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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION
adopted on 4 November 1993
OF SHIPS AND FOR POLLUTION PREVENTION
(INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT
RECALLING Article 15(j) of the Convention on the International
Maritime Organization concerning the functions of the Assembly
in relation to regulations and guidelines concerning maritime
safety and the prevention and control of marine pollution from
RECALLING ALSO resolution A.680(17), by which it invited
Member Governments to encourage those responsible for the management
and operation of ships to take appropriate steps to develop, implement
and assess safety and pollution prevention management in accordance
with the IMO Guidelines on management for the safe operation of
ships and for pollution prevention,
RECALLING ALSO resolution A.596(15), by which it requested
the Maritime Safety Committee to develop, as a matter of urgency,
guidelines, wherever relevant, concerning shipboard and shore-based
management and its decision to include in the work programme of
the Maritime Safety Committee and the Marine Environment Protection
Committee an item on shipboard and shore-based management for
the safe operation of ships and for the prevention of marine pollution,
RECALLING FURTHER resolution A.441(XI), by which it invited
every State to take the necessary steps to ensure that the owner
of a ship which flies the flag of that State provides such State
with the current information necessary to enable it to identify
and contact the person contracted or otherwise entrusted by the
owner to discharge his responsibilities for that ship in regard
to matters relating to maritime safety and the protection of the
RECALLING FURTHER resolution A.443(XI), by which it invited
Governments to take the necessary steps to safeguard the shipmaster
in the proper discharge of his responsibilities in regard to maritime
safety and the protection of the marine environment,
RECOGNIZING the need for appropriate organization of management
to enable it to respond to the need of those on board ships to
achieve and maintain high standards of safety and environmental
RECOGNIZING ALSO that the most important means of preventing maritime
casualties and pollution of the sea from ships is to design, construct,
equip and maintain ships and to operate them with properly trained
crews in compliance with international conventions and standards
relating to maritime safety and pollution prevention,
NOTING that the Maritime safety Committee is developing requirements
for adoption by Contracting Governments to the International Convention
for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, which will make compliance
with the Code referred to in operative paragraph 1 mandatory,
CONSIDERING that the early implementation of that Code would
greatly assist in improving safety at sea and protection of the
NOTING FURTHER that the Maritime Safety Committee and the
Marine Environment Protection Committee have reviewed resolution
A.680(17) and the Guidelines annexed thereto in developing the
HAVING CONSIDERED the recommendations made by the Maritime
Safety Committee at its sixty-second session and by the Marine
Environment Protection Committee at its thirty-fourth session,
1. ADOPTS the International Management Code for the Safe Operation
of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International Safety Management
(ISM) Code), set out in the Annex to the present resolution;
2. STRONGLY URGES Governments to implement the ISM Code on
a national basis, giving priority to passenger ships, tankers,
gas carriers, bulk carriers and mobile offshore units, which are
flying their flags, as soon as possible but not later than 1 June
1998, pending development of the mandatory applications of the
3. REQUESTS Governments to inform the Maritime Safety-Committee
and the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the action
they have taken in implementing the ISM Code;
4. REQUESTS the Maritime Safety Committee and the Marine Environment
Protection Committee to develop Guidelines for the implementation
of the ISM Code;
5. REQUESTS ALSO the Maritime Safety Committee and the Marine
Environment Protection Committee to keep the Code and its associated
Guidelines, under review and to amend them as necessary;
6. REVOKES resolution A.680(17).
INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CODE SAFE OPERATION OF SHIPS AND FOR POLLUTION PREVENTION (INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT (ISM)
CODE) SAFETY AND POLLUTION PREVENTION MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS
1 The purpose of this Code is to provide an international standard
for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution
2 The Assembly adopted resolution A.443(XI) by which it invited
all Governments to take the necessary steps to safeguard the shipmaster
in the proper discharge of his responsibilities with regard to
maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment.
3 The Assembly also adopted resolution A.680(17) by which it
further recognized the need for appropriate organization of management
to enable it to respond to the need of those on board ships to
achieve and maintain high standards of safety and environmental
4 Recognizing that no two shipping companies or shipowners
are the same, and that ships operate under a wide range of different
conditions, the Code is based on general principles and objectives.
5 The Code is expressed in broad terms so that it can have
a widespread application. Clearly, different levels of management,
whether shore-based or at sea, will require varying levels of
knowledge and awareness of the items outlined.
6 The cornerstone of good safety management is commitment from
the top. In matters of safety and pollution prevention it is
the commitment, competence, attitudes and motivation of individuals
at all levels: that determines the end result.
1.1.1 "International Safety Management (ISM) Code"
means the International Management Code for the Safe Operation
of Ships and for Pollution Prevention as adopted by the Assembly,
as may be amended by the Organization.
1.1.2 "Company" means the Owner of the ship or any
other organization or person such as the Manager, or the Bareboat
Charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operation of
the ship from the Shipowner and who on assuming such responsibility
has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibility imposed
by the Code.
1.1.3 "Administration" means the Government of the
State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly.
1.2.1 The objectives of the Code are to ensure safety at sea,
prevention of human injury or loss of life, and avoidance of damage
to the environment, in particular, to the marine environment,
and to property.
1.2.2 Safety management objectives of the Company should, inter
1.2.3 The safety management system should ensure:
The requirements of this Code may be applied to all ships.
1.4 Functional requirements for a Safetv Management Svstem (SMS)
Every Company should develop, implement and maintain a Safety
Management System (SMS) which includes the following functional
2 SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION POLICY
2.1 The Company should establish a safety and environmental protection
policy which describes how the objectives, given in paragraph
1.2, will be achieved.
2.2 The Company should ensure that the policy is implemented
and maintained at all levels of the organization both ship based
as well as shore based.
3 COMPANY RESPONSIBILITIES AND AUTHORITY
3.1 If the entity who is responsible for the operation of the
ship is other than the owner, the owner must report the full name
and details of such entity to the Administration.
3.2 The Company should define and document the responsibility,
authority and interrelation of all personnel who manage, perform
and verify work relating to and affecting safety and pollution
3.3 The Company is responsible for ensuring that adequate resources
and shore based support are provided to enable the designated
person or persons to carry out their functions.
4 DESIGNATED PERSON(S)
To ensure the safe operation of each ship end to provide a
link between the company and those on board, every company, as
appropriate, should designate a person or persons ashore having
direct access to the highest level of management. The responsibility
and authority of the designated person or persons should include
monitoring the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the
operation of each ship and to ensure that adeguate resources and
shore based support are applied, as required.
5 MASTER'S RESPOSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY
The Company should clearly define and document the master's
responsibility with regard to:
5.2 The Company should ensure that the SMS operating on board
the ship contains a clear statement emphasizing the Master's authority.
The Company should establish in the SMS that the master has the
overriding authority and the responsibility to make decisions
with respect to safety and pollution prevention and to request
the Company's assistance as may be necessary.
6 RESOURCES AND PERSONNEL
6.1 The Company should ensure that the master is:
6.2 The Company should ensure that each ship is manned with qualified,
certificated and medically fit seafarers in accordance with national
and international requirements.
6.3 The Company should establish procedures to ensure that new
personnel and personnel transferred to new assignments related
to safety and protection of the environment are given proper familiarisation
with their duties. Instructions which are essential to be provided
prior to sailing should be identified, documented and given.
6.4 The Company should ensure that all personnel involved in
the Company's SMS have an adequate understanding of relevant rules,
regulations, codes and guidelines,
6.5 The Company should establish and maintain procedures for identifying
any training which may be required in support of the SMS and ensure
that such training is provided for all personnel concerned.
6.6 The Company should establish procedures by which the ship's
personnel receive relevant information on the SMS in a working
language or languages understood by them.
6.7 The Company should ensure that the ship's personnel are able
to communicate effectively in the execution of their duties related
to the SMS.
7 DEVELOPMENT OP PLANS FOR SHIPBOARD OPERATIONS
The Company should establish procedures for the preparation
of plans and instructions for key shipboard operations concerning
the safety of the ship and the prevention of pollution. The various
tasks involved should be defined and assigned to qualified personnel.
8 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
8.1 The Company should establish procedures to identify, describe
and respond to potential emergency shipboard situations.
8.2 The Company should establish programmes for drills and exercises
to prepare for emergency actions.
8.3 The SMS should provide for measures ensuring that the Company's
organization can respond at any time to hazards, accidents and
emergency situations involving its ships.
9 REPORTS AND ANALYSIS OF NON-CONFORMITIES, ACCIDENTS AND HAZARDOUS
9.1 The SMS should include procedures ensuring that non-conformities,
accidents and hazardous situations are reported to the Company,
investigated and analysed with the objective of improving safety
and pollution prevention.
9.2 The Company should establish procedures for the implementation
of corrective action.
10 MAINTENANCE OF THE SHIP AND EQUIPMENT
10.1 The Company should establish procedures to ensure that the
ship is maintained in conformity with the provisions of the relevant
rules and regulations and with any additional requirements which
may be established by the Company.
10.2 In meeting these requirements the Company should ensure
10.3 The Company should establish procedures in SMS to identify
equipment and technical systems the sudden operational failure
of which may result in hazardous situations. The SMS should provide
for specific measures aimed at promoting the reliability of such
equipment or systems. These measures should include the regular
testing of stand-by arrangements and equipment or technical--systems
that are not in continuous use.
10.4 The inspections mentioned in 10.2 as well as the measures
referred to 10.3 should be integrated in the ship's operational
11.1 The Company should establish and maintain procedures to
control all documents and data which are relevant to the SMS.
11.2 The Company should ensure that:
11.3 The, documents used to describe and implement the SMS may
be referred to as the "Safety Management Manual". Documentation
should be kept in a form that the Company considers most effective.
Each ship should carry on board all documentation relevant to
12 COMPANY VERIFICATION, REVIEW AND EVALUATION
12.1 The Company should carry out internal safely audits to verify
whether safety and pollution prevention activities comply with
12.2 The Company should periodically evaluate the efficiency
and when needed review the SMS in accordance with procedures established
by the Company.
12.3 The audits and possible corrective actions should be carried
out in accordance with documented procedures.
12.4 Personnel carrying out audits should be independent of the
areas being audited unless this is impracticable due to the size
and the nature of the Company.
12.5 The results of the audits and reviews should be brought
to the attention of all personnel having responsibility in the
12.6 The management personnel responsible for the area involved
should take timely corrective action on deficiencies found.
13 CERTIFICATION, VERIFICATION AND CONTROL
13.1 The ship should be operated by a Company which is issued
a document of compliance relevant to that ship.
13.2 A document of compliance should be issued for every Company
complying with the requirements of the ISM Code by the Administration,
by an organization recognized by the Administration or by the
Government of the country, acting on behalf of the Administration
in which the Company has chosen to conduct its business. This
document should be accepted as evidence that the Company is capable
of complying with the requirements of the Code.
13.3 A copy of such a document should be placed on board in order
that the Master, if so asked, may produce it for the verification
of the Administration or organizations recognized by it.
13.4 A Certificate, called a Safety Management Certificate, should
be issued to a ship by the Administration or organization recognized
by the Administration. The Administration should, when issuing
the certificate, verify that the Company and its shipboard management
operate in accordance with the approved SMS.
13.5 The Administration or an organization recognized by the Administration
should periodically verify the proper functioning of the ship's
SMS as approved.