The influence of information technology on the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code: A shift from paper-based to paperless ships


  • Samrat Ghosh National Centre of Ports and Shipping, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Australia
  • Apsara Abeysiriwardhane National Centre of Ports and Shipping, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Australia



Maritime, Safety, Quality assurance, International Safety Management Code, Security, Information technology


To provide an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduced the International Safety Management (ISM) Code (adopted in 1993 and entered in force on 1st July 1998). The Code, through its guidelines and recommendations, provides seafarers (ship’s crew) the course of action for the safety and quality assurance process on ships. Traditionally a paper-based system, the ISM Code is now being digitalized in every aspect to streamline the processes to improve ship operations. This paper presents findings of a review of existing literature available on the world wide web to highlight areas of the Code that have been impacted by technology and the benefits that are being reaped. However, recent cyber attacks on ships and the maritime industry require a discussion on various implications associated with ships becoming increasingly reliant on technology and the advancing digital world. This paper highlights and explains the related implications and suggests strategies to address them.


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How to Cite

Ghosh, S. ., & Abeysiriwardhane, A. (2021). The influence of information technology on the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code: A shift from paper-based to paperless ships. Maritime Technology and Research, 3(3), 299–311.