Compliance with ISM and ISPS is obligatory for every commercial vessel of 500 GT or more. However, we strongly recommend that the owner of any large yacht consider setting up appropriate safety plans, which we can facilitate this fully.

The ISM Code provides an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for the prevention of pollution.

The purposes of ISM Code are:

  • To ensure safety at sea
  • To prevent human injury or loss of life
  • To avoid damage to the environment and to the ship

In order to comply with the ISM Code, each ship must have a working Safety Management System (SMS). Each SMS consists of the following elements:

Commitment from top management

  • A top-tier policy manual
  • A procedures manual that documents what is done on board the ship
  • Procedures for conducting both internal and external audits to ensure the ship is doing what is documented in the procedures manual
  • A designated person to serve as the link between the ship and shore staff
  • A system for identifying where actual practices do not meet those that are documented and for implementing associated corrective action
  • Regular management reviews

Another part of the ISM is the mandatory Planned Maintenance System. This is used as a tool for maintaining the vessel according to specified maintenance intervals.

Each ISM-compliant vessel is inspected regularly by the classification society to check the effectiveness of its SMS. Once the classification society verifies the SMS is working and effectively implemented, the ship is issued a Safety Management Certificate. Comments from the classification society and from the ship are incorporated into the SMS by headquarters.

The ISPS Code applies to all yachts of 500 GT or more on international voyages, as well as the port facilities serving such yachts.

The main objectives of the ISPS Code are:

  • To detect security threats and implement security measures
  • To establish roles and responsibilities concerning maritime security for governments, local administrations, the ship and port industries at the national and international level
  • To collate and promulgate security-related information
  • To provide a methodology for security assessments so as to have in place plans and procedures to react to changing security levels

ISPS Requirements
The Code does not specify specific measures that each port and ship must take to ensure the safety of the facility against terrorism because of the many different types and sizes of these facilities. Instead it outlines “a standardized, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities.”
For yachts the framework includes requirements for:

  • Ship security plans
  • Ship security officers
  • Company security officers
  • Certain on-board equipment
  • Monitoring and controlling access
  • Monitoring the activities of people and cargo
  • Ensuring that security communications are readily available