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Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC) - 15th Session, 13 - 17 September 2010

Revised Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes agreed by Sub-Committee

September 17, 2010

The draft Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes, 2011 (2011 TDC Code), revising and updating the original code adopted in 1973, was agreed by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) when it met for its 15th session.
 
The updated Code will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its 89th session in May 2011, for approval and subsequent adoption by the Organization’s 27th Assembly in late 2011.
 
The TDC Code complements the SOLAS chapter VI requirements concerning the Cargo Securing Manual, thus contributing significantly towards the safe loading, stowage and securing of such cargoes carried on deck. 
 
The revision of the Code has followed a number of serious accidents involving timber cargo, with concerns relating to the methods of stowing and securing such cargoes on deck to withstand heavy weather.
 
The revised and updated Code intends to address these issues.  It will apply to all ships of 24 metres or more in length, carrying a timber deck cargo, and is aimed at ensuring that the stowage and cargo securing arrangements for timber deck cargoes enable a safe yet rational securing of the cargo so that it is satisfactorily prevented from shifting by collapsing, sliding or tipping in any direction, taking into account the acceleration forces the cargo may be subjected to throughout the voyage in the worst sea and weather conditions which may be expected.
 
Amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed the first set of draft amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, intended to be circulated for consideration by the MSC for adoption in May 2011. The draft amendments revise individual schedules for a number of cargoes. 
 
The IMSBC Code itself will enter into force on 1 January 2011.
 
Carriage of iron ore fines – circular agreed
The Sub-Committee approved a DSC circular on Carriage of iron ore fines that may liquefy which gives advice on the transport of this cargo, and refers to the hazards of cargoes that may liquefy.
 
Applicability of fixed gas fire-extinguishing system for solid bulk cargoes – circular agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC circular on Lists of solid bulk cargoes for which a fixed gas fire-extinguishing system may be exempted or for which a fixed gas fire extinguishing system is ineffective, for approval by MSC 89.
 
Precautions on fire safety for fumigants agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed to a draft amendment to the MSC circular on Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships applicable to the fumigation of cargo holds (MSC.1/Circ.1264), to highlight the fire risk related to Phosphine generating formulations.  A draft MSC circular will be forwarded to MSC 89 for approval. 
 
Revised IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for packing of cargo transport units agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to update the IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO)/ United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Guidelines for packing of cargo transport units (CTUs), for submission to MSC 89 for approval and for forwarding the above draft amendments to ILO and the UNECE for concurrent endorsement.
 
The joint guidelines, first issued in 1996, detail practical measures to ensure the safe packing of cargo onto or into cargo transport units. The revisions reflect updates in regulations and in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, including placards to designate dangerous goods. 
 
Revised Recommendations for entering enclosed spaces agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft Revised Recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships, for submission to MSC 89 for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption by the 27th IMO Assembly in late 2011.  The revised recommendations update and expand on the recommendations previously issued in 1997 (resolution A.864(20) Recommendations for Entering Enclosed Spaces Aboard Ships).  The aim is to prevent accidental deaths of seafarers.
 
2012 amendments to the IMDG Code initiated
The Sub-Committee began its preparation of draft proposed amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, for adoption in 2012, and forwarded an advanced set of amendments to the Editorial & Technical Group for its review, prior to DSC 16 in 2011.
 
Concern expressed over high rate of CTU deficiencies
The Sub-Committee expressed its concern about the high rate of deficiencies recorded in the 2010 consolidated report on container inspection programmes, noting in particular the lack of adherence to the provisions of the IMDG Code, especially in the areas of placarding and marking. 
 
The 2010 report recorded a total of 79,196 CTUs inspected. Of these, 10,482 CTUs were found with deficiencies (13.2 per cent of the CTUs inspected had deficiencies).  A total of 14,123 deficiencies were found, giving a deficiency rate of 17.8 per cent.