Director's Log

Cyber Security…Cyber Safety…Digital Security…Cyber Risk Management; these are just some of the terms used in the maritime context to describe the awareness, knowledge and preparedness of merchant shipping to protect itself from the increasing threat of maritime cybercrime.

In June, the OCIMF Executive Committee discussed six key strategic areas, one of which was the increasing Cyber threat to tanker shipping both in terms of the risk to tanker safety and the environment. They concluded that OCIMF should create a General Purposes Committee (GPC) working group that will look at the Cyber threat to shipping and what guidance, recommendations or best practices the OCIMF membership can share with industry to help tanker operators manage this threat. The group had their inaugural meeting in July to look at where OCIMF is best placed to add value to this important subject.

The Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) is one of OCIMF’s flagship programmes and sits alongside the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT) and the Mooring Equipment Guidelines as having delivered immense value to our industry by supporting the improvement of safety and environmental performance in tankers operations. The integrity of SIRE is critical and is maintained through a number of processes that sit with the GPC, the SIRE focus group (that report to the GPC) and the OCIMF Secretariat. Looked at through Dante Orlandella and James Reason’s Swiss Cheese model (that you will all be familiar with), each of these processes can be thought of as a barrier to the risk of a poor report entering the SIRE database. No barrier is fool-proof, but the combination of processes (the slices of Swiss cheese) lessens the risk of that threat becoming a reality. In the SIRE programme, the ultimate ‘slice of Swiss cheese’ is the Disciplinary Committee. This committee is formed from the SIRE focus group and convenes, as required, to hear cases of misdemeanor by SIRE accredited inspectors. In June the Committee deliberated on two cases and will convene again in August to hear a third; this is unusual. The committee has a range of sanctions available to it appropriate to the misdemeanor. In June, one inspector had their accreditation withdrawn (currently under appeal) and another received a formal written warning. I cannot emphasise too strongly the importance that OCIMF sets on the integrity of the SIRE programme and the important role played by those involved in SIRE to ensure this flagship programme retains broad industry confidence.

You may recall that last year I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Merchant Navy Fund. On Sunday I took part in the ‘Prudential Ride London’ 100 mile cycle ride to raise funds for Seafarers UK. The ride followed the Olympic route from the Olympic Stadium through London, around Surrey and back to finish on the Mall. Management of the sportive was exemplary but there were there were still two serious incidents that required evacuation to hospital; fingers crossed that they fully recover. What this does demonstrate is that risk is ever-present, no matter how well prepared you are or how safe the venue. The safer our industry gets, the more we have to emphasise to new recruits that vigilance is a constant requirement to ensure that high standard of safety. As you go on holiday this year, stay vigilant and stay safe.

August will be a quiet month as many of us take time off work for our summer vacations. I wish you all a restful and enjoyable August, whether you are on leave or not.

Andrew Cassels

Director OCIMF

(If you would like to sponsor Andrew, please visit his donation page)

Do you have news that you would like to share with our readers? If so email [email protected]

IMO News

The 116th session of the Council was held at the International Maritime Organization Headquarters in London from 4 to 7 July.

The main purpose of this session was to consider the reports of the committees, strategic outputs, rules of committees, status of conventions, the World Maritime University and external relations. The reports of the secretariat staffing, budgets and organisation were also reviewed.

Protection of vital shipping lanes

During his summary of security issues around the world, the IMO Secretary-General, Mr Kitack Lim, was very complimentary towards OCIMF and its involvement in the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre—Gulf of Guinea (MTISC—GOG). He noted that OCIMF had "concluded its successful trial, which was supported by IMO membership and donor nations through the West and Central Africa Fund". He wanted to put on record IMO's sincere appreciation to OCIMF for conducting the trial and also that the new interim arrangements provided by the French and UK navies went live on 20 June. The Chair of the IMO Council also recognised and thanked OCIMF.

World Maritime Day 2017

The Council endorsed the Secretary-General's proposed theme for World Maritime Day 2017, which is Connecting Ships, Ports and People.

Calculation of applicable tonnage upon deposit of instruments

The subject of calculating tonnage was raised in a paper by Panama and the secretariat confirmed that the current process is to receive a monthly update of tonnages for each Flag from the information service IHS. When a member state confirms adoption of a convention (by submitting an instrument of ratification), this triggers a recalculation of the percentage of total tonnage by the adopting member states. This recalculation is based upon the previous month’s report from IHS and is used to determine whether trigger points have been reached. This is particularly pertinent, with the Ballast Water Management Convention sitting at 34.87% with an entry into force trigger point of 35%.

Change to OCIMF Regional Panel Format

A membership survey was carried out in December 2015 on the effectiveness of the OCIMF Regional Panels, as part of the 2020 OCIMF strategy review by the Executive Committee (ExCom).

The survey feedback, along with feedback from participants at Regional Panel meetings between 2013 and 2015, was reviewed by the OCIMF Secretariat and the Regional Champions. Many positive aspects of the Regional Panel concept (e.g. the morning plenary session and afternoon work stream) were noted. The overall conclusion, however, was that it has not delivered the primary purpose of being the platform for better regional engagement. Furthermore, it has not motivated the membership towards greater participation in OCIMF work activities, nor has it been able to efficiently serve the needs of regional members who continue to view OCIMF as a “Eurocentric” organisation.

As a result, a new format for regional engagement was proposed to ExCom 77 in June this year, and the following changes have been agreed upon:

  • OCIMF Regional Panels will be renamed OCIMF Regional Marine Forums (RMFs) to reflect the change in format.
  • The meetings will not be restricted to hub locations and will be free to rotate within the region.
  • The RMFs will not be connected to the Principal Committee location rotation.
  • The number of regions has been increased to five and will now include Latin America. The regions are now North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
  • The format and frequency of the meetings will be flexible and left at the discretion of regional members, linked where possible to an industry event or a member hosted event.

Next steps

To facilitate implementation of the changes, Regional Panel meetings scheduled for Autumn/Winter 2016 have been cancelled. The new Regional Marine Forum format will start in Spring 2017. Between now and then, OCIMF will be working on the 2017 Regional Marine Forum schedule and proposed event itineraries. More information about the 2017 Regional Marine Forums dates and the registration process will be sent by email to members in early Autumn 2016.

OCIMF would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants, and in particular the current Regional Champions and Workstream Chairs. They did an excellent job in getting the Regional Panels up and running and provided valuable guidance for the Regional Marine Forum concept.

If you have any queries, please contact either:

Rob Drysdale, Senior Technical Advisor ([email protected])

Amy Wong, Regional Marine Forum Administrator ([email protected]), or

Rebecca Harrison, Office Manager ([email protected]).

OCIMF Principal Committee Calendar 2017

28–29 March General Purposes Committee (GPC 84) London
4–5 April Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 14) Singapore
25–26 April Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 86) Houston
24 May Executive Committee (ExComm 79) Houston
26–27 September General Purposes Committee (GPC 85) Singapore
3–4 October Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 15) Houston
17–18 October Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 87) London
15 November Executive Committee (ExComm 80) Singapore

Maritime Security Snippets

OCIMF Director Andrew Cassels welcomed Mr Masafumi Kuroki, the new Executive Director of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), to OCIMF on 6 July.

Mr Kuroki took over the executive role following appointments as an ambassador for Japan both in Asia and Europe, and with over 40 years at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) he is well positioned to take ReCAAP ISC forward. The OCIMF Director and the Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC discussed a wide range of South East Asia maritime issues and agreed to find ways to encourage collaborative cooperation. Mr Kuroki took the opportunity to thank OCIMF members for their support in helping to deliver the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

For more information about ReCAAP ISC visit

Andrew Cassels, OCIMF Director, and Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC

Mooring Equipment Guidelines - update

Work on the fourth edition of the Mooring Equipment Guidelines (MEG) has got off to a great start and the steering group are on course to deliver a final draft to the Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) in the first half of 2017.

A number of MEG-related meetings were held at the OCIMF offices in July. Progress has been made in the following areas:

  • Clarifying terminology (e.g. alignment on what is meant by rope strength, safe working and breaking loads).
  • Working towards a design philosophy for vessels that remains with them for serviceable life.
  • Incorporating ongoing technological enhancements into the guidelines (e.g. enhancements to synthetic lines, particularly high modulus synthetic fibre).

Work has also begun in the complex area of human factors, to make sure that the fourth edition offers the most comprehensive technical, operational and ergonomic guidance to benefit seafarers.

As we head into a summer break, Chairman Andrew Dogherty extends his thanks to all involved:

“I would like to praise the effort of participants, from the OCIMF Secretariat to all the steering and working group members, be they from OCIMF member companies or from the broader industry. I have been truly impressed by the participants’ enthusiasm and dedication. Our thanks also go to the parent companies, who have so generously allowed their staff to take time out to contribute to this project. It is demonstrative of a common desire to continuously improve safety in our industry. We must keep up the good work.”

High Modulus Synthetic Fibre working group, part of the MEG revisions group

Offshore Vessel Inspection Database Training

An Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) refresher course was held in Bergen, Norway in Statoil’s offices from 13 to 14 July, with 23 inspectors attending.

There is now only one remaining OVID refresher course with spaces left in 2016:

22–23 August New Orleans

For more details and to sign up, contact [email protected].

SIRE Auditing Inspectors Conference

The SIRE annual auditing inspectors conference, OCIMF offices, 23–24 July

Ship Inspection Report Programme Training

The following are the last Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) courses available for each region in 2016:

18–19 August New Orleans, USA
7–8 November Dubai, UAE
23–24 November London, UK

To reserve a place contact [email protected].

OCIMF visits the IMO

The IMO has a big impact on the work we do at OCIMF but not all the Secretariat get the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes.

OCIMF staff were invited to join a guided tour of the IMO in July, led by Berty Nayna (External Relations Officer). The tour visited the main plenary room, the Knowledge Centre and also introduced some of the IMO secretariat. Natasha Brown (Media and Communications Officer) gave an enlightening introduction to the work of the IMO secretariat’s 300 staff and some of the regulations currently under discussion, including the Ballast Water Convention. Sharon Grant (Head of the Knowledge Centre) explained how the Knowledge Centre is both a core source of information but also a lively and informal meeting place for delegates. We also met one of the current interns who is studying how influence works at the IMO; we look forward to seeing the results of his research. It was an inspiring day and left OCIMF staff feeling motivated in our work to support safety in the maritime industry. Our thanks to Berty, Natasha, Sharon and all of the staff at the IMO.

Above: From the OCIMF Secretariat (l-r): Emily Yates, Publications Editor (temporary); Kelly Hadley, Publications Project Manager; Madiha Qureshi, Conference Facilities and Office Administrator; and Fabiano Dias, IT Systems and Products Contracts Manager. Below: View from the IMO HQ.