In the past, prospective clients in the oil and gas industry have requested individual audits of vessels they wished to contract. The aim was to assess the vessel condition for the purpose of the charter or proposed operation. These audits can be both time-consuming and expensive; and many operators were struggling with the demands placed upon them. The Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) published by IMCA – the International Marine Contractors Association - aims to reduce the number of audits carried out on individual marine vessels through the adoption of a common auditing standard for the offshore industry.
An updated version (IMCA M 149 Issue 5) together with guidance on its use in the form of a worked example (IMCA M 167) and a CD containing the CMID in Microsoft Word format, to enable electronic completion, are all newly issued from the Association.
For the first time, the guidance also identifies sections for which vessel personnel can prepare by assembling appropriate documentation prior to the auditor's arrival for an inspection. A competent and independent third party should complete the audit, enabling subsequent clients or prospective clients to consider their results rather than simply requiring full re-inspections. The document opens with an extensive and invaluable set of definitions and abbreviations, an explanation of the inspection process and the report summary and distribution list. There is also a section with generic inspection sheets and further sections dedicated to specialist vessel inspection.