IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets at the Organization's London Headquarters for its 92nd session from 12 to 21 June 2013.
The MSC is expected to adopt amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) relating to passenger drills; discuss preliminary recommendations arising from the Costa Concordia incident; and consider matters related to piracy and armed robbery against ships and other items submitted by the IMO sub-committees.
Passenger drill amendments to be adopted
The MSC is expected to adopt draft amendments SOLAS regulation III/19 to require musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure, instead of “within 24 hours”, as stated in the current regulations.
The MSC is also expected to establish a working group on passenger ship safety to consider relevant issues, including the action plan drawn up at the last session following the Costa Concordia incident in January 2012.
The MSC will have for its consideration the Costa Concordia casualty investigation conducted by the Italian authorities* with an extensive range of recommendations addressing stability issues, electronic equipment, emergency power generation, evacuation analysis, and search and rescue, in addition to operational and management issues.
Adoption of other amendments
The MSC will also be invited to consider, for adoption:
• Draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/19, on emergency training and drills, to mandate enclosed-space entry and rescue drills, which would require crew members with enclosed-space entry or rescue responsibilities to participate in an enclosed-space entry and rescue drill at least once every two months. Related draft amendments will also be adopted to the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft (HSC Code), the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code) and the Code of Safety for Dynamically Supported Craft (DSC Code);
• Draft amendments to SOLAS regulation XI-1/1 to make mandatory the Code for recognized organizations (RO Code). The RO Code is also expected to be adopted;
• Draft amendments to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (1988 Load Lines Protocol) to make the RO Code mandatory;
• Draft amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972, to incorporate amendments to the CSC Convention adopted in 1993 by resolution A.737(18), which have not yet entered into force, including amendments relating to the safety approval plate and to the approval of existing and new containers;
• Draft amendments to the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International Safety Management (ISM) Code), including a new requirement for the Company to ensure that the ship is appropriately manned;
• Draft amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) (amendment 02-13)), including a new nickel ore schedule.
Piracy and armed robbery against ships
The MSC will review the latest statistics on piracy and armed robbery against ships and discuss current initiatives to suppress piracy and armed robbery.
The number of attacks launched by Somali-based pirates is reported to have decreased while the number of reported attacks off west Africa remains a concern.
In connection with other issues arising from the reports of IMO sub-committees and other bodies, the MSC will be invited to:
• Approve, for future adoption, draft amendments to SOLAS to require the installation of inert gas systems on board new oil and chemical tankers of 8,000 dwt and above, carrying low-flashpoint (below 60°C) cargoes;
• Approve, for future adoption, new draft SOLAS regulation II-2/20-1 Requirement for vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas for their own propulsion;
• Approve, for future adoption, draft amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and the Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code, to make the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) and IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory;
• Approve, for adoption at MSC 93, a draft MSC resolution on Requirements for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats, as well as associated draft SOLAS amendments to make these requirements mandatory, and also to approve, in principle, a draft MSC circular on Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats, reflecting recommendatory provisions;
• Approve, for future adoption, draft amendments to: SOLAS regulation II-2/13.4 mandating additional means of escape from machinery spaces; to SOLAS regulations II-2/3 and II-2/9.7, relating to the requirements for the fire resistance of ventilation ducts; and to SOLAS regulation II-2/10, concerning fire protection requirements for on-deck cargo areas for new ships;
• Approve, for future adoption, the draft revised International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (the IGC Code);
• Approve guidance related to the to the establishment and testing of long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) Data Centres (DCs) and the operation of the LRIT system;
• Consider the Secretary-General’s report on a number of countries whose independent evaluations have been completed since the previous MSC meeting and confirm if those Parties continue to give full and complete effect to the provisions of the STCW Convention;
• Consider the report of a correspondence group on goal-based standards, established to develop draft guidelines for the approval of equivalents and alternatives as provided for in various IMO instruments;
• Approve the draft List of certificate and documents required to be carried on board ships, for issuing as a circular to update previous versions;
• Review draft Guidelines for Use of Printed Versions of Electronic Certificates;
• Approve a draft CSC circular on Guidelines for development of an Approved Continuous Examination Programme (ACEP) and approve draft amendments to the Revised Recommendations on harmonized interpretation and implementation of the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972, as amended (CSC.1/Circ.138);
• Approve a procedure for calculating the number of fishing vessels of each Contracting State to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement by the Depositary and approve the consolidated text of the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977, as modified by the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol relating thereto, as modified by the 2012 Cape Town Agreement.
IMO Symposium on the Future of Ship Safety
The Maritime Safety Committee meeting will be immediately preceded by The IMO Symposium on the Future of Ship Safety which will be held on 10 and 11 June.
The symposium will include six international panels of high-level speakers from across the broad spectrum of ship design, construction, equipment, operation and regulation, who will discuss a wide range of issues impacting the future of ship safety. The Symposium is expected to report on its deliberations to the MSC. (Download FSS programme: http://www.imo.org/About/Events/FSS/Documents/Symposium%20Programme.pdf
* The full casualty investigation report submitted by Italy can be downloaded on IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System at http://gisis.imo.org/Public/ by registering as a public user and selecting “Marine Casualties and Incidents”. Search by ship name then download investigation report on the left.