International Safety Management (ISM) Code

The International Safety Management (ISM) Code is an international standard for the safe operation of ships and for pollution prevention. Chapter IX of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires compliance with the ISM Code. In 1998, the ISM Code became mandatory for three types of vessels, regardless of the date of construction:

  • Passenger ships including passenger high-speed craft on international voyages, not later than July 1, 1998.
  • Oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and cargo high-speed craft of 500 gross tonnage and upwards on international voyages, not later than  July 1, 1998.
  • Other cargo ships and mobile offshore drilling units of 500 gross tonnage and upwards on international voyages, not later than July 1, 2002.

The ISM Code requires that safeguards be established against the safety and pollution risks involved in shipboard operations, while giving the flexibility to develop and tailor a safety system to an owner’s/ship manager’s specific operation while complying with regulatory requirements. Responsibility for this is placed firmly on the companies charged with the ship’s management. If you require or would like to receive ISM certification, contact a Recognized Organization.

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