The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to collaborate further on their shared goals and objectives with regard to safe, secure and environmentally sound shipping.
The MoA signals and will deliver a further strengthening of the bond between IACS Members, in their capacities as Recognized Organizations, and the IMO Member States they serve, for the benefit of the membership of both the IMO and IACS.
In order to deliver tangible outcomes, both parties have agreed that work will initially concentrate on three areas: Cyber safety; the ongoing maintenance of the verification process of IACS Members’ Rules with goal-based standards; and the redesign of the Marine Casualty Investigation (MCI) module of the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).
These three, initial, focus areas demonstrates well the substantive contribution that IACS makes to the work of the IMO.
The inclusion of the ‘GBS’ focus area is based on the recognition of the highest priority that IACS and IMO is giving to the successful delivery of this new work area that IMO has now engaged in ie verifying, on an ongoing basis, compliance of class structural Rules with goals and requirements that have been set by the IMO.
The inclusion of the ‘cyber safety’ focus area is based on the leading role that IACS is taking on this issue, as demonstrated by the establishment of a dedicated IACS Panel and our chairmanship of a cross-industry working group. The aim of this work is to review, develop or refine standards, operating procedures and best practices as may be appropriate in producing practical and achievable solutions.
The inclusion of the ‘MCI module’ focus area further enhances the support that IACS is already providing to the IMO Secretariat on the redesign of the MCI GISIS module. IACS shares the IMO Secretary-General’s view of the importance of analysing statistics related to maritime casualties and incidents in order that the IMO can deal proactively with safety issues building on a firm evidence base.
The MoA formalises the joint desire of the two organisations to collaborate further in advancing these goals and objectives and provides a framework of co-operation and understanding which reflects the unique level of collaboration between the IMO and IA CS. In particular, it allows for a further strengthening of the bond between IACS members, in their capacities as Recognized Organizations, and the IMO Member States on whose behalf they act, for the benefit of the membership of both the IMO and IACS.