Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG): 16th session, 30 January to 3 February 2012

February 3, 2012

Draft SOLAS regulation to prohibit production processes at sea agreed by Sub-Committee
A draft SOLAS regulation to prohibit production processes on board ships was agreed by the Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) when it met for its 16th session.   The proposed draft new regulation VI/5-3 would prohibit any production process on board a ship during the sea voyage.  Production processes refer to any deliberate operation whereby a chemical reaction between a ship's cargo and any other substance or cargo takes place.
 
The proposed draft regulation will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 90) with a view to adoption, together with the new draft SOLAS regulation VI/5-2, to make mandatory the prohibition of blending of bulk liquid cargoes during the sea voyage, which was previously approved by MSC 89.
 
SOLAS amendments to mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/19 to mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills, which had been agreed by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC 16), noting that there was general support for additional requirements for the mandatory carriage and continuous use of an oxygen meter or other such devices on all ships.
 
The draft amendments, which will be finalized by DSC 17 in September 2012, are aimed at enhancing the protection of seafarers’ lives by requiring drills be held to ensure that seafarers are familiar with the precautions they need to take prior to entering enclosed spaces and also with the most appropriate action they should take in the event of an accident.
 
Correspondence group to further consider black carbon issues
The Sub-Committee discussed a number of submissions relating to the impact on the Arctic of emissions of black carbon from international shipping and instructed a correspondence group to: develop a definition for black carbon emissions from international shipping; consider measurement methods for black carbon and identify the most appropriate method for measuring black carbon emissions from international shipping; identify and collate possible control measures to reduce the impact of black carbon emissions from international shipping; and report to BLG 17.
 
BWM convention guidance on sampling and analysis further developed
The Sub-Committee continued its work on developing a draft circular on ballast water sampling and analysis protocols, intended to provide general recommendations on methodologies and approaches to sampling and analysis to test for compliance with standards set out in the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention).  The work will continue at the next session, in particular, to address the concerns of some delegations regarding the manner of confirming compliance in accordance with the sampling and analysis protocols, with the view to its finalisation. 
 
Guidance on minimizing biofouling on recreational craft agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft Guidance for minimizing the transfer of invasive aquatic species as biofouling (hull fouling) for recreational craft, for submission to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 64th session in October 2012 for approval.  The development of the guidance follows the adoption by the MEPC of Guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species (resolution MEPC.207(62)).
 
Draft Unified Interpretation for regulation 16.9 of MARPOL Annex VI agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed the draft Unified Interpretation for the use of sludge oil during the warm-up process of continuous-feed type shipboard incinerators, for consideration and approval by MEPC 64.  The draft interpretation relates to regulation 16.9 regarding Shipboard Incineration of MARPOL Annex VI on Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships.
 
Development of Annex VI guidelines discussed
The Sub-committee agreed a list of additional guidelines which needed to be developed to assist in the implementation of MARPOL Annex VI. 
 
Work on developing IGF and IGC Codes continued
The Sub-Committee continued its work on the development of a new international code of safety for ships using gases or other low-flash point fuels (IGF Code) and on the revision of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), with agreement to forward relevant parts of the draft revised IGC Code to other Sub-Committees for their input.  The Sub-Committee also established a correspondence group to further develop the IGF Code intersessionally. 
 
Draft amendments to IBC code agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a number of proposed amendments to chapters 17, 18 and 19 of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code), relating to specific products, for submission to MEPC 63 and MSC 90 for approval and subsequent adoption. 
A timetable for the review of safety criteria guidelines in chapter 21 of the IBC Code, to address inconsistencies in chapters 17 and 18, was also agreed, with a view to completing the process by 2016. 
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