Assessment under the IMO’s Voluntary International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) is a necessary rite of passage and not to be feared, according to Jamaica which is understood to be the third country in the Caribbean to undertake the voluntary audit.
“We in Jamaica found the experience was rewarding and we firmly believe that the audit is not to be feared,” said Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ). “We view the audit as a necessary rite of passage in doing all that is required and possible for remaining a responsible maritime State. Jamaica is pleased to have gone through the process and, based on our experience, we encourage other States to submit to the audit.”
Staff at the Maritime Authority, along with the other Jamaican Government agencies which implement various aspects of the international maritime instruments, embraced the audit process as an additional tool to assist in the their quest for continual improvement. MAJ remains committed to quality and the IMO vision of safe, secure and clean seas.
Rear Admiral Brady advised: “The aim of the audit is to assist us in recognising the things we are doing right and fixing the things which can be improved. It is best that we do it now while the scheme is voluntary as, in a number of years, it will become mandatory in a different form. Those of us who opt to take up the challenge now will be ahead of the game.”
Auditors from the United States, Panama and Spain carried out the VIMSAS audit at the MAJ’s Kingston headquarters, making mandatory visits to other responsible agencies over a period of 10 days last month.
The MAJ, which earlier this year hosted a five-day VIMSAS workshop in Kingston under the IMO/Singapore Third Country Training Programme, will now use its experience to assist other Flag States, in the region and globally, to undertake the VIMSAS audit.