Maritime Safety Committee - 80th session: 11-20 May 2005


Opening address by the Secretary-General

Basic principles and goals for goal-based standards (GBS) for new ship construction were agreed in principle by IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) when it met at the Organization's London Headquarters for its 80th session from 11 to 20 May 2005.

Other important issues on the MSC agenda included the adoption of revised provisions for subdivision and stability in SOLAS chapter II-1 Construction - Structure, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations, continued work on passenger ship safety and consideration of issues surrounding the implementation of the maritime security measures adopted by IMO.

Goal-based new ship construction standards
The five-tier system on which the development of GBS is being based consists of goals (Tier I), functional requirements (Tier II), verification of compliance criteria (Tier III), technical procedures and guidelines, classification rules and industry standards (Tier IV) and codes of practice and safety and quality systems for shipbuilding, ship operation, maintenance, training, manning, etc. (Tier V).

The MSC agreed in principle with the basic principles of goal-based standards and with the Tier I goals developed by the Working Group on Goal-based New Ship Construction Standards.

The agreed basic principles state that IMO goal-based standards are:

· broad, over-arching safety, environmental and/or security standards that ships are required to meet during their lifecycle;
· the required level to be achieved by the requirements applied by class societies and other recognized organizations, Administrations and IMO;
· clear, demonstrable, verifiable, long standing, implementable and achievable, irrespective of ship design and technology; and
·

specific enough in order not to be open to differing interpretations.

The Tier 1 goals are based on the premise that - for all new ships - "ships are to be designed and constructed for a specified design life and to be safe and environmentally-friendly, when properly operated and maintained under the specified operating and environmental conditions, in intact and specified damage conditions, throughout their life".

The Working Group also made progress on developing the Tier II functional requirements, agreeing that for new oil tankers and bulk carriers in unrestricted navigation (the ship is not subject to any geographical restrictions (i.e. any oceans, any seasons) except as limited by the ship's capability for operation in ice); the specified design life is not to be less than 25 years and they should be designed in accordance with North Atlantic environmental conditions and relevant long-term sea state scatter diagrams. Other functional requirements for these ship types were agreed by the Working Group, including those relating to structural strength, fatigue life, residual strength, protection against corrosion and so on.

The MSC approved the work plan for future work on GBS and agreed to establish a Correspondence Group to develop draft Tier III criteria for the verification of compliance.

The work plan for future work includes; consideration of the probabilistic risk-based methodology in the framework of GBS; completion of Tier II - functional requirements; development of Tier III - verification of compliance criteria; implementation of GBS; incorporation of GBS into IMO instruments; development of a ship construction file and consideration of the need for the development of a ship inspection and maintenance file; and consideration of the need to review consistency and adequacy of scope across the tiers.

Revised SOLAS chapter II-1 adopted
The revision of SOLAS chapter II-1 is intended to harmonize the provisions on subdivision and damage stability for passenger and cargo ships. The revised provisions in parts A, B and B-1 will be applicable to new ships built after the expected entry into force date of 1 January 2009.

The amendments, which have been intensively developed over the past decade, are based on the "probabilistic" method of determining damage stability, which is itself based on the detailed study of data collected by IMO relating to collisions. Because it is based on statistical evidence concerning what actually happens when ships collide, the probabilistic concept is believed to be far more realistic than the previously-used "deterministic" method.

T
he revision has taken into account the results of the HARDER (Harmonisation of Rules and Design Rational) research project: a project undertaken by a consortium of European industrial, research and academic institutions to study the probabilistic approach for assessing a ship's damage stability and to develop new criteria and indexes for subdivision based on probability of survival, taking into account effects from waves, heeling moments, cargo shift, transient effects and equalization arrangements.

Bulk carrier construction standards - interpretations
The Committee considered requests by Members for the preparation of interpretations to the revised SOLAS chapter XII, which was adopted by MSC 79 in December 2004 and is expected to enter into force on 1 July 2006, and agreed a circular giving unified interpretations relating to regulation XII/4.2 - Damage stability requirements applicable to bulk carriers and regulation XII/5.2 - Structural strength of bulk carriers. With respect to regulation XII/6 Structural and other requirements for bulk carriers, the Committee agreed to establish an intersessional working group, to meet in September 2005, in order to prepare a unified interpretation of SOLAS regulations XII/6.5.1 and 6.5.3. The working group will submit its report to the Technical Committee of the 24th Assembly in November-December 2005 for consideration and appropriate action.

Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme and draft Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments
The Audit Scheme is 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 MSC reviewed the report of the third session of the Joint MSC/MEPC/TCC Working Group on the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme and approved the draft Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments, which was developed by the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) to be the audit standard under the Audit Scheme. The Audit Scheme and the Code will be considered by the IMO Council in June 2005 with a view to their formal adoption by the IMO Assembly in November 2005.

The MSC agreed to recommend to the Council that security issues be removed from the Audit Scheme and Code at this time, but agreed to develop, at an appropriate time, suitable provisions for the eventual inclusion of other safety- and security-related issues in the Audit Scheme and Code, taking into account the experience gained from the implementation of the Scheme and salient safety- and security-related issues.

The MSC endorsed Guidance to auditors on the STCW Convention areas to be covered by the Audit Scheme; the draft Pre-audit questionnaire; and the draft Assembly resolutions on the adoption of the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments and on the Framework and Procedures for the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme.

Other amendments to SOLAS
The MSC adopted other amendments to SOLAS, with an expected entry into force date of 1 January 2007, including:

· New SOLAS regulation II-1/3-7 to require ship construction drawings to be maintained on board and ashore.
· New SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 concerning towing and mooring equipment. The regulation will require all ships to be provided with arrangements, equipment and fittings of sufficient safe working load to enable the safe conduct of all towing and mooring operations associated with the normal operation of the ship.
· New SOLAS regulation II-1/23-3 concerning water level detectors in the cargo hold(s) on new single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers.Amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/31 Machinery control to restrict the application of propulsion control automation systems to new ships only.
· Amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/31 Machnery control to restrict the application of propulsion control automation systems to new ships only.
·

(With expected entry into force of 1 January 2009) New SOLAS regulations XI-1/3-1 and amendments to regulation XI-1/5 on the mandatory company and registered owner identification number.

· Also (expected entry into force of 1 January 2009) amendments to add the IMO unique company and registered identification number to relevant certificates and documents in the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (the ISM Code) and International ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

Amendments to the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution A.744(18)), as amended
The amendments to the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution A.744(18)), as amended, incorporate some elements of the Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) required for certain single hull tankers under the revised MARPOL regulation I/13G and include re-organization of the guidelines to include a new section on survey guidelines for the inspection of double hull tankers. The date for entry into force is 1 January 2007.

Passenger ship safety
The MSC agreed a revised work plan for the on-going work by the relevant Sub-Committees on passenger ship safety, the guiding philosophy for which is based on the premise that the regulatory framework should place more emphasis on the prevention of a casualty from occurring in the first place and that future passenger ships should be designed for improved survivability so that, in the event of a casualty, persons can stay safely on board as the ship proceeds to port.

The MSC approved the definition for the time for orderly evacuation and abandonment as "the time, beginning when the casualty threshold is exceeded until all persons have safely abandoned the ship, in which the ship remains viable for this purpose". The MSC agreed that, in the event that the casualty exceeds the threshold for return to port, an additional casualty scenario, for design purposes, should be developed. The MSC instructed the Fire Protection (FP) and Stability, Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety (SLF) Sub-Committees to develop these scenarios to support the concept that a passenger ship should remain viable for at least three hours, to allow for safe, orderly evacuation and abandonment.

It was agreed that the casualty threshold is the amount of damage a ship is able to withstand, according to the design basis, and still safely return to port.

The aim is to complete the work on passenger ship safety by 2006.

The MSC also agreed that the World Maritime University (WMU) should begin a project to co-ordinate a search and rescue (SAR) research programme related to passenger ship safety. The first phase, to be implemented from May 2005 to April 2006, will include initial data collection and reporting on the state of the art and current research efforts and results in the subject area. The MSC requested the IMO Secretary-General to include in his budget proposal for the 2006-2007 biennium an amount equivalent to US$90,000 in order to implement phase 2 of the project, which would include further work in data collection from sources not identified by the Member States; development of an on-line database of current research; and the organization of a workshop/seminar on the subject area, to include the research community as well as other stakeholders.

Measures to enhance maritime security
The MSC considered issues relating to the implementation of the special measures to enhance maritime security which were adopted in 2002 and entered into force on 1 July 2004.

The MSC approved draft amendments to the STCW Convention on Requirements for the issue of certificates of proficiency for ship security officers; draft amendments to part A of the STCW Code on Training requirements for issue of certificates of proficiency for ship security officers; and related draft amendments to part B of the STCW Code on Guidance regarding training for ship security officers. The drafts will be circulated with a view to adoption at MSC 81 in 2006.

The proposed amendments to the STCW Convention and to parts A and B of the STCW Code require candidates for a certificate of proficiency as a ship security officer to demonstrate the knowledge to complete a range of tasks, duties and responsibilities, including: maintenance and supervision of the implementation of a ship security plan; assessment of security risk, threat, and vulnerability; undertaking regular inspections of the ship to ensure that appropriate security measures are implemented and maintained; ensuring that security equipment and systems, if any, are properly operated, tested and calibrated; and encouraging security awareness and vigilance.

The MSC also approved for circulation as MSC circulars:

Guidelines on the training and certification of Company Security Officers (CSOs); Guidance on the access of public authorities, emergency response services and pilots onboard ships to which SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code apply; Guidance on the priority and testing of ship security alert system; and Interim scheme for the compliance of certain cargo ships with the special measures to enhance maritime security.

The MSC also adopted amendments to resolution A.959(23) on Format and guidelines for the maintenance of the continuous synopsis record intended to update the CSR format to include the registered owner and the company identification numbers and to address a number of practical difficulties encountered during the transfer of ships between flags.

Long-range identification and tracking of ships
The Working Group on Maritime Security held extensive discussions relating to proposed draft amendments to SOLAS to include a new regulation on long-range identification and tracking of ships (LRIT). The purpose of the proposed draft regulation is to establish a mechanism for the collection from ships of LRIT information for security, search and rescue and any other purpose as determined by the Organization and also a scheme for the provision of LRIT information to Contracting Governments. The ships which are required to comply with SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code would be required to transmit LRIT information.

The Committee noted that there were still a number of outstanding technical issues to be resolved and agreed that an intersessional working group should meet ahead of the 10th session of the COMSAR Sub-Committee in early 2006 so that COMSAR 10 would be able to finalize the work. The COMSAR correspondence group on LRIT was also tasked with considering a number of technical issues, so as to enable COMSAR 10 to complete its own work on LRIT.

The Committee also authorized the convening of an MSC intersessional working group on LRIT, not later than seven months before MSC 81, for the purpose of developing draft SOLAS amendments on LRIT to be circulated with a view to consideration and adoption at MSC 81.

Formal safety assessment
The MSC reviewed the report of the Joint MSC/MEPC Working Group on Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) which met during the session.

The MSC approved, subject to MEPC concurrence, draft amendments to the Guidelines for Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) for use in the IMO rule-making process (MSC/Circ.1023 -MEPC/Circ.392) and a draft revised MSC/MEPC circular.

The amendments include revisions to section 3 Methodology, including the addition of a paragraph outlining the need for data on incident reports, near misses and operational failures to be reviewed objectively and their reliability, uncertainty and validity to be assessed and reported. The assumptions made and limitations of these data must also be reported.

The MSC agreed to establish a Correspondence Group to further consider unresolved issues in particular concerning inconsistent results of different FSAs on the same subject and clarifications of the technology used for particular FSAs.

The MSC also agreed on the establishment, when necessary, of an FSA Group of Experts for the purpose of reviewing an FSA study if the Committee plans to use the study for making a decision on a particular issue. A flow-chart for the FSA review process was agreed. The MSC agreed in principle that the proposed expert group would undertake to review FSA studies on specific subjects submitted to the Organization, as directed by the Committee(s) and prepare relevant reports for submission to the Committee(s). The structure of the group of experts was left open for future discussion, though the Committee agreed, in principle, that members participating in the expert group should have risk assessment experience; a maritime background; and knowledge/training in the application of the FSA Guidelines.

Implementation of the revised STCW Convention
The list of Parties confirmed by the Committee as having communicated information demonstrating full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, was updated.

The MSC also agreed an MSC circular on Promulgation of information related to reports of independent evaluation submitted by 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 Parties are giving full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the Convention. The circular provides information on the due date of the report of independent evaluation; the date of the report of the independent evaluation communicated to the Secretary General (if applicable); and the outcome of the process of evaluation of the reports of independent evaluation communicated by the STCW Parties demonstrating that they are continuing to give full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention.

Training of crew in launching/recovering operations of fast rescue boats and means of rescue in adverse weather conditions
The MSC approved draft amendments to part A of the STCW Code regarding additional training requirements for the launching and recovery operations of fast rescue boats, with a view to their adoption at MSC 81. It agreed an MSC circular on Guidance on training for fast rescue boats launch and recovery teams and boat crews.

Officers on Wing-in-Ground craft
The MSC approved general principles and recommendations for knowledge, skills and training for officers on Wing-in-Ground (WIG) craft operating in both displacement and ground effect modes. They will be forwarded to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for consideration.

Revision of the Code for investigation of marine casualties and incidents
Noting that the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) had expressed overwhelming support for the idea of making the Code for the investigation of marine casualties and incidents mandatory, in full or in part, the MSC instructed the FSI Sub-Committee to develop a draft revised Code; to determine whether the revised Code itself or parts thereof should be made mandatory; and to provide recommendations as to how such a revised code should be made mandatory, in full or in part.

Study on incidents of explosions on chemical and product carriers
The MSC strongly urged the relevant flag States to provide IMO with reports on the investigations into a number of incidents of explosions on chemical and product carriers, for analysis by the Inter Industry Working Group (IIWG)1 which was established to study the reported incidents of explosions on chemical and product carriers.

Reports on marine casualties and incidents
The Committee approved, subject to MEPC's concurrent decision, a draft MSC/MEPC circular on Reports on marine casualties and incidents, superseding MSC/Circ.953 - MEPC/Circ.372.

Certificates and documentation
The Committee approved a draft amendment to the 1988 SOLAS Protocol, with a view to its adoption at MSC 81, relating to the extension of the five-year period of validity of the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate or the Cargo Ship Safety Certificate, in certain cases. In all cases, the interval between any two inspections of the outside of the ship's bottom shall not exceed 36 months.

The MSC also approved, subject to MEPC's concurrent decision, a draft MSC/MEPC circular on Recommended conditions for extending the period of validity of a certificate and a draft MSC/MEPC circular on Interpretations of the date of completion of the survey and verification on which the certificates are based.

Another draft MSC/MEPC circular, on Retention of original records/documents on board ships, was approved. It addresses the fact that because ships often travel between multiple jurisdictions, the retention of the original records/documents on board the ship is the primary method of attesting to their compliance. Only in exceptional circumstances, should the original records/documents be removed and replaced by certified copies. It was agreed to bring the draft circular to the attention of the IMO/ILO Joint Working Group on the Fair treatment of Seafarers.

Transfer of class-related matters
The MSC approved, subject to MEPC's concurrent decision, a draft MSC/MEPC circular on Guidelines for Administrations to ensure the adequacy of transfer of class-related matters between recognized organizations (ROs).

Deficiencies in hydrographic surveying and nautical charting worldwide
The MSC agreed an MSC circular to include a note by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) highlighting deficiencies in hydrographic surveying and nautical charting worldwide and their impact on safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment. The circular reminds States of their obligations to establish hydrographic services in order to fulfil their obligations for surveying, charting and updating as specified in SOLAS chapter V. the MSC urged States to take action to remedy the situation.

List of Circulars and resolutions

Resolutions adopted  
Resolution MSC.194(80) Adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended
Resolution MSC.195(80) adoption of amendments to the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International Safety Management (ISM) Code)
Resolution MSC.196(80) Adoption of amendments to the International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities (International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code)
Resolution MSC.197(80) 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.198(80) Adoption of amendments to the format and guidelines for the maintenance of the Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) (resolution A.959(23))
Resolution MSC.199(80) Adoption of amendments to provision of radio services for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) (resolution A.801(19))
Resolution MSC.200(80) Adoption of amendments to the revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances

Circulars approved by MSC 80

MSC circulars  
MSC/Circ.1002/Corr.1 Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for fire safety
MSC/Circ.1154 Guidelines on training and certification for company security officers
MSC/Circ.1155 Guidance on the message priority and the testing of ship security alert systems
MSC/Circ.1156 Guidance on the access of public authorities, emergency response services and pilots onboard ships to which SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code apply
MSC/Circ.1157 Interim scheme for the compliance of certain cargo ships with the special measures to enhance maritime security
MSC/Circ.1158 Unified interpretation of SOLAS chapter II-1
MSC/Circ.1159 Guidelines on the provision of stability-related information for bulk carriers
MSC/Circ.1160 Manual on loading and unloading of solid bulk cargoes for terminal representatives
MSC/Circ.1161 Guidance on training for fast rescue boats launch and recovery teams and boat crews
MSC/Circ.1162 General principles and recommendations for knowledge, skills and training for officers on wing-in-ground (WIG) craft operating in both displacement and ground effect modes
MSC/Circ.1163 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.1164 Promulgation of information related to reports of independent evaluation submitted by 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 Parties are giving full and complete effect to the relevant provisions of the Convention
MSC/Circ.1165

Revised guidelines for the approval of equivalent water-based fire extinguishing systems for machinery spaces and cargo pump rooms

MSC/Circ.1166 Guidelines for a simplified evacuation analysis for high-speed passenger craft
MSC/Circ.1167 Functional requirements and performance standards for the assessment of evacuation guidance systems
MSC/Circ.1168 Interim guidelines for the testing, approval and maintenance of evacuation guidance systems used as an alternative to low-location lighting systems
MSC/Circ.1169 Unified interpretations to SOLAS chapter II-2
MSC/Circ.1170 Application of SOLAS regulation II 2/15 for lubricating oil and other flammable oil arrangements for ships built before 1 July 1998

MSC/Circ.1171

Closure of Inmarsat-E services by Inmarsat Ltd.

MSC/Circ.1172 Identification of passenger ships, other than ro-ro passenger ships, which should benefit from being equipped with the emergency medical kit/bag (EMK)
MSC/Circ.1173 Adoption of amendments to the IAMSAR Manual
MSC/Circ.1174 Basic safety guidance for oceanic voyages by non-regulated craft
MSC/Circ.1175 Guidance on shipboard towing and mooring equipment
MSC/Circ.1176 Interpretations to SOLAS chapters II-1 and XII
MSC/Circ.1177 Interpretations to the 2000 HSC Code
MSC/Circ.1178 Unified interpretations of SOLAS regulations XII/4.2 and XII/5.2
MSC/Circ.1179 Deficiencies in hydrographic surveying and nautical charting worldwide and their impact on safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment

Other circulars

CSC/Circ.134 Guidance on serious structural deficiencies in containers
LL.3/Circ.162 Unified interpretations of the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, and the 1988 LL Protocol and its amendments
SN/Circ.234/Corr.1 Routeing measures other than traffic separation schemes
STCW.6/Circ.7 Amendments to Part B of the Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code

1The IIWG includes the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), the International Chamber of Shipping Limited (ICS), the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA), the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) and the International Group of P&I Clubs.


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