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What is the ISM Code and how does it apply?

Tangi Captain

First of all, ISM stands for International Safety Management. The objective of the ISM Code is to provide an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for the prevention of pollution.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has taken up the issue and has called on all governments to take the necessary measures to ensure that the master of a ship properly discharges his or her responsibilities for maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.

The IMO has also recognised the need for an appropriate management organisation to enable masters to meet the needs of people on board ships to achieve and maintain high standards of safety and environmental protection.

The ISM Code has been drafted to meet these needs and to provide guidance to ship owners and operators. But how does it apply in practice on board a ship or at the level of a shipping company?

Recognising that no two shipping companies or shipowners are alike and that ships operate in a wide range of different conditions, the Code is based on general principles and objectives, which include assessing all identified risks to a company's ships, personnel and environment and putting in place appropriate safeguards.

The Code is expressed in general terms so that it can have broad application. Clearly, different levels of management, whether land- or sea-based, will require different levels of knowledge and awareness of the elements described.

In safety and environmental protection, as in all cross-cutting projects, it must be recognised that it is mainly the commitment, competence, attitudes and motivation of individuals at all levels that determine the final result.

This is why, at Smart Sailors, we have developed simple and intuitive tools to facilitate collaboration within a shipyard and to structure the actions to be carried out in the framework of such projects.

Our teams, who have already accompanied more than 400 ships, are at your disposal to discuss your possible projects.

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