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ICS Publications launches the sixth edition of Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code


This latest edition offers new and updated guidance to help shipping companies fulfil their safety and environmental obligations, and to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code). 

The sixth edition aims to help shipping companies operating ships in all sectors and trades develop, implement, maintain and improve their safety management system (SMS).

Gregor Stevens, Senior Nautical Manager at International Chamber of Shipping commented: “As we launch the sixth edition of the ‘Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code,’ we recognise the enduring commitment of the shipping industry to safety and environmental stewardship.

“Over a quarter-century since the ISM Code’s inception, this latest edition reaffirms our dedication to enhancing safety management systems and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. We invite all stakeholders to embrace this invaluable resource as we chart a course towards safer seas and sustainable shipping.” 

The updates in this latest edition include a new chapter on internal auditing to further improve the SMS on an ongoing basis, an example programme of drills and exercises to help companies prepare for all emergencies, examples of standard operating procedures and checklists, and an updated publications list to help companies develop and update their SMS.

The sixth edition promises to be an invaluable resource for company personnel including senior management, DPAs, internal auditors, masters and crew, in particular those specifically tasked with writing or reviewing the SMS. External stakeholders who also interact either directly or indirectly with the SMS may also find the guidance useful along with maritime education and training institutions and auditors.

For more information about the sixth edition of ‘Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code’ and to order copies, please visit:

(Photo from ICS of Gregor Stevens)