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eCMID and eMISW findings analysis

IMCA has analysed over 2,000 vessel inspection reports uploaded into the eCMID database at and produced the following summary of key findings.

The eCMID system enables vessel operators to review and address these findings and to add commentary on corrective actions and other feedback.  This is then provided for clients and potential clients to review as part of the downloadable inspection report.

By highlighting frequent findings, we can enable vessel operators and inspectors to address common issues.  These can also be useful to IMCA’s committees as they identify priority topics for future work and guidance.

The question sets were fully refreshed in October 2018 (published as eCMID Issue 11 and eMISW Issue 4), using this data to help eliminate low value questions and ensure a focus on critical safety elements as new sections (covering cybersecurity, the Maritime Labour Convention and DP vessel reactivation) were introduced.

eCMID – Common Marine Inspection Document (IMCA M 149 Issue 10)

The original eCMID format is intended for comprehensive inspections of vessels over 500grt or 24m in length.

The top ten findings, each arising in more than 10% of inspections, were as follows:

  • Certification – Have the certificates and documentation listed in the Index of Certificates been checked and verified as in date?
  • Certification – Is the chain register/lifting appliance register up to date?
  • Mooring, Towing and Lifting Equipment – Does the company have a lifting equipment management system in place?
  • HSE – Are procedures for stowage and handling of chemicals and flammable/combustible materials in place and being consistently applied?
  • HSE – Are enclosed spaces and controls for entry identified onboard?
  • Certification – Is the vessel clear of conditions of class and any safety related memoranda?
  • Machinery Space – Are main, auxiliary and emergency plant reported to be fully operational?
  • HSE – Is there evidence that safe working practices are being consistently applied to machinery spaces?
  • HSE – Does the SMS specifically address hazards associated with slips, trips and falls?
  • Pollution Prevention – Are arrangements in place to prevent any spillages entering the water?

eCMID Supplements

The eCMID format includes a number of supplements which are selected for relevant vessel types and operations.  We have set out below the top three findings for each supplement:

  • Dynamic Positioning
    • Does the vessel have onboard a copy of the most recent DP trials report?
    • Are Activity Specific Operating Guidelines in place and available?
    • Does the vessel have onboard a DP Operations Manual?
  • Anchor Handling Vessels (AHVs)
    • Are the maximum acceptable vertical and horizontal transverse forces defined and posted?
    • Are there records held onboard which confirm that winch operators have been formally trained?
    • Is there a notice posted on the Bridge for emergency release procedures?
  • Offshore Supply Vessels
    • Is the Deck sheathing area free from damage that could cause potential hazards to personnel?
    • Are cargo tank inspection records available?
    • Are there documented procedures for the sampling and analysis of cargo tank contents?
  • LNG OSVs
    • Are gas related emergency exercises conducted at regular intervals and are they documented?
  • Standby Vessels (SBVs) (Emergency Response Rescue Vessels (ERRV))
    • Has the SBV been surveyed for compliance with relevant industry regulations/guidelines?
    • Is the SBV operating in accordance with relevant industry requirements?
    • Are the survivor areas clean, tidy and ready for immediate use?
  • Survey Vessels (including offshore seismic survey)
    • Is there a Man Overboard Alarm system fitted and operational on the slipway / streaming / back deck?
    • Are deck and bulkhead safety/warning markings for survey equipment deployment/recovery in place?
    • Are battery operated or pneumatic tools in use on the back decks?
  • Diving Support Vessels
    • Has a Diving Equipment System Inspection Guidance Notes (DESIGN) document been completed within the last 12 months?
    • Is the hyperbaric lifeboat launched as part of a routine testing plan?
    • Is there safe access available around the diving system?
  • Pipe Lay and Cable Lay Vessels
    • Is there an FMEA to cover the pipelay system?
    • Is the lay system integrated with the vessels DP system?
    • Are all the components of the lay system included in the vessels planned maintenance system?
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV)
    • Is there a Man Overboard Alarm system fitted and operational on the slipway / working deck / LARS deck?
    • Are electrical safety measures and procedures in place for all AUV / ROV systems?
    • Is all lifting equipment operated safely and are all safety measures in place?
  • Helicopter Operations
    • Is the helideck appropriately certified and approved?
    • Are all personnel required for helideck operations trained in accordance with relevant requirements?
    • Is the helideck fire-fighting equipment available for immediate use and free of defects?
  • Accommodation Vessels
    • Is there a fixed fire alarm and sprinkler system fitted in the accommodation areas?
    • Is there a person onboard identified as being in charge of personnel welfare?
    • Is there an FMEA to cover the gangway system?
  • Jack-up Vessels
    • Have the longitudinal and transverse inclinometers a valid calibration certificate?
    • Are the leg height marks clearly visible from a designated point on the vessel?
    • Does the vessel have a MODU/MOU certificate?
  • Heavy Lift Vessels
    • Is there an FMEA to cover the ballast and bilge system?
    • Are there documented training and exercises (normal and emergency) covering stability issues with respect to the heavy lift operation?
    • Is there a working and calibrated inclinometer available at the ballast control console?
  • Oil Recovery Vessels
    • Can the relevant personnel show that they have been trained in oil recovery operations?
    • If fitted, is the oil recovery equipment such as booms, skimmers, etc. included in the vessels planned maintenance system?
    • Does the vessel have certification for oil recovery operations?
  • Barges (Non-self-propelled)
    • Is the emergency towing bridle including chains/wires/shackles/Smit brackets and pick up rope certificated and in a satisfactory condition?
    • Is there an emergency recovery system available for the tow wire?
    • Do the navigation lights and shapes meet local and COLREG requirements?
  • Gravel discharge, Dredgers and Trenching
    • Does the vessel have structured competence and currency training for the relevant specialist operations?
    • Does the vessel have a copy of the Class Approved Cargo Operations Manual onboard?
    • Are there documented operational and safety procedures for all relevant discharging, dredging and trenching operations?

eMISW – Marine Inspection (eCMID) for Small Workboats (IMCA M 189 Issue 3)

This inspection format targets smaller workboat, which are not required to comply with the International Safety Management (ISM) or the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) codes, although the principles outlined within the two codes are worth following.

The top ten findings, each arising in more than 10% of inspections, were as follows:

  • Inspection – Has the vessel undergone a MISW inspection or any other type of independent vessel inspection within the previous 12 months?
  • Safety of Personnel – Is there an asbestos management system?
  • Safety of Personnel – Is there a bridging document or equivalent between vessel owners and external companies for contractors’ employees working onboard to ensure responsibilities for health and safety are clearly defined and safety management systems aligned?
  • Machinery and Electrical – Are there any untreated hazards in the Engine Room/Space?
  • Safety of Personnel – Is a permit to work (PTW) system in use onboard?
  • Navigation Equipment – Are approved, current, corrected charts available?
  • Fire – Is a working emergency fire pump available outside the machinery space?
  • Navigation Equipment – Does the magnetic compass have a valid deviation card?
  • Safety of Personnel – Does the safety management system address hazards associated with slips, trips and falls?
  • Safety of Personnel – Are enclosed spaces identified and controls for their entry in place?

The eMISW format also includes a number of supplements, with the top three findings for each set out below:

  • Dynamic Positioning
    • Is the DP maintenance log up to date?
    • Do the DP operators have the appropriate DP qualification?
    • Does the vessel have a DP incident log?
  • Towing
    • Is there a towing operations manual and does it reference vessel stability?
    • Does the vessel have emergency towing procedures?
    • Does the vessel have a valid Bollard Pull Test Certificate?
  • Diving
    • Does the vessel have emergency procedures for diver decompression illness?
    • Does the vessel have a planned procedure for the recovery of a diver?
  • Anchor Handling
    • Is the Anchor Handling Winch appropriately certified?
    • Is the Anchor Handling equipment maintenance up to date?
    • Are there protected areas provided for crew working on the deck?
  • Barges (Non-self-propelled)
    • Is the main towing bridle/rope including chains/wires/shackles/Smit brackets and winches certificated and in a satisfactory condition?
    • Is there a suitable arrangement for anchoring the vessel if needed?
    • Is emergency towing apparatus/equipment certificated and in a satisfactory condition?

Originally issued with the following reference(s): IMCA M 04/18

IMCA Contact

Richard Purser
Technical Adviser - Marine

Information Note Details

Published date: 19 December 2018
Information note ID: 1423


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