The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)’s Marine eCMID Committee considered the potential for remote vessel inspections at its December 2020 meeting, in light of ongoing restrictions at both national and company level due to COVID-19 that can limit both vessel access and the movement of accredited vessel inspectors (AVIs).
The Committee determined that remote inspections using the eCMID/eMISW inspection templates would not be appropriate. Some of the issues identified include:
- Connectivity and bandwidth issues
- Time required of vessel crew and inspectors, and the quantity and complexity of information that would need to be transmitted and reviewed
- The practical format of the inspection templates, which relies on the physical senses and experience of inspectors while onboard
- Overall, the potential effects on quality and integrity of reports
While for those vessels unable to accommodate an in-person inspection at present, the eCMID/eMISW templates may be a useful guide for an informal interim assessment, the results of such reviews are not suitable for uploading to the database and are not valid eCMID/eMISW reports. Non-compliance may lead to inspector accreditation being suspended and/or withdrawn.
Use local AVIs
- Where possible, it is recommended to use local AVIs, rather than transporting a company’s regular inspectors from country to country, with positive feedback received from a number of clients who have adopted this approach.
- A global directory of currently accredited inspectors can be accessed via the eCMID website. The accreditation scheme also remains open to new applicants, with online training and remote assessment of inspectors’ skills and experience available through the IIMS Marine Surveying Academy, helping to ensure global coverage by appropriately qualified and competent personnel.
- Please visit http://www.ecmidvesselinspectors.com/ for further information.
Case by case validity
- Following an initial three-month extension of report validity globally, which ended in July 2020, IMCA has publicised an option of extending validity on a case-by-case basis, although there have been only a very small number of requests for this to date.
- Any affected vessel operator should see the previous announcement at https://www.ecmid.com/2020/07/09/ecmid-emisw-temporary-validity-extension-ending/
The Committee is keeping this matter under review, and would welcome additional feedback from the industry.