Security issues, bulk carrier safety top agenda at IMO safety meeting
issues and bulk carrier safety are high on the agenda of IMO's Maritime Safety
Committee (MSC), which meets for its 76th session from 2 to 13 December, concurrently
with a Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security.
The MSC meeting
will take place at IMO Headquarters in London from 2 to13 December 2002, under
the chairmanship of Mr Tom Allan from the United Kingdom, with the Diplomatic
Conference on Maritime Security opening on Monday 9 December and running alongside
the MSC, with both meetings scheduled to finish on Friday 13 December.
The MSC is expected to establish a Working group on Maritime Security which
will consider proposed draft amendments to SOLAS chapters V and XI; a proposed
draft International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code; and proposed
draft Conference resolutions. The results of the discussions, together with
consideration of submissions from Member Governments and international organizations,
will be put forward to the Committee itself and to the Conference on Maritime
Piracy and armed robbery against ships
The MSC will be invited to consider issues relating to piracy and armed robbery
at sea, in the context of discussions relating to maritime security in general.
The latest statistical data including reports of incidents of armed robbery
and piracy at sea are expected to be reviewed as well as the report of the third
assessment mission and regional meeting on piracy and armed robbery against
ships for Central and West African countries (Accra, Ghana, 25 and 26 March
2002). Progress on convening regional meetings to promote the case of regional
co-operation to tackle piracy and armed robbery will be reviewed, including
an update on the United Nations open-ended Informal Consultative Process on
Oceans and the Law of the Sea
Bulk carrier safety
The Committee is expected to establish a working group to review submissions by
Governments and international organizations on the various formal safety assessment
(FSA) studies on bulk carrier safety which are now completed. The Committee will
also consider new SOLAS regulations for adoption.
Bulk carrier safety - FSA studies outcome
The Committee is expected to review the preliminary list of 25 recommendations
for decision-making established at the last session on the basis of FSA studies
to date, with a view to drawing up a definitive list of recommendations for decision-making
which will then be referred to the appropriate sub-committees for preparing the
necessary regulatory action.
The recommendations for decision?making include those issues which merit further
consideration and the results of a cost-effectiveness assessment emanating from
an international collaborative FSA study. The items for consideration have been
grouped under a number of headings:
Includes issues such as double hull and side-skin construction, improved coatings,
steel repair standards, corrosion margins of hold frames, forecastles, bulwark/breakwater
structures, ballast system capacity, protection of foredeck fittings, strength
and corrosion control of hold frames, coating of internal side skins.
Includes hatch cover re-design and/or reinforcement, fore deck fittings, hatch
cover access/closed indicators.
Includes water ingress alarms, provision of immersion suits, lifeboats.
Includes terminal interface improvement, risk based ESP (Enhanced Survey Programme)
targeting, PSC (Port State Control) training, weather routeing, improved loading/stability
information, making the BC Code mandatory and incorporating a Bulk Carrier
Endorsement for officers' qualifications, early implementation of SOLAS Chapter
safety - SOLAS amendments
The Committee will also consider for adoption draft amendments to chapter XII
(Additional Safety Measures for Bulk Carriers) of the International Convention
for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended to require the fitting
of high level alarms and level monitoring systems on all bulk carriers, in order
to detect abnormal water ingress. The recommendation for the fitting of such
alarms was first highlighted during the meeting of the Working Group on Bulk
Carrier Safety held during the MSC's 74th session in December 2001, following
on from recommendations of the United Kingdom Report of the re-opened formal
investigation into the loss of the mv Derbyshire.
The proposed new
draft regulation 12 on Hold, ballast and dry space water ingress alarms would
require the fitting of such alarms on all bulk carriers regardless of their
date of construction.
In addition, a
proposed new regulation 13 on Availability of pumping systems would require
the means for draining and pumping dry space bilges and ballast tanks any part
of which is located forward of the collision bulkhead to be capable of being
brought into operation from a readily accessible enclosed space.
safety - Load Lines revision
The Committee and Bulk Carrier Safety Working Group are expected to discuss
the outcome of the work on the revision of the technical regulations of the
1966 Load Lines Convention by the Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines
and on Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF).
A number of issues
under the Load Lines revision have particular relevance for bulk carrier safety,
for inclusion in Annex B to the 1998 Load Line Protocol, including those relating
to hatch cover design environmental criteria in a proposed regulation 16-1 (Hatch
covers) and a proposed new bow height formula.
The expanded Committee will consider, for adoption, draft amendments to the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended,
to chapters II-1, II-2, III and XII and to the INF Code.
spaces in cargo areas of oil tankers and bulk carriers - the draft revised
regulation 12-2 in SOLAS chapter II-1 (Construction - structure, subdivision
and stability, machinery and electrical installations), Part B (Subdivision
and stability), is intended to ensure that vessels can be properly inspected
throughout their lifespan, by designing and building the ship to provide suitable
means for access. Without adequate access, the structural condition of the
vessel can deteriorate undetected and major structural failure can arise.
The regulation would require each space within the cargo area to be provided
with an appropriate 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. Associated
draft Technical provisions for means of access for inspections have been prepared
and these would be mandatory under the new regulation.
control - automation systems - The proposed draft amendment to SOLAS chapter
II-1 (Construction - structure, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical
installations), would add a new paragraph to Regulation 31 - Machinery control
to require automation systems to be designed in a manner which ensures that
threshold warning of impending or imminent slowdown or shutdown of the propulsion
system is given to the officer in charge of the navigational watch in time
to assess navigational circumstances in an emergency.
(Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction) - The amendments
concern references to the IMDG Code and reflect amendments to SOLAS chapter
VII (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) adopted in May 2002 which make the International
Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) mandatory.
- Life-saving appliances and arrangements - The proposed draft amendments
to Regulation 26 - Additional requirements for ro-ro passenger ships, requires
liferafts carried on ro-ro passenger ships to be fitted with a radar transponder
in the ratio of one transponder for every four liferafts. The regulation will
be made applicable to existing ships as well as new ships.
alarms for bulk carriers - the proposed draft new regulations in SOLAS
chapter XII - (Additional Safety Measures for Bulk Carriers) are draft regulation
12 on Hold, ballast and dry space water ingress alarms and a new proposed
regulation 13 on Availability of pumping systems (see Bulk Carrier safety
to the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear
Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on board Ships (INF code)
- The amendments in the sections on definitions and application reflect
amendments to SOLAS chapter VII (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) adopted in May
2002 which make the IMDG Code mandatory.
Places of refuge
The Committee will be invited to note the progress report on the draft Guidelines
on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance. Two draft resolutions prepared
by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) will be put forward for submission
to the 23rd IMO Assembly scheduled to be held in November 2003, pending further
work by the NAV Sub-Committee at its 49th session next year.
The draft Assembly
resolutions include a set of Guidelines which state clearly what actions should
be taken by ships' Masters, coastal States and Flag States in cases where ships
are in need of assistance. They also recommend the establishment by coastal
States of Maritime Assistance Services (MAS) to be mobilized in relevant cases.
They have been designed to provide a framework by which Governments will be
able to assess each case on its merits and make the most appropriate decisions.
IMO's work on places
of refuge followed the aftermath of the incident involving the fully laden tanker
Castor which, in December 2000, developed a structural problem in the
Mediterranean Sea. Following the incident, IMO Secretary-General William O'Neil
suggested that the time had come for the Organization to undertake, as a matter
of priority, a global consideration of the problem of places of refuge for disabled
vessels and adopt any measures required to ensure that, in the interests of
safety of life at sea and environmental protection, coastal States reviewed
their contingency arrangements so that such ships are provided with assistance
and facilities as might be required in the circumstances.
The recent sinking
of the Prestige has further highlighted the issue.
The Committee will review ongoing work in a number of Sub-Committees relating
to the safety of large passenger ships. The Committee is undertaking a global
consideration of safety issues pertaining to these ships.
of the revised STCW Convention
The list of Parties deemed to be giving full and complete effect to the provisions
of the revised Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping
for Seafarers (STCW) 1978, as amended, is set to be updated when IMO Secretary-General
William O'Neil submits his report on those countries whose evaluations have
been completed since the previous MSC meeting.
The MSC will be
invited to publish the names of any countries that now qualify to be added to
- new draft guidelines set for approval
The Committee will consider new draft guidelines to help improve co-operation
between flag States and other substantially interested States in marine casualty
investigation. The draft guidelines were drafted by the Sub-Committee on Flag
State Implementation (FSI) during its 10th session.
reports are a crucial element in any legislative action to enhance safety and
environmental protection and in identifying a "compelling need" for
new legislation as established in resolution A.500(XII).
The draft Interim
Guidelines to assist flag States and other substantially interested States to
establish and maintain an effective framework for consultation and co-operation
in marine casualty investigations stress the responsibility of States
to co-operate in carrying out casualty investigations and take into account
specific provisions of the Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and
Incidents (Assembly resolution A.849(20) as amended by resolution A.884(21))
as a basis for a global framework of consultation and effective co-operation.
The proposed guidelines
include basic recommendations for a functioning authority for casualty investigation
which is prepared to co-operate with authorities of other substantially interested
States and stress the responsibility of flag States to conduct casualty investigations
as required by International Law (references: UNCLOS article 94; SOLAS 74 regulation
I/21; MARPOL 73/78 articles 4, 8 and 12; Load Line Convention article 23).
New and amended
ships routeing measures and mandatory ship reporting systems
The MSC will be invited to consider the adoption of the following new and amended
ships routing measures which were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation
(NAV) at its 48th session in July 2002 (with entry into force six months after
adoption, except as mentioned below):
Separation Schemes (TSSs)
New traffic separation schemes (TSSs) in the southern Red Sea, Off Cape La
Nao and Off Cape Palos.
to existing Traffic Separation Schemes (TSSs)
Amendments to the existing TSSs "In the Gulf of Finland", "Bay
of Fundy and Approaches" and "In the Strait of Bab-el Mandeb"
other than TSSs
Recommended routes Off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, including recommended
tracks and a precautionary area for the Southern Red Sea.
the Recommendation on navigation through the entrances to the Baltic Sea (to
be implemented on 1 December 2003), including the proposed new recommendation
on navigation through the Gulf of Finland traffic.
ship reporting systems
Two mandatory ship-reporting systems in the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Finland) and
in the Adriatic Sea. The new mandatory ship reporting in the Gulf of Finland
will be implemented on 1 July 2004.
* * *
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.
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