Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE), 44th session: 5-9 March 20
44th session: 5-9 March 2001
draft SOLAS regulation on access to spaces in cargo areas agreed
draft revised SOLAS regulation aimed at improving surveys of large bulk carriers
and tankers has been agreed by IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment
(DE) at its 44th session.
proposed revised regulation II-1/12-2 is intended to ensure that vessels can
be properly inspected throughout their lifespan, by designing and building the
ship to provide easy access. Without adequate access, the structural condition
of the vessel can deteriorate undetected and major structural failure can arise.
proposed revised draft regulation is based on a proposal by the Bahamas developed
in response to the Erika incident and focusing on the fact that the continued
adequacy of the strength of large bulk carriers and tankers depends on their
being properly surveyed - which requires action at the design stage.
SOLAS chapter II-1 (Construction – structure, sub-division and stability, machinery
and electrical installations), Part B (Subdivision and stability), regulation
12-2 specifies requirements for access to spaces in the cargo area of oil tankers
(only) including cofferdams, ballast tanks, cargo tanks, etc. The minimum dimensions
of horizontal and vertical openings are set out.
although the access to spaces in the cargo area should be sufficient to ensure
their complete inspection, evidence from current ship designs suggest that a
lack of detailed requirements is preventing the regulation from being fully
and consistently implemented.
to the Bahamas submission, despite the well-thought-out recommendations of the
Organization, ships continue to be built with little consideration as to how
they will be surveyed by flag State inspectors and classification society surveyors
during their in-service life or how the crew will be able to monitor the condition
of their own ship. Without adequate access, the structural condition of the
vessel can deteriorate undetected, and major structural failure can arise. A
comprehensive approach to design and maintenance is required to cover the whole
projected life of the ship.
has long been recognised that the only way of being assured of the adequacy
of a ship’s structure is for all its components to be surveyed regularly to
ensure that they are free from damage such as: scantling reduction; cracks,
buckling or deformation due to corrosion, overloading or contact damage. The
provision of a suitable means of access to the hull structure for
the purposes of carrying out overall and close-up surveys and inspections has
not been included in the Conventions, although the need to provide access has
been mentioned or envisaged in several IMO instruments. Classification society
rules also do not include provision for proper access.
proposed draft revised regulation SOLAS II-1/12-2, on Access to and within
spaces in the cargo area of oil tankers and bulk carriers is intended to
apply to new ships (size and date of construction to be decided by the Maritime
regulation would require each space within the cargo area to be provided with
a permanent means of access to enable, throughout the life of a ship, overall
and close-up inspections and thickness measurements of the ship’s structures
to be carried out by the Administration, the Company, as defined in regulation
IX/1 and the ship’s personnel and others as necessary.
Sub-Committee also prepared draft Technical provisions for means of access
for inspections which would be mandatory under the new regulation for further
consideration at DE 45.
permanent access was difficult, the Administration may allow, in lieu, the provision
of portable means of access such as staging, moveable platforms and ladders,
provided the means of attaching, rigging, suspending or supporting the portable
means of access forms a permanent part of the ship’s structure.
regulation would require the ship’s means of access to carry out overall and
close-up inspections and thickness measurements to be described in a Ship Structure
Access Manual to be kept on board.
regulation would also include General technical specifications, while specifics
would be included in the technical provisions.
draft revised regulation will be put forward to the MSC for approval and subsequent
adoption, with possible entry into force planned for 2004.
Sub-Committee reviewed a number of issues relating to the elimination of substandard
ships referred to it by the MSC for preliminary assessment.
Sub-Committee agreed that consideration of protection of fuel tanks should be
included in the DE Sub-Committee’s work programme since leaked fuel oil presented
a real hazard.
Sub-Committee agreed that the proposed measure to review resolution A.744(18)
on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and
oil tankers, to make survey procedures stricter, could be accommodated within
the current ongoing review of the resolution.
amendments to enhanced survey guidelines agreed
Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to Assembly resolution A.744(18) (as amended)
- Guidelines on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections During Surveys of Bulk
Carriers and Oil Tankers, for submission to the MSC.
amendments are intended to align the Guidelines with revisions to International
Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Unified Requirements (UR) Z10.1
and Z10.2. The revisions to the Unified Requirements were based on the safety
measures taken by IACS following the Erika incident. IACS Members have
agreed to implement those measures from 1 July 2001 at the latest.
asbestos guidelines agreed
Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC circular on Guidelines for maintenance and
monitoring of on-board materials containing asbestos for submission to the MSC.
draft circular is intended to provide guidance to the Administrations, companies,
seafarers and others closely involved with the operation of ships, on how to
deal with asbestos on board ships in service with the principal objective of
minimising exposure to asbestos fibres of passengers, crew, riding crews, maintenance
personnel in port, etc., while the ship is in service.
MSC in December 2000 adopted amendments to SOLAS to prohibit the new
installation of materials which contain asbestos on all ships.
thermal protection – draft guidelines agreed
Sub-Committee agreed draft guidelines aimed at improving thermal protection
and covering inspections of immersion suits and anti-exposure suits.
draft MSC Circular on Guidelines for the assessment of thermal protection is
intended to address the need for systematised guidelines for thermal protection
of crews and passengers according to environmental factors and for appropriate
performance standards for additional thermal protective equipment. The purpose
of these guidelines is to provide information to assist in assessment of the
impact of environmental factors, and specifically water temperature on equipment
draft MSC Circular including draft Guidelines for monthly shipboard inspection
of immersion suits and anti-exposure suits by ships’ crews gives recommended
procedures for carrying out monthly inspections of these suits in accordance
with SOLAS regulations III/20.7 and III/36.1.
guidelines on fuel oil sampling agreed
Sub-Committee agreed draft guidelines for the sampling of fuel oil for determination
of compliance with Annex VI – Regulations for the prevention of air pollution
by ships of MARPOL 73/78, together with an associated draft MEPC Circular, for
submission to MEPC 46 in April 2001 for approval. The primary objective of the
Guidelines is to establish an agreed method to obtain a representative sample
of the fuel oil for combustion purposes delivered for use on board ships.
18(3) of Annex VI to MARPOL 73/78 requires details of fuel oil for combustion
purposes delivered to, and used on board the ship, to be recorded by means of
a bunker delivery note.
Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic Ice-covered Waters
Sub-Committee agreed draft Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic Ice-Covered
Waters and an associated draft MSC/MEPC Circular, pending input from other Sub-Committees.
Guidelines are aimed at ensuring safe navigation of ships and the prevention
of pollution in Arctic waters. Ships operating in the Arctic environment are
exposed to a number of unique risks. Poor weather conditions and the relative
lack of good charts, communication systems, and other navigational aids pose
challenges for mariners. The remoteness of the areas makes rescue or clean-up
operations difficult and costly. Cold temperatures may reduce the effectiveness
of numerous components of the ship, ranging from deck machinery and emergency
equipment to sea suctions. When ice is present, it can impose additional loads
on the hull, propulsion system and appendages.
Guidelines are therefore intended to address additional provisions deemed necessary
for consideration beyond existing requirements of the SOLAS Convention in order
to take into account the climatic conditions of Arctic ice-covered waters and
to meet appropriate standards of maritime safety and pollution prevention.
draft Guidelines cover design, outfitting and operation of relevant ships, including
crewing by adequate numbers of suitably trained personnel.
towing guidelines – amendments agreed
Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Guidelines for emergency towing
arrangements on tankers (resolution MSC.35(63)) to bring the guidelines into
line with the amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-4 adopted by the MSC at
its 73rd session in December 2000.
revised SOLAS regulation II-1/3-4 states that - as per the current regulation
-emergency towing arrangements should be fitted at both ends on board every
tanker of not less than 20,000 tonnes deadweight.
tankers constructed on or after 1 July 2002:
arrangements shall, at all times, be capable of rapid deployment in the
absence of main power on the ship to be towed and easy connection to the
towing ship. At least one of the emergency towing arrangements shall be
pre-rigged ready for rapid deployment; and
towing arrangements at both ends shall be of adequate strength taking into
account the size and deadweight of the ship, and the expected forces during
bad weather conditions. The design and construction and prototype testing
of emergency towing arrangements shall be approved by the Administration,
based on the Guidelines developed by the Organization.
on lifeboat accidents needed, says Sub-Committee
Sub-Committee agreed to request the MSC to include a new work programme item
on measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats, following submissions by several
delegations reporting a significant number of casualties and serious injuries
arising during lifeboat maintenance, inspection and drills.
Sub-Committee concluded that the majority of accidents were related to failure
or mal-operation of on-load release equipment. Many accidents were caused by
poor maintenance or mal-adjustment of equipment which did not appear to comply
with the existing provisions of SOLAS regulation III/20 (Operational readiness,
maintenance and inspections), while some followed failures of communication
and/or procedures. The causes of such accidents needed to be established and
addressed as a matter of urgency.