The Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) was developed over a decade ago by the International Marine Contractors Association's (IMCA) because vessels were subjected to repeat inspections each with a slightly different format, because there was no acceptance of other clients' inspection results, and no common approach available.
The CMID has proved invaluable for vessel clients, owners/operators and inspectors alike. Late last year, the electronic version - e-CMID, along with the online CMID database - was launched as a natural and logical progression to ensure the document's continued usefulness. Registration is free of charge for all, IMCA members and non-members alike.
"In the first six months of use, 774 users have registered," explains Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA. "They come from four user groups: 76 vessel operators, 69 clients, 51 combined operators/ clients, 103 inspection companies and six industry organisations that also have an interest in the reports. The vessel operators have registered 252 vessels on the system. These statistics remain beyond our expectations.
"We are now holding a series of small workshops on use of the e-CMID. The first was held recently for inspectors and was well received; another will be held shortly for vessel owners; and we are planning similar workshops in The Netherlands and Singapore, and will roll them out in the coming months."
"The electronic version is easier and quicker to complete for the inspector," says Hugh Williams. "In the electronic version the inspector is not able to leave blanks or provide insufficient information - when the inspector answers 'no' to any question, a description of what is lacking must follow. The vessel owner can pre-populate certain information which improves speed and accuracy for the inspector. The inspector should be able to create the report quickly whilst on the vessel. Any time saving at this point is very important to the vessel operator who, in the past, had to spend a lot of time whilst in port escorting inspectors round their vessels. A more accurate report can also improve the likelihood of an existing report being accepted and thus a new report not being commissioned - another saving."
The e-CMID was the necessary precursor of the all-important database in which reports can be stored. IMCA thrives on feedback and a number of users reported that CMID reports were circulating with inaccuracies in them, which the vessel operator could not correct, and that updates to vessel equipment status could not be included; and there were also indications that several versions of reports could be in circulation at the same time. The ability to have a master copy of the living document on the CMID database ensures that the most up-to-date report is easy to locate.