AMSA: ISM Code Deficiencies Were The Most Popular In 2023


  • The ISM Code was created as an IMO priority response to dangerously unsafe management practices both ashore and at sea.
  • Subject to the provisions of Non-Convention Vessel national law, the ISM Code may also be mandatory on board all vessels engaged in domestic trades.

In its 2023 Port State Control (PSC) Report, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) sheds light on prevalent areas of deficiencies among inspected vessels.

The report paints an interesting picture, indicating both persistent trends and emerging shifts compared to previous years. Notably, according to AMSA, International Safety Management (ISM) code related deficiencies, although still substantial, saw a slight downturn from 29.1% in 2022 to 27.0% in 2023, while being the most popular deficiency area in 2023.

Upward trends in various categories

Fire safety deficiencies maintained their prevalence, albeit with a minor increase from 15.6% to 15.2%. The prevention of fires on board ships is always an area of particular concern. For instance, the U.S. Coast Guard PSC report showed that 2023 was the third straight year that fire safety deficiencies lead all deficiency categories.

One standout observation is the significant increase in water/weather-tight conditions deficiencies, escalating notably from 6.4% in 2022 to 12.6% in 2023, AMSA’s data shows. This trend is mirrored in other critical areas such as emergency systems (10.5% to 11.4%) and lifesaving appliances (9.1% to 9.5%), which also experienced rises. Moreover, pollution prevention under Annex I exhibited an upward trajectory, climbing from 4.6% to 4.9%.

Beam of hope in some cases

However, not all areas followed this pattern. Labour condition saw a decline from 7.3% to 4.2%. Furthermore, radio communications (1.4% to 1.1%), safety of navigation (1.4% to 0.8%), and cargo operations (2.3% to 0.8%) also declined. Similarly, propulsion and auxiliary machinery, alongside certificates/documentation, showed declines from 2.7% to 1.9% and from 0.9% to 1.9%, respectively.

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Source: Safety4sea