International Safety Management Certification (ISM) Code: Requirements and Certification Process

What is International Safety Management Certification (ISM code)?

You can get International Safety Management Certification code licenses under the ISM code. The ISM code applies to all passenger ships and other ships that are 500 GT or more. The Directorate General of Shipping (for Indian ships) or the flag state of another ship gives certification under the ISM Code for Indian flag vessels after making sure that the Safety Management System is being used properly in the company and on board the vessel.

Setting up checks for SMC and DOC is the job of the Directorate. The Indian Register of Shipping, a well-known group, has been permitted by the Directorate to do SMC checks on the ship.

It was made law on July 1, 1988, as SOLAS Chapter IX. International Ship Management (ISM). It makes sure that ships are managed and run safely around the world and that waste is kept to a minimum. The group’s goals are to keep people safe at sea, stop harm and death, and protect the earth. It applies to all ships that go on the water that are bigger than 500 GT. It also applies to the ship’s owner or management company.

Service Information

An integrated Safety Management System (SMS) encapsulates the company’s activities, ships and goals, according to the ISM Code.

Using the SMS, a company can assess its safety procedures and pollution control measures in comparison with a defined system.

What is Trans-shipment? A Cost-Effective Solution for Shipping Industry

What is DOC?

A corporation is granted a Document of Compliance, or DOC, according to the kind of ship it operates. This implies that different DOCs will be issued for different kinds of ships. For example, if a corporation owns 10 oil tankers and 10 containers, two different DOCs will be issued, one for the tanker fleet and one for the container fleet.

After a company’s SMS and implementation are successfully audited and reviewed, DOC is issued by the flag state government.

DOC Types

Interim DOC

  • When a business establishes itself or adds a new class of ship to its fleet, it issues an interim DOC.
    The corporation has been given a year to meet the ISM criteria, and is asked to present an SMS implementation plan.
  • The business must go through an initial audit, and in the event of a newly established shipping company, within the 12-month interim DOC validity term.
  • If a new ship type is introduced to the shipping company during the 12-month interim DOC validity period, the company will be subject to an extra audit.
  • An additional document examination is carried out for a new company before the administration’s audit.

Short Term Document

  • The administration auditor responds to the initial, annual, or renewal audit process by issuing a short-term document of completion (DOC) on the day of the audit.
  • A short-term DOC is only valid for five months.


  • The administration issues it following the successful completion of the initial audit or the fulfillment of the interim DOC requirements.
  • Issued following the company’s deployment of SMS for a minimum of three months and the involvement of at least one ship in the fleet with DOC.
  • After the first audit, DOC is valid for five years from the subsequent expiration date and is audited annually.
  • The DOC is withdrawn in the event that the audit reveals a major nonconformity.
  • Every ship in the DOC fleet carries a copy of the DOC, which the corporation also retains.

What is Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)?

What is SMC?

The administration grants a Safety Management Certificate to a DOC holding company’s vessel.

Each ship needs to have a Safety Management Certificate (SMC) to guarantee that it follows the onboard Safety Management Manual, which is based on ISM.

When a corporation owns twenty-five oil tanker ships, each ship receives twenty-five SMC in total.

After the ship has been successfully audited to ensure that it is functioning in accordance with the SMS based on the ISM code, the SMC is issued.

SMC Types

Temporary SMC

  • Given to the business that owns a Main, Temporary, or Short-Term DOC.
  • Issued to the recently constructed ship that the shipping business has added to its fleet.
  • Transferred to a new ship with a different management firm.
  • Given to a business whose flag state has changed.
  • It has a six-month validity period.
  • A ship must complete all requirements to comply with the SMS based on the ISM code in order to receive the main SMC after undergoing an initial audit with interim SMC.

Temporary SMC

  • The administration auditor responds to the first audit, annual audit, or renewal audit procedure by issuing a short-term SMC on the day of the audit as evidence of completion.
  • Five months is the short-term SMC’s validity period.


  • After the initial audit is successfully completed or the interim SMC requirements are met, the administration issues it.
  • Following the first audit, SMC is valid for five years from the subsequent expiration date and is subject to a follow-up audit.
  • The ship’s second and third anniversary dates are when the intermediate audit is conducted.
  • The SMC and DOC are revoked if the audit reveals a major nonconformity.
  • The corporation keeps a copy of the SMC while storing the original on the ship.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top