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Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), 1st session, 10 to 14 March 2014

March 14, 2014

Recommendation for ships carrying vehicles with hydrogen and natural gas agreed
The Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), meeting for its 1st session, agreed a draft Recommendation on safety measures for existing vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion as cargo, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 93) for approval, in conjunction with the adoption of the associated draft new SOLAS regulation II-2/20-1, set for adoption at MSC 93 following approval at the last MSC session.
 
The draft new SOLAS regulation II-2/20-1 Requirement for vehicle carrier carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas for their own propulsion, sets additional requirements for ships with vehicle and ro-ro spaces intended for the carriage of motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or compressed natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion.
 
The draft recommendation, in particular, says the shipper should provide a signed certificate or declaration that the vehicle fuel system, as offered for carriage, has been checked for leak-tightness and the vehicle is in proper condition for carriage prior to loading. In addition, the shipper is to mark, label or placard each vehicle, as having been checked for leak-tightness and is in proper condition for carriage
 
SOLAS amendments on ventilation of closed vehicle spaces agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/20 on Air quality control for ventilation of closed vehicle spaces, closed ro-ro and special category spaces, for submission to MSC 94 (in November 2014) for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption.
 
The draft amendments update paragraph 3.1.2 Performance of ventilation systems. On passenger ships, the ventilation system should give at least the number of air changes required (10 air changes per hour), expect where an air quality control system is provided. On cargo ships, the  ventilation fans should  normally be run continuously and give at least the number of air changes required (6 per hour) whenever vehicles are on board, except where an air quality control system is provided. 

Venting requirements – draft SOLAS amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to SOLAS regulations II-2/4.5 and II-2/11.6,  relating to the secondary means of venting cargo tanks, for submission to MSC 94 for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption.
 
Draft MARPOL amendments on oil residue (sludge) agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to MARPOL regulation I/12, on tanks for oil residues (sludge), for submission to the Marine Environment Committee (MEPC 67) for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption.
The draft amendments update and revise the regulation, expanding on the requirements for discharge connections and piping to ensure oil residues are properly disposed of.  A related revised unified interpretation to regulations 12.3.3 of MARPOL Annex I was also agreed.
 
Alternative lifeboat drills for MODUs agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to section 14.12 Practice musters and drills of the 2009 Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code), for submission to MSC 94 for adoption, relating to alternative methods for lifeboat drills. The aim is to assist the operator of a mobile offshore unit in a situation where the execution of the 3-monthly launch and manoeuvre of lifeboats as specified in paragraph 14.12.4.2 of the 2009 MODU Code is not possible or may be dangerous.
 
The draft amendments adds a new paragraph 14.12.4.3  to provide for alternatives and equivalents to be utilised, so long as they follow the draft Guidelines on alternative methods for lifeboat drills on MODUs, which were also agreed by the Sub-Committee. 
 
Expiry date recommendation for servicing liferafts agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft amendment to paragraph 5.11 of the Recommendation on conditions for the approval of servicing stations for inflatable liferafts (resolution A.761(18)), for submission to MSC 94 for adoption,  to state that "all items of equipment should be checked to ensure that all are in good condition and dated items should be replaced in cases where the expiry date falls before the next service date of the liferaft."
 
Review of SOLAS chapter III – development of goal-based framework continued
The Sub-committee continued its work on the development of the goal-based guidelines on framework of requirements for ships' life-saving appliances and established a correspondence group to further the work.  A work plan was also agreed, which envisages considering the restructuring/relocating of SOLAS chapter III and International Life-Saving Appliances Code requirements, with a view to adoption of draft SOLAS chapter III and LSA Code amendments in 2016.
 
Functional requirements for assessment of smoke control systems developed
The Sub-Committee developed draft functional requirements for the assessment of smoke control systems, for inclusion in possible future draft performance standards for the assessment of smoke control systems. The Sub-Committee also agreed a work plan for future work, including considering whether smoke control requirements should be included in SOLAS and whether existing SOLAS requirements, such as those relating to atrium smoke extraction systems, independent stairways fan and duct system as well as automatic smoke dampers should be included in the requirements for smoke control.  
 
Requirements for onboard lifting appliances and winches further developed
The Sub-Committee continued its work on developing requirements for onboard lifting appliances and winches and agreed a detailed work plan, establishing a correspondence group to  collect and analyse incident reports and data related to onboard lifting appliances and winches; further consider the need, scope and application of potential measures for onboard lifting appliances and winches, identifying ranges of equipment and types of ships; develop a framework for potential measures for onboard lifting appliances and winches, taking into account available standards; and report to the next session.
 
The Sub-committee endorsed the view that potential measures for onboard lifting appliances and winches should apply to ships to which SOLAS applies. It also endorsed the view that the requirements would not apply to personnel/passenger elevators (lifts) and escalators on board ships; mobile off shore units certified under the MODU Code; or fishing vessels.