One hundred of IMO’s 175 Member States and three associated Members have now been audited under IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS). The milestone was reached in March 2023. The audits continue to be rolled out, with 23 audits scheduled to be completed during 2023 and 25 in 2024. The first audit cycle is set to be completed by 2025.
The Scheme became mandatory in January 2016 and covers a number of important IMO treaties relating to safety, marine protection and seafarer training. Audits are coordinated by the Member State Audit (MSA) section of the Department for Member State Audit and Implementation Support (MSAIS), in the IMO Secretariat. Audit teams are formed from qualified officials, nominated as auditors by IMO Member States, and Audit Officers from the IMO Secretariat, where necessary. Through the implementation of the Scheme, the MSA promotes the consistent and effective implementation and enforcement of mandatory IMO instruments, which assists Member States to improve their capabilities and their compliance with the requirements of instruments to which they are a Party.
IMO’s Tatjana Krilic, Acting Head of MSAIS said, “We are pleased to reach this important milestone. We are grateful to the Member States for showing their commitment to the audits, through their preparation for their own audits and in nominating qualified officials and making them available for audits of other Member States.”
The outcome of the audits to date has played an important role in identifying and addressing areas where Member States can improve their performance. The audit process enables Member States to implement corrective actions identified by the audit. In addition, audits provide feedback on lessons learned which can be shared with all Member States, and audits analysis enables IMO to identify areas for future regulatory and technical assistance work. The latest Consolidated Audit Summary Report is available here.
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IMO continues to work to further improve the administration of the Scheme based on experience gained since 2016. The Joint Working Group on Member State Audit (JWGMSA) considers matters related to the audit scheme and reports to the IMO Council. The JWGMSA next meets at IMO Headquarters from 11 to 13 October 2023.