IMO Member State Audit Scheme to be compulsory

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The IMO Member State Audit Scheme, set up as a voluntary scheme among flag states, is to be made mandatory, under a plan to institutionalise it, agreed by the IMO Assembly, when it met for its 26th regular session from November 23rd to December 2nd 2009.

The Assembly also updated IMO’s Strategic Plan for the next six years and High-level Action Plan for the next two years; agreed the Organization’s budget for the 2010-2011 biennium; and adopted a wide range of technical and other resolutions, addressing issues varying from piracy through to guidelines for ships operating in polar waters.

According to the plan adopted by the Assembly through resolution A.1018(26), the IMO Member State Audit Scheme would be phased in as an institutionalised, mandatory scheme, through the introduction of appropriate requirements in the relevant mandatory IMO instruments.

Amendments to these instruments would be adopted in 2013, for entry into force in January 2015. A resolution on the Framework and Procedures for the Scheme would also be adopted by the IMO Assembly in 2013, while preparatory work for the commencement of an institutionalised scheme would be carried out during 2014.

The Assembly urged member states that have not yet volunteered for audits under the current, voluntary scheme to do so, so that lessons can continue to be learned from it. It also asked the Secretary-General to take action, within the IMO’s Integrated Technical Co operation Programme, to assist Member States to participate in the Scheme and with building capacity to address related needs.

The Assembly also adopted amendments to the Code for the Implementation of Mandatory IMO Instruments, 2007, which serves as the audit standard for the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme. The amendments update the Code, to take into account amendments to mandatory IMO instruments that have entered into force or become effective since it was last revised, in 2007.