The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code) first came into force at the end of the 90s, under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

Before that, Danaos had been the first Greek company to achieve ISM certification from authorized classification society Det Norske Veritas. The assessment involves ensuring that hulls and machinery are seaworthy in accordance with the SOLAS Convention, in addition to the rules and regulations of the vessel's country of registry.

Since 2002, the ISM Code has been mandatory for all but the smallest internationally-trading vessels covered by the SOLAS Convention, including general cargo and containerships, as well as mobile offshore drilling units above 500 gross tonnage.

The ISM Code lays down safety-management objectives and requires both shipowners and operators to develop and maintain an extensive Safety Management System. Part of the SMS is a safety and environmental protection policy, providing for on-board and shore-based resources to deal with any emergency.

Successful ISM Code implementation ensures that safety and environmental pollution risks remain under control:

   •  Planning and monitoring of all operations.

   •  Compliance with international standards.

   •  Accident prevention measures.

   •  Onboard emergency procedures.

   •  Appropriate resources.

   •  Effective communication between onboard and onshore personnel.

   •  Thorough training.

   •  Clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

ISM Code procedures, including regular audits and periodic efficiency evaluation, are documented and compiled in a Safety Management Manual, a copy of which is kept on board.

Danaos Corporation © 2011