SAFEMED Project focuses on the Implementation of the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme – Mar 04, 2008

The implementation of the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) was the focus of a three day Regional Workshop organised in Malta between the 4 and 6 March 2008 by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).  The Workshop was one of the activities of the EU-funded MEDA Regional Project “Euromed Cooperation on Maritime Safety and Prevention of Pollution from Ships” (SAFEMED) which the Centre is implementing in ten Euromed Mediterranean partners and culminated a number of activities in the field of flag State implementation.  Twenty-two Government officials from eight SAFEMED Project beneficiaries and from Malta and Monaco participated in the Workshop.

The main objectives of the Workshop were to promote the application of the VIMSAS and to familiarise participants with the operational framework for the application of the Scheme, and to identify the assistance required by the SAFEMED Project beneficiaries and Mediterranean countries to volunteer for the Scheme.  Workshop participants were informed about the objectives of the Audit scheme and its various aspects such as preparations for the audit, the audit process, follow up actions, and training of auditors. The various aspects of the Code for the Implementation of Mandatory IMO Instruments were also outlined to participants, who were invited to discuss the possible implications of the implementation of VIMSAS for their respective countries and to provide a personal feedback on VIMSAS and related issues discussed during the Workshop.  Two representatives from the Maritime Administration of Cyprus also shared their experiences with the participants with regard to the participation of their Administration in the Audit Scheme.  A panel discussion on the future evolution of VIMSAS was also organized during the last session of the Workshop.

The Workshop was considered a success and in his closing remarks, Mr Lawrence Barchue Snr, Head of IMO’s Member State Audit and Internal Oversight Section, congratulated REMPEC for organizing the Workshop which provided another dimension to understanding the Audit Scheme through the feedback of maritime administration officials and resource personnel involved in the implementation of the VIMSAS.  He further stated that this type of workshops could perhaps also be replicated in other regions of the world.

A compressed folder with all presentations and documents of the workshop can be downloaded following this link.