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Director's Log

Well, here we are at the end of another year.

When looking back on the period, a lot has happened at OCIMF. We have coped with personnel changes of around 25% of our staff – three normal secondee rotations, one new secondee role and two employee changes!

During this time, I took over from Andrew Cassels as Director and I may have mentioned in previous newsletters how hectic it’s been. We have published four books and eleven information papers, including those mentioned in this edition of the newsletter. We have worked closely with other organisations, which included starting work on the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT), Sixth Edition with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and collaborating with INTERTANKO to produce two information papers (Behavioural Competency Assessment and Verification for Vessel Operators and Sharing Lessons Learned from Incidents). We have started the journey of assessing the validity of the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) for the next 20 years (the Vessel Inspection Programme project) and have begun an overall OCIMF strategy study. We have also begun work on our goal to improve safety performance in the barging industry through our global and regional strategies.

We have another exciting year planned for 2019, so I hope you will continue to read our newsletter to track our progress.

Season’s greetings, and I wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!

Rob Drysdale Director OCIMF

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Deck Cargo Management Onboard Offshore Vessels

Unsafe events over the past two decades have shown that offshore deck cargo operations are high-risk activities. To address the current lack of industry guidance, OCIMF has released a new information paper, Deck Cargo Management Onboard Offshore Vessels.

This information paper contains risk-based guidance and best practices on how to manage deck cargo in the offshore marine industry. It will help vessel Masters, offshore industry personnel and vessel crews adopt safe working practices for deck cargo handling between shore base operations, offshore facilities and vessels, and includes guidance on:

  • Accountability of key personnel involved in safe deck cargo handling operations.
  • Best practice for a safe deck during operations.
  • Routine lifts performed during offshore deck cargo operations.
  • Deck cargo manifests and stowage plans.
  • Deck cargo loading/backloading and discharge plans.
  • Methods for deck cargo securing and lashing.
  • Communication.
  • Weather parameters.

The paper also includes an example Matrix of Permitted Operations (MOPO) which defines critical changes in conditions, operations or barriers and offers guidance on management of such change.

Read Deck Cargo Management Onboard Offshore Vessels

Transfer of Personnel by Crane between Vessels

OCIMF is proud to present a new information paper, Transfer of Personnel by Crane between Vessels.

Personnel have been transferred by crane between offshore vessels and offshore platforms for many years and there are well established guidelines and regulations for this activity, including the requirement to have cranes certified for personnel transfer. A similar level of guidance and regulation has not been available for transfers of personnel between vessels, however, even though incidents have occurred.

This information paper is intended to help vessel operators and owners, Masters, officers, Marine Superintendents and Mooring Masters evaluate the risks associated with the transfer of personnel by a vessel’s onboard crane. It includes guidance on risk assessment, equipment, maintenance, training, company policies, procedures and emergency planning. An example transfer by crane plan is included, as well as competence assurance guidelines to help make sure everyone involved in the personnel transfer – including the people being transferred – are competent to do so.

As part of the information paper, OCIMF recommends the following:

  • All new tankers, irrespective of current intended trade/operations, should be fitted with equipment that is certified for the transfer of personnel.
  • Operators of existing tankers should consider upgrading and certifying equipment at the next opportunity.

Read Transfer of Personnel by Crane between Vessels

The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships

Version three of The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships is now available.

Ships are increasingly using systems that rely on digitisation, integration, and automation, which calls for cyber risk management on board. As technology continues to develop, information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) onboard ships are being networked together – and more frequently connected to the internet. This brings the greater risk of unauthorised access or malicious attacks to ships’ systems and networks. Risks may also occur from personnel accessing systems on board, for example by introducing malware via removable media.

To mitigate the potential safety, environmental and commercial consequences of a cyber incident, a group of international shipping organisations, with support from a wide range of stakeholders, have participated in the development of these guidelines, which are designed to assist companies in formulating their own approaches to cyber risk management onboard ships.

This version of the information paper has been produced and is supported by BIMCO, CLIA, ICS, INTERCARGO, InterManager, INTERTANKO, IUMI, OCIMF and the World Shipping Council.

Read The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships

TMSA access extended to non-OCIMF members

From 14 January 2019, access to Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) reports is being extended to non-OCIMF members who are registered as Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) recipients.

Since its inception in 2004, only OCIMF members have had access to TMSA reports. This major change will mean more information is available to more users, which will help improve overall safety and marine assurance.

SIRE recipients will be able to request vessel operators’ permission to view their TMSA reports directly from the TMSA page of their SIRE account.

SIRE vessel operators will maintain control over which SIRE recipients can see their TMSA reports.

Once approval has been granted by the vessel operator, TMSA reports can be downloaded directly from SIRE, or via OCIMF’s web services on the API Documentation site.

Full details of the new functionality are in the SIRE recipient members quick start guide in the SIRE resources area.

For any enquiries, please contact the SIRE and OVID Contracts Manager at or +44 (0)20 7654 1229.

MEG4 at the IMO

OCIMF held a launch for the Mooring Equipment Guidelines, Fourth Edition (MEG4) at the International Maritime Organization on 4 December, during the 100th meeting of the Maritime Security Committee (MSC).

Members of the Secretariat gave a presentation to delegates in the main hall on 5 December about how MEG4 helps promote mooring safety in areas such as human factors, mooring line management, mooring systems, snap-back zones and berth designs.

Regional marine forum dates 2019

Rmf Dates

Maritime security snippets

Shared Awareness and Deconfliction meeting in Bahrain

“We cannot be complacent or else we will see a rapid resurgence in the scourge of piracy,” said Colonel Mark Totten, the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Chief of Staff. This was the key message delivered at Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE)’s 43rd meeting in Bahrain on 20 November.

This session, jointly chaired by EU NAVFOR and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), was attended by nations, navies, non-governmental organisations and industry bodies, who reviewed the current state of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

While counter-piracy is the group’s mandate, broader regional maritime security threats were also highlighted. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provided a useful update on the significant challenges facing the Somalian government.

The Indian navy announced a desire to be more flexible in their approach to counter-piracy operations and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy emphasised the importance of protecting vulnerable shipping transiting the high-risk area. The Russian delegation shared information on how their navy has helped to prevent piracy and safeguard the free flow of trade.

Looking forward, the CMF Chief of Staff reassured attendees that “naval assets in the high-risk area will continue to increase cooperation and coordination.”

Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security membership

On 17 December, OCIMF was delighted to hear from the European Union that its application to join their Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security (SAGMAS) was approved, given its relevance and demonstrable level of expertise. This is welcome news and provides another valuable forum in which OCIMF represents the security interests of members.

Operation Atalanta 10th anniversary

OCIMF attended a reception to mark the 10th anniversary of the EU’s Operation Atalanta. Hailed as the longest ever Common Security and Defence Policy mission, the operation involves naval vessels and aircraft patrolling the waters off the coast of Somalia to keep mariners safe from piracy and allow global trade to flow. The current mandate will expire at the end of 2020. Under EU NAVFOR protection, nearly 1.8 million tonnes of World Food Programme food aid have been escorted safely into Somali ports. Under its ‘legal finish’ policy, 145 Somali pirates have been detained by EU NAVFOR, transferred into regional justice systems and successfully prosecuted.

EU NAVFOR Operation Commander Maj. Gen. Stickland addressing past commanders and guests

News from the IMO

The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 100th session 3–7 December. The following are key outcomes of the meeting.

Regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships

The MSC approved the framework and methodology for a regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). The initial exercise will be conducted during the first half of 2019 and completed in 2020. The exercise will consider the human element, technology and operational issues.

Goal-based standards and safety level approach

The MSC adopted the following:

  • Goal-based ship construction standards for bulkers and oil tankers (GBS).
  • Revised guidelines for verification of conformity with the GBS, which come into effect on 1 January 2020.
  • Interim guidelines for development and application of IMO goal-based standards safety level approach (GBS-SLA).

The MSC concluded that the Türk Loydu ship construction rules conform to the GBS.

The MSC agreed to amend the generic guidelines for developing IMO goal-based standards (MSC.1/Circ.1394/Rev.1), based on the experience gained in the application of the guidelines.

Revised IMO Guidelines on Fatigue

The MSC approved the revised IMO Guidelines on Fatigue, which provide comprehensive information on the HSSE risks, causes and consequences of fatigue.

Safety of ships in polar waters

The MSC agreed a roadmap for developing measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters for adoption in 2022.

Sulphur 2020 safety issues

The MSC agreed to include a new work item, "Development of further measures to enhance the safety of ships relating to the use of fuel oil", on the agenda for its next meeting with a target completion date of 2021. The new work item does not change the implementation of the IMO 2020 sulphur limit regulation from 1 January 2020.

A joint MSC-MEPC circular on ensuring fuel suppliers deliver compliant fuels will be developed for approval by MEPC 74 and MSC 101.

The MSC noted the initiative by OCIMF and 15 other industry organisations to develop guidance on potential safety and operational issues related to 0.50% max. sulphur fuels. The guidance is due in the second half of 2019.

Draft amendments to the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2011

The MSC has put amendments to the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2011 (2011 ESP Code) on hold, pending further work on the consolidated version of the draft ESP Code , which is expected to be adopted at the 31st IMO Assembly.

Indian Ocean High Risk Area

Several Flag States raised concerns about the geographical boundaries of the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA). OCIMF and other co-sponsors of the HRA confirmed that a comprehensive review is ongoing, based on more than five years of data. The output from the review is expected in spring 2019.

Industry guidance

OCIMF and other co-authors updated the MSC on industry guidance, including Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers; the latest edition of the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea (BMP5); revisions to industry guidance for protection against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea region; and the dedicated maritime security website,, developed by the shipping industry.

New IMO safety video

To mark its 100th session, the MSC held a special session with presentations on future technologies and the continued role of the seafarer. The IMO also released a new video on how the MSC has enhanced safety and security at sea over the years.

Approval of draft amendments, guidance and guidelines

The MSC approved several draft amendments, which include:

  • Draft amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code), with a view to subsequent adoption.
  • Draft amendments to paragraph 2.2 of chapter 15 of the International Code for Fire Safety System (FSS Code) on arrangements for inert gas lines and related indicators and alarms for monitoring the pressure of the inert gas mains.
  • Draft amendments to the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
  • Interim guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service.
  • The new Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers, updated Gulf of Guinea guidance and BMP5. The IMO issued the suite of guidance as an MSC circular, Revised Industry Counter Piracy Guidance.

Royal visit

HRH Princess Royal visited IMO Headquarters on 5 December and addressed the MSC.

Photos courtesy of IMO

OCIMF meeting updates

South and Central America Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group

10th meeting: 22–23 November, Manaus, Brazil (hosted by Shell)

  • A user group meeting was held with the local Manaus Chamber of Shipping on 21 October.
  • The focus group are considering the need to revise the South and Central American SIRE variant.
  • The focus group are preparing for the CAT3 inspector training on 26–28 March 2019 in Buenos Aires.

Next meeting: 22–23 May 2019, Sao Paulo, Brazil (hosted by Braskem)

Europe Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group

6th meeting: 29–30 November, London, UK

  • Hosted Platform Zero Incidents to discuss areas of mutual interest for safe operations and environmental protection on European inland waterways.
  • The focus group discussed progress and plans for the International Safety Guide for Inland Navigation Tank-barges and Terminals (ISGINTT).

Next meeting: 9–10 May 2019 (TBC), Gorinchem, the Netherlands

OCIMF Principal Committee calendar 2019

Executive Committee (Excom)

ExCom 83 6 June Houston, USA
ExCom 84 6 November Shanghai, China

General Purposes Committee (GPC)

GPC 88 20–21 March Singapore
GPC 89 9–10 October Houston, USA

Ports and Terminals Committe (PTC)

PTC 90 9–10 April London, UK
PTC 91 16–17 October Singapore

Offshore Marine Committee (OMC)

OMC 18 3–4 April San Ramon, USA
OMC 19 2–3 October London, UK

A calendar of all OCIMF Principal Committee and IMO meeting dates is available on the OCIMF website.

Thank you for your support in 2018. We wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful 2019.

Instead of sending paper cards, OCIMF has made donations to the following charities: Apostleship of the Sea, Seafarers UK – Merchant Navy Fund and the Sailors' Children's Society.

OCIMF has also made donations this season to Shelter and St Andrew’s Club.

The OCIMF office will be closed from 24 to 26 December and 31 December to 1 January, inclusively.