Maritime Safety Committee - 77th session: 28 May - 6 June 2003


Revised Load Lines Annex adopted at IMO safety meeting
IMO has adopted a revised Annex B to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol, to provide significant improvements to the structural safety of ships, in particular bulk carriers, during the 77th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which met at the Organization's London Headquarters from 28 May to 6 June.

The MSC also considered a new role for IMO in developing goal-based new ship construction standards.
The MSC adopted amendments to SOLAS and to the enhanced survey programme for bulk carriers and oil tankers. Other major issues on the MSC agenda included the implementation of security measures adopted in December 2002, places of refuge, the safety of bulk carriers, the proposed IMO Model Audit Scheme and implementation of the revised STCW Convention.

Revised 1988 Load Lines Protocol
The MSC (including Parties to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol) adopted what amounts to a comprehensive revision of the technical regulations of the original Load Lines Convention. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2005.

The amendments to Annex B to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol (i.e. the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as modified by the Protocol of 1988 relating thereto) include a number of important revisions, in particular to regulations concerning: strength and intact stability of ships; definitions; superstructure and bulkheads; doors; position of hatchways, doorways and ventilators; hatchway coamings; hatch covers; machinery space openings; miscellaneous openings in freeboard and superstructure decks; cargo ports and other similar openings; spurling pipes and cable lockers; side scuttles; windows and skylights; calculation of freeing ports; protection of the crew and means of safe passage for crew; calculation of freeboard; sheer; minimum bow height and reserve buoyancy; and others.

The amendments will not affect the 1966 LL Convention and will only apply to approximately two-thirds of the world's fleet, i.e., to those ships flying the flags of States Party to the 1988 LL Protocol. At the end of April 2003, the Load Lines Protocol 1988 had been ratified by 63 States representing 63.25 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage, while the 1966 LL Convention had been ratified by 150 States representing 98.45 per cent.

The MSC also agreed a draft Assembly resolution on Wider acceptance of the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 to encourage all Contracting Governments to the 1966 Load Lines Convention to become Parties to the 1988 LL Protocol, as the most practical way of achieving widespread application of the new provisions. The draft resolution will be submitted to the 23rd Assembly in November for adoption.

New role proposed for IMO in developing goal-based ship standards
The MSC held extensive discussions relating to proposals that IMO should play a larger role in determining the standards to which new ships are built.

This followed referral of the original proposals (from Bahamas and Greece) to the MSC from the Council at its 89th session in November 2002.

The MSC agreed to forward its discussion on the proposals to the Council (at its 90th session June 16-20) for its consideration in the context of the development of the Organization's Strategic Plan; and to include a new item on "Goal-based new ship construction standards" in its work programme and agenda for MSC 78 (May 2004). Interested Member Governments and international organizations were invited to submit, to MSC 78, specific proposals on goal-based standards and design philosophy in order to clarify and define their meaning.

During the course of the debate, the Committee noted that the current system and, in particular, the services rendered by IACS, had contributed to enhanced safety standards. The debate centred on whether there was a need for further improvements, and, in particular, whether there was a need for the Organization to take action with respect to goal?based new-building construction standards.

The Committee noted the complementary roles of IMO and IACS in the common efforts to raise the technical standards of shipping and eliminate sub-standard ships. However, the considerable majority of delegations which spoke supported the proposal of the Bahamas and Greece that IMO should commence a programme to devise basic goal-based standards for the design and construction of new ships, while continuing to draw on the experience, knowledge and expertise of IACS and others.

Amendments to SOLAS
The expanded MSC adopted amendments to chapter V on Safety of Navigation of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2006.

The amendments to SOLAS regulations V/2 Definitions and V/22 Navigation Bridge Visibility add the definition of "length" to regulation V/2 and a consequential editorial change is made to regulation V/22. The definition states that "length of a ship means its length overall".

Amendments to SOLAS regulation V/28 on Records of navigational activities add a new paragraph on daily reporting. The amendment will require all ships of 500 gross tonnage and above, engaged on international voyages exceeding 48 hours, to submit a daily report to their company, to include ship's position; ship's course and speed; and details of any external or internal conditions that are affecting the ship's voyage or the normal safe operation of the ship. The aim of the amendments is to address the responsibilities of ship operators to provide information of benefit to those responsible for mounting rescue operations.

Amendments to the enhanced survey programme for tankers and bulk carriers
In addition, the MSC adopted amendments to the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution A.744(18)), to include a new appendix 3 to Annex 12 of Annex B of the Guidelines relating to the sampling method of thickness measurements for longitudinal strength evaluation and repair methods.

The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2005.

Security issues
The working group on maritime security was established to consider a number of issues relating to the facilitation of the security measures adopted by the 2002 SOLAS Conference on Maritime Security. Timely implementation of the measures is essential, ahead of the expected entry into force of the measures on 1 July 2004.

The MSC adopted a revised MSC resolution on Performance standards for a ship security alert system, to update resolution MSC.136(76) on Performance standards for a ship security alert system. The revisions relate to the provision of an alternative source of power for the system and to the need to provide ship identity and current position associated with a date and time in a transmission generated by the system.

The MSC also approved an MSC Circular on Guidance on provision of ship security alert systems (SSASs).

Long-range identification and tracking of ships - the MSC endorsed draft recommendation on functional requirements for long-range identification and tracking of ships and requested the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) to review them and submit comments to the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR); COMSAR to report to MSC 78. In addition, the MSC established a correspondence group to look into the issues and report to COMSAR.

Mobile and immobile floating units - The MSC agreed that neither of the two types of floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) and floating storage units (FSUS), were ships subject to the provisions of the ISPS Code, but that they should have some security procedures in place. Single buoy moorings (SBMs), attached to an offshore facility would be covered by that facility's security regime and if it was connected to a port facility it would be covered by the port facility security plan (PFSP). In all cases the intention was to provide sufficient security to maintain the integrity of ships and port facilities covered by SOLAS and the ISPS Code.

International Ship Security Certificates (ISSC) - the MSC noted that paragraph 9.4 of part A of the ISPS Code required that, in order for an ISSC to be issued, the guidance in part B would need to be taken into account and agreed that it was assumed that an ISSC would not be issued unless paragraphs 8.1 to 13.8 of part B of the ISPS Code had been taken into account. The MSC agreed that an MSC Circular giving guidance on this would be developed and issued after the session.

Issue of the ISSCs - the MSC agreed that an ISSC should only be issued when the ship has an approved ship security plan; and when there is objective evidence to the satisfaction of the Administration that the ship is operating in accordance with the provisions of the approved plan.

Training and certification - The MSC agreed that, as an interim measure, the ISSC would be accepted as prima facie evidence that training has been conducted in accordance with the ISPS Code. The flag State was responsible for deciding how that training was to be conducted, and if any additional certification was required. If port State control detected a lack of training, it could take further action. The MSC instructed the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) to develop training and certification requirements for SSOs and to include in its agenda the development of training requirements for Company Security Officers and Port Facility Security Officers.

Revision of resolution A.890(21) on safe manning - the MSC approved proposed revisions to resolution A.890(21) on Principles of safe manning, to include references to security issues. The resolution on amendments would be forwarded to the 23rd Assembly. The Committee agreed to consider, at a future session, based on experience gained with the revised resolution, the need for a holistic review of the resolution.

Directives for Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) - The MSC approved a revised MSC circular MSC/Circ.967 (MSC/Circ.1073) to include provisions for the handling by MRCCs of alerts received from ships in response to acts of violence, including terrorist acts and other security incidents.

Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) - The MSC established a correspondence group to draft an interim format and guidelines for the CSR for submission to the 23rd Assembly for consideration and adoption of an associated draft Assembly resolution.

Recognized Security Organizations - the MSC approved an MSC circular on Interim guidelines for the authorization of Recognized Security Organizations acting on behalf of the Administration and/or Designated Authority of a Contracting Government.

Work programme on maritime security - the MSC endorsed a programme of further work on maritime security.

Bulk carrier safety
While considering issues relating to bulk carrier safety, the Committee noted with satisfaction information provided by the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) in their annual bulk carrier safety casualty report, indicating that during the ten-year period 1993 to 2002, the average number of bulk carriers, lives and deadweight tonnage lost was falling.

Speaking at the opening of the session, IMO Secretary-General Mr. William A. O'Neil also highlighted the improvement in the casualty rate for shipping and in particular in relation to bulk carriers. He noted the beneficial impact of standards already adopted by IMO in relation to bulk carriers and noted that further improvement should be expected following the adoption of the amendments to the 1988 Load Line Protocol.

The Committee adopted the MSC resolution on Performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and the MSC resolution on Application of IACS Unified Requirements S26, S27, S30 and S31 to bulk carriers.

Following discussions in the bulk carrier working group on a number of specific issues, the MSC referred several issues back to the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE) for further work. In particular, the MSC agreed that DE 47 should develop draft amendments to SOLAS chapter XII to cover provisions for "Banning bulk carriers from sailing with any hold empty". The banning provisions would be along the following lines:

"Banning bulk carriers from sailing with any hold empty: Bulk carriers in the full load condition (90% of the ship's deadweight at the relevant freeboard) of single-side skin construction and 150 m in length and over, constructed before 1 July 1999, after reaching 10 years of age, or constructed after 1 July 1999 if not in compliance with SOLAS chapter XII and IACS UR S12 Rev 2.1, shall be banned from sailing with any hold empty. The ban shall not apply to ships constructed before 1 July 1999 if they comply with SOLAS chapter XII and IACS UR S12 Rev 2.1."

The MSC also agreed to refer to DE 47 working definitions for "bulk carrier", "bulk carrier of single-side skin construction", "bulk carrier of double-side skin construction" and "double-side skin" to serve as a basis in the development of a revised chapter XII.

Bulk carrier safety - Circulars approved
The Committee approved the following MSC circulars relating to bulk carrier safety:

- MSC Circular on Interpretation of SOLAS regulation XII/13 (on Availability of pumping systems)
- MSC Circular on ship design, construction, repair and maintenance
- MSC Circular on Guidelines for bulk carrier hatch cover surveys and owners' inspections and maintenance. The Committee agreed this would later be followed by the development of amendments to resolution A.744(18) (survey of hatch covers and coamings) and to SOLAS chapter XII (standards for hatch cover securing mechanisms).

Bulk carriers less than 150m in length
In the light of statistical data provided by IACS on the current distribution of the world's bulk carrier fleet by length and type, as well as extracts from the FSA study on bulk carrier safety carried out by Japan showing comparative bulk carrier statistical data, the Committee concluded that the FSA study presented in document MSC 77/5/2 should be rerun with a limited scope, such as for ships between 130 m and 150 m in length, and invited interested Member Governments and international organizations, collectively if necessary, to carry out the necessary work and report the results to MSC 78, with a view to finalizing at that session the on-going exercise on bulk carrier safety.

Places of refuge

The issue of places of refuge for ships in distress was discussed in depth by the MSC, including the consideration of two draft Assembly resolutions on Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance and Guidelines on a Maritime Assistance Service (MAS), prepared by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV).

The MSC instructed the Sub-Committee's July session (NAV 49) to take a number of points into consideration when finalizing the draft resolutions. The MSC also requested NAV 49 to submit the drafts to the Legal Committee, which meets in October, prior to submission to the Assembly in November-December 2003.

The MSC agreed to insert the following caveat, at an appropriate place of the draft Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance: "These guidelines do not address the issue of liability and compensation for damage resulting from a decision to grant or deny a ship a place of refuge." An operative paragraph requesting the Legal Committee to consider, as a matter of priority, the Guidelines from its own perspective, including the provision of financial security to cover coastal State expenses and/or compensation issues, was also added.

Implementation of the revised STCW Convention
The list of Parties deemed to be giving full and complete effect to the provisions of the revised STCW Convention was updated with three more Parties following the submission of the report of IMO Secretary-General William O'Neil on those countries whose evaluations have been completed since the previous MSC meeting. The number of Parties on the List now stands at 111.

The revised list is available to download on the IMO web site. (http://www.imo.org/home.asp?topic_id=291)

Proposed IMO Model Audit Scheme
The MSC considered further the development of the proposed IMO Model Audit Scheme, which would be designed to help promote maritime safety and environmental protection by assessing how effectively Member States implement and enforce relevant IMO Convention standards, and by providing them with feedback and advice on their current performance.

The Joint MSC/Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)/Technical Co-operation Committee (TCC) Working Group on the voluntary IMO Model Audit Scheme met during the session. The MSC noted the Group's progress in developing:

· Draft Framework for Member State Audits
· Draft Procedures for Member State Audits
· List of substantive issues for the development of the scheme
· Draft workplan for the development of the scheme, in particular, the proposed establishment of a correspondence group and the convening of the Joint MSC/MEPC/TCC Working Group before June 2004 and June 2005.

The MSC approved the report of the group as far as maritime safety and security matters were concerned, and invited the Council to take the outcome of its consideration of the report of the Joint Working Group into account.

Code for the implementation of IMO instruments
The MSC reviewed issues arising from the work of the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) which, at its 11th session in April 2003, had agreed that a new proposed draft Code for the implementation of IMO instruments - which would outline how this should be achieved by all parties involved - would play an important role in ensuring complete and uniform implementation of IMO standards by all stakeholders (i.e. flag States, port States and coastal States).

The work on the development of the Code follows a proposal to develop amendments to the Guidelines to assist flag States in the implementation of IMO instruments (resolution A.847(20)) to introduce transparent criteria for proper implementation of IMO instruments by flag States and to transform the Guidelines into a Flag State Implementation Code, to be made mandatory at a later stage.

The MSC endorsed, in principle, the view that the Code should apply to all stakeholders (flag States, coastal States and port States). There was also a need for compatibility between the proposed Code and the proposed Model Audit Scheme.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
The Committee approved an MSC Circular on Guidelines on the prevention and management of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO). This followed the issuing of a precautionary circular on SARS (MSC/Circ.1068 on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)). The latest information on SARS and the circulars are available to download on the IMO website www.imo.org.

Persons rescued at sea - draft amendments to SOLAS and SAR approved
The MSC approved draft amendments to both SOLAS chapter V and the SAR Convention concerning the treatment of persons rescued at sea, and/or asylum seekers, refugees and stowaways. The amendments will be forwarded to MSC 78 for adoption.

The draft amendments were developed by the COMSAR Sub-Committee in response to resolution A.920 on Review of safety measures and procedures for the treatment of persons rescued at sea, adopted by IMO's 22nd Assembly following a number of incidents that highlighted concerns surrounding the treatment of persons rescued at sea. The prime concern with respect to such incidents was that, unless the matter was considered in all its aspects and appropriate action was taken, there might be a negative impact on the integrity of the global search and rescue system which the Organization has put in place.

The proposed draft amendments relate to:

· SOLAS - chapter V (Safety of Navigation) - proposed amendments to add definition of search and rescue services (regulation 2); set obligation to provide assistance regardless of nationality or status of persons in distress and mandate co-ordination and co-operation between States to assist the master in delivering persons rescued at sea to a place of safety (regulation 33); amend the regulation on master's discretion (proposed regulation 34 bis).
· SAR - Annex to the Convention - add new paragraphs in chapter 3 - Co-operation between States to assist the master in delivering persons rescued at sea to a place of safety and in chapter 4 - Operating procedures.

The MSC also agreed to establish a correspondence group to prepare draft guidelines relating to the treatment of persons rescued at sea. It was agreed that COMSAR 8 would finalize the draft guidelines and submit them to MSC 78.

Large passenger ship safety -work reviewed
The MSC reviewed and noted ongoing work on large passenger ship safety in the COMSAR, Fire Protection (FP), STW and DE Sub-Committees. It was agreed to extend the target completion date for this work to 2004 for all of the Sub-Committees, with the aim of holding a working group on large passenger ship safety at MSC 78 in mid-2004.

The MSC noted the 35 recommendations, endorsed by COMSAR, several of which addressed life-saving arrangement and training issues. The Committee instructed the COMSAR, DE and STW Sub-Committees to consider the recommendations and to advise MSC 78 on what action ought to be taken.

The MSC endorsed the proposal of the COMSAR Correspondence Group on Large Passenger Ship Safety that the Group's work plan be organized into the following seven themed areas of work:

1 General matters, including parameters and scale of application
2 Transfer, rescue and recovery
3 Ability and adequacy of the SAR services
4 Medical issues
5 Communication issues
6 New concepts and adequacy of current requirements
7 Human element and training for shore-side SAR issues

Piracy and armed robbery against ships
The number of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, which occurred during the calendar year of 2002, as reported to the Organization, was 383, an increase of nearly 4% over the annual figure for 2001. The total number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships, reported to have occurred from 1984 to the end of March 2003, was 3,041.

The Committee observed that the four per cent annual increase in the reported acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships was still a worrying development and a cause for concern and, therefore, much more needed to be done to reduce this menace.

The Committee noted with deep concern that on the information received on incidents allegedly committed against ships during 2002, twelve ships had been hijacked and eight ships had gone missing.

From the reports received, it had also emerged that the areas most affected in 2002 (i.e. five incidents reported or more) were the Far East, in particular the South China Sea and the Malacca Strait, South America and the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and West and East Africa. In 2002, the number of acts reported to have occurred or to have been attempted increased from 2 to 3 in the Mediterranean Sea, from 120 to 140 in the South China Sea, from 23 to 67 in South America and the Caribbean and from 22 to 24 in East Africa. However, it decreased from 58 to 47 in West Africa, from 58 to 34 in the Malacca Strait and from 86 to 66 in the Indian Ocean, over the 2001 figures.

Most of the attacks worldwide were reported to have occurred or to have been attempted in the coastal States' concerned territorial waters while the ships were at anchor or berthed. The Committee was particularly concerned to note that, during the same period, ship crews had been violently attacked by groups of five to ten people carrying knives or guns. During the same period, six crew members of the ships involved had been killed, fifty had been wounded, thirty-eight had been reported missing and another thirty-eight had been thrown overboard (although they were later rescued) in the reported incidents.

The Committee invited Member Governments, especially those with responsibility for identified high risk areas, to promulgate security-level information to port facilities within their territory, as well as to ships prior to entering a port or whilst in a port within their territory (as required by the new SOLAS regulation XI-2/3), to ensure the protection of ships and crew from piracy and armed robbery attacks.

The MSC endorsed the Secretariat's proposals to continue with the anti-piracy project that began in 1998. Phase one consisted of a number of regional seminars and workshops attended by Governmental representatives from countries in piracy-infested areas of the world; while phase two consisted of a number of evaluation and assessment missions to different regions.

Future plans include following up the planned September 2003 South American and Caribbean Meeting with a similar meeting for the Asia and the Pacific region towards the later part of 2003 or the early part of 2004. The purpose of that meeting would be to update participants on the initiatives taken in other parts of the world and the progress which had been achieved therein; and to promote the conclusion of a regional agreement/MoU on the prevention and suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia and the Pacific region. In addition, the Secretariat plans to undertake, in agreement with, and upon request by, countries concerned, expert missions to other regions of the world.

The MSC also agreed that IMO should continue to take the lead in the proposed development of regional co-operation activities and agreements/ arrangements.

Granting exemptions from the provisions of the IMDG Code - the Committee endorsed the E&T group's two-pronged approach that: relevant draft amendments need to be finalized; and, in order to address the issue during the interim period (i.e. before the provisions of the amended Code (2004 edition) enter into force on 1 January 2006, to provide a unified interpretation of chapter 7.9 of the Code to address the issue of competent authority approvals. Based on the above, the Committee approved MSC/Circ.1075 on granting exemptions from the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Human element
The MSC approved proposed revisions to resolution A.850(20) on Human Element Vision, Principles and Goals. The proposed revisions expand on the principles and goals listed, in particular focusing on the organizational element in human element issues. It also agreed to establish a correspondence group to develop a human element strategic plan for the Organization and measures to support the plan in accordance with the goals and objectives of resolution A.850(20).

Resolutions adopted

·
Resolution MSC.142(77) - Adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended
· Resolution MSC.143(77) - Adoption of amendments to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966
· Resolution MSC.144(77) - adoption of amendments to the guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution a.744(18), as amended)
· Resolution MSC.145(77) - Performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers
· Resolution MSC.146(77) - Application of IACS unified requirements S26, S27, S30 and S31 to bulk carriers
· Resolution MSC.147(77) - Adoption of the revised performance standards for a ship security alert system
· Resolution MSC.148(77) -Adoption of the revised performance standards for narrow-band direct-printing telegraph equipment for the reception of navigational and meteorological warnings and urgent information to ships (NAVTEX)
· Resolution MSC.149(77) - Adoption of the revised performance standards for survival craft portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus
· Resolution MSC.150(77) - Recommendation for material safety data sheets for MARPOL Annex I cargoes and marine fuel oils

Amendments approved for future adoption

The MSC approved the following amendments for circulation with a view to future adoption:

· Proposed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation IV/15.9, clarifying the testing and maintenance requirements for satellite EPIRBs, with a view to adoption at MSC 78 and a proposed entry-into-force date of 1 January 2006. (The respective changes, subject to adoption by MSC 78, to also be included in the preamble of resolution MSC.83(70) on Amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (resolution A.746(18)), as well as in the fishing vessel Safety Code and Voluntary Guidelines).
· Proposed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/20 concerning inspections of lifeboats, with a view to adoption at MSC 78.
· Proposed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/19 concerning the conditions in which lifeboat emergency training and drills should be conducted, with a view to adoption at MSC 78.
· Proposed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/32.3 and the 1988 SOLAS Protocol concerning carriage requirements for immersion suits, including consequential amendments relating to the records of equipment, with a view to adoption at MSC 78.
· Proposed draft amendments to STCW Code Part A concerning deletion of the term 'as amended in 1995', for consideration with a view to adoption at MSC 78 and entry into force on 1 July 2006.
· Proposed draft amendments to STCW Code Part B concerning deletion of the term 'as amended in 1995' and to the associated STCW.6 circular, to become operative on the same date as the entry into force date of the amendments to STCW Code Part A.

Draft Assembly resolutions approved

The MSC approved the following, for submission to the 23rd Assembly:

· Draft Assembly resolution on Graphical symbols for shipboard fire control plans (revision of resolution A.654(16))
· Draft Assembly resolution to revoke resolution A. 474(XII) on Proper use of VHF channels at sea
· Draft Assembly resolution on Revised Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (subject to concurrence by the MEPC)
· Draft revision of resolution A.850(20) on Human Element Vision, Principles and Goals for the Organization
· Amendments to resolution A.890(21) on Principles for safe manning

Circulars approved
The MSC approved the following circulars:

MSC Circulars

MSC/Circ.1069 Interpretation of SOLAS regulation XII/13
MSC/Circ.1070 Ship design, construction, repair and maintenance
MSC/Circ.1071 Guidelines for bulk carrier hatch cover surveys and owners' inspections and maintenance
MSC/Circ.1072 Guidance on provision of ship security alert systems (SSASs)
MSC/Circ.1073 Revised directive for maritime rescue co-ordination centres (MRCCs)
MSC/Circ.1074 Interim guidelines for the authorization of recognized security organizations acting on behalf of the Administration and/or designated authority of a Contracting Government
MSC/Circ.1075 Granting exemptions from the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code
MSC/Circ.1076 Future withdrawal of Inmarsat-A services by Inmarsat Ltd.
MSC/Circ.1077 Procedure for evaluation and possible recognition of mobile-satellite systems notified for use in the GMDSS
MSC/Circ.1078 Guidelines to Administrations on reporting false alerts
MSC/Circ.1079 Guidelines for preparing plans for co-operation between search and rescue services and passenger ships (in accordance with SOLAS regulation V/7.3)
MSC/Circ.1080 Amendments to the IAMSAR Manual
MSC/Circ.1081 Unified interpretations of the revised SOLAS chapter II-2
MSC/Circ.1082 Unified interpretation of the Guidelines for the approval of fixed water-based local application fire-fighting systems (MSC/Circ.913)
MSC/Circ.1083 Unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-2/15.2.11
MSC/Circ.1084 Principles for hot work on board all types of ships
MSC/Circ.1085 Use of smoke helmet-type breathing apparatus
MSC/Circ.1086 Code of practice for atmospheric oil mist detectors
MSC/Circ.1087 Guidelines for partially weathertight hatchway covers on board containerships
MSC/Circ.1088 Questionnaire on national data base standards, records systems and anti-fraud measures
MSC/Circ.1089 Guidance on recommended anti-fraud measures and forgery prevention features for seafarers' certificates
MSC/Circ.1090 Guidance for Administrations, shipping companies, masters and manning agents for detecting and preventing unlawful practices associated with certificates
MSC/Circ.1091 Issues to be considered when introducing new technology on board ship
MSC/Circ.1092 Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, confirmed by the Maritime Safety Committee to have communicated information which demonstrates that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the Convention
MSC/Circ.1093 Guidelines for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear
MSC/Circ.1094 Application of SOLAS regulation III/26 concerning fast rescue boat systems on ro-ro passenger ships
MSC/Circ.1095 Revised minimum safety standards for ships carrying liquids in bulk containing benzene
MSC/Circ.1096 Guidelines on the prevention and management of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

Other circulars

COMSAR/Circ.32 Harmonization of GMDSS requirements for radio installations on board SOLAS ships
STCW.6/Circ.6 Amendments to Part B of the STCW Code



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Background
IMO is the United Nations agency concerned with safety of shipping and protection of the marine environment and is concerned with ensuring ships comply with international standards, including financial security. The Maritime Safety Committee is the highest technical body of the Organization. Delegates from all 162 Member States may attend. The main function of the MSC is to consider any matter within the scope of the Organization that directly affects maritime safety. It has the power to adopt amendments to conventions, such as the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), Collision Regulations, Load Lines etc. It is assisted in its work by nine sub-committees which are also open to all Member States. They deal with the following subjects: Bulk Liquids and Gases; Carriage of Dangerous Goods; Solid Cargoes and Containers; Fire Protection; Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue; Safety of Navigation; Ship Design and Equipment; Stability and Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety; Standards of Training and Watchkeeping and Flag State Implementation.
Web site: www.imo.org

For further information please contact:
Lee Adamson, Senior External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3153 (media@imo.org) or Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (media@imo.org).