IMO Audit Preparation Series


Enforcement Report

The IMO audit summaries separate findings into particular paragraphs of the code but it needs to be remembered that many of them overlap. So there is, for example, much common ground between initial actions (legislation) and reporting and the communication of information paragraph.

The same overlap exists between those paragraphs and the paragraph on enforcement. The audit summaries, however, note that findings in this area relate to:

Both these areas are covered in the paragraph in the code on enforcement. But the enforcement paragraph also covers:

While the area under paragraph 22, (enforcement) covers a wide area with much common ground with the areas of initial actions (legislation), implementation, and communication of information, the specific findings assigned against enforcement point to the absence of effective penalties in national law and the resources to implement them.

It is a fundamental role of legislation to provide for sanctions when the rules in the legislation are broken. That simple fact implies a number of key duties and processes that must be in place:

It is always the case that the conventions, the international instruments, do not contain penalties. They state the requirements, and in some cases, MARPOL for example, they say the flag state must implement penalties in its national law, but it is always a requirement for the flag state to make its own laws giving effect to the conventions and including in those laws the penalties in that state for breaches of the requirements. The international organisations cannot make flag state law.

The is one of the reasons why it is not generally effective to simply try and incorporate the conventions into national law without a substantial body of law to set out penalties, and a body of law, or other rules to define the key variables like "the the satisfaction of the administration", "approved" and the administration MAY.

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