Israel: “Israel building up its capabilities well for VIMSAS audit” says SafeMed Officer

Israel is gearing up well for an eventual Voluntary IMO Member State

Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) audit later on this year. Through VIMSAS, the State will be in a better position to ensure maritime safety and pollution prevention.

VIMSAS creates a basis to assess to what degree a Member State of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency for maritime affairs, complies with its obligations set out in the various international instruments made mandatory through the ratification by that State. The implementation of these instruments leads the Member State to achieve a Maritime Administration capable of improving its performance by a set of standards for the best practice in maritime safety and pollution prevention.

As one of the Beneficiaries of the SafeMed II Project, the €5.5 million EU-funded regional project on “EuroMed Coopereation on Maritime Safety and Prevention of Pollution from Ships”, being implemented, on behalf of IMO, by the Malta-based Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), Israel already receives various forms of assistance in promoting a coherent, effective and uniform implementation of the international conventions and rules aimed at enhancing maritime safety and at better protecting the marine environment in the Mediterranean region from pollution from ships.

“SafeMed forms part of the EuroMed Transport Programme and seeks to mitigate the existing imbalance in the application of maritime legislation between the EU Mediterranean Member States and the non EU
members from the region,” said Albert Bergonzo, SafeMed II Project Officer –Maritime Administration.

In response to a request from Israel, a National Workshop on VIMSAS was held in June 2010. This was followed by an official declaration to volunteer for the Audit and, in order to further support Israel, the Project will next month dispatch an experienced IMO lead Auditor, Dr Schröder from Germany, for an in-depth preparation of the competent national authorities. The first phase of this preparation will culminate with a one-day session to be attended by various Israeli senior officials representing the Administration.