International Safety Management Code (ISM)?

(ISM) – International Safety Management Code.

  • The ISM Code is an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.
  • Adopted by IMO & came in force through SOLAS Ch IX “Management for the safe operation of Ships”
  • Mandatory for all passenger ship and other vessel of 500 GT and above.

It ensures that Seafarers working onboard ship are safe, Damage to property and Pollution to environment is avoided.


  • It set minimum international standard required for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.
  • It’s a framework upon which a company develop its own “Safety Management System”.

Contents: Divided into two parts Part A and Part B

Part A: Implementation

1.   General
2.   Safety and environment protection policy
3.   Company responsibilities and authority
4.   Designated Person
5.   Masters responsibility and authority
6.   Resources and personnel
7.   Shipboard operations
8.   Emergency preparedness
9.   Report and analysis of non-conformity, accidents and hazardous occurrences
10. Maintenance of the ship and equipment
11. Documentations
12. Company verification, review and evaluation

Part B: Certification and Verification

13.   Certification and periodical verification
14.   Interim Certificate
15.  Verification
16.  Forms of certificates

Interim Certificates:

Interim DOC Interim SMC –  Validity: 6 months
Validity: 12 months, Internal audit within 3 months
– New company – New Delivery Ship
– New ships added in existing DOC – New Management – Change of flag


DOC Validity Not exceeding 5 years and Subject to annual verification, within 3months before or after the anniversary date. (ISM code 13.2 & 13.4, pg 21)
SMC Validity: Not exceed 5 years. One intermediate verification.

ISM related Orals Questions:

  1. What is ISM code? Tell me about ISM code?
  2. Which SOLAS Chapter deal with ISM?
  3. What is DOC, SMC, DPA, NC in ISM?
  4. What are the objectives of ISM code?
  5. What are the principles of ISM?
  6. How does ISM help you as an officer onboard?
  7. what certificates required by ship?
  8. Cert to carry onboard ship and with company? What certificates are required under SMS?
  9. Validity of Certificates?
  10. Where would you find information on how to conduct a Navigational Watch?
  11. SMS regarding 3rd Officer? How does it effect 3/0?
  12. How ISM was implemented on your last ship?
  13. How do companies implement it?
  14. You have joined ship as 3rd officer, how do you consult ISM?
  15. What are the SIX important point of ISM?
  16. What has to be in an SMS?
  17. What is PMS? What information you get in PMS?


Culture of self-regulation of safety and pollution prevention in shipping.

IMO Conventions:



  1. ISM Vision
  2. Commitment from Tops
  3. Meeting the objectives of the ISM code
  4. Application of the ISM code


Safety Management System

General Requirement for SMS

Functional requirements of the SMS

Information on SMS

Communication related to sms


2.1/2.2 Safety and environmental policy


3 Company Responsibilities and authority:

Identification of the Company

  1. Company/Charters/Managers who take responsibility of vessel.
  2. Company name mentioned in DOC and SMC

Defining Responsibility and Authority:

  1. So everyone knows their responsibility.

What is the meaning of this?

The issue of a DOC and SMC will be preceded by an external audit of the Safety Management System.

Internal Audits?
– Conducted Anually


External Audits?

Initial verification company will approach to Flag state to verify that they are an legal company and after the initial verification of An Interim DOC is issued to company and then the implementation on ship commence.

A initial verification is carriedout that SMS has been provided and implementation has started on board ship. And Interim Safety Management Certificate will be issued to ship, which must be Audited internally within 3 months of issuance.