily International Asso- ciation of Classifcation Societies member classifcation soci- eties. The Coast Guard is tasked with fulflling its duties for oversight under the IMO instrument, and has fully adopted the IMO framework in the recognized organizations code as the model for its oversight program. Port State These are the activities related to control of vessels not flagged under the member state that are in the ports or waters of the member state. As noted in the fag state dis- cussion, the primary responsibility to verify that a ship is in compliance with the IMO regulations lies with the fag state. However, port states are allowed to verify that ships arriv- ing in their ports and waters are in compliance. coastal state areas, focusing only on the common and fag state areas. Common Areas As the name implies, "common area" requirements apply to all member states, regardless of location and feet composition. The focus is on orga- nization, resources, and planning to ensure that international obligations and responsibilities as a fag, port, and coastal state are met. The III Code notes that each state should also monitor and assess effective implementation and enforcement for relevant international mandatory instruments, and should continuously review its strategy to maintain and improve overall organizational performance and capability as a fag, port, and coastal state. An example of a common area for all member states is enacting national laws and regulations. Every IMO mem- ber state must give force to the mandatory IMO instruments to which it is signatory via its national laws, regulations, policy, and procedures. Depending on the legislative and administrative structure of each member state, this can be a protracted process. Maritime authorities within each nation must devote time and resources to accomplishing this task, and, in many instances, they may be in competition with other pressing issues before their national governments and legislative bodies. Further, the volume of new International Maritime Organi- zation regulations has, in some instances, outpaced the abil- ity of some member states to enact national laws before the IMO mandatory instrument went into force. For example, the voluntary audits revealed numerous instances where member states implemented International Maritime Orga- nization regulations via the rules of their recognized organizations (class societies, in most cases), but still lacked corresponding national laws. This could put the recognized organizations in a diffcult situation, inasmuch as they act as agents of national gov- ernments to grant or deny international certificates the International Maritime Organization regulations require. Additionally, even though maritime administrations can't control the priorities of their national legislative bodies, the International Maritime Organization views implementing its instruments as a national responsibility — not just the function of an isolated entity within a government. Captain Lonnie Harrison (6 th from the left), USCG, and his team of IMO auditors (4 th and 8 th from the left) pause during a voluntary IMO member state audit of Ireland. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of CAPT Lonnie Harrison.

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