Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC) - 17th Session, 17-21 September 2012

Cargo liquefaction issues addressed by Sub-Committee
Progress was made in addressing the problems associated with liquefaction of cargoes, particularly nickel ore and iron fines, by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC) when it met for its 17th Session. Liquefaction of such cargoes is believed to have contributed to a number of very serious casualties. 
The Sub-Committee agreed to the draft amendment 02-13 to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, including a nickel ore schedule, and relevant draft guidelines. The draft texts will be considered by the Editorial and Technical (E&T) Group 18, meeting directly after the Sub-committee session, for finalization and submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), for adoption at its 92nd session in June 2013.
With regard to iron ore fines, the Sub-Committee discussed the report of a correspondence group, providing a new individual schedule for iron ore fines. However, it was felt that it was important to await the outcome of significant research being carried out in Australia and Brazil on carriage of iron fines and for this research to provide input into the final schedule. 
The correspondence group was therefore instructed to finalize the draft schedule and test methods for iron ore fines, for discussion at the next DSC session, with a view to incorporating the iron ore fines schedule in the next set of amendments (03-15) to the IMSBC Code. 
In the meantime, the Sub-Committee agreed to update DSC.1/Circ.66 on carriage of iron ore fines, so that it would continue to be applied until the finalization of the schedule. The circular explains the dangers of liquefaction of iron ore fines and advises competent authorities, shippers and Masters to take into account the relevant section of the IMSBC Code.
The Sub-Committee also invited Member States, inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO to make available to the Organization detailed technical information on incidents or casualties resulting from liquefaction. 
Enclosed space entry and rescue drills: draft SOLAS amendments finalized
Draft amendments to SOLAS to mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills were finalized by the Sub-Committee. The draft amendments to regulation III/19 will now be submitted to MSC 91 (November 2012) with a view to approval and subsequent 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.
The Sub-Committee agreed to draft consequential amendments to a number of related Codes for consideration by MSC 91. 
The Sub-Committee also agreed to request the MSC to include, in the agenda of the Sub-Committee, an item on mandating the carriage of atmosphere testing instruments on board ships, with a recommendation to prioritize developing SOLAS carriage requirements for oxygen meters.
Draft amendments to CSC Convention agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed to draft amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972, for submission to MSC 91 for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption. The draft amendments incorporate amendments to the CSC Convention adopted in 1993 by resolution A.737(18), which have not yet entered into force. 
Draft Guidelines for development of an approved continuous examination programme (ACEP), were also agreed, providing recommendations to help expedite the development and approval of examination programmes, in accordance with CSC 1972, as amended.
Correspondence group to further work on verifying container weight
The Sub-Committee considered proposed draft amendments to SOLAS chapter VI to require mandatory verification of gross weight of containers and agreed further work was needed to develop the draft amendments, along with related draft guidelines regarding verified container weights.
 A correspondence group was established to further the work and report to the next session. 
Work begins on draft amendment 37-14 to IMDG Code  
The Sub-Committee began developing the draft amendment 37-14 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and supplements, and instructed the editorial and technical group to further the work, taking into consideration the outcome of the UN Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Sub-Committee, with regard to the eighteenth revised edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations.