The Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping hosted a regional workshop on the Implementation of the Voluntary Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS). The workshop was organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and ran from September 30th to October 4th, 2013 at the Jolly Beach Resort and Spa. The opening ceremony took place at 9:30am on Monday September 30th 2013 in the Hibiscus Room with Ambassador Dwight Gardiner Director and Registrar General as the keynote speaker.
The aim of the workshop was to assist Governments in the preparation for the audit under the Voluntary Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) and/or to address any findings from the audit. The workshop also provided a forum for sharing experiences gained so far in the conduct of the audits. The main objective was to provide the participants with advice on the structure and mechanisms necessary for enhancing the capability and effectiveness of the implementation of the provisions of the mandatory IMO instruments and the code for the Implementation of mandatory instruments 2011, with a view to assisting maritime administrations in the effective preparation for volunteering for the VIMSAS audit and/or in addressing any findings from the audit. The workshop was strictly limited to senior level officials nominated by their respective Governments.
Sixteen delegates representing eleven countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) participated and benefited not only from the information shared but also from the sharing of best practices.
Ambassador Dwight Gardiner, Director and Registrar General at the Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping welcomed the attendees and spoke of the critical importance of the workshop and made reference to the fact that all the countries represented at the forum had either participated in or were preparing to undergo the audit. Mr. Lawrence Barchue Head of Department – Department for Member State Audit and Implementation Support – Maritime Safety Division brought greetings on behalf of the Secretary General of the IMO.