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IMO Ship Survey, Port State Control & Search and Rescue (SAR) Courses for Shipping, Maritime Administrations & Ports Officers

ship survey seafarer

The IMO SOLAS convention of 1974 which was entered into force in 1980 regulates mandatory safety aspects for ships on international voyages such as construction, stability, machinery, electrical installations, fire safety, life-saving appliances, navigation, communications and carriage of cargoes. Since 2000, IMO has adopted a harmonized survey system for ships, for issues caused by survey dates and intervals between surveys required by various conventions and codes such as SOLAS, LL, MARPOL, IBC Code, BCH Code, and IGC Code.

Senior personnel onboard and ashore who are responsible for such surveys are trained according to the IMO course guidelines. These courses cover the requirements of the initial, annual, intermediate and periodical surveys, as specified in SOLAS. The scope of these courses do not cover preliminary design or plan approvals, nor does it cover the survey or inspection of chemical tankers, gas carriers, special purpose ships or mobile offshore units.

Initial survey is a complete inspection of all the concerned items of a certificate issued by a class authority. Periodical survey examines the items to ensure that they are meet the requirements and are fit for the intended services. Intermediate survey is the inspections of certain items, and annual survey is a general review of the items concerned.

Port state control (PSC) is an international agreement for the inspection of foreign ships in ports. PSC officers investigate compliance with the requirements of international conventions, such as SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW, MLC etc. The courses concerning Port State Control are also for concerned officers who are responsible to carry out audits and inspections as required the PSC regime.

International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) which was entered into force in 1985 is an international system covering search and rescue operations which rescue of persons in distress at sea will be coordinated by a SAR organization in cooperation with neighboring SAR organizations if necessary.

survey ship



IMO Survey Courses

  • Hull and Structural Surveys: This three-volume course covers the requirements for hull structures at initial, annual, intermediate, periodical and renewal and additional surveys, as specified in SOLAS, as amended up to its 1988 Protocol, and in the 1966 Load Lines Convention, including its 1988 Protocol. Those wishing to enter this course should hold an appropriate qualification in naval architecture or a certificate as chief engineer or hold an equivalent qualification and have experience in the structural survey, construction or repair of ships.
  • Survey of Electrical Installations: Those wishing to enter this course should be fully qualified chief engineers, or hold an equivalent qualification and have practical experience related to the operation of electrical systems and equipment.
  • Survey of Fire Appliances and Provisions: Those wishing to enter this course should be fully qualified master mariners, chief engineers, and naval architects/marine engineers or hold any equivalent qualification and have experience related to the structural survey of ships, ship construction or ship repair work.
  • Survey of Life-Saving Appliances and Arrangements: Those wishing to enter this course should be fully qualified master mariners, chief engineers, or naval architects/marine engineers or hold any equivalent qualification and have experience related to the survey or repair of the life-saving appliances of ships.
  • Survey of Machinery Installations: Those wishing to enter this two-volume course should be fully qualified chief engineers, naval architects/marine engineers or hold any equivalent qualification and have experience related to the survey or repair of the machinery of ships.
  • Survey of Navigational Aids and Equipment: Those wishing to undertake this course should be fully qualified deck officers or hold an equivalent qualification and have experience related to the survey or repair of navigational aids and equipment of ships.

IMO Port State Control Courses

  • Flag State Implementation: This course is intended to provide officers of the Maritime Safety Administration with information on the different obligations and duties of the flag States as required by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It describes how the flag State administration would efficiently discharge such obligations and duties.
  • Port State Control: This course is for officers, whether they have been ship surveyors, masters, chief officers or chief or second engineer officers, who are to be authorized by their Governments to execute port State control in accordance with regulations under SOLAS, Load Lines, MARPOL, STCW and Tonnage Convention. Those who successfully complete the course will be able to identify the responsibilities of a flag State to exercise control over its ships and explain the role of a port State in supplementing such control, to identify and correctly use those instruments available for port State control and to correctly identify and properly report any deficiencies to the flag State and to IMO, as appropriate.

Search and Rescue Courses

  • SAR Administration (IAMSAR Manual Volume I): This course is intended to provide an introduction to the administration and management of a maritime search and rescue (SAR) service to assist States in meeting their own SAR needs, and the obligations they accepted under It covers the global SAR system concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems and co-operation with neighboring states to provide effective and economical SAR services as described in the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual, Volume I, Organization and Management.
  • SAR On-Scene Coordinator (IAMSAR Manual Volume III): This model course aims to provide knowledge to those who may be designated to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Search and Rescue On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) for a search and rescue incident, as defined in the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR), Volume III. By doing so, the purpose of this model course is to assist States in meeting their own SAR obligations they accepted under the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979 and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974.

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