Revised Load Lines Annex set for adoption at IMO safety meeting
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Safety Committee - 77th session: 28 May-6 June 2003
revised Annex B to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol and amendments to the enhanced
survey programme for bulk carriers and oil tankers are expected to be adopted
when IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets at the Organization's London
Headquarters for its 77th session from 28 May to 6 June.
Other major issues on the MSC agenda include 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.
Load Lines Protocol
The MSC (including Parties to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol) is expected to adopt
what amounts to a comprehensive revision of the technical regulations of the
original Load Lines Convention.
The proposed 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
The amendments, when adopted, would not affect the 1966 LL Convention and would
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.)
At its last session the MSC agreed to the drafting of an Assembly resolution
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 expanded MSC is expected to adopt amendments to chapter V on Safety of Navigation
of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974,
The proposed 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 draft proposed
definition states that "length of a vessel means her length overall".
Proposed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation V/28 on Records of navigational
activities add a new paragraph on daily reporting. The proposed draft amendments
would 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 proposed draft amendments is to address the responsibilities
of ship operators to provide information of benefit to those responsible for
mounting rescue operations.
the enhanced survey programme for tankers and bulk carriers
In addition, the MSC is expected to adopt 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 MSC will consider issues facilitating the implementation of the security
measures adopted by the 2002 SOLAS Conference on Maritime Security.
The MSC is expected to establish a working group to continue the work on bulk
carrier safety. The working group will consider the outcome of the Sub-Committee
on Ship Design and Equipment which, at its 46th session in March, looked in
detail at a significant number of bulk carrier safety-related issues which had
been referred to it by the previous MSC.
Amongst other issues, the MSC at this session will be invited to adopt the draft
MSC resolution on Performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers
and the draft MSC resolution on Application of IACS Unified Requirements S26,
S27, S30 and S31 to bulk carriers. It will also be invited to approve a number
of bulk carrier safety-related circulars and consider preliminary draft amendments
to SOLAS chapter XII, concerning the introduction of basic definitions of bulk
carrier; bulk carrier of single-side skin construction; bulk carrier of double-side
skin construction; and double-side skin, for the purpose of that chapter, when
deciding on further action regarding the general review of SOLAS chapter XII.
Places of refuge
The MSC will review the issue of places of refuge, including 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 will receive the outcome of discussions
on the draft resolutions from the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search
and Rescue (COMSAR) and the Legal Committee.
The MSC is expected to provide further relevant instruction to NAV 49, which
meets in June-July, in order for the drafts to be submitted to the Assembly
in November-December 2003.
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 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 the list.
Model Audit Scheme
The MSC will consider 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 MSC will convene the Joint MSC/Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)/Technical
Co-operation Committee (TCC) Working Group on the voluntary IMO Model Audit
Scheme, which will be tasked with the following:
clear objectives and clear principles for the voluntary IMO Model Audit
a work plan, including technical co-operation activities, capacity-building
and financing for the achievement of the objectives of the Scheme;
on the objectives and principles developed, identify:
areas/sectors of the competent authority of a Member State which should
be audited and which would provide an objective appraisal of it, taking
into account that different Member States may have different ways of discharging
their responsibilities; and
IMO instruments containing safety, security and environmentally-critical
responsibilities and obligations of a Party thereto which could be audited
for the attainment of the objectives of the Scheme;
as far as practicable, a framework document of the Scheme; and
a report of the Joint Working Group for the Committees and the 90th session
of Council (June 2003) and the 22nd extraordinary session of the Council
(November 2003, prior to the 23rd session of the IMO Assembly in November
2003), as appropriate, including pertinent recommendations to bring the
Scheme into operation.
Flag State implementation
The MSC will review 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 will review ongoing work on large passenger ship safety.
Piracy and armed
robbery against ships
The MSC will review the reports on incidents of piracy and armed robbery against
ships submitted to IMO and consider proposals to develop a co-ordinated plan
of action for future activities to tackle piracy and armed robbery against ships
through regional agreements.
IMO's ant-piracy project 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.
Since then, IMO has convened one sub-regional meeting for West and Central Africa
(MOWCA) for the purpose of considering the conclusion of regional agreements
on the prevention and suppression of acts of piracy and armed robbery against
ships, and is in the process of organizing similar meetings in other regions
of the world.
The Committee will also consider plans concerning technical assistance, in agreement
with, and on the request of, countries concerned, within the Organization's
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (email@example.com).