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Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF), 53rd session: 10-14 January 2011

Draft agreement to implement Torremolinos Protocol agreed

January 14, 2011

Draft agreement to implement Torremolinos Protocol agreed
Two options aimed at achieving the entry into force of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol on fishing vessel safety were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF), when it met for its 53rd session.
 
The Sub-Committee noted a clear indication from delegations to recommend to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), at its 89th session in May 2011, that the preferred option would be for the adoption of the proposed draft Agreement on the implementation of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol, which would include amendments to certain requirements of the Protocol. Following this, countries could consider implementation of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol under the terms and conditions contained in the Agreement (countries should give effect to the provisions of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol under the terms of the Agreement, when they deposit an instrument of ratification).
 
The Sub-Committee also agreed the draft text of a second option for achieving entry into force of the Protocol, which would be an Assembly resolution on the implementation of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol, under which Parties would be able to implement the necessary amendments immediately after the entry into force of the current Torremolinos Protocol, even before the amendments are formally adopted under article 11 of the Protocol and put into force.
 
The Agreement would be a new legally binding instrument, offering a firm foundation to implement the amended Torremolinos Protocol,
 
MSC 89 will be invited to consider which option to pursue, taking into account the preference for the Agreement option expressed by the Sub-Committee, so that the final instrument(s) could be adopted at the Assembly, in late 2011, or by a diplomatic conference. 
 
The Sub-Committee also agreed to draft amendments to the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol, to update the Protocol, for submission to MSC 89, for consideration with the draft Agreement and Assembly resolution options to facilitate implementation of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol.
 
The Torremolinos Protocol has, to date, been ratified by 17 States, with an aggregate fishing vessel fleet of approximately 3,000 vessels of 24 metres in length and over. Under the entry into force requirements, it will enter into force one year after 15 States with at least an aggregate fleet of 14,000 vessels of 24 metres in length and over, have ratified the Protocol. The aggregate fleet total has yet to be reached.
 
Implementation guidelines for small fishing vessel provisions finalized
The Sub-Committee agreed draft Guidelines to assist competent authorities in the implementation of Part B of the Code of Safety for fishermen and fishing vessels, Voluntary Guidelines for the design, construction and equipment of small fishing vessels and the Safety Recommendations for decked fishing vessels of less than 12 metres in length and undecked fishing vessels, for submission to MSC 89, in May 2011, for approval, with a view to submission to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) for concurrent approval.
 
Guidance on safe return to port for damaged passenger ships finalized
The Sub-Committee finalized draft Guidelines on operational information for masters of passenger ships for safe return to port by own power or under tow, which contain guidance for Administrations on what may constitute minimum adequate information for the master in the assessment of the survivability of a ship following damage.
The draft Guidelines, which will be submitted to the MSC for approval,  have been developed to support the package of amendments adopted into the SOLAS Convention in 2006, that focus on designing passenger ships for improved survivability so that, in the event of a casualty, persons can stay safely on board as the ship proceeds to port. 
 
Draft requirements for onboard stability computers and shore-based support agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed proposed amendments to SOLAS regulation II 1/8-1, to introduce a mandatory requirement for 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. The draft amendments will be submitted to MSC 89 for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption.
 
Draft Load Lines amendments to shift Winter Seasonal Zone off Africa agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to regulation 47 of the International Convention on Load Lines (LL), 1966 and the 1988 LL Protocol, to shift the Winter Seasonal Zone off the southern tip of Africa further southward by 50 miles, for submission to MSC 89 for approval with a view to subsequent adoption.
 
Progress made on Tonnage Measurement review
The Sub-Committee endorsed the view of a correspondence group to expand the scope of the work related to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969,  with a view to ensuring the integrity and conformity of the existing gross and net tonnage parameters in the Convention and requested approval by the MSC for a relevant new output to be included in the agenda of the Sub-Committee, in order to start the technical work on the matter.  

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