Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC) - 16th Session, 19-23 September 2011

SOLAS amendments to mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills agreed
Draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/19 to mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC), when it met for its 16th Session. The draft amendments will be forwarded for review by the Sub-Committees on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) and then finalized by DSC 17 before submission to the Maritime Safety committee (MSC) for adoption.
The draft amendments are aimed at reducing fatalities linked with enclosed space entry and would require crew members with enclosed space entry or rescue responsibilities to participate in an enclosed space entry and rescue drill at least once every two months.
Each enclosed space entry and rescue drill should include the  checking and use of personal protective equipment required for entry; checking and use of communication equipment and procedures; checking and use of rescue equipment and procedures; and instructions in first aid and resuscitation techniques.
Draft amendment 36-12 to IMDG Code agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendment 36-12 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods  (IMDG)  Code and supplements, including harmonization of the Code with the amendments to the UN Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods, seventeenth revised edition, with a view to  adoption by MSC 90.
The amendments include the addition of a new section 2.9.4  Lithium batteries, new sub section Transport of dangerous goods used as a coolant or conditioner; incorporation of revised MARPOL Annex III; revised section 2.9.3 Environmentally hazardous substances (aquatic environment); replacement of chapter 3.4 Dangerous goods packed in limited quantities and a revised part 7 Provisions concerning transport operations.
The Sub-Committee also agreed related draft MSC circulars on Amendments to the Emergency Response Procedures for ships carrying dangerous goods (EmS Guide); conversion table (record of amendments) for part 7 requirements concerning transport operations; and illustrations of segregation of cargo transport units on board containerships and ro-ro ships.
Draft amendment 02-13 to the IMSBC Code agreed
Work on draft amendment 02-13 to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, was initiated, with a view to finalization at DSC 17, before submission to the MSC for adoption.
During the session, the sub-committee agreed draft amendments to the code’s provisions on application and implementation; certificates of test; sampling procedures and complementary test procedures for determining the possibility of liquefaction. The ongoing work on the draft amendments includes revision of some existing schedules for cargo carriage and development of new schedules for specific cargoes.
Carriage of iron ore fines circular agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed an interim revised draft DSC circular on carriage of iron ore fines, reiterating the dangers of liquefaction associated with carriage of iron ore fines and noting that the Sub-Committee has established a correspondence group to develop schedules for iron ore fines for inclusion in the IMSBC Code, with particular reference to the phenomenon of liquefaction in some types of iron ore fines. Until the new schedule is finalized, competent authorities, shippers and Masters should take into account the relevant section of the IMSBC Code.
Amendments to CSC convention agreed
The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972, to enable the previously-adopted 1993 amendments to enter into force under the tacit acceptance procedure. The amendments concern the information contained on the CSC approval plate and amend some of the test loads and testing procedures required by the Convention.
The 1993 amendments, adopted by the IMO Assembly, require ratification by two-thirds of Contracting Parties to enter into force and the required ratifications have not been received.  By amending the texts so that they come under the technical annex, the amendments may be adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee and enter into force under the tacit acceptance procedure. 
It was agreed that the amendments to implement all 1993 amendments should enter into force simultaneously with the modifications of the 2010 CSC amendments, which will enter into force on 1 January 2012.  
CTU inspections guidance agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC cricular on inspection programmes for cargo transport units (CTUs) carrying dangerous goods, which includes guidance is intended to provide Member Governments with adequate inspection guidelines and procedures to prompt substantial compliance with IMO standards and is applicable to all types of CTUs.
Timber deck cargoes code amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed modifications to the draft Code of safe practice for ships carrying timber deck cargoes, for submission to the IMO Assembly in November for adoption.