‘Is Ship Recession Affecting ISM Compliance?’

Mar 14, 2013, 7:09AM EST
Having gained maturity it is time to move ahead of being just ISM compliant

Ship detention having dropped to 10 from 14 in the previous year may not be a rosy picture. The possibility of finally migrating from the grey list of the Paris MOU to its White list provided not a single detention takes place could find the Indian Administration and the shipping fraternity in good stead. But hearing stakeholders commit to raising the quality bar and rise above ISM compliance regime is something to write home about if concerted effort is made by all concerned to abide by this resolution.

At the ISM Annual Review Workshop held yesterday by the Indian Administration - Director General of Shipping, government of India to review the performance during the year, some of the DPOs (Designated Person Ashore) from Recognized Organizations (RO) who substantiate their claim that recession had little bearing on ISM (International Safety Management Code) compliance endorsed the view that the industry having gained maturity it was time for it to rise above compliance.          

Heading the list was C. P. K. Kashyap, President – Operations of Sanmar Shipping Limited stated, “The ISM code needs to be revamped and revamped thoroughly. We need to have the culture in-built in us and the administration should look far ahead of ISM system.”

Another proactive performer has been Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. I. N. Bose their General Manager informed that his company has been ahead in implementing many of the convention that came into force recently and some still to get ratified. Even before coming into force they had complied with Maritime Labor Convention, Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and come up with their Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). “Our fleet is 10.40 per cent more efficient now than in 2011. We have put a cap on fuel, on speed and on power generation on our ships and thus been able to improve efficiency. Rating of energy efficiency of ships is on the basis of the Energy Efficiency & Environment performance of individual ships.  Basically all our ships are operating at Step 2.”

Capt C. Srinivas, Head of Quality and Safety, Essar Shipping Ltd., viewed ISM compliance during recession was a time for taking tough decisions. “We have to adapt to the changing scenario to ensure that our core competences are intact and our business moves forward,” he said.       

As an analogy of other industries impacted by recession Capt Rajat Mehta, Manager – Marine, Safety & Quality of V. Ships (Chennai) Pvt Ltd., contended, “Airlines have also been affected by recession for the same amount of time but no safety violations has taken place.” Drawing the roadmap for implementing the ISM, he said there is need for commitment from all stakeholders to comply with the system and not just restrict to paper work. Instead it is important to be in communication with the stakeholders to better the system.

Earlier setting the tone for the discussions the chief guest of the function Gautam Chatterjee, Director General of Shipping & Ex. Officio Additional Secretary to the Govt. of India sounded a word of caution stating that though it is 15 years that the ISM code has been rolled out it is generally accepted that the code has made a good impact. But it is noticed that there are some pockets where the ISM code not been observed. Some companies seem to have implemented it differently and this needs to be standardized. The audit has thrown up a number of questions which need to be deliberated on.   

Presenting the ‘ISM Review 2012’ R Vinod Kumar, E&SS cum DDG(Tech), Directorate General of Shipping gave a analysis of the non-compliances and detentions that have taken place, the type of ships involved, the non compliances raised during the audits, the areas of concern, and where monitoring needs to be undertaken.

He was categorical in stating that ISM compliance was not expensive and it was a misconception that monitoring is to be done by the shore staff. He underscored the need to motivate the seafarers and the shore staff for ensuring better compliance of the ISM code.

Vijay Arora, Sr Principal Surveyor of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) presented a paper explaining how the industry appeared to have lost its ability to regulate and manage its own affairs and how ISM code has helped it get back on the rails. He gave details about the study conducted by the IRS on inspection by Port State Control and Flag State Control. 

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