MAIIF members are guided by the principles of IMO Resolution MSC.255(84): The Code of The International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (Casualty Investigation Code), which entered force in January 2010.
IMO Resolution A.1075(28): Guidelines to assist investigators in the implementation of the Casualty Investigation Code and MSC-MEPC.3/Circ.4: Revised harmonized reporting procedures also apply.
SOLAS Chapter XI-1 makes parts I and II of the Code mandatory, while Part III contains related guidance and explanatory material. These regulations expand on SOLAS Regulation I/21, which requires Administrations to undertake to conduct an investigation of any casualty occurring to any of its ships ‘when it judges that such an investigation may assist in determining what changes in the present regulations might be desirable’.
The objective of the Casualty Investigation Code is to provide a common approach for States to adopt in the conduct of marine safety investigations into marine casualties and marine incidents. It emphasises that marine safety investigations do not seek to apportion blame or determine liability. Instead a marine safety investigation is one which is conducted with the objective of preventing marine casualties and marine incidents in the future.
Tied in with this Code are two further important instruments relating to the treatment of seafarers:
The ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006), which entered into force 20th August 2013, provides for the investigation of some serious marine casualties as well as setting out working conditions for seafarers. And, recognizing the need for special protection for seafarers during an investigation, IMO Resolution A.987(24) provides Guidelines on Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.
For European Union member countries EU Directive 2009/18/EC establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector also applies.