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New requirements coming up – Utilize your management system smartly

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On 1 September 2016, the PSC Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CIC) started and, in January 2017, the Polar Code and amendments to MLC will enter into force. At the same time, the gradual implementation of the Manila amendments to STCW will have been completed. This Technical and Regulatory News outlines the new MLC, STCW, Polar Code requirements and PSC CIC in more detail and gives advice on how you can utilize management systems to prepare for upcoming campaigns and new requirements.
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  • Keywords: Statutory
New requirements coming up – Utilize your management system smartly

Relevant for ship owners and managers.

1. MLC amendments entering into force 2017

Seafarers

All seafarers are entitled to coverage for repatriation; however, in practice, the needs of seafarers who are abandoned are not adequately covered under the existing provisions. The adopted amendments include, in brief:

  • Financial security is to be provided to ensure abandoned seafarers have adequate food, accommodation, drinking water and fuel for survival on board the ship and medical care.
  • Financial security shall also be sufficient to cover outstanding wages limited to four months as well as all expenses incurred by the seafarer, including the cost of repatriation.
  • Certificate or other documentary evidence of financial security shall be posted on board.

Shipowners’ liability

Shipowners’ liability covers requirements for shipowners to provide financial security to assure compensation in the event of death or long-term disability of a seafarer due to occupational injury, illness or hazard. The adopted amendments include, in brief:

  • Financial security to ensure contractual compensation is paid in full and without delay, in accordance with the Seafarer’s Employment Agreement.
  • For long-term disability, an interim payment shall be provided, where the full compensation is difficult to assess.
  • Seafarers shall receive a notification if the shipowner’s financial security is to be cancelled or terminated.
  • Financial security as a social security scheme, insurance or fund; determined by the member state in question in consultation with the shipowners’ and seafarers’ organizations concerned.
  • Certificate or other documentary evidence of financial security issued by the financial security provider shall be posted on board.

Consequences and suggested actions

The DMLC (Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance) Part I, DMLC Part II or MLC Certificate do not need to be reissued before the renewal inspection due to these amendments, unless the flag state specifically requires so. Shipowners nevertheless need to comply with the new requirements by 18 January 2017, and therefore need to ensure that documentary evidence is available on board. The seafarers, and especially Masters who need to be able to provide sufficient evidence of compliance, should be familiarized with their new rights.

2. STCW Manila admendments implementation deadline in 2017

In 2010, a number of amendments were made to the STCW Convention, commonly known as the Manila amendments. The provisions were implemented gradually during an interim period. By 1 January 2017, all seafarers must hold certificates of competency meeting the amended provisions of the convention.

Consequences and suggested actions

As the transition period has now lasted 5 years, the deadline in January 2017 is final, and PSC are likely to expect full compliance from day one. Before year-end, managers should ensure that:

  • all seafarers have received necessary training,
  • all seafarers hold valid competence documentation and
  • all necessary endorsement by or on behalf of FSA are completed.

3. Polar Code entering into force in 2017

The Polar Code was adopted in 2014 and will enter into force January 2017. It will apply to ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters and includes equipment, operational, design and constructional requirements. Ships operating in Polar waters are required to act in accordance with their Polar Water Operational Manual, and Masters and officers must have completed specific training.

Consequences and suggested actions

Companies with vessels operating in polar waters need to close gaps between current practice and new regulations when it comes to environmental issues, such as discharge of oil, sewage, rubbish or chemicals, as well as the measures required to minimize the risk of invasive aquatic species through ships’ ballast water and biofouling. Safety and occupational aspects of thermal clothing, proper life-saving and fire-fighting equipment suitable for the polar environment, ice removal equipment and the operational aspects of navigation in ice also need to be focused on.

4. PSC concentrated inspection campaigns (CIC)

See previous newsletters issued regarding the CIC, and use the attached checklists for preparation on board. Managers should ensure that the Master and relevant crew are informed about the CIC, and that they have the possibility to familiarize themselves with the focal areas, e.g. by going through the checklist. For vessels with an internal audit due this fall, having MLC and cargo securing arrangements as part of the internal audit scope is recommended as preparation for the CIC.

Staying on top of new requirements and campaigns

New requirements or PSC campaigns should be expected, and we experience that many ship managers wait until the last minute to take the necessary action to be in compliance. Lastminute actions involve the risk of missing out on some important points, and the potential loss in form of delays, findings and/or detentions will increase. Some suggestions to enhance the value of your management system to identify, adjust to, implement and operate in compliance with the new requirements:

  • Utilize My DNV GL or at least our Technical and Regulatory News to stay updated on new requirements, CIC and other news relevant for your trade.
  • Utilize input from My DNV GL into scope of internal audits on board and ashore as a pro-active means of identifying gaps between current operation and upcoming requirements in order to implement the necessary changes to the relevant parts of the organization well in advance.
  • Utilize ISM company audits for monitoring your performance; liaise with your contact person at DNV GL and agree on focus areas prior to audits.
  • Ask for feedback from ISM company auditors.
  • Utilize input, feedback and results from ISM company audits to take action through internal campaigns, training and into scope of further internal audits.

References

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