SAFEMED V - Safety


Safety is the indispensable element of shipping. It underpins the entire maritime transport framework, protecting human life, the integrity of cargo, the environment, and ships themselves.

As a result, safety is a key component of the SAFEMED V project. With technical assistance, access to tools, and training, the project seeks to assist beneficiary countries with key safety-related challenges, thus contributing to a more robust maritime safety culture across the entire Mediterranean Sea area.

SAFEMED V: safety in focus

At international level, the safety of shipping is primarily regulated by international conventions, adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). When they accede to these legal instruments, states assume the primary responsibility of having an adequate and effective system in place with which to exercise control over ships entitled to fly their flag, thus ensuring that they comply with the relevant international rules and regulations.

This is commonly known as Flag State Implementation (FSI), which is a function falling under the remit of national maritime authorities. While ship owners must keep ships in compliance with international maritime standards, Flag States are the first line of defence against substandard shipping.

SAFEMED V will foster efforts to upgrade all beneficiary countries to Paris MoU white list status. Through its actions, it will support beneficiary countries to address the absence of national legislation transposing the relevant international instruments. It will also work to increase national capacity at all levels to allow the implementation of international conventions, and to ensure their appropriate implementation and enforcement.

The project will therefore support beneficiaries with the ratification, transposition, implementation, and enforcement of international maritime conventions.

Assistance will be provided in all phases of the of the IMO Members States Audit Scheme (IMSAS). This will include preparatory training sessions aiming to familiarise beneficiaries with the procedures and practices of IMSAS. It will also cover preparatory audits to identify potential non-conformities which can then be rectified. The project will also offer support to prepare and implement the Corrective Action Plan to be submitted to IMO to address the findings and observations detected during the actual IMSAS audits.

SAFEMED V will also support the introduction of a Quality Management System for the maritime administration of beneficiary countries, with all relevant processes and procedures aligned with the III Code and the relevant ISO standards.

Port State Control (PSC) is a second line of defence to fight sub-standard shipping, which also provides an indication of the performance of individual flag States. The Action’s beneficiary countries, apart from Libya and Palestine, are members of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding on PSC (MEDMOU) and perform PSC inspections on board foreign vessels calling at their ports, based on common procedures. MEDMOU members are served by the THETIS-Med database, developed and maintained by EMSA within the context of the SAFEMED IV project.

Under SAFEMED V, efforts will be made to achieve harmonisation between the PMOU and MEDMOU inspection regimes, through exchange of best practices between the two MoUs, including the alignment of THETIS-Med with THETIS.

In parallel, the project’s safety component will focus on building national capacity, offering the beneficiaries access either to tailor made trainings or to common core curricula developed by the EMSA Academy for Flag State Inspectors and Port State Control Officers. Access will also be ensured to EMSA’s Virtual Reality Environment for Ship Inspection (VRESI).