List of obligations under IMO treaties agreed by Sub-Committee, paving way for mandatory audit scheme to be adopted
The draft non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), which complements the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), was agreed by the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI), when it met for its 21st session, for submission to the IMO Assembly, at its 28th session for adoption, in the context of the institutionalization of the IMO Member State audit scheme.
The III Code, which was agreed in draft form by the FSI Sub-Committee at its last session and subsequently approved by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), provides the global requirements for States to meet their obligations as flag, port and/or coastal States, while the (non-exhaustive) list of obligations provides a comprehensive list of the specific obligations under the mandatory instruments covered by the III Code, such as the requirements for communication of information, approval, survey and certification, casualty investigation and so on.
The III Code and the list of obligations form the elements used to audit States for the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme, which will replace the current, voluntary, scheme, while amendments to the relevant instruments will make the scheme mandatory.
The 28th Assembly, to be held from 25 November to 4 December 2013, is expected to adopt amendments to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 and the Convention on the International Regulation for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, to make the III Code mandatory under these Conventions.
During 2014, it is expected that amendments will be adopted to make the III Code mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974; the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966; the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, the Protocol of 1997 to amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL Convention); and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), 1978, as amended.
The 2013 non-exhaustive list will supersede resolution A.1054(27) on the Code for the Implementation of Mandatory IMO Instruments, 2011, which included in its annexes a non exhaustive list of instruments and obligations for guidance on the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments. The updated list takes account the amendments to the IMO instruments referred to in the Code, which have entered into force or become effective since the adoption of the 2011 resolution.
Plan to complete review of GlobalReg standards for non-convention ships agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed to recommend to the MSC the method, process, and principles for the technical review of the GlobalReg standards, a comprehensive modular set of standards comprising harmonized regulations and model national legislation applicable to non-convention ships. The aim is to complete the technical review of the GlobalReg by 2017.
The Sub-Committee requested MSC 92 to instruct FSI 22 to consider in detail the full set of safety standards, including additional provisions to be developed for passenger ships of 24 m and above, with a maximum length to be defined, taking into account that GlobalReg should not introduce a lower level of safety and safe manning as compared to standards already complied with at national or bilateral level.
The GlobalReg documents have been written in the form of national regulations (to enable each Administration to transpose the regulations directly), based on regulations already adopted by IMO and with the intention to simplify. GlobalReg covers only non-convention ships but does not cover all types of non-convention ship: pirogues, cargo vessels less than 12 m in length and pleasure craft, for example, are not covered.
The current set of draft GlobalReg documents, available to Member Governments, includes:
• GlobalReg, General introduction;
• GlobalReg, Outline Procedural guide;
• GlobalReg, Procedural regulations for ship safety certification and safe manning;
• Regulations on approval of marine equipment;
• Regulations on registration of persons on board passenger ships;
• GlobalReg, Safety regulations for cargo ships of more than 500 gross tonnage and for passenger ships of more than 24 metres in length;
• GlobalReg, Safety regulations for small passenger ships;
• Safety regulations for non-SOLAS cargo ships of more than 12 metres in length;
• Safety regulations for ships engaged in inland waterways;
• Safety regulations for fishing vessels of less than 12 metres in length;
• Safety regulations for fishing vessels of 12 metres in length and above, but less than 24 metres;
• Safety regulations for fishing vessels of a more than 24 metres in length; and
• Surveyors' Note Book.
Guidelines to assist casualty investigators agreed
The Sub-Committee approved draft Guidelines to assist investigators in the implementation of the Casualty Investigation Code, aimed at providing practical advice for the systematic investigation of marine casualties and incidents and to allow the development of effective analysis and preventive action, in order to prevent similar casualties and incidents in the future.
A draft Assembly resolution enacting the guidelines was also agreed, for submission to the next sessions of the MEPC and MSC for approval, prior to submission to the Assembly at its twenty-eighth session for adoption.
Updated casualty reporting procedures agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC-MEPC.3circular on revised harmonized reporting procedures following a maritime casualty. The circular invites Investigating States to populate the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) Maritime Casualties and Incidents module with basic factual data about the casualty as soon as possible after the occurrence, so that it is registered on GISIS that a casualty event has occurred, and that it is being investigated. The module is accessible at http://gisis.imo.org/Public/
The circular reminds Governments that following a very serious marine casualty, and in other casualties or incidents where data from a marine safety investigation should be supplied to the Organization, the marine safety investigating State should submit a marine safety investigation report. Where there are important lessons to be learned from other marine casualties or incidents, full investigation reports should also be submitted to the Organization.
Meanwhile, Member States were reminded to ensure that information on reports on marine casualties and incidents is provided and to continue providing the Secretariat with information on the number of casualties involving fishing vessels, fishermen, total losses and lives lost, in order to facilitate future analysis.
Lessons learned agreed
The Sub-Committee approved the text of Lessons Learned for Presentation to Seafarers, for release on the IMO website, developed by the Correspondence Group on Casualty Analysis and reviewed by the regular meeting of the Working Group on Casualty Analysis, during the session. The lessons learned covered five fatalities; one case of a collision; one of foundering/sinking and two cases of explosions/fires.
Deepwater Horizon incident reports referred to Sub-Committtes
The Sub-Committee referred the investigation reports by the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States of the explosions, fire and loss of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon to the Ship Design and Equipment (DE), Fire Protection (FP), Stability, Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety (SLF) and Standards of Traniing and Watchkeeping (STW) Sub Committees, noting that the analysis identified a number of issues and considerations relating to: fire protection; design and equipment; stability; training; and oversight.
Reports into ro-ro ferry vehicle deck fires referred to Sub-Committees
The Sub-Committee referred the reports of three incidents involving ro-ro vehicle deck fires (Commodore Clipper, Lisco Gloria and Pearl of Scandinavia) to the FP and DE Sub-Committees for review, as well as to the SLF Sub-Committee, in the case of the Commodore Clipper.
Following a review of ro-ro passenger ship fires by the casualty investigation correspondence group, it was noted that while some of the findings are addressed in legislation, not all of the legislation is applicable to existing ships and some aspects applicable to new ships may need re-examination. A total of 73 fires on ro-ro passenger ships and six fires on ro-ro non-passenger ships from 1994 to 2011, and since 2002 there has been a very serious incident every other year, resulting in six constructive total losses.
The group reported that a significant number of the incidents have occurred as a result of electrical fires, particularly relating to refrigerated trailers, and also in some cases from the ship's own equipment. Many of the findings of the casualty investigation reports studied reiterate well known problems (such as the need to deploy drencher systems early in the fire), problems associated with water accumulating on the vehicle decks, structural fire integrity and fire containment. Several of the incidents had a human element factor.
Lifeboat drill accident referred to DE Sub-Committee
The report on a lifeboat drill accident on board the container carrier CMA CGM Christophe Colomb, which resulted in two fatalities, was forwarded to the DE Sub Committee.
Revised guidance relating to port reception facilities agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed amendments to a number of circulars relating to reception facilities, in the light of recent amendments to MARPOL, for submission to the MEPC for approval. The draft revised circulars include:
• MEPC/Circ.470 Waste reception facility reporting requirements;
• MEPC.1/Circ.469/Rev.1 Revised consolidated format for reporting alleged inadequacies of port reception facilities;
• MEPC.1/Circ.644 Standard format for the advance notification form for waste delivery to port reception facilities;
• MEPC.1/Circ.645 Standard format for the waste delivery receipt; and
• MEPC.1/Circ.671 Guide to good practice for port reception facility provider and users.
Updated survey guidelines agreed
The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC), to take into account amendments to statutory instruments which have entered into force up to and including 31 December 2013, for consideration and approval by MEPC 65 and MSC 92 for subsequent adoption by the IMO Assembly.
List of documents to be carried on board ships updated
The Sub-Committee agreed the draft updated list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, to take into account relevant amendments to SOLAS and MARPOL, for submission to the Facilitation Committee, MSC and MEPC for approval and release as a FAL-MEPC-MSC circular.
Date of delivery – interpretation agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC-MEPC.5 circular on the unified interpretation of the application of regulations governed by the building contract date, the keel laying date and the delivery date for the requirements of the SOLAS and MARPOL Conventions. It states that the date on which the building contract is placed for optional ships should be interpreted to be the date on which the original building contract to construct the series of ships is signed between the shipowner and the shipbuilder provided: the option for construction of the optional ship(s) is ultimately exercised within the period of one year after the date of the original building contract for the series of ships; and the optional ships are of the same design plans and constructed by the same shipbuilder as that for the series of ships. It goes on to explain how to apply the regulations.
The Sub-Committee also agreed a draft MSC circular on the application of SOLAS regulations XII/3, XII/7 and XII/11, relating to the meaning of “periodical survey”.
Port state control reports reviewed
The Sub-Committee reviewed the reports of port State control regimes around the world, noting that all PSC regimes carried out a total of 88,732 inspections in 2011, showing that 53.80 per cent of the inspections carried out had recorded deficiencies and the overall detention rate was 4.26 per cent, with 3,785 ships detained during that period.
Mandatory reports under MARPOL reviewed
The Sub-Committee considered the summary analysis of the reports submitted for 2011 in relation to the MARPOL Convention, by 40 of the 152 Parties to MARPOL and noted that the rate of reporting in 2011 remained low at 26.3 per cent. The Sub-Committee urged all Parties to MARPOL to submit mandatory reports on time.
According to the received reports, the total number of ships boarded in 2011 for port State control was 62,274, while the total number of ships detained or denied entry in port for MARPOL violations was 1,258 or 2 per cent of those boarded. Meanwhile, 41 cases of alleged discharge violations were reported (the types of substances discharged were various hydrocarbon oils); 938 ships were reported as having IOPP Certificate discrepancies, 2,895 ships were reported to have Oil Record Book discrepancies; and 2,025 ships were reported as having MARPOL equipment discrepancies.