Question and Answer for Oral Exam, Part – 1

What is I.S.M. ?

The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International Safety Management (ISM) Code).

 What is I.M.O. Convention ?

Conventions are chief instruments of IMO, being binding legal instruments, regulating some aspect of maritime affairs of major concern to IMO e.g. safety of life at sea (SOLAS) or marine pollution (MARPOL).

They are identified by name and the year of adoption by the Assembly, Such as the International Convention on the  Safety of Life at Sea, 1974.

May have detailed technical provisions attached in annexes, such as six annexes to the MARPOL convention, each dealing with a different aspect of marine pollution.

 How many conventions are there ?

About 50 ? Though checked up to 1998, 25.

 What is a Protocol ?

A treaty instrument which makes major modification to a Convention which has been adopted but not yet in force. The Protocol usually speeds up the Convention’s entry into force. e.g. MARPOL 73/78, SOLAS 74/78

 Name some major IMO Conventions ?



  • International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1960 and 1974.
  • International Convention on Load Lines (LL) 1966.
  • Special Trade Passenger Ship Agreement (STP) 1971.
  • International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea (COLREGS), 1972.
  • International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) 1972.
  • Convention on International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), 1976.
  • Torremolinos Protocol of 1993 relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels (SVP-F), 1995.
  • International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping of Seafarers (STCW) 1978.
  • International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), 1979 and
  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) 1995.


STCW 1978 was revised at a conference in London in July 1995, the revised convention is generally known as STCW-95.


  • International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (INTERVENTION) 1969.
  • Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters (LC) 1972.
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978, relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78) and
  • International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) 1990.


  • International Convention on Civil Liabilities for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC), 1969.
  • Convention relating to Civil Liabilities in the Field of Maritime Carrriage of Nuclear Materials (NUCLEAR) 1971.
  • International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (FUND) 1971.
  • Athens Convention relating to Carriage of Passenger and their Luggage by Sea (PAL) 1974.
  • Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC) 1976 and
  • International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damages in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) 1996



  • Convention on Facilitating of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) 1965.
  • International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (TONNAGE) 1969.
  • Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA) 1988.
  • Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (SUAPROT) 1988 and
  • International Convention on Salvage (SALVAGE) 1989

 How many conventions have been ratified by Bangladesh?

Bangladesh has ratified 13 conventions including those on SOLAS, Loadline, Tonnage,  STCW 78/95, COLREG, STP, INMARSAT, FAL.


  1. What is SOLAS & MARPOL ? How many annexes are there in MARPOL and what are they ?

SOLAS stands for International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

MARPOL stands for International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

There are at present 6 annexes to MARPOL :-

  • Prevention of Pollution by Oil
  • Prevention of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances
  • Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances in Packaged Form
  • Prevention of Pollution by Sewage
  • Prevention of Pollution by Garbage
  • Prevention of Air Pollution (NOX nitric oxide, SOX- sulphur oxide, PM, VOC, Energy Efficiency)

  How many chapters are there in SOLAS ? Which chapter deals with ISM & which one with safety of bulk carrier ?

There are 12 chapters in SOLAS. Chapter 9 deals with ISM and Chapter 12 with bulk carrier safety.

  What are enhanced surveys and which ships are required to have them ?

Basically these are close up examinations of the welded attachments of side-shell frames in selected holds, and extensive thickness measurement, carried out by IACS member societies on (1) dry bulk carriers and (2) tankers.

Continuous survey of bulk carrrier and tankers are being phased out and Enhanced survey program has been extended from 4 to 5 years with an Intermediate survey between Special surveys. Special survey program for Tankers,more than 10 years of age.

What is harmonized system of survey and certification (HSSC) ?

All SOLAS, MARPOL and Loadline Convention Certificate including certificates issued under the International gas (IGC) and chemical tanker (BC) codes aand BCH Code for older tankers can be done at one go. This means that a ship will no longer have to go out of service for survey to meet the requirement of one convention shortly after having to do so for another convention. It also means that all certificates for cargo ships will have a 5-year maximum validity (previously Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate wa valid for a maximum of tow years, while cargo ship Safety Radio Certificate was valid for only one year), however Passenger Ship SEC will be valid for one year only. It came into International effect on 3/2/2000.

 What is DOC, SMC, DPA, NC in ISM

DOC- Document of Compliance

SMC-Safety Management Certificate

DPA is Designated Person Ashore

NC- Non-conformity

When will the ISM Code be fully implemented ?

It is already in force for bulk carriers, passenger ships and tankers. It will come into force all all other ship types on 1/7/2002.

What are the objectives of ISM Code ?

The objectives are to ensure safety at safety at sea, prevention of human injury or loss of life and damage to the environment and to property.

What is non-conformity ?

An observed situation where objective evidence indicates the non-fulfillment of a specified requirement.

 Who issues DOC and SMC ?

Flag state administration or authorized classification societies on their behalf ?

 What is Tonnage and Load line Convention ?

Tonnage Convention deals with a internationally acceptable system of measurement of ships volume in order to set dues on the vessel.

Load line Convention deals with minimum required freeboard measurement and watertight integrity of the vessel.

 What is STCW ?

STCW is Standard of Training, Certification and Watch keeping.

 What are the objectives of STCW?

The objectives of STCW is to set the minimum level of competence among seafarers internationally.

 What is MARPOL? How many special areas are there ?

MARPOL is International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

There are 6 annexes.

 Which annexes of MARPOL did not come into force internationally ?

Annex 4, Prevention of pollution by sewage,

Annex 6, Prevention of Air Pollution.


 What are the special areas with regard to oil (Annex-1) and Garbage (Annex-5) ?

Annex-1 special areas are:-

  1. Mediterranean Sea
  2. Baltic Sea
  3. Black Sea
  4. Antarctic Sea (area south of 60 degrees South)
  5. Red Sea including Gulf of Suez and Aqaba
  6. Persian/Arabian Gulf
  7. Gulf of Aden
  8. North West European water including the North Sea and its approaches, the Celtic Sea, the English Channel and approaches and part of the North East Atlantic immediately east of Iceland (wef 1/1/2000).



Annex-4 Special Areas

  1. Baltic Sea Area including the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland including the entrance to Baltic Sea.
  2. The North Sea, including English Channel and approaches,
  3. The Antarctic Region (South of 60 degrees)
  4. Wider Caribbean Region,
  5. Mediterranean Sea
  6. Red Sea
  7. Persian/Arabian Gulf.

 What is ‘ppm’ ?

‘ppm’ is parts per million.


Discharge criteria for ships other than oil tankers and for machinery space of oil tankers wef 6/7/1998:-

  • the ship must be proceeding on a voyage
  • the ship must not be within a special area
  • the oil content of the affluent does not exceed 15 ppm
  • the ship must have in operation equipment required by Reg. 14


Discharge criteria within a special area:

  • In Antarctic Special Area, total prohibition
  • the bilge water must not originate from cargo pump room
  • the bilge water is not mixed with cargo residue
  • the ship is proceeding on voyage
  • the oil content without dilution does not exceed 15 ppm
  • the ship has in operation an oil filtering system complying with Reg. 16(5)
  • the filtration system is equipped with automatic stopping device when effluent level exceeds 15 ppm.

 What is SOPEP and IOPP ?

SOPEP is Shipboard Oil Pollution emergency plan.

IOPP is International Oil Pollution Prevention certificate.

 What is the rule for discharge of (1)E/R bilge and (2) pump room and slop tanks ?

(1) For E/R bilge refer to answer No. 22

(2) For pump room and slop tanks, all the following condition must be satisfied.

  • the tanker is proceeding on a voyage,
  • the tanker is not within a MARPOL Annex-1 special area,
  • the tanker is not less than 50 miles from the nearest land,
  • the instantaneous rate of discharge does not exceed 30 litres/nautical mile
  • for tankers which entered into service in or since 1980, total quantity discharged does not exceed 1/15000 of the total quantity of cargo and tankers which entered into service after 1980, 1/30000 of the total quantity of cargo.

 What is standard and International Shore Connection ?

Standard connections are for discharge of bilge, sludge, sewage or electrical connection.

International shore connection is for connecting with the fore main for water supply from sources other than ship’s main and is located as per Safety/Fire plan.

 If there is an accidental discharge during bunkering, what is your action ?

Stop bunkering operation

Contain pollution and prevent overboard spillage.

Inform port authorities.

Follow SOPEP.

 What are the entries in ORB Part-1 ?

  • Any movement of E/R oil, (2) Bunkering, (3)date and time of operation, (4)incineration,

(5) discharge through approved equipment for E/R bilges and (6) to shore reception facilities (sludge).

 What is Cargo Record Book ?

Cargo Record Book refers to chemical tankers and entries must be made in relation to each tank affected by the following operations:

  • loading of cargo
  • internal transfer of cargo
  • unloading of cargo
  • cleaning of cargo tanks
  • ballasting of cargo tanks
  • discharge of ballast from cargo tanks
  • disposal of residues from cargo tanks
  • disposal of residues to reception facilities
  • disposal of residues into sea as per schedule to the regulation
  • removal of residues by ventilation
  • emergency/accidental discharge


records must be retained for three years from the date of last entry.

 What is IMDG Code ?

IMDG Code is the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. This document refers to the various classes, packing, marking and segregation of dangerous goods and marine pollutants carried in packaged form.  MFAG (Medical First Aid Guide) and EmS (Emergency Schedules) are in the supplement to the IMDG Code.

 What is WHO and ILO ?

WHO is World Health Organization, ILO is International Labor Organization.

 Name one of the major ILO Convention dealing with seaman ?

ILO 147 which is called the Minimum Standards Convention. This Convention requires ratifying states to have:-

  • regulations laying down for ships registered in their territory,
  • safety standards, including standard of competency, hours of work and manning,
  • appropriate social security measures and
  • shipboard conditions of employment and living arrangements.

  What is class notation, tonnage marks, load line and Plimsol mark ?

The ship’s character of classification symbols (e.g. +100A) is known as class notation. Here  ‘+” means the ship was constructed under survey by classification society surveyors, ‘A’ means the ship was constructed or accepted into classification class and is maintained in a good and efficient condition. Additional notation can be like ‘IWS’ for in-water survey etc.

Tonnage marks are engravings in the hull (Usually main beam on ships other than tankers and in pump-room or forecastle of tankers) indicating the gross and net tonnage as per ITC-69.

Plimsole and load line marks refer to engravings on the outer hull to indicate the depth or draft upto which the vessel may be loaded before proceeding to sea in salt water and are calculated on the basis of LL Convention 1966.

 What is flag administration and what is its role ?

Flag administration is the national agency for registration of ships. Its duty  to implement various national and international legislation to which the flag state is a party. In Bangladesh it is the Department of Shipping.

 What is classification society and under whose authority do they work ?

Classification societies are bodies that lay down standards for the construction and maintenance of ships. Compliance with the standards which are published as Rules of the particular classification society ensures assignment and maintenance of class.

Classification societies act under the authority delegated to them by the flag administration.

 How many national shipping regulations we have got ?

There are five regulations:

  • ISO-76 (Inland Shipping Ordnance 1976)
  • MSO-83 (Merchant Shipping Ordnance 1983)
  • Flag Vessel Protection Ordnance 1982
  • Maritime Zone Act (setting out limits of territorial water, contiguous zone and EEZ)
  • Light House Act

 Which chapter of SOLAS deals with Bulk carrier safety?

  • Chapter -12


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