IMO audits in Africa
Member State Audit status
It’s been five years since the International Maritime Organisation instituted mandatory audits of Member States in February 2016 and a total of 113 audits have been undertaken – including 28 African countries.
In addition, South Africa and Benin will be audited before the end of the year in November and December respectively. Auditors will be in Cape Town next week to undertake the South African audit.
Audits are managed through the Member State Audit (MSA) module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS), which provides a common platform for the implementation of audits and support to Member States, audit teams and the Secretariat in all major steps of the process, from planning through to the reporting phases of the audit.
A total of 82 final reports have been completed out of the 113 audits. There are currently 254 who meet the criteria to undertake audits and the IMO is encouraging Member States to nominate further individuals – particularly women in order to enhance their participation in the scheme.
The IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) was initially started as a voluntary Scheme in 2006, but became a treaty obligation in January 2016. With the aim of promoting the effective implementation of IMO instruments, it also seeks to enhance the overall compliance and performance of IMO Member States.
A joint working group is likely to be re-established to consider the future developments of the scheme with the likelihood of a second audit cycle being introduced.