The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code) was adopted by the IMO as Resolution A.741(18), in November 1993. It came into force on 1 July 1998 as SOLAS Chapter IX, ‘‘Management for the Safe Operation of Ships’’. The ISM Code provides an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.
Document of Compliance (DOC)
A Document of Compliance (DOC) will be issued to a Company when the shore side aspects of the Safety Management System are found to fully comply with the requirements of the ISM Code. The DOC is specific to the ship type(s) operated by the Company and for which the SMS is implemented at the time of the audit. A DOC should be accepted as evidence that the Company’s shore-side management structure complies with the requirements of the Code. A copy of the DOC should be placed on board each of the company’s ships, it is unnecessary for this copy DOC to be authenticated in any way.
A full term ‘‘Document of Compliance (DOC)’’ is issued for a period of five years. The validity of the DOC is subject to annual verification within three months before and after the anniversary date.
Safety Management Certificate (SMC)
A ‘‘Safety Management Certificate (SMC)’’ is issued to a ship which signifies that the Company and its shipboard management operate in accordance with the approved SMS.
A full term SMC is valid for five years. The SMC is subjected to at least one intermediate verification, confirming the effective functioning of the SMS. The Intermediate audit is carried out between 30 to 36 months from the date of issue of SMC.
Application of ISM Code
Following type of vessels are required to comply with the ISM Code:
All passenger ships and high-speed crafts engaged on international voyages
Cargo ships of 500gt and upwards
Oil tanker, chemical tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and high speed craft of 500gt and upwards
Government operated vessels used for non-commercial purpose are not requited to comply with ISM Code.