ISM certification- A handy guide

wpid-wp-1438103199200.jpegDocument of Compliance (DOC) and Safety Management Certificate (SMS)

Time to go backwards in this series of posts to fill a gap. The exploration of environmental related certificates will be put on pause whilst the ISM certificates are covered, certificates that should have appeared within the managing ship section of the blog.

The ISM code’s full name is ‘The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention‘. The ISM Code provides an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.

Click here for the IMO ISM webpage>IMO

What  Certificates must be held?

Ships must hold two ISM certificates:

  • Document of compliance- Issued to the Company
  • Safety Management Certificate -Issued to the vessel

Click here for the IMO guidlines for implimentation of the code> Resolution A.1071(28)

Why are the certificates required?

The requirement for these certificates arise from  SOLAS Chapter IX, Management for the Safe Operation of Ships’.

Document of Compliance (DOC)

The  “Document of Compliance” (DOC) is issued to a Company which complies with the requirements of the ISM Code following  verification of compliance with the requirements of the ISM Code.

How long is the DOC valid?
The DOC is valid for a period of five years and subject to annual verification within three months before or after the anniversary date to confirm the effective functioning of the SMS.

What is a SMS?

A Safety Management System means a structured and documented system enabling Company personnel to implement effectively the Company safety and environmental protection policy.

What information is contained on the document?

  • Name and address of Company
  • Types of ship
    • Passenger ship
    • Passenger high-speed craft
    • Cargo high-speed craft
    • Bulk carrier
    • Oil tanker
    • Chemical tanker
    • Gas carrier
    • Mobile offshore drilling unit
    • Other cargo ship
  • Validity date

Safety Management Certificate (SMC)

Safety Management Certificate (SMC) means a document issued to a ship, which signifies that the Company and its shipboard management operate in accordance with the approved Safety Management System; it is a certificate issued to an individual ship.

SMC should be issued to a ship following an initial verification of compliance with the requirements of the ISM Code. The SMC is valid for a period of five years.

The validity of the SMC is subject to at least one intermediate verification, confirming the effective functioning of the SMS, and that any modifications carried out since the previous verification comply with the requirements of the ISM Code.

What information is contained on the certificate?

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive numbers or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Type of ship
  • Gross tonnage
  • IMO Number
  • Name of ship
  • Name and address of Company:
  • Validity date

Click here for  ‘MSIS 2 The ISM Code‘,  UK MCAs guidance for surveyors>


wp-1448920746660.jpegClick here for the Amazon page for a really handy guide to the ISM code. A revision guide for mariners.

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One thought on “ISM certification- A handy guide

  1. […] Document of Compliance-SOLAS 1974, regulation IX/4; ISM Code […]

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