1 January 2012: Entry into force of May 2010 amendments to SOLAS
International Goal based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, along with amendments to Chapter II-1. The new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 will apply to oil tankers and bulk carriers of 150m in length and above. It will require new ships to be designed and constructed for a specified design life and to be safe and environmentally friendly, in intact and specified damage conditions, throughout their life. Under the regulation, ships should have adequate strength, integrity and stability to minimize the risk of loss of the ship or pollution to the marine environment due to structural failure, including collapse, resulting in flooding or loss of watertight integrity.
Corrosion and fire protection
A new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-11 on Corrosion protection of cargo oil tanks of crude oil tankers, to require all such tanks to be protected against corrosion, with related performance standards also adopted.
Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/4.5.7 on Gas measurement and detection and to SOLAS regulation II-2/7.4.1 relating to fixed fire detection and fire alarm systems. Amendments to the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code).
1 January 2012: Entry into force of June 2010 Manila amendments to STCW
Major revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (the STCW Convention), and its associated Code adopted at a Diplomatic Conference in Manila, the Philippines, held from 21 to 25 June 2010.
"The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code" are aimed at bringing the Convention and Code up to date with developments since they were initially adopted in 1978 and further revised in 1995; and to enable them to address issues that are anticipated to emerge in the foreseeable future.
1 January 2012: Entry into force of amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972
The amendments include addition of new paragraphs in Regulation 1 Safety Approval Plate, specifying the validity of and elements to be included in approved examination programmes; the addition of a new test for containers being approved for operation with one door removed; and the addition of a new annex III Control and Verification, which provides specific control measures to enable authorized officers to assess the integrity of structurally sensitive components of containers and to help them decide whether a container is safe to continue in transportation or whether it should be stopped until remedial action has been taken.
1 July 2012 Entry into force of 2010 amendments to SOLAS
Amendments to SOLAS to make mandatory the International Code for the Application of Fire Test Procedures (2010 FTP Code).
The 2010 FTP Code provides the international requirements for laboratory testing, type-approval and fire test procedures for products referenced under SOLAS chapter II-2. It comprehensively revises and updates the current Code, adopted by the MSC in 1996.
Other amendments entering into force:
• Amendments to SOLAS regulation V/18 to require annual testing of automatic identification systems (AIS);
• Amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23 on pilot transfer arrangements, to update and to improve safety aspects for pilot transfer.
• Amendments to safety certificates in the SOLAS appendix and SOLAS Protocol of 1988, relating to references to alternative design and arrangements.
1 August 2012: Effective date for North American ECA
North American Emission Control Area (SOx, and NOx and PM) becomes effective, under MARPOL Annex VI.
29 September 2012: Entry into force of STCW-F Convention
Entry into force of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F).
The Convention will apply to crews of seagoing fishing vessels generally of 24 metres in length and above.The Convention is the first attempt to make standards of safety for crews of fishing vessels mandatory internationally.
The STCW-F Convention consists of 15 Articles and an annex containing technical regulations. Chapter I contains General Provisions and Chapter II deals with Certification of Skippers, Officers, Engineer Officers and Radio Operators.
1 January 2013: Entry into force of May 2011 SOLAS amendments
A new paragraph 5 of SOLAS regulation III/1 is added to require lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with new International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code requirements to be replaced no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July 2014 but, in any case, not later than 1 July 2019.
The SOLAS amendment is intended to establish new, stricter, safety standards for lifeboat release and retrieval systems, aimed at preventing accidents during lifeboat launching, and will require the assessment and possible replacement of a large number of lifeboat release hooks.
1 January 2013: entry into force of July 2011 amendments to MARPOL
Annex VI energy efficiency
Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, add a new chapter 4 to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. Other amendments to Annex VI add new definitions and the requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate.
The regulations apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. However, under regulation 19, the Administration may waive the requirement for new ships of 400 gross tonnage and above from complying with the EEDI requirements. This waiver may not be applied to ships above 400 gross tonnage for which the building contract is placed four years after the entry into force date of chapter 4; the keel of which is laid or which is at a similar stage of construction four years and six months after the entry into force; the delivery of which is after six years and six months after the entry into force; or in cases of the major conversion of a new or existing ship, four years after the entry into force date.
The EEDI is a non-prescriptive, performance-based mechanism that leaves the choice of technologies to use in a specific ship design to the industry. As long as the required energy-efficiency level is attained, ship designers and builders would be free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for the ship to comply with the regulations.
The SEEMP establishes a mechanism for operators to improve the energy efficiency of ships.
Annex VI emissions
Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships to designate certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico (United States) and the Virgin Islands (United States) as an ECA for the control of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), and particulate matter under. Another amendment makes old steamships exempt from the requirements on sulphur relating to both the North American and United States Caribbean Sea ECAs. The new ECA takes effect 12 months after entry into force.
Annex IV sewage
Amendments to MARPOL Annex IV Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships to include the possibility of establishing “Special Areas” for the prevention of such pollution from passenger ships and to designate the Baltic Sea as a Special Area under this Annex.
Annex V garbage
Revised MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships, developed following a comprehensive review to bring the Annex up to date.
The main changes include the updating of definitions; the inclusion of a new requirement specifying that discharge of all garbage into the sea is prohibited, except as expressly provided otherwise (the discharges permitted in certain circumstances include food wastes, cargo residues and water used for washing deck and external surfaces containing cleaning agents or additives which are not harmful to the marine environment); expansion of the requirements for placards and garbage management plans to fixed and floating platforms engaged in exploration and exploitation of the sea-bed; and the addition of discharge requirements covering animal carcasses.
1 August 2013: Entry into force of 2012 amendments to MARPOL
Amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II, IV, V and VI which are aimed at enabling small island developing Statesto comply with requirements for port States to provide reception facilities for ship waste through regional arrangements. Parties participating in a regional arrangement must develop a Regional Reception Facilities Plan and provide particulars of the identified Regional Ships Waste Reception Centres; and particulars of those ports with only limited facilities.
1 January 2014: Entry into force of 2010 October MARPOL amendments
Revised MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form adopted in order for changes to the Annex to coincide with the next update of the mandatory International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, specifying that goods should be shipped in accordance with relevant provisions.
1 January 2014: United States Caribbean ECA becomes effective
United States Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area (SOx, NOx and PM) becomes effective, under MARPOL Annex VI.
1 January 2014: Entry into force of 2012 May SOLAS amendments
Amendments to the following:
• SOLAS regulation II-1/8-1, to introduce a mandatory requirement for new passenger ships for either onboard stability computers or shore-based support, for the purpose of providing operational information to the Master for safe return to port after a flooding casualty;
• SOLAS regulation III/20.11.2 regarding the testing of free-fall lifeboats, to require that the operational testing of free-fall lifeboat release systems shall be performed either by free-fall launch with only the operating crew on board or by a simulated launching;
• SOLAS regulation V/14 on ships' manning, to require Administrations, for every ship, to establish appropriate minimum safe manning levels following a transparent procedure, taking into account the guidance adopted by IMO (Assembly resolution A.1047(27) on Principles of minimum safe manning); and issue an appropriate minimum safe manning document or equivalent as evidence of the minimum safe manning considered necessary;
• SOLAS chapter VI to add a new SOLAS regulation VI/5-2, to prohibit the blending of bulk liquid cargoes during the sea voyage and to prohibit production processes on board ships;
• SOLAS chapter VII to replace regulation 4 on documents, covering transport information relating to the carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form and the container/vehicle packing certificate; and
• SOLAS chapter XI-1 regulation XI-1/2 on enhanced surveys, to make mandatory the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2011 (2011 ESP Code, resolution A.1049(27)).
1 January 2014: Amendments to LL Protocol
Amendments to regulation 47 of the 1988 LL Protocol to the International Convention on Load Lines (LL), 1966 to shift the Winter Seasonal Zone off the southern tip of Africa further southward by 50 miles.
8 June 2015: Amendments to 1996 LLMC Protocol
Amendments to increase the limits of liability in the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims were adopted in April 2012.
Under the amendments to the 1996 Protocol, the limits are raised as follows:
The limit of liability for claims for loss of life or personal injury on ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage is 3.02 million SDR (up from 2 million SDR).
For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:
• For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 1,208 SDR (up from 800 SDR)
• For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 906 SDR (up from 600 SDR)
• For each ton in excess of 70,000, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR).
The limit of liability for property claims for ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage is 1.51 million SDR (up from 1 million SDR).
For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:
• For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR)
• For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 453 SDR (up from 300 SDR)
• For each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 302 SDR (up from 200 SDR).