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Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC), 14th session: 21-25 September 2009

September 25, 2009

Improved container securing guidance to protect deck workers agreed
Draft amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC), when it met for its 14th session.
 
The draft amendments, to be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee at its next session in May 2010 (MSC 87) for approval, include a proposed new annex, to provide Guidance on providing safe working conditions for securing of containers on deck, aimed at ensuring that that persons engaged in carrying out container securing operations on deck have safe working conditions and, in particular safe access, appropriate securing equipment and safe places of work.
 
The Sub-Committee also agreed draft MSC circulars on Revised Guidelines for the preparation of the Cargo Securing Manual, to include reference to safe access for lashing of containers; amendments to the Guidelines for securing arrangements for the transport of road vehicles on ro ro ships (resolution A.581(14)), as amended by MSC/Circ.812, and amendments to the Elements to be taken into account when considering the safe stowage and securing of cargo units and vehicles in ships (resolution A.533(13)), which take into account the revisions to the CSS Code and refer to the need to provide safe access and safe places of work for persons engaged in work connected with cargo stowage and securing.
 
BLU Code draft amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code) and the Manual on Loading and Unloading of Solid Bulk Cargoes for Terminal Representatives, to update the two documents in view of the mandatory International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2011. The draft amendments will be submitted to MSC 87.
 
A draft MSC circular on Additional considerations for the safe loading of bulk carriers was also agreed, for submission to the MSC.
 
Concern expressed over high rate of container deficiencies
The Sub-Committee reviewed the latest reports on container inspection programmes and expressed its concern about the high rate of deficiencies and the lack of adherence to the provisions of the IMDG Code, especially in the areas of placarding and marking and stowage/securing of cargoes inside units.
 
The 2009 consolidated report on container inspection programmes showed that a total of 62,869 cargo transport units were inspected and 10,920 cargo transport units were found with deficiencies, that is, about 17 per cent of the cargo transport units inspected had deficiencies. A total of 14,915 deficiencies were found, that is a deficiency rate of 23.7 per cent.
 
This compares with the 2008 consolidated report on container inspection programmes, which showed of a total 50,212 cargo transport units inspected, 8,951 were found with deficiencies, about 18 per cent of those inspected. A total of 10,800 deficiencies were found, giving a deficiency rate of 21.5 per cent.
 
Revision of guidance on entering enclosed spaces begins
The Sub Committee began its review of the IMO recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships (resolution A.864(20)), taking into account a survey by the Marine Accident Investigators’ International Forum (MAIIF), which showed that there have been at least 101 enclosed space incidents resulting in 93 deaths and 96 injuries, since the Recommendations were adopted in November 1997.
 
The Sub-Committee noted the MAIIF conclusions that, from many of the casualties investigated, it is evident that training was inadequate, and that the necessary drills were not carried out in the procedures for safe entry and safe rescue from enclosed spaces. Training may remain ineffective if not backed up by management level commitment.
 
A Correspondence Group was established to prepare draft amendments to the current recommendations, with input to the work also expected to come from the Bulk Liquids and Gases, Fire Protection and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Sub-Committees.
 
IMDG code draft amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee continued its regular review of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code and agreed draft amendments for submission to MSC 87 for adoption (amendment 35-10), following finalization by the Editorial and Technical Group.
 
The amendments include revisions to carriage provisions for specific goods as well as a number of changes to provisions for dangerous goods packed in limited and excepted quantities, to include a new excepted quantities mark, and amendments to provisions relating to intermediate bulk containers, large packagings, portable tanks, multiple-element gas containers and road tank vehicles.
 
Revised MARPOL Annex III agreed
The revised text of MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form was agreed for submission to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 60) in March 2010 with a view to subsequent adoption by MEPC 61.
 
The amended text is aimed at bringing the Annex up to date with the mandatory IMDG Code, specifying that goods should be shipped in accordance with relevant provisions.
 
SOLAS amendments agreed on documents
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the SOLAS regulation on documents relating to the carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form, in chapter VII Carriage of dangerous goods, to remove ambiguities and to make it clear that documents should be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the IMDG Code.
 
The draft amendments to SOLAS regulation VII/4 will be submitted to MSC 87 for approval, with a view to adoption at MSC 88, with an envisaged entry-into-force date of 1 January 2014, in order to align the date with entry into force of amendment 36-12 to the IMDG Code.
 
Stowage and segregation requirements for brown coal briquettes clarified
A draft MSC circular on the interpretation of stowage and segregation requirements for brown coal briquettes and coal related to “hot areas”, in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, was agreed, for submission to the MSC. The circular clarifies the interpretation of “hot areas”.
 
The IMSBC Code was adopted in December 2008 as a mandatory instrument under SOLAS chapters VI and VII, to take effect on 1 January 2011.
 
 
Revision of the Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes
The Sub-Committee reviewed the text of the draft revised Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes and agreed further work to be progressed by a correspondence group ahead of the next DSC meeting in 2010.
 
The revision of the code is aimed at replacing outdated methods for securing timber deck cargoes with new methods for safe, rational and efficient securing of such cargoes, making the code more user-friendly and addressing issues of crew training and familiarization. The code was first circulated in 1978 and revised subsequently, with the last revised code issued in 1991.
 
Draft amendments to CSC Convention agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC Convention), for submission to the MSC for approval and subsequent adoption.
 
The draft amendments include addition of new paragraphs in Regulation 1 Safety Approval Plate, specifying the validity 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.
 
A circular on Recommendations on harmonized interpretation and implementation of the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972, as amended, was also agreed for submission to MSC 87.
 
Acceptances needed for 1993 CSC amendments
The Sub-Committee urged Contracting Parties to accept the 1993 amendments to the CSC Convention to reach the 52 needed for entry into force. So far only nine acceptances have been received. The 1993 amendments update the required information contained on the CSC Approval plate and also amend some of the required test loads and testing procedures.
 
Recommendations on safe use of pesticides in ships updated
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC circular amending MSC/Circ.612 on Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships, to update the existing recommendations (the last revision was in 1993), taking into account the latest recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in regard to pesticide residues and occupational safety.
 
Also agreed was a draft revised circular amending MSC.1/Circ.1265 on Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships applicable to the fumigation of cargo transport units, bringing it up to date with latest amendments to the IMDG Code and incorporating amendments to the Aide-Memoire for Fumigation of Containers.
 

Improved container securing guidance to protect deck workers agreed
Draft amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC), when it met for its 14th session.
 
The draft amendments, to be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee at its next session in May 2010 (MSC 87) for approval, include a proposed new annex, to provide Guidance on providing safe working conditions for securing of containers on deck, aimed at ensuring that that persons engaged in carrying out container securing operations on deck have safe working conditions and, in particular safe access, appropriate securing equipment and safe places of work.
 
The Sub-Committee also agreed draft MSC circulars on Revised Guidelines for the preparation of the Cargo Securing Manual, to include reference to safe access for lashing of containers; amendments to the Guidelines for securing arrangements for the transport of road vehicles on ro ro ships (resolution A.581(14)), as amended by MSC/Circ.812, and amendments to the Elements to be taken into account when considering the safe stowage and securing of cargo units and vehicles in ships (resolution A.533(13)), which take into account the revisions to the CSS Code and refer to the need to provide safe access and safe places of work for persons engaged in work connected with cargo stowage and securing.
 
BLU Code draft amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code) and the Manual on Loading and Unloading of Solid Bulk Cargoes for Terminal Representatives, to update the two documents in view of the mandatory International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2011. The draft amendments will be submitted to MSC 87.
 
A draft MSC circular on Additional considerations for the safe loading of bulk carriers was also agreed, for submission to the MSC.
 
Concern expressed over high rate of container deficiencies
The Sub-Committee reviewed the latest reports on container inspection programmes and expressed its concern about the high rate of deficiencies and the lack of adherence to the provisions of the IMDG Code, especially in the areas of placarding and marking and stowage/securing of cargoes inside units.
 
The 2009 consolidated report on container inspection programmes showed that a total of 62,869 cargo transport units were inspected and 10,920 cargo transport units were found with deficiencies, that is, about 17 per cent of the cargo transport units inspected had deficiencies. A total of 14,915 deficiencies were found, that is a deficiency rate of 23.7 per cent.
 
This compares with the 2008 consolidated report on container inspection programmes, which showed of a total 50,212 cargo transport units inspected, 8,951 were found with deficiencies, about 18 per cent of those inspected. A total of 10,800 deficiencies were found, giving a deficiency rate of 21.5 per cent.
 
Revision of guidance on entering enclosed spaces begins
The Sub Committee began its review of the IMO recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships (resolution A.864(20)), taking into account a survey by the Marine Accident Investigators’ International Forum (MAIIF), which showed that there have been at least 101 enclosed space incidents resulting in 93 deaths and 96 injuries, since the Recommendations were adopted in November 1997.
 
The Sub-Committee noted the MAIIF conclusions that, from many of the casualties investigated, it is evident that training was inadequate, and that the necessary drills were not carried out in the procedures for safe entry and safe rescue from enclosed spaces. Training may remain ineffective if not backed up by management level commitment.
 
A Correspondence Group was established to prepare draft amendments to the current recommendations, with input to the work also expected to come from the Bulk Liquids and Gases, Fire Protection and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Sub-Committees.
 
IMDG code draft amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee continued its regular review of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code and agreed draft amendments for submission to MSC 87 for adoption (amendment 35-10), following finalization by the Editorial and Technical Group.
 
The amendments include revisions to carriage provisions for specific goods as well as a number of changes to provisions for dangerous goods packed in limited and excepted quantities, to include a new excepted quantities mark, and amendments to provisions relating to intermediate bulk containers, large packagings, portable tanks, multiple-element gas containers and road tank vehicles.
 
Revised MARPOL Annex III agreed
The revised text of MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form was agreed for submission to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 60) in March 2010 with a view to subsequent adoption by MEPC 61.
 
The amended text is aimed at bringing the Annex up to date with the mandatory IMDG Code, specifying that goods should be shipped in accordance with relevant provisions.
 
SOLAS amendments agreed on documents
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the SOLAS regulation on documents relating to the carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form, in chapter VII Carriage of dangerous goods, to remove ambiguities and to make it clear that documents should be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the IMDG Code.
 
The draft amendments to SOLAS regulation VII/4 will be submitted to MSC 87 for approval, with a view to adoption at MSC 88, with an envisaged entry-into-force date of 1 January 2014, in order to align the date with entry into force of amendment 36-12 to the IMDG Code.
 
Stowage and segregation requirements for brown coal briquettes clarified
A draft MSC circular on the interpretation of stowage and segregation requirements for brown coal briquettes and coal related to “hot areas”, in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, was agreed, for submission to the MSC. The circular clarifies the interpretation of “hot areas”.
 
The IMSBC Code was adopted in December 2008 as a mandatory instrument under SOLAS chapters VI and VII, to take effect on 1 January 2011.
 
 
Revision of the Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes
The Sub-Committee reviewed the text of the draft revised Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes and agreed further work to be progressed by a correspondence group ahead of the next DSC meeting in 2010.
 
The revision of the code is aimed at replacing outdated methods for securing timber deck cargoes with new methods for safe, rational and efficient securing of such cargoes, making the code more user-friendly and addressing issues of crew training and familiarization. The code was first circulated in 1978 and revised subsequently, with the last revised code issued in 1991.
 
Draft amendments to CSC Convention agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC Convention), for submission to the MSC for approval and subsequent adoption.
 
The draft amendments include addition of new paragraphs in Regulation 1 Safety Approval Plate, specifying the validity 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.
 
A circular on Recommendations on harmonized interpretation and implementation of the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972, as amended, was also agreed for submission to MSC 87.
 
Acceptances needed for 1993 CSC amendments
The Sub-Committee urged Contracting Parties to accept the 1993 amendments to the CSC Convention to reach the 52 needed for entry into force. So far only nine acceptances have been received. The 1993 amendments update the required information contained on the CSC Approval plate and also amend some of the required test loads and testing procedures.
 
Recommendations on safe use of pesticides in ships updated
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC circular amending MSC/Circ.612 on Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships, to update the existing recommendations (the last revision was in 1993), taking into account the latest recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in regard to pesticide residues and occupational safety.
 
Also agreed was a draft revised circular amending MSC.1/Circ.1265 on Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships applicable to the fumigation of cargo transport units, bringing it up to date with latest amendments to the IMDG Code and incorporating amendments to the Aide-Memoire for Fumigation of Containers.