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Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), 100th session


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Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), 100th session, 3-7 December 2018, at IMO Headquarters in London.

 Special events: MSC 100

MSC 100 special session 3 December  - A special event to commemorate 100 sessions of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). 


  • Technology progression of maritime autonomous surface ships Kevin Daffey, Director Ship Intelligence and Engineering & Technology – Commercial Marine, Rolls-Royce plc (Download presentation)
  • Human element in shipping – Are seafarers indispensable? Branko Berlan, ITF Accredited Representative to IMO (Download presentation)
  • Smart marine ecosystem approach Timo Koponen, Vice President, Processing Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Business (Download presentation)

Panel discussion moderated by Dr. Tom Allan, former Chair of MSC  

Photos here

IMO video - MSC 100 - Shaping maritime safety and security


 MSC 100th session

Regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships

The MSC will continue the scoping exercise to look at how the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) may be introduced in IMO instruments.

The Committee will consider the report of a correspondence group, which was tasked with testing of the framework and methodology for the scoping exercise. A working group is expected to be established during the session.  It is anticipated that the framework for the scoping exercise will be further developed and finalized.   

The Committee is also expected to consider proposals related to the development of interim guidelines for MASS trials.

Goal-based standards and safety level approach
Following the adoption of Goal-based ship construction standards for bulkers and oil tankers (GBS) and the successful initial verification of 12 Recognized Organizations by IMO GBS audit teams, MSC will consider the final report of the audit team that conducted the first maintenance of verification audit in order to ensure continued conformity of the rules with the GBS.

The Committee will also consider the initial verification audit report of a further recognized organization, Türk Loydu.

The experience gained in conducting GBS audits has highlighted the need to update the procedural requirements guiding the audits and MSC is expected to finalize draft amendments to the Revised guidelines for verification of conformity with goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers; as well as draft Interim guidelines for development and application of IMO goal-based standards safety level approach.  

A GBS Working Group is expected to be established. 

Approval of revised guidelines on fatigue 
The MSC is expected to approve revised IMO Guidelines on Fatigue, which have been thoroughly reviewed and updated by the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 5), taking into account the latest research studies.

The Guidelines provide information on the causes and consequences of fatigue, and the risks it poses to the safety and health of seafarers, operational safety, security and protection of the marine environment. The aim is to assist all stakeholders to contribute to the mitigation and management of fatigue.

IMO has considered the issue of fatigue for several decades, adopting Assembly resolution A.772(18) on Fatigue factors in manning and safety, in 1993. This was followed by the development of comprehensive Guidance on fatigue mitigation and management (MSC/Circ.1014), which was issued in 2001.

Safety of ships in polar waters

The Committee is expected to establish a working group to further consider how to move forward with developing mandatory and/or recommendatory measures for ships operating in polar waters but not currently covered by the Polar Code.

The Polar Code is mandatory for certain ships under the SOLAS and MARPOL Conventions. SOLAS Chapter V (safety of navigation) applies to all ships (with some specific exceptions). Otherwise, SOLAS does not apply to some categories of vessels, including cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage; pleasure yachts not engaged in trade; and fishing vessels (sometimes termed “non-SOLAS ships”).

Sulphur 2020 limit  
The Committee will be invited to consider submissions concerning the potential need for guidance and advice related to possible safety issues relating to the implementation of the 0.50% limit of the sulphur content of fuel oil (outside emission control areas). The new 0.50% limit (reduced from 3.50% currently) on sulphur in ships' fuel oil, which will be in force from 1 January 2020 under IMO's MARPOL treaty, will greatly benefit the environment and human health.

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) in October, having considered the related outcome of the Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI (ISWG-AP 1) held in July, approved ship implementation planning guidance and Guidance on best practice for fuel oil suppliers.

The MEPC invited MSC 100 to consider the outcome of the intersessional meeting concerning the safety implications associated with the use of low-sulphur fuel oil and take action, as appropriate, noting the initiative of industry organizations to develop industry guidance and possibly training materials.

Adoption of amendments
The MSC is expected to adopt the following amendments:

  • Draft amendments to update the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2011 (2011 ESP Code), including a series of technical and editorial revisions, as well as revisions related to criteria for grooving corrosion and various updated tables and diagrams.
  • Draft amendments to the Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (SPS Code), including a revised chapter 8 on life-saving appliances; a requirement for special purpose ships to comply with the provisions of chapter IV of SOLAS; and a revised Form of Safety Certificate for Special Purpose Ships and Record of Equipment for Special Purpose Ship Safety Certificate (Form SPS).

Approval of draft amendments, guidance and guidelines
The MSC is expected to:

  • Approve draft amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code), with a view to subsequent adoption. The draft amendments include draft revised chapters 17 (Summary of minimum requirements), 18 (List of products to which the Code does not apply), 19 (Index of products carried in bulk) and 21 (Criteria for assigning carriage requirements for products subject to the IBC Code), as well as draft new paragraph 15.15 (Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) detection equipment for bulk liquids). Further draft amendments are consequential to draft amendments to MARPOL Annex II.
  • Approve draft amendments to the LSA Code focused on manually-launched "rescue boats that are not one of the lifeboats" on cargo ships.  The draft amendments (to paragraph also include a requirement for means to bring the rescue boat against the ship’s side and hold it so that persons can be safely embarked.
  • Approve draft Revised guidelines for the approval of fixed water-based fire-fighting systems for ro-ro spaces and special category spaces (to update the guidelines in MSC.1/Circ.1430). The revision relates in particular to the position of sprinklers or nozzles, to ensure adequate performance, and to reliable control of fixed water-based fire-fighting systems.
  • Instruct relevant sub-committees to consider relevant parts of the draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel prepared by CCC 5. The detailed interim guidelines provide requirements for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment, taking into account to the nature of the fuels involved.
  • Consider draft amendments to the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code)  in particular proposed modifications to regulation 9.5.6 relating to the leakage detection requirements for pipes carrying liquefied fuel
  • Approve draft interim guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service. The interim guidelines are aimed at ensuring the safety of ships carrying or fuelled by LNG, by specifying the requirements for the utilization of high manganese austenitic steel in the design and fabrication of cargo and fuel tanks complying with the International Gas Carrier (IGC) and IGF Codes.
  • Approve Interim guidance for conducting the refined MHB (CR) corrosivity test related to draft amendments to section of the IMSBC Code concerning test for metals.

 MSC 100 - media accreditation

General information:
Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), 100th session, 3-7 December 2018

All 174 IMO Member States and three Associate Members, as well as SOLAS Contracting Governments which are not IMO Member States, may attend. Intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations with consultative status are also invited. Media may attend plenary sessions but working group sessions are closed.

Accreditation and media access
Media wishing to attend plenary sessions but who do not have current and valid IMO media accreditation must download and complete the media accreditation form and return it to media @ with a letter of assignment.

Already accredited?
If already accredited (and in possession of an IMO media pass) please email media @ if you wish to attend. Your existing pass will be activated.

  • Any media attending the Committee will be required to show a valid form of ID.
  • Plenary sessions only are open to accredited media.  

Morning, 09.30-12.30 (break: 11:00-11:30); afternoon, 14.30-17:30 (break 16:00-16:30)
Final report and working group reports are expected to be approved on Friday 7 December.  

Working groups

The following working and drafting groups may be established (working groups are closed sessions). The working and drafting groups are expected to report back to the plenary session on Thursday 6 or Friday 7 December.  

  • Working Group on Goal-based Standards;
  • Working Group on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships;
  • Working Group on Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters;
  • Drafting Group on Amendments to Mandatory Instruments

Agenda and timetable
Please email media @ for agenda and timetable.