MEPC.237(65) Adoption of the Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code)

 

RESOLUTION MEPC.237(65)

 

(Adopted on 17 May 2013)

CODE FOR RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS (RO CODE)

THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COMMITTEE,

RECALLING Article 38(a) of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization concerning the functions of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (the Committee) conferred upon it by international conventions for the prevention and control of marine pollution,

RECALLING ALSO resolution A.739(18) entitled Guidelines for the authorization of organizations acting on behalf of the Administration and resolution A.789(19) entitled Specifications on the survey and certification functions of recognized organizations acting on behalf of the Administration, which have become mandatory under both chapter 2 of annex I and chapter 3 of annex II to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating hereto (MARPOL), and under the 1974 SOLAS Convention and the 1988 Load Lines Protocol,

RECOGNIZING the need to update the aforementioned resolutions, gather all the applicable requirements for recognized organizations in a single IMO mandatory and assist in achieving harmonized and consistent global implementation of requirements established by IMO instruments for the assessment and authorization of recognized organizations,

RECOGNIZING ALSO the need for a code to provide, as far as national laws allow, a standard approach to assist the Administrations in meeting their responsibilities in recognizing, authorizing and monitoring their recognized organizations,

NOTING resolution MEPC.238(65), by which it adopted, inter alia, amendments to Annexes I and II of the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (hereafter referred to as the 1978 Protocol) to make the provisions of part 1 and part 2 of the Code for recognized organizations (RO Code) mandatory under MARPOL,

HAVING CONSIDERED, at its sixty-fifth session, the text of the proposed Code for recognized organizations,

CONSIDERING that it is highly desirable for the Code for recognized organizations to be made mandatory under the 1974 SOLAS Convention, the 1988 Load Lines Protocol and MARPOL to remain identical,

1. ADOPTS the Code for recognized organizations, the text of which is set out in the annex to the present resolution;

2. INVITES all Parties to the 1978 Protocol to note that the RO Code will take effect on 1 January 2015 upon the entry into force of the respective amendments to Annex I and Annex II of MARPOL;

3. REQUESTS the Secretary-General to transmit certified copies of the present resolution and the text of the RO Code contained in the annex to all Parties to the 1978 Protocol;

4. FURTHER REQUESTS the Secretary-General to transmit copies of this resolution and the annex to all Members of the Organization which are not Parties to the 1978 Protocol;

5. RECOMMENDS Governments concerned to use the recommendatory provisions contained in part 3 of the RO Code as a basis for relevant standards, unless their national requirements provide at least an equivalent degree.

 

ANNEX

 

CODE FOR RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS (RO CODE)

 

Contents

 

PREAMBLE

PART 1 GENERAL

1 PURPOSE

2 SCOPE

3 CONTENTS

4 DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

5 COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION

6 REFERENCES

PART 2 RECOGNITION AND AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ORGANIZATIONS

1 TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

2 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS

2.1 General

2.2 Rules and Regulations

2.3 Independence

2.4 Impartiality

2.5 Integrity

2.6 Competence

2.7 Responsibility

2.8 Transparency

3 MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION

3.1 General

3.2 Quality safety and pollution prevention policy

3.3 Documentation requirements

3.4 Quality manual

3.5 Control of documents

3.6 Control of records

3.7 Planning

3.8 Organization

3.9 Communication

3.9.1 Internal communication

3.9.2 Communication/cooperation with flag State

3.9.3 Cooperation between ROs

3.10 Management review

3.10.1 General

3.10.2 Review input

3.10.3 Review output

4 RESOURCES

4.1 General

4.2 Personnel

4.3 Infrastructure

4.4 Work environment

5 STATUTORY CERTIFICATION AND SERVICES PROCESSES

5.1 General

5.2 Design and development

5.3 Design and development inputs

5.4 Design and development outputs

5.5 Design and development verification

5.6 Control of design and development changes

5.7 Control of production and service provisions

5.8 Property of clients

5.9 Subcontracting and service suppliers

5.10 Control of monitoring and measuring devices

5.11 Complaints

5.12 Appeals

6 PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT, ANALYSIS AND IMPROVEMENT

6.1 General

6.2 Internal audit

6.3 Vertical contract audit

6.4 Monitoring and measurement of processes

6.5 Control, monitoring and measurement of non-conformities; including statutory deficiencies

6.6 Improvement

6.6.1 General

6.6.2 Data analysis

6.6.3 Sources of information

6.6.4 Corrective action

6.6.5 Preventative action

7 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM CERTIFICATION

8 AUTHORIZATION OF RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS

8.1 General

8.2 Legal basis of the functions under authorization

8.3 Specification of authorization

8.4 Resources

8.5 Instruments

8.6 Instructions

8.7 Records

PART 3 OVERSIGHT OF RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS

1 PURPOSE

2 SCOPE

3 REFERENCES

4 TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

5 ESTABLISHING AN OVERSIGHT PROGRAMME

5.1 Oversight

5.2 The flag State's supervision of duties delegated to an RO

5.3 Verification and monitoring

6 PRINCIPLES OF AUDITING

7 MANAGING AN OVERSIGHT PROGRAMME

7.1 General

7.2 Oversight programme objectives and extent

7.2.1 Objectives of an oversight programme

7.2.2 Extent of an oversight programme

7.3 Oversight programme responsibilities, resources and procedures

7.3.1 Oversight programme responsibilities

7.3.2 Oversight programme resources

7.3.3 Oversight programme procedures

7.3.4 Oversight programme implementation

7.3.5 Oversight programme records

7.4 Oversight programme monitoring and reviewing

APPENDIX 1 REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION OF RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATION'S TECHNICAL STAFF

A1.1 Definitions

A1.2 Trainee entry requirements

A1.3 Modules

A1.4 Theoretical training for survey and plan approval staff

A1.5 Practical training for survey and plan approval staff

A1.5.1 General

A1.5.2 Plan approval staff

A1.5.3 Survey staff

A1.5.4 Examinations and tests for survey and plan approval staff

A1.5.5 Audit Staff

A1.6 Qualification

A1.7 Assessment of training effectiveness

A1.8 Maintenance of qualification

A1.9 Activity monitoring

A1.9.1 Purpose

A1.9.2 Monitoring

A1.9.3 Method

A1.9.4 Reporting

A1.9.5 Evaluation

A1.9.6 Implementation

A1.11 Training of support staff

A1.12 Records

APPENDIX 2 SPECIFICATIONS ON THE SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION FUNCTIONS OF RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE FLAG STATE

A2.1 SCOPE

A2.2 AREAS OF INTEREST COVERED BY ELEMENTARY MODULES

A2.2.1 MANAGEMENT

Module 1A: Management functions

A2.2.2 TECHNICAL APPRAISAL

Module 2A: Hull structure

Module 2B: Machinery systems

Module 2C: Subdivision and stability

Module 2D: Load line

Module 2E: Tonnage

Module 2F: Structural fire protection

Module 2G: Safety equipment

Module 2H: Oil pollution prevention

Module 2I: NLS pollution prevention

Module 2J: Radio

Module 2K: Carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk

Module 2L: Carriage of liquefied gases in bulk

A2.2.3 SURVEYS

Module 3A: Survey functions

A2.2.4 QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING

Module 4A: General qualifications

Module 4B: Radio survey qualifications

A2.3 SPECIFICATIONS PERTAINING TO THE VARIOUS CERTIFICATES

A2.3.1 PASSENGER SHIP SAFETY CERTIFICATE

Initial certification, renewal survey

A2.3.2 CARGO SHIP SAFETY CONSTRUCTION CERTIFICATE

Initial certification, annual/intermediate, renewal surveys

A2.3.3 CARGO SHIP SAFETY EQUIPMENT CERTIFICATE

Initial certification, annual, periodical, renewal surveys

A2.3.4 CARGO SHIP SAFETY RADIO CERTIFICATE

Initial certification, periodical, renewal surveys

A2.3.5 INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT CODE CERTIFICATION

Initial certification, annual/intermediate verifications, renewal certification

A2.3.6 INTERNATIONAL LOAD LINE CERTIFICATE

Initial certification, annual, renewal surveys

A2.3.7 INTERNATIONAL OIL POLLUTION PREVENTION CERTIFICATE

Initial certification, annual, intermediate, renewal surveys

A2.3.8 INTERNATIONAL POLLUTION PREVENTION CERTIFICATE FOR THE CARRIAGE OF NOXIOUS LIQUID SUBSTANCES IN BULK

Initial certification, annual, intermediate, renewal surveys

A2.3.9 INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF FITNESS FOR THE CARRIAGE OF DANGEROUS CHEMICALS IN BULK

Initial certification, annual, intermediate, renewal surveys

A2.3.10 INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF FITNESS FOR THE CARRIAGE OF LIQUEFIED GASES IN BULK

Initial certification, annual, intermediate, renewal surveys

A2.3.11 INTERNATIONAL TONNAGE CERTIFICATE (1969)

Initial certification

APPENDIX 3 ELEMENTS TO BE INCLUDED IN AN AGREEMENT

 

 

PREAMBLE

The Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code) was adopted by the Organization by resolutions MSC.349(92) and MEPC.237(65).

This Code:

.1 provides flag States with a standard that will assist in achieving harmonized and consistent global implementation of requirements established by the instrument of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the assessment and authorization of recognized organizations (ROs);

.2 provides flag States with harmonized, transparent and independent mechanisms, which can assist in the consistent oversight of ROs in an efficient and effective manner; and

.3 clarifies the responsibilities of organizations authorized as ROs for a flag State and overall scope of authorization.

 

PART 1

GENERAL

1 PURPOSE

The Code serves as the international standard and consolidated instrument containing minimum criteria against which organizations are assessed towards recognition and authorization and the guidelines for the oversight by flag States.

2 SCOPE

2.1 The Code applies to:

.1 all organizations being considered for recognition or that are recognized by a flag State to perform, on its behalf, statutory certification and services under mandatory IMO instruments and national legislation; and

.2 all flag States that intend to recognize an organization to perform, on their behalf, statutory certification and services under mandatory IMO instruments.

2.2 The Code establishes:

.1 the mandatory requirements that an organization shall fulfil to be recognized by a flag State (part 1);

.2 the mandatory requirements that an RO shall fulfil when performing statutory certification and services on behalf of its authorizing flag States (part 2);

.3 the mandatory requirements that flag States shall adhere to when authorizing an RO (part 2); and

.4 guidelines for flag State oversight of ROs (part 3).

 

2.3 The Code defines the functional, organizational and control requirements that apply to ROs conducting statutory certification and services performed under mandatory IMO instruments, such as, but not limited to, SOLAS, MARPOL and the Load Lines Conventions.

2.4 All requirements of the Code are generic and applicable to all ROs, regardless of their type and size and the statutory certification and services provided.

2.5 ROs subject to this Code need not offer all types of statutory certification and services and may have a limited scope of recognition, provided that the requirements of this Code are applied in a manner that is compatible with the limited scope of recognition. Where any requirement of this Code cannot be applied due to the scope of services delivered by an RO, this shall be clearly identified by the flag State and recorded in the RO's quality management system.

3 CONTENTS

The Code consists of three parts. Part 1 contains general provisions. Part 2 contains mandatory provisions for the flag State and RO as already contained in relevant IMO instruments and applicable international standards. Part 3 contains guidelines for the oversight of ROs by flag States.

4 DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

4.1 A flag State may delegate authority to an organization recognized as complying with the provisions of this Code to perform, on its behalf, statutory certification and services under mandatory IMO instruments and its national legislation.

4.2 The flag State shall not authorize functions beyond RO's capabilities. In this respect, the flag State shall take into consideration appendix 2 of this Code for authorization.

4.3 Flag States should cooperate with each other with the objective of ensuring that ROs to whom they delegate authority adhere to the provisions of this Code.

5 COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION

The flag State shall communicate to, and deposit with, the Secretary-General of IMO a list of ROs for circulation to the interested parties for information of their officers, and a notification of the specific responsibilities and conditions of the authority delegated to ROs.

6 REFERENCES

The Code is based on the following referenced documents:

.1 mandatory IMO instruments and IMO Guidelines and recommendations (i.e. Codes, guidelines and standards recommended by the Organization);

.2 ISO 9000:2005, Quality Management Systems Fundamentals and vocabulary;

.3 ISO 9001:2008, Quality Management Systems Requirements;

.4 ISO/IEC 17020:1998, General criteria for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection;

.5 ISO 19011:2002, Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing;

.6 International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Quality Management System Requirements (QMSR); and

.7 national legislation.

 

PART 2

RECOGNITION AND AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ORGANIZATIONS

1 TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

1.1 Recognized organization (RO) means an organization that has been assessed by a flag State, and found to comply with this part of the RO Code.

1.2 Authorization means the delegation of authority to an RO to perform statutory certification and services on behalf of a flag State as detailed in an agreement or equivalent legal arrangement taking into account the " Elements to be included in an Agreement" as set out in appendix 3 of this Code.

1.3 Statutory certification and services means certificates issued, and services provided, on the authority of laws, rules and regulations set down by the Government of a sovereign State. This includes plan review, survey, and/or audit leading to the issuance of, or in support of the issuance of, a certificate by or on behalf of a flag State as evidence of compliance with requirements contained in an international convention or national legislation. This includes certificates issued by an organization recognized by the flag State in accordance with the provisions of SOLAS regulation XI-1/1, and which may incorporate demonstrated compliance with the structural, mechanical and electrical requirements of the RO under the terms of its agreement of recognition with the flag State.

1.4 Assessment means any activity to determine that the assessed entity fulfils the requirements of the relevant rules and regulations.

1.5 Interested parties means any person or legal entity who can demonstrate a justified interest in the survey and certification process and includes, inter alia, clients of the RO, shipowners, ship operators, shipbuilders, equipment manufacturers, shipping industry interests or associations, marine insurance interests or associations, trade associations, governmental regulatory bodies or other governmental services and non-governmental organizations.

1.6 Location is a place from which surveys are carried out and managed, or where plan approval is carried out, or from which processes are managed.

1.7 Site is the place at which a surveyor is based to cover a specific contract or a series of contracts including; but not limited to, a port, shipyard, firm, and company. All statutory certification and services at sites are to be controlled by a location.

1.8 A Vertical Contract Audit (VCA) is a contract/order specific audit of production processes, including witnessing work during attendance at a survey, audit or plan approval in progress and, as applicable, including relevant sub-processes. A VCA is carried out at a location or a site (Survey Station/Approval Office/Site) to verify the correct application of relevant requirements in service realization for the specific work in that contract/order, and their interactions (relevant sub-processes include e.g. previous part surveys or UTM processes connected to the survey). Plan approval VCA may be carried out for completed tasks.

2 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS

2.1 General

Delegation of authority by a flag State to an organization shall be subject to the confirmation of the capability of that organization to demonstrate that it has the capacity to deliver high standards of service and its compliance with the requirements of this Code and applicable national legislation.

2.2 Rules and regulations

The RO shall establish, publish and systematically maintain its rules or regulations, a version of which shall be provided in the English language, for the design, construction and certification of ships and their associated essential engineering systems as well as provide for adequate research capability to ensure appropriate updating of the published criteria.

2.3 Independence

The RO and its staff shall not engage in any activities that may conflict with their independence of judgement and integrity in relation to their statutory certification and services. The RO and its staff responsible for carrying out the statutory certification and services shall not be the designer, manufacturer, supplier, installer, purchaser, owner, user or maintainer of the item subject to the statutory certification and services, nor the authorized representative of any of these parties. The RO shall not be substantially dependent on a single commercial enterprise for its revenue.

2.4 Impartiality

2.4.1 The personnel of ROs shall be free from any pressures, which might affect their judgement in performing statutory certification and services. Procedures shall be implemented to prevent persons or organizations external to the organization from influencing the results of services carried out.

2.4.2 All potential customers shall have access to statutory certification and services provided by the RO without undue financial or other conditions. The procedures under which the RO operates shall be administered in a non-discriminatory manner.

2.5 Integrity

The RO shall be governed by the principles of ethical behaviour, which shall be contained in a Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics shall recognize the inherent responsibility associated with a delegation of authority to include assurance of adequate performance of services.

2.6 Competence

The RO shall perform statutory certification and services by the use of competent surveyors and auditors who are duly qualified, trained and authorized to execute all duties and activities incumbent upon their employer, within their level of work responsibility.

2.7 Responsibility

The RO shall define and document the responsibilities, authorities, qualifications and interrelation of personnel whose work affects the quality of its services.

2.8 Transparency

2.8.1 Transparency reflects the principle of access to, or disclosure of, all information related to the statutory certification and services carried out by the RO on behalf of a flag State.

2.8.2 The ROs shall communicate information to the flag State as described in the section on communication/cooperation with the flag State.

2.8.3 Information concerning the status of ships certified by ROs shall be made available to the public.

3 MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION

3.1 General

The RO shall, based on the provisions of this Code, develop and implement a quality management system and shall continually improve its effectiveness.

3.2 Quality, safety and pollution prevention policy

The RO shall define and document its policy and objectives for, and commitment to, quality, safety and pollution prevention. In particular, the RO's management shall:

.1 ensure that the policy and objectives are established;

.2 ensure the policy and objectives are appropriate for the purpose of the organization;

.3 communicate the policy and objectives; including provisions applicable to the statutory certification and services, to the organization and ensure that it is understood within the organization;

.4 ensure sufficient availability of resources;

.5 include a commitment to comply with all applicable requirements and continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system;

.6 conduct management reviews; which includes a framework for reviewing quality objectives; and

.7 review the quality policy, objectives and the quality management system for continuing suitability.

3.3 Documentation requirements

3.3.1 The quality management system shall include the following documentation:

.1 quality policy and quality objectives;

.2 quality manual (refer to section 3.4);

.3 procedures and records required by this Code and the national legislation of the recognizing flag State;

.4 procedures to ensure the effective planning, operation, and control of the RO's processes;

.5 rules and regulations as applicable to the RO's areas of authorization;

.6 list of ships for which statutory certification and services are provided;

.7 other documented process procedures that are considered necessary (these include any circulars or letters, which provide the surveyors and administrative staff with up-to-date information on classification, statutory and related matters);

.8 specifications and diagrams defining or amplifying service processes; and

.9 pro-forma reports, checklists and certificates appropriate to the activities covered by this certification.

3.3.2 The quality management system shall also include external documents, such as:

.1 national and international standards necessary for the activities governed by this instrument;




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