Director of the Reform and Functioning Department
sea and river transport
Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine
This year was very intense, interesting and at the same time difficult for our large maritime team. For periods, we were pleased with ourselves, and, it happened, we felt annoyed by the loss of the expected result.
In my opinion, one of the victories of this year is the successful passing by Ukraine the country’s first ever audit of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). There were said much enough about this, but I consider it necessary to talk about this event once again.
When we started preparing for it, it was really not easy. It seemed that we would not have time to get ready, we would not be able to effectively present our existing system of navigation safety. In order to successfully pass an audit, it was necessary to understand the scheme of its conducting, what and how to show the auditors.
It was difficult to start in preparation for the audit. In 2016, I just came to the Ministry for the position of Deputy Director of the Department of Maritime and River Transport and on my desk was a document about the results of the mission of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to assess needs and provide advice in Ukraine from December 14 to 18, 2015 and described the main recommendations on the process of preparing for the audit. The atmosphere, frankly, was complicated. In the media and on Facebook, maritime industry experts sounded accusations that preparation for the audit was not in progress. There were also those who frankly interfered with work, telling what and how to do, without doing anything at the same time. In addition, we also experienced a huge shortage of personnel – there were practically no people willing to do routine training for an audit.
The team, which later became the basis for preparing for the audit, was collected bit by bit. And such a team was formed into a Working Group consisting of employees of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, other ministries, enterprises of maritime transport, as well as a project office created with the technical assistance of the Canadian EDGE Project. I want to thank all the participants in this process. Thank you very much for supporting Minister Vladimir Omelyan, who instantly responded to each request for assistance and coordinated all preparations for the audit, Deputy Ministers Yuriy Lavreniuk and Viktor Dovgan, Secretary of State of the Ministry Andrei Galuschak, who at the decisive stage joined the audit team, I joined it and personally participated in key events in the preparation and conduct of the audit itself, rallying and inspiring the team. I am sure that the audit participants from Ukraine will confirm the importance of the personal presence of the first leaders and their assistance in conducting such a responsible event.
The result of the audit was the formation of a new culture of interconnection with the International Maritime Organization and an increase in the level of our relations. We analyzed the completeness of the implementation and the quality of implementation of the international statutory tools of IMO, identified the tasks for the near future to change our national regulatory acts, for the medium term – to accede to important international conventions and protocols, and also to create conditions and access to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control of Ships, the main requirements of which take into account the principles and requirements of IMO in the field of navigation safety and protection of the marine environment. In other words, having passed an audit, we understand that we are at the beginning of the path of preparation for the next. Promotion of our state in this direction requires significant resources, both material and human.
If we talk about the documentation, then as of December 1, 2018, the team of auditors provided us with a preliminary report on the results of the audit. In accordance with the Framework Principles and Procedures of the IMO Member State Audit Scheme, approved by IMO Resolution A.1067 (28) of December 4, 2013, we are coordinating a plan of our corrective actions with the audit team leader and the Organization Secretariat, and then I hope to finish 2018, the final report will be generated and transferred to Ukraine. In the future, for 3 years, we will have to perform the planned corrective actions and prepare for the next audit of the IMO, which is held every 7 years and according to our calculations should be held in 2025.
I am sure that by the next audit we will retain all the accumulated experience and will be able to show an even higher degree of Ukraine’s comformance to IMO standards.
Once again I thank everyone who took part in the preparation and conduct of the audit and remains with us in preparation for the next.