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    IMCA highlights advantages of Common Marine Inspection

    Organisations and Associations // October 26, 2005

    In the past, clients and prospective clients in the oil and gas industry have requested individual audits of vessels they wished to contract, the aim being to assess whether the vessel is physically in a suitable condition for the purpose of the charter or proposed operation and that it will be operated in a safe manner during the period it is on charter. These audits can be both time-consuming and expensive; and many operators were struggling with the demands placed upon them.

    The Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) aims to reduce the number of audits carried out on individual marine vessels through the adoption of a common auditing standard for the offshore industry.

    An updated version (IMCA M 149 Issue 5) together with guidance on its use in the form of a worked example (IMCA M 167) and a CD containing the CMID in Microsoft Word format, to enable electronic completion, are all newly issued from the Association.

    For the first time, the guidance also identifies sections for which vessel personnel can prepare by assembling appropriate documentation prior to the auditor's arrival for an inspection. A competent and independent third party should complete the audit, enabling subsequent clients or prospective clients to consider their results rather than simply requiring full re-inspections.

    “Since its original publication in January 1999, the CMID has been successfully fulfilling its aim of reducing the number of audits carried out on individual marine vessels through the adoption of a common auditing standard for the offshore marine industry,” explained Hugh Williams, IMCA’s Chief Executive. “The CMID should be seen as a ‘living’ document, which can be kept up to date onboard a vessel.   

    “While originally developed with the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) and the Chamber of Shipping, the CMID has seen a broad take-up on a world-wide basis.  Our latest update incorporates feedback from around the globe and truly internationalises the document. We are continuing to promote the document to relevant organisations globally and always welcome feedback from members and non-members alike on individuals within organisations with whom it would be sensible to make contact on this topic.”

    The document opens with an extensive and invaluable set of definitions and abbreviations, an explanation of the inspection process and the report summary and distribution list. There then follows a section of generic inspection sheets and further sections dedicated to specialist vessel inspection.

    Copies of the Guidance on the use of the CMID, the document itself and the CD are available at £15 each for IMCA members and £30 each for non-members (VAT is applicable on the CD). 

    Members can also download the documents free of charge from the IMCA members-only section of the website. Further information on the CMID is available from IMCA at; by email at or from IMCA, 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK; Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 824 5521.


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