Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC) - 18th Session, 16-20 September 2013

SOLAS amendments to require verification of container weights agreed by Sub-Committee
Draft amendments to SOLAS chapter VI to require mandatory verification of the gross mass of containers were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid cargoes and Containers (DSC) when it met for its 18th session, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for approval with a view to subsequent adoption.
The Sub-Committee also agreed related draft guidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo. The draft guidelines will also be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for approval.
The draft amendments would add new paragraphs to SOLAS regulation VI/2 Cargo information to require the shipper of a container to verify the gross mass of container, and to ensure that the verified gross mass is stated in the shipping document. The packed container should not be loaded onto the ship if the verified gross mass has not been provided or obtained. 
The gross mass of containers shall be verified by either weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified equipment; or by weighing all packages and cargo items and adding the tare mass (mass of an empty container) to the sum of the single masses.
The Sub-Committee agreed that an exemption to the requirements would apply when containers carried on a chassis or trailer are driven on or off a ro-ro ship engaged in short international voyages.
New SOLAS requirements for atmosphere testing instruments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a new draft SOLAS regulation XI-1/7 on Atmosphere testing instrument for enclosed spaces, to require ships to carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments, capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide, prior to entry into enclosed spaces.
The Sub-Committee also agreed a draft MSC circular on Guidelines to facilitate the selection of portable atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed spaces as required by SOLAS regulation XI-1/7, for submission to MSC 93 for approval.
Draft consequential amendments to the Code for the construction and equipment of mobile offshore drilling units (1979, 1989 and 2009 MODU Codes) were also agreed.
Draft schedule for iron ore fines agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft individual schedule for iron ore fines, to be included in the
next set of amendments (03-15) to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, as well as a revised schedule for iron ore, intended to address the dangers relating to liquefaction of iron ore fines.
The Sub-Committee also agreed draft amendments to appendix 2 to the IMSBC Code for the inclusion of new test procedure for determining the transportable moisture limit (TML) for iron ore fines.
A draft DSC circular on Early implementation of the draft amendment to the IMSBC Code relating to the draft schedule for iron ore fines was also agreed. The draft circular  invites SOLAS Contracting Governments to implement the draft individual schedule for iron ore fines, the draft amendment to the individual schedule for iron ore and the new test procedure  for iron ore fines ahead of the expected date of entry into force of the IMSBC amendments (1 January 2017).
Draft amendment 37-14 to IMDG Code agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed, in principle, to draft amendment 37-14 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and supplements, and instructed the editorial and technical group to finalize the amendments.
The amendments update the IMDG code, including harmonization with the latest UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and amendments to reflect and harmonize with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive material, 2012 Edition.
Recommendations for draft Code for cargo transport units packing agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed recommendations relating to the draft non-mandatory IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for packing of cargo transport units (CTU Code), for forwarding to the IMO/ILO/UNECE Group of Experts, which meets in November in Geneva (Switzerland). 
It is anticipated that the the draft CTU Code, as finalized by the Group of Experts, would then be submitted to MSC 93 for approval. 
Approved Continuous Examination Programmes (ACEP) database developed by BIC
The Sub-Committee noted that the Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal (BIC) had developed a pilot database ( for tracking Approved Continuous Examination Programmes (ACEP). It was agreed, in general, that the pilot BIC database should be developed as a global ACEP database. The Sub-Committee noted that BIC members would bear the associated costs.