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Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF): 55th session, 18 to 22 February 2013

February 22, 2013

Procedure for calculating number of fishing vessels agreed by Sub-Committee
A draft Procedure for calculating the number of fishing vessels of each Contracting State to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement was agreed by the Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF), when it met for its 55h session. The proposed method of calculation will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 92) for adoption.
 
The method of calculating the number of fishing vessels is an important factor in achieving early implementation of the “Cape Town Agreement of 2012 on the Implementation of the Provisions of the 1993 Protocol relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977”, adopted in October 2012, which will enter into force 12 months after the date on which not less than 22 States the aggregate number of whose fishing vessels of 24 m in length and over operating on the high seas is not less than 3,600 have expressed their consent to be bound by it.
 
As well as obtaining information directly from the State on the number of fishing vessels, the draft procedure also allows for the number of fishing vessels to be calculated using data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), when the Contracting State is Party to the FAO Agreement to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas (the Compliance Agreement); and from databases of Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) or other international maritime databases, as appropriate, for the purpose of obtaining the number of fishing vessels of 24 m in length and over, authorized to operate on the high seas flying the flag of the Contracting State.
 
Carriage requirements for stability instruments on board tankers agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed mandatory carriage requirements for stability instruments on board tankers. The draft amendments to MARPOL Annex 1, regulation 28 (Subdivision and damage stability) add a new paragraph to require oil tankers to be fitted with a stability instrument, capable of verifying compliance with intact and damage stability requirements.
 
The draft amendments will be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 65) for approval with a view to subsequent adoption.
 
The Sub-Committee also agreed related draft Guidelines for verification of damage stability requirements for tankers, for submission to MSC 92 for approval.
 
Related draft amendments to the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code); the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code); the Code for Existing Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (EGC Code); the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (GC Code); and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) were also agreed, to require ships subject to those codes to be fitted with a stability instrument, capable of verifying compliance with intact and damage stability requirements. The draft amendments will be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 65) and the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 92), as appropriate, for approval with a view to subsequent adoption.
Draft consequential amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC), 2011 were also agreed.
 
Recommendation on evaluating cross-flooding arrangements agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed the draft Recommendation on a standard method for evaluating cross-flooding arrangements, for submission to MSC 92 for adoption. The Recommendation would apply to ships built on or after the date of its adoption.
 
Development of revised SOLAS chapter II-1 continued
The Sub-Committee made substantial progress with its ongoing review of SOLAS chapter II 1 subdivision and damage stability regulations and the related Explanatory Notes.
 
The intention is to update and revise the provisions, including the comprehensive revision of provisions relating to flooding and cross-flooding, and survivability after damage, with regards to both passenger and cargo ships; revised damage stability regulations for ro-ro passenger ships; and new provisions aimed at improving the survivability level of passenger ships. Provisions relating to safe return to port following a casualty are also being reviewed.
 
The Sub-Committee agreed on the need for a review of the survivability level of passenger ships as part of the revision of SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations and invited Member States to submit proposals outlining a plan on how best to embark on a review process on the level of survivability of passenger ships after damage.
 
A revised SOLAS chapter II-1 was last adopted in 2005 (the revised chapter II-1 entered into force in 2009). The current revision will consolidate amendments adopted since then as well as new provisions being discussed. The Subdivision and Damage Stability (SDS) Working Group will continue the work, including finalization of the draft revised SOLAS chapter II-1.
 
Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee agreed, in principle, to draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/7-2.3 on Calculation of the factor si (relating to the probability to survive for) and the related Explanatory Notes, for ro-ro passenger ships, for submission to to the Maritime Safety Committee, in due course, for approval with a view to adoption, in conjunction with the adoption of the revised SOLAS chapter II-1 at a later date.
 
The revision updates the formula for the factor "sfinal,i" which is the probability to survive in the final equilibrium stage of flooding.
 
Tonnage Measurement : draft resolution agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a proposed draft Assembly resolution on the application of the 1969 International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships to existing ships, for submission to MEPC 65 and MSC 92 with a view to approval, for submission to the IMO Assembly (A 28) for adoption.
 
The draft resolution includes a revised recommendation on n the use of national tonnage in applying international conventions and recommends that Governments which are Contracting Governments to the 1969 Tonnage Measurement Convention should use the Recommendation when applying the provisions of the 1969 Tonnage Measurement Convention and Interim Schemes for Tonnage Measurement.
 
Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee agreed that no amendments to the 1969 TM Convention were necessary or appropriate, but instead that unified interpretations should be developed.
 
The Correspondence Group on Development of Provisions to Ensure the Integrity and Uniform Implementation of the 1969 TM Convention was re-established to further develop draft unified interpretations to the 1969 TM Convention and further consider matters related to a possible implementation of a reduced gross tonnage parameter for accommodation spaces.
 
Development of second generation intact stability criteria continued
The Sub-Committee considered the report of the correspondence group on the development of second generation intact stability criteria and a number of other submissions and continued the work during the session in a working group.
A revised plan of action for further work on the matter was agreed and the Intact Stability Correspondence Group was re-established to continue the work, including the preparation of a working version of Explanatory Notes to facilitate the accumulation of experience of application of the draft second generation of intact stability criteria.
 
2008 IS Code review on towing and anchor handling requirements continues
Work on the development of amendments to part B of the International Code on Intact Stability, 2008 (2008 IS Code), in respect of towing and anchor handling operations continued during the session. The Intact Stability Correspondence Group was tasked with considering proposed amendments to the 2008 IS Code concerning towing, lifting and anchor handling operations.
 
Draft Polar Code development continues
Relevant chapters of the draft Polar Code were discussed during the session and the Intact Stability Correspondence Group was tasked with reviewing the draft chapters.
 
Guidance for ships carrying timber deck cargoes regarding the increased weight of ice continues
The development of draft guidance for ships carrying timber deck cargoes regarding the increased weight of ice was discussed during the session and the Intact Stability Correspondence Group was also tasked with further considering the development of the draft guidance.

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