• What is considered as Controlled Document?

    All documents used to define or referred to by the Company Management System are considered as controlled documents. These documents are the following:

    • Policy Manual
    • Procedures Manual
    • Fleet Instructions Manual (FIM)
    • Emergency Response Plan (ERP)
    • Forms (Records)
    • Shipboard Oil/ Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP/ SMPEP)
    • Vessel Response Plan (VRP)
    • Ship Security Plan (SSP)
    • Ship-to-Ship Transfer Operations Plan (STS)
    • Safety Training Manual
    • Fire Safety Training Manual & Fire Safety Operational Booklet
    • Garbage Management Plan
    • Water Ballast Management Plan (WBMP)
    • Emergency Towing Booklet (ETB)
    • Vessel General Permit (VGP)
    • Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)
    • Plans & Procedures for Recovery of Persons from the Water (RPW)

    Furthermore, a number of reference publications (vessel & office library) are also controlled.

    Note: Explanation to these terms or any ideas presented in www.igms.org.gr are for reference only. Site as legal entity or/and author of each respective post/article will not be accountable for any loss or damage.
  • What ISM Certificates you require to start a Shipping Company?

    If you are planning to open a shipping company with merchant ships to ply on international waters for export and import of cargo, one of the first thing to be eligible to do this business is to comply with International Management code for safe operation of ship and pollution prevention .

    International Safety Management Code is a set of guidelines for shipping companies and its employees, both on ship and shore, to ensure that the ship and the companies are operating as per guidelines of SOLAS i.e. safety is never compromised and pollution awareness is present.

    As per ISM code under SOLAS chapter IX, a company shall be issued with Document of compliance (DOC) and its ships are issued with Safety Management Certificates (SMC) only after ensuring that the company has a Safety Management System (SMS) and all ships are operated as per the SMS.

    Understanding DOC

    A Document of Compliance or DOC is issued to a company based on the type of ship. This means that the DOC will be different for different type of ships i.e. if company have10 containers and 10 oil tankers then 2 different DOC will be issued, one to the container fleet and other to the tanker fleet.

    DOC is issued under the authority of flag state government by successfully auditing and reviewing companies SMS and its implementation.

    Types of DOCs

    Interim DOC

    • An interim DOC is issued to a newly established company or when a new type of ship is added in the company
    • The company is requested to submit SMS implementation plan and 12 months are given to the company for fulfilling the ISM requirements.
    • The company shall undergo initial audit, and in case of newly built shipping company within the validity period of interim DOC i.e. 12 months.
    • The company shall undergo additional audit in case new ship type is added to the shipping company within the validity period of interim DOC i.e. 12 months.
    • For a new company, further document review is conducted prior to the audit by administration.

    Short Term DOC

    • A short term DOC is issued on the day of the audit by the administration auditor as a response or proof of completion of the initial, annual or renewal audit process.
    • Validity of short term DOC is 5 months.

    DOC

    • It is issued by the administration after successful completion of initial audit or fulfilment or interim DOC requirements.
    • Issued after at least three months of implementation of SMS at the company and at least one ship in the fleet for which DOC is concerned.
    • The validity of DOC, after initial audit is 5 years from the next date of expiry and it is subjected to annual audit.
    • If a Major NON Conformity is found in the audit, the DOC is withdrawn.
    • The DOC is kept with the company and copy is kept in all the ship under that DOC fleet.

    Understanding SMC

     A Safety Management Certificate is issued to the ship of a DOC holding Company by the administration.

    Every individual ship must have a SMC which ensures that it complies with the onboard Safety Management Manual based on ISM.

    If a company owns 25 oil tanker ships, then SMC is issued to each ship with total of 25 SMC.

    SMC is issued after successfully auditing the ship for making sure that it is operating as per the SMS based on ISM code.

    Types of SMC

    1.  Interim SMC

    • Issued to the company which posses Main DOC, Interim DOC or Short term DOC.
    • Issued to the newly built ship added to the existing fleet of the shipping company.
    • Issued to a new ship with change in Management Company.
    • Issued to a company with change in the flag state.
    • Its Validity is for 6 months.
    • A ship undergoes initial audit with interim SMC and it must fulfil the entire requirements to comply the SMS based on ISM code to get the main SMC.

    2.  Short Term SMC

    • A short term SMC is issued on the day of the audit by the administration auditor as a response or proof of completion of the initial, annual or renewal audit process.
    • Validity of short term SMC is 5 months.

    3.  SMC

    • It is issued by the administration after successful completion of initial audit or fulfilment or interim SMC requirements.
    • The validity of SMC, after initial audit is 5 years from the next date of expiry and it is subjected to intermediate audit.
    • The intermediate audit is carried out between the second and the third anniversary date of the ship.
    • If a Major NON Conformity is found in the audit, the SMC and DOC are withdrawn.
    • The original SMC is kept on the ship and copy is kept with the company.

    Source: https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/what-ism-certificates-you-require-to-start-a-shipping-company/

    Note: Explanation to these terms or any ideas presented in www.igms.org.gr are for reference only. Site as legal entity or/and author of each respective post/article will not be accountable for any loss or damage.
  • SOPEP or SMPEP?

    Shall a vessel have an approved SOPEP (Shipboard oil pollution emergency plan) or SMPEP (Shipboard marine pollution emergency plan) onb? This is a rather common question even from experienced DPAs. As per Annex I, Regulation 37, par.1 of MARPOL:

     

    Every oil tanker of 150 gross tonnage and above and every ship other than an oil tanker of 400 gross tonnage and above shall carry on board a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan approved by the Administration.

    Still, on Annex I, Regulation 37 par.3 it states:

    In the case of ships to which regulation 17 of Annex II of the present Convention also apply, such a plan may be combined with the shipboard marine pollution emergency plan for noxious liquid substances required under regulation 17 of Annex II of the present Convention. In this case, the title of such a plan shall be “Shipboard marine pollution emergency plan”.

    Annex II, Regulation 17, par 1 of MARPOL clarifies that:

    Every ship of 150 gross tonnage and above certified to carry Noxious Liquid Substances in bulk shall carry on board a shipboard marine pollution emergency plan for Noxious Liquid Substances approved by the Administration.

    Note: Explanation to these terms or any ideas presented in www.igms.org.gr are for reference only. Site as legal entity or/and author of each respective post/article will not be accountable for any loss or damage.

     

  • SOPEP contact points

    As per regulation 37 of MARPOL Annex I, it requires that the Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) shall contain a list of authorities or persons to be contacted in the event of a pollution incident involving such substances. Requirements for oil pollution emergency plans and relevant oil pollution reporting procedures are also contained in Articles 3 and 4 of the 1990 OPRC Convention.

    This information is also provided to enable compliance with Regulation 17 of MARPOL Annex II which, inter alia, requires that the shipboard marine pollution emergency plans for oil and/or noxious liquid substances shall contain a list of authorities or persons to be contacted in the event of a pollution incident involving such substances. In this context, requirements for emergency plans and reporting for hazardous and noxious substances are also contained in Article 3 of the 2000 OPRC-HNS Protocol.

    The “List of national operational contact points responsible for the receipt, transmission and processing of urgent reports on incidents involving harmful substances, including oil from ships to coastal States” contained in the circular is updated at the end of each calendar year. From January 2018 onwards, the official version of the updated list will be issued electronically and uploaded here on a quarterly basis (quarterly dates: 31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October).

    Note: Explanation to these terms or any ideas presented in www.igms.org.gr are for reference only. Site as legal entity or/and author of each respective post/article will not be accountable for any loss or damage.

     

  • North Eastern Sea Route (NSP) – Is time ripe for maritime exploitation? Obstacles and way forward.

    topbanner

    The climate is becoming warmer due to anthropogenic carbon emissions, and High North is warming twice as fast as lower latitudes due to positive feedbacks. The uncertainty regarding ‘if and when’ the Arctic will be ice-free can easily render any planning obsolete. Dissimilar predictions coming from different scientific weather simulation models may freeze any decision-making process in respect to the Arctic. However, increased operational risk and Arctic’s peculiarities might shape the outline of a niche maritime market; getting first and being specialized, might make a huge difference in the economic results and the market share. Uncertainty goes as far as 2030, when it is expected that Arctic will be completely summer ice-free.

    On September 2012, the ice cap reached its lowest level. Multiyear ice will give place to thin first year ice. Facilities and infrastructure near coastal and river regions will be threatened, thawing of soil on the sub-Arctic region will make obsolete existing transportation roads based on permafrost. Taking into consideration the almost non-existent road and limited rail network in the Arctic and sub Arctic Circle, maritime transportation may constitute the only affordable solution to an existing transportation problem of minerals and oil between producing and consuming zones. The melting of ice will have as a direct consequence new sea-lanes to open for maritime transit through the North (Eastern) Sea Passage (NSP), North West Passage (NWP) and in a much later time through the Transpolar Route (TPR). NSP, which covers Siberia’s waterfront, is predicted to be ice-free earlier and commercial stakes will be higher than NWP and TPR. Even if there isn’t one obvious sea route, still there are two rather obvious ports that above passage is called to bridge; Murmansk on the West and Vladivostok on the East. Rason port placed in North Korea -political situation permitting-, and Greenland could become major maritime transportation hubs. Real estate will follow suit maritime exploitation.

    New maritime routes may have as a result great cost savings for the maritime industry and can reduce the travel time and fuel costs by 40% along some routes. The distance between the port of Rotterdam and the port of Yokohama in Japan could be at least 4000 miles lesser through the NSP versus the Suez Canal. This in turn can lead to an increased maritime trade for bulk cargo through the Northern Routes when conditions will be appropriate. Nevertheless, a similar trend is not probable for container ships due to time restraints and much needed predictability on arrival-departure times. Northern voyages have experienced a booming period the last few years and a key advantage is that Northern Routes are away from current geopolitical hot spots such as the Persian Gulf and regions that are pirate infested such as the Horn of Africa and Malacca straits. Trade flows might gradually alter in favor of Northern Sea Routes despite initial inertia, and future technologic advancements will certainly play a role. Naval engineers provide new solutions to overcome long-existing problems; such as double acting vessels that are able to sail both in open Seas and ice infested regions. This technological step forward, is combined with directional propulsion systems such as azipods, hardened hulls and retractable rudders. An icebreaker escort will be less and less needed in the near future and these proficient vessels could even achieve reduced fuel costs. Plenty of technical problems that are met especially in icy environments still exist, such as the ice forming upon the vessel due to icy winds that can easily capsize any vessel without proper handling and on time removal of the excess ice. Special coating materials are underway to resolve such issues. The increased cost associated with these vessels during the operational life cycle –design, construction, maintenance- will determine the viability and economic feasibility of such projects. Russia is certainly eager to alter world maritime trade routes to her benefit. The huge investments that are much needed to make these routes navigable in a safe manner, will probably lead to collaboration between the arctic states and the international community.

    However, exploitation of Arctic passages won’t be a straightforward process. Existing port facilities lying across NSP in particular those that were established during the Soviet era are more or less obsolete today, due to multiyear lack of maintenance after the collapse of USSR. Even the complete absence of piracy in the region nowadays, can change rapidly in the near future when the route will become more lucrative. These routes may become main avenues for immigration, smuggling, narcotics, and even terrorists’ attacks. Russia’s bureaucracy shall be a serious issue to consider prior any investment takes place. A major concern for the maritime industry is the sea-ice movements and the bathymetry of the Arctic region; much needed information in order for the Northern Corridors to become commercially viable Sea-lanes. Even the cartography and exact bathymetry of the upper North, isn’t so accurately charted, few lighthouses exist and fewer are in operation and existing systems of GPS satellites are less accurate in the High North. NSP (Russia) has shallow points, such as the Vilkitsky and Sannikov strait which almost prohibits the accommodation of large vessels such as the Panamax class or vessels above 50,000 tons deadweight. Additionally, NSP route includes strategic choke points such as Severnaya Zemlya and New Siberian Islands that could be easily blocked by adversaries in case of international turmoil. Political stability in the international arena and economic feasibility will influence above decisions. Current low oil prices are a prime example of how exogenous factors might hinder Arctic’s exploitation. The risk premiums are quite high at the moment for ships that transverse NSP. It is safe to assume that such insurance premiums will have a downward trend as more and more these routes are used and evolve into ice-free regions.

    Concluding, is time ripe to invest heavily in polar ice capable vessels and polar infrastructure? This shall be examined and answered on per case basis. A professional approach will be a company specific business plan to be prepared, based on a well-defined SWOT analysis, a macroeconomic analysis, and a risk assessment of operations to be executed, prior to any investment takes place. Good news are that arctic expertise is not hard to find anymore and simulation-based decision-support (SBDS)-tools have been developed that can certainly support company’s decision process. Such tools, use vessel’s dimensions, day specific ice conditions, and calculate day specific fuel consumption and transit times. These tools in no way replace what made Greek maritime great; an inherited instinct of markets’ fluctuations combined with entrepreneurship, risk taking and hard work.

    Mr Ktenas Panagiotis is an arctic and North Korea issues’ aficionado, a Member of the International Propeller Club of the US (Port of Piraeus), board member of TUFTS Greek club, and an executive board member of Institute of Global Maritime Studies (IGMS GrC). More posts can be found at Facebook @igmsgreece

     

Page 1 of 11