- Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) has issued an information bulletin no. 173 providing guidance on procedure for approval of electronic record keeping systems and their use on board Bahamian flagged vessels.
- Salient points of the bulletin are as follows:
- In order to reduce administrative burdens and considering the increasing use of electronic record keeping systems; Bahamas Maritime Authority has permitted to maintain the official onboard records in electronic format provided that the systems are complied with the requirements and approved by BMA.
- Following records may be maintained in an electronic record keeping systems for minimum retention period as specified by relevant regulations:
- Bahamas Official Logbook Part I (Minimum retention period: 7 years after entry made);
- Bahamas Official Logbook Part II (Passenger Ships only) (Minimum retention period: 7 years after entry made);
- Articles of Agreement or Seafarer’s Employment Agreements (Minimum retention period: 7 years after expiry);
- Records of all incidents connected with the radio communication service which appear to be of importance to safety of life at sea.(Regulation 17 of Chapter IV of SOLAS) (Minimum retention period: 1 year) ;
- Records of navigational activities and incidents which are of importance to safety of navigation (Regulation 28 of Chapter V of SOLAS) (Minimum retention period: 1 year);
- Ballast Water Record Book (Minimum retention period: 2 years onboard and 3 years by company);
- Compass Error Book;
- Oil Record Book Parts I & II (MARPOL Annex I) (Minimum retention period: 3 years);
- Cargo Record Book for ships carrying Noxious Liquid Substances(MARPOL Annex II) (Minimum retention period: 3 years)
- Garbage Record Book Parts I & II (MARPOL Annex V) (Minimum retention period: 2 years);
- MARPOL Annex VI Record Book.
- Bridge log book (also known as Chief Officer’s Logbook);
- Engine room log book;
- Biofouling Record Book
- Once an electronic record keeping systems is selected for use onboard, the Company is required to apply to BMA with following information for an approval:
- Name and Official Number of all ships on which the system will be installed;
- A statement from the Company confirming the following:
- The installed system complies with the specific requirements as required by BMA;
- The crew has been appropriately trained in the management, use and operation of the system, in compliance with Regulation I/14.1.4 of the STCW Convention;
- The routines and processes for the conservation and maintenance of the entries in the system comply with relevant requirements and guidance and procedures for data entry, extraction and retention are incorporated in the Safety Management System;
- A list of logbooks and record books that will have their entries captured in the electronic record keeping system;
- System manufacturer’s declaration specifying that the system is installed according to approved existing requirements and that the installed system has been tested and is operating correctly.
- BMA may require demonstration of features of the system to ensure compliance with the requirements. On satisfactory compliance, BMA will issue a Document of Approval of Electronic Record Keeping Systems for each ship which contains the list of official records that are permitted to store by the systems.
- Document of Approval is valid for five years from the date of issue and must be kept onboard which will be verified during Bahamas annual inspections.
- Companies that are using electronic record keeping systems and already have statement of compliance issued by BMA are required to apply for Document of Approval for each individual ship by not later than first Bahamas annual inspection after 01st March 2018 but in any case, not later than 31st December 2018.
- Companies that are using electronic record keeping systems that have not been approved by the BMA are required to apply for Document of Approval by not later than first Bahamas annual inspection after 01st March 2018.
- The fees applicable for issuance of a Document of Approval for Electronic Record Keeping Systems are as follows:
- Review for approval of system - $150 per hour or part thereof
- Issue of initial Document of Approval - $300
- Renewal of Document of Approval - $300
- Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.
- Bahamas Maritime Authority Information Bulletin No. 173
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.