The International Shipping Federation (ISF) is the principal international employers’ organisation for ship operators, representing national shipowners’ associations from 30 countries and about 80% of the world merchant fleet.
Together with its partner IT Energy, ISF has launched an updated version of its ‘ISF Watchkeeper’ computer program. ‘ISF Watchkeeper 3’ is designed to allow shipping companies to maintain records of individual seafarers’ hours of work and rest as required by international regulations, including the latest amendments to the IMO STCW Convention that were adopted in Manila two weeks ago.
‘The ISF program allows shipping companies to check, monitor and maintain records of compliance with the complex seafarer’s work hour regimes that have been adopted by IMO and ILO, and which are already bring enforced by Port State Control.” explained ISF Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
“However, the mandatory requirement for ships to maintain individual records of seafarers’ hours of work on board ship will be given additional momentum by the entry into force of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention and the recently adopted amendments to the STCW Convention. Record keeping is now mandatory, and it will be vital for shipowners to comply with the requirement to maintain records which, due to the complexity of the rules, can be almost impossible to maintain without the use of such a program.”
For the past 15 years, ISF has represented employers throughout the long negotiations at ILO and IMO which have resulted in two sets of complementary international regulations governing seafarers’ hours of work. It has used this expertise to develop a tool which is already being successfully used by thousands of ships worldwide, but which has now been upgraded to make it even more user-friendly and to anticipate the new IMO STCW regime.
Subscribers to ‘ISF Watchkeeper 3’ will able to check and record compliance with the most recent amendments to the IMO Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010), which were adopted by governments in June in Manila and which will enter into force in 2012.
Several new features include an option to maintain overtime records and pre-plan work schedules. Most importantly, a new ‘locking’ function has been incorporated to protect completed data from being altered and to prove authenticity to port state control officers or to accident investigators.
Mr Hinchliffe added “Failure by ships to maintain individual seafarers’ work hour records that comply with the formats adopted by IMO and ILO could result in ship detentions during Port State Control. In the case of an accident this could lead to prosecution.”