IMO Adopts Key Amendments For Enhanced Seafarer Safety

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The 108th session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108) took place from 15 to 24 May 2024, which marked a significant milestone in enhancing safety and professionalism within the maritime sector.

Prevent Violence and Harassment 

According to the IMO, the Committee adopted amendments to the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW Code), which aims to prevent and respond to violence and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual harassment, bullying, and sexual assault. The draft amendments had been approved by MSC 107 and reviewed by the joint ILO/IMO Tripartite Working Group to Identify and Address Seafarers’ Issues and the Human Element (JTWG), which met in February 2024.     

The amendments are included in table A-VI/1-4 (Specification of minimum standard of competence in personal safety and social responsibilities) of the STCW Code. They outline new mandatory minimum requirements for basic training and instruction for all seafarers. These aim to equip seafarers with knowledge and understanding of violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and sexual assault, and information on how to prevent and respond to incidents. The amendments to the STCW Code are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2026.   

Awareness Campaigns 

The Committee approved other recommendations from the JTWG, including the launch of awareness campaigns and other further measures to address violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and sexual assault, applicable to Administrations, shipping companies, social partners and UN agencies.  

Furthermore, the Committee adopted a revised annex to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F Convention), along with a new mandatory Code on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel Code (STCW-F Code).  

The STCW-F Convention is a binding treaty that sets certification, watchkeeping and minimum training requirements for fishing vessel personnel. The revised provisions and the associated new STCW-F Code seek to respond to the current needs of the fishing industry.

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Source: Safety4Sea