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Director's Log

The OCIMF Secretariat members are now in our sixth month of working from home. Although it’s a long time since we last met face-to-face, the time seems to have flown by.

I remember my grandmother telling me when I was young that there are only two reasons this happens – 1) keeping busy and enjoying what you are doing has an accelerating effect on time versus the slow march of drudgery and 2) the older you are the faster time appears to pass. I like to think that in my case the first option applies but realistically I suppose I have to admit it’s likely a combination of the two. Having said that, we have had another busy month rolling out our remote inspection tool for SIRE, BIRE and OVID, passing a landmark decision point on rolling out our new committee structure, planning for the OCIMF member environment workshop and progressing our plan to transition elements of the European Barge Inspection Scheme (EBIS) to OCIMF BIRE. There are articles about each of these within this newsletter where you can find more detail.

I have said before how successful remote meetings appear to be working for OCIMF. However, excluding the webinars we have done, the largest meeting to date has included less than 40 people. We expect to have much larger numbers when we implement our communities of practice and so we are constantly checking the experience of other organisations with larger attendances. You will be aware that the IMO (see article) have recently announced their schedule of virtual meetings. They not only have to cater for much higher numbers than we do, they also have to facilitate multiple translations during the proceedings. I wish them well and hope they are successful in overcoming their challenges and none of us can afford the IMO to lose momentum on its important work.

I wish you a happy, healthy and safe September.

Rob Drysdale
Director OCIMF

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Remote Inspections now available in the SIRE and OVID programmes

OCIMF has now included a remote vessel inspection option as a temporary tool within both the Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) Programme and the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) following a robust management of change process.

Supporting guidance issued by OCIMF on the use of remote inspections for both inspection programmes advises that the remote vessel inspection option should be used as an additional option to enhance data collection where physical inspections are not possible due to COVID-19. Physical inspections should still be used whenever it is safe and practicable to do so, subject to travel restrictions and other national and international health and safety guidance. The selection and use of remote inspections are entirely voluntary. It remains the prerogative of the Submitting Company and Programme Recipient to decide whether or not to use or accept them.

OCIMF will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and depending on the results may choose to extend the Remote Inspection regime or remove it completely.

For more information and for full guidance please see

New publication: Recommendations on the Proactive Use of Voyage Data Recorder Information

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The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) published an updated edition of the Recommendations on the Proactive Use of Voyage Data Recorder Information in August 2020.

The 2020 edition considers the impact of recent updates to Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) performance standards by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), along with experience gained from using VDR data proactively, particularly related to the assessment of human element aspects.

OCIMF’s Navigation and Routeing Sub-Committee (NaRSuC) was responsible for this information paper that provides recommendations on how to obtain the maximum benefit from the proactive use of VDR data and aims to enhance safety of navigation.

NaRSuC has also closely been involved with another information paper on Recommendations on Usage of ECDIS and Preventing Incidents that is due to be published in September 2020.

You can download your copy here

Strategy news

The implementation of our refreshed strategy passed a major milestone on 21 August with the decision was made to roll-out the new committee structure on schedule.

With the COVID-19 pandemic creating changing priorities for OCIMF and members, our Executive Committee agreed on a set of tests that had to be met by 21 August in order to keep to the original schedule, if they had not been met the plan would have been to move to a delayed timeframe. All six tests were satisfied and we are delighted to proceed with planning for the new functional committees to meet in September and the new principal committees to meet in October.

The new expert groups will be scheduled for their first meetings January/February 2021. We are very grateful to those member companies who have already nominated representatives for the new committees and expert groups. While we have no closing date we would encourage other members to nominate as soon as they can – the earlier your company engages within the new structure the greater the benefit for all involved. Tentative dates for the first meetings are:

Functional Committees

Legal 15 September
Environment 22 September
Human Factors 25 September
Maritime Security 29 September

Principal Committees

Publications and Advocacy (Offshore) 5-6 October
Publications and Advocacy (Tankers, Barges and Terminal Interfaces) 13-14 October
Programmes 27-28 October

OCIMF members plan on the marine environment

OCIMF is undertaking a project to develop a paper that sets out its ambition(s) and action plan on the marine environment that is in line with OCIMF Vision, Mission and Strategic Priorities.

The project team completed the members survey and consultations with excellent participation across the range of our membership allowing us to build a more complete view of our members’ collective voice. They then completed analysis of the reviews and drafted a white paper that will be shared at an upcoming virtual stakeholder workshop.

The purpose of this workshop is to present the white paper summarising the findings of a desktop review, an online survey and complementary stakeholder consultations and to discuss development of the plan with key stakeholders. It has been scheduled to allow the maximum global participation and we thank those members that participate outside their working hours around the world to be with us on this call.

For enquiries, contact Ricardo Martinez, OCIMF Engineering Adviser

Strategic execution project workshops on emerging risks and opportunities

OCIMF is undertaking a project to establish a common understanding of existing and emerging major accident risks in our industry and to develop bow tie models for risks on tankers, offshore vessels and barges, including their interfaces with terminals as well as on the marine environment.

The bow ties will identify best practice publications and regulations that act as or support critical risk barriers, which will drive future work priorities for OCIMF on publications, programmes and advocacy.

This work has provided an opportunity for excellent member collaborative efforts bringing together several members from different committees with diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise.

Using multiple groups was beneficial as it ensured enough members to make the effort worthwhile and including diverse stakeholders contributed to an improved final result.

  • Marine Terminal Interface workshops – collaboration by Marine Structures & Civil Engineering and Marine Terminal Focus Groups.
  • Environmental workshops – collaboration by Environmental and Marine Technical sub-committees.

For enquiries, contact Sam Megwa, OCIMF Programmes Director,

Strategic execution project work on strategic collaborations

OCIMF is undertaking a project to review engagement with external organisations in line with its strategic objectives.

The aim is to determine which industry organisations OCIMF should collaborate with in order to deliver its strategy. The organisations may be different from those OCIMF currently works with, and existing partnership and collaborations may need to change.

Depending on OCIMF’s strategic priorities and capability the project team will recommend one of three ways forward:

  • OCIMF leads.
  • OCIMF collaborates.
  • Industry organisations lead (OCIMF monitors).

The working group will review relevant feedback from members survey, ExCom interviews, and third-party interviews and make recommendations based upon various factors including how each organisation links to our strategic priorities and objectives as well as prioritising the list based on risk identified in the bow ties and prioritisation matrix.

There will be a structured approach to engagement for organisations key to supporting the OCIMF strategy.

For enquiries, contact Dave Wall, OCIMF Publications and Advocacy Director

OCIMF-EBIS Transition Project - Update

A task force was recently formed by OCIMF to deliver the OCIMF-EBIS Transition Project by 1 January 2021. Since its inception, there has been representation from the Secretariat, Members, and the EBIS Board of Directors.

Each of the three meetings to date have moved the project forward on the key deliverables as well as understanding. Key decisions have been made and there have been actions taken away for further development. The next meeting is anticipated in early September.

The task force has also invited representation from partners in the European inland industry; the European Barge Union (EBU), European Skippers Organisation (ESO) and Platform Zero Incidents (PZI).

Terms of Reference approved: 13 August 2020.

Meetings dates: 13, 20 and 27 August 2020.

IMO updates

Council extraordinary session 32 (CES 32) meeting

The 32nd meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council extraordinary session (C ES 32) was held from 4 May to 3 August 2020, via several rounds of correspondences as face-to-face meeting in the IMO headquarters was not possible because of COVID-19 pandemic.

Five unofficial online meetings were also held during this period to facilitate the discussion. The meeting concluded:

  • Priorities of resumed IMO meeting schedule.
  • The statement in recognition of the importance of the flow of trade by sea during the pandemic.
  • All IMO meetings will be held remotely until a further notice is given.
  • The interim guidelines for the remote (online) Council meetings.
  • To postpone IMO Member States Audits.
  • To postpone the IMO World Maritime Day events.
  • Resuming IMO meetings

The meetings for the rest of 2020 have been re-scheduled as follows:

Joint all committee meetings 16-18 September
44th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee (FAL 44) 28 September - 2 October
Seventh Meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG7) 19-23 October
102nd Meeting of Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 102) 4-11 November
75th Meeting of Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 107) 16-20 November
107th Meeting od Legal Committee (LEG 107) 27 November - 1 December
IOPC Funds Meeting 2-4 December


The above meetings will be remote (online plus correspondence) meeting. However, the meeting will be limited agenda items. The number of delegates per delegation (access account)) for online participation may be restricted. These details will be discussed “Joint all committee meetings” (16-18 September) and will be announced in due course.

Regional Marine Forums

All Regional Marine Forums (RMFs) have been cancelled in 2020.