The Deputy Director of the [Bahamas Maritime Authority]( (BMA), Captain Dwain Hutchinson, has been elected chairman of the [International Maritime Organisation]( (IMO) Flag State Implementation (FSI) Sub-Committee – the first time since the inception of the FSI at IMO that this Sub-Committee has been chaired by a representative from any of the major flag states.

Captain Hutchinson was elected a Vice Chairman of the Sub-Committee in 2008, with the appointment to Chairman unanimously confirmed after the July 5-9, 2010 18th Session of the FSI at IMO Headquarters in London. Capt. Hutchinson, in fact, acted as Chair for that Session.

The IMO consists of an Assembly, a Council, five main Committees, and a number of Sub-Committees that support the work of the main technical committees, including the Flag State Implementation Sub Committee. The Sub-Committee was established in 1992 to address the varying standards between flag states in the effective implementation of the international conventions. Its aim is to improve the performance of Governments. Today it has oversight for the status and implementation, by all IMO Member States, of the more than 40 IMO Conventions, hundreds of codes, guidelines and recommendations covering every aspect of design, construction, equipment, maintenance, safety, marine environmental protection and crew issues. The important issues on the Sub-Committee’s agenda include the IMO Member State audit scheme, casualty analysis, harmonisation of port state control activities, the development of a mandatory Code for Recognised Organisation and the survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) covering international shipping regulations adopted by the International Maritime Organization, which entered into force in 2000.

Captain Hutchinson in his capacity as a BMA senior manager in the Technical Department has been involved in the development and oversight of The Bahamas’ national maritime policies and regional activities in the Caribbean MOU. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role, which is viewed as marking an important milestone not only for The Bahamas but also for the IMO, which has entrusted the important work of this body to a major flag state.

The Bahamas serves as a Category (c) member of the IMO Council for 2010-2011. It is an active participant in the Council’s work. The Bahamas is the flag of choice for many of the world’s finest fleets, with the Bahamas Ship Registry’s reputation for quality and excellence ensuring that it remains the trusted first option flag for many of the biggest players in international shipping.

##18th FSI Session##

The agenda for the FSI 18 included the following important items:

* Review of the Code for the Implementation of Mandatory IMO Instruments
* Comprehensive analysis of difficulties encountered in the implementation of IMO instruments
* Responsibilities of Governments and measures to encourage Flag State compliance
* The harmonisation of the Port State Control MoU’s activities
* The Code for Recognized Organizations
* The PSC Guidelines on Seafarers’ Working Hours and PSC Guidelines in Relation to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006
* Interim Guidance for Port State Control Officers on Checking for Compliance with Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT)
* Interim Guidelines for Inspection of Anti-Fouling System (AFS) on Ships Port Reception Facilities Related Issues