[Answer] What is IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System?


International Maritime Organisation and its committees specifically the Maritime Safety Committee (MPC) and the Technical Cooperation Committee has been continually striving for better safety standards and working conditions at sea.


GISIS (Global Integrated Shipping Information System) is developed, maintained and headed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

This system (website) is aimed at allowing on-line access to the information and data supplied to the IMO Secretariat by Maritime Administrations, its member states and port authorities, in compliance with IMO’s instruments, regulations and guidelines.

It is basically an informational data hub for the global shipping industry and maritime professionals for complying different types of rules and regulations, global and local.

GISIS consists of several subsystems which include 26 (twenty-six) modules which are further divided into sub-modules dedicated to various themes and topics which are as follows:

  • Maritime Security
  • Marine Casualties and Accidents
  • Port Reception Facilities
  • Contact Points
  • Pollution Prevention Equipment and Anti Fouling Schemes
  • Piracy and Armed Robbery
  • Ship Fuel Oil Consumption
  • Ballast Water Management and Ballast water Chemicals
  • Global SAR (Search and Rescue) Plan
  • Status of Treaties
  • Simulators
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Formalities connected with sign-in and sign-off.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Information on Local Regulations
  • IMDG Code Feedback
  • MARPOL Annex VI
  • Evaluation of Hooks
  • Cargoes
  • Member state Audits
  • Condition assessment scheme
  • Test laboratories and Halon Facilities
  • National Maritime Legislation
  • Non-Mandatory Instruments
  • Survey and Certification

Need for GISIS

  • Transparency in operations.
  • Safety and security.
  • Better, traced and organised operations.
  • Preparedness and accounting for accidents at sea.
  • To check environmental effects.
  • Managing and Imparting needful actions, skills and labour.

Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS)

System Structure

GISIS in in-house information database system where member states are needed to report obligations in the implementation of IMO instruments while the secretariat gives access to and circulate data, facts on requests.

The modules can be accessed in three ways:

Public Area: By simple registration through e-mail.
IMO Member’s Area: Specific permissions related to uploading data and compliance.
IMO Secretariat’s Area: Special access to check registrations, compliance, uploads and regulate maintenance of the site.

IMO Number

The IMO number is a unique identity for ships and for registered vessel management companies. In case of sea-going merchant ships of 100 GT and above, it consists of three letters “IMO” then followed by a seven-digit number that is assigned by IHS Fairplay when it is constructed.

The number is never reassigned and all certificates are issued under IMO number. ‘Ship and company particulars’ can be accessed by IMO number through GISIS.

Role of GISIS in security and safety operations

GISIS gives access to data regarding security system, organizational ports, SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) compliance and port facilities according to the country and as per port number/Unique ID through ‘Maritime Security’ module.

Contact Points’ guides seafarers and staffs off the board by enlisting the competent authorities and organisations to be contacted in specific situations like Assistant Services, Goods safety, reception facilities, casualty investigation, survey inspection etc.

Marine Casualties and Incidents’ module maintains factual data collected from various sources and reports of investigations into casualties received at IMO which may be full investigations reports to be checked by the Organization or reporting forms annexed to MSC-MEPC.3/Circ.3.

Piracy and Armed Robbery module enlist incidents with a Ship name, time, date and place of the incident that ensures better preparedness for navigation through the specific channels.

GISIS to check environmental pollution

The module ‘Pollution Prevention Equipment and Anti-fouling Systems’ maintains a database of manufactures of Pollution Prevention Equipment such as Oil filters, Oil content meters, Shipboard Incinerators, Ballast water management systems, Sewage Treatment Plants, Bilge Separators, Bilge Alarms and Oil-water interface detectors with country filter, approvals under MEPC displaying manufacturer, necessary detail of specific machinery with approving government.

While the Anti Fouling System (AFS) sub-module displays details like manufacturer, name of AFS, Type, Active Ingredients, Administrating and authorising states.

The Port Reception facility module maintains the data of the available reception facilities of ship-generated waste as per area and port ID.

Handling Urgency and Distress

Global Search and Rescue (SAR) Plan’ in GISIS empanels details of National Responsible Authority, Administration or Service Coordinator for Maritime SAR including name, ID, Telephone, Fax, Email, website, Types of Rescue Coordination Centres with ID and Telemedical Maritime Advice Services as per the country while ‘Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)’ which displays information about the shore-based facilities in the condition of urgency country wise.

Guidance to Maritime Training and Safety tool

Simulators’ module in GISIS displays availability and information Engine room simulated, Bridge simulated and other types of training country wise.

Enlistment of details on simulators which forms the crucial part of real-time training in maritime through automated machinery based on artificial intelligence on GISIS is even a way to keep a check on a nation’s maritime training power.

Ballast Water Management command

Ballast Water Management module contains information required by the BWM convention such as exemptions granted to ships, ballast water exchange areas designated, additional measures, and warnings concerning ballast water uptake in certain areas and related flag State measures under regulations.

Ballast Water Chemicals Database which has been developed by the GESAMP-Ballast Water Working Group contains data for the 41 chemicals most commonly associated with treated ballast water (Appendix 6 of Methodology Revolution 4).

For these chemicals, the GESAMP-BWWG holds sufficient information from the literature on physio-chemical, ecotoxicological and toxicological properties, and no additional supporting information needs to be submitted by applicants with their submissions for Basic and/or Final Approval.

Secondly, it also contains a calculation tool including the assumptions which needed to be taken care of which makes it possible for applicants to perform all of the calculations needed to fulfil the requirements of the Methodology.

Member State Audits Module

This module is a common platform used by all those involved in a Member State audit and will serve as the vehicle for the release of audit reports to all Member States and the public, based on authorizations received from the Member States.

It has been designed to provide support from planning through to the reporting phases of the audit, contributing both to the effectiveness of the execution of audits and to optimize the use of available resources of the Member States, audit teams and the Secretariat; and for the controlled release of audit reports to all Member States or to the public, as appropriate, in accordance with the Procedures for the Scheme.

An inter-agency platform for information sharing on unsafe migration by sea has been jointly set up by IOM, UNODC and IM0 expressing concern at an increasing number of migrants taking to the sea in the unsafe and unregulated craft.

National Maritime Legislation’ module contains texts of national laws, orders, decrees, regulation and other necessary requirements.

While ‘Cargoes’ module displays information received from the IMO Member States and Secretariat relating to containers, grain and solid bulk cargoes and dangerous goods in packaged form.

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