Kenya’s maritime industry is in the spotlight as International Maritime Organisation (IMO) begins to audit the country’s performance in implementation and enforcement of maritime laws and conventions.
The audit being conducted by auditors appointed under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme started at the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) headquarters in Mombasa on Monday. Transport Principal Secretary Paul Maringa said the audit process will help the country build its maritime capacity.
“The process is very important for us as a country because it will help build the maritime capacity and identify grey areas for further improvement,” he said while addressing IMO auditors Haakon Storhaug, John Regy and Eduardo Ortiz.
IMO lead auditor Haakon Storhaug said the audit will provide the feedback to help the country improve its capacity to implement international maritime regulations and asked government agencies to provide necessary support to his team.
“The key benefit of the audit to Kenya is to enhance the nations compliance to IMO mandatory instruments, which is expected to build confidence in Kenya’s maritime sector as it relates to maritime safety, security and maritime pollution,” he said.
The mandatory audit of all IMO member states commenced from January 1, 2016, with the aim of determining the extent to which member states give full and complete effect to their obligations and responsibilities contained in a number of the organisation’s treaty instruments.
The main objective of the audit is to enhance continuous improvement in the maritime sector, identification of possible risks and prevention or mitigation of such risks before they occur.
“If any findings or observations are raised during the IMO audit, the Audit framework provides room for corrective action by the country,” Storhaug said. Instruments in the scope of the audit include safety of life at Sea, prevention of pollution from ships, standards of training, certification and watch-keeping for seafarers.