ADDRESS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (delivered by Mr Andrew Winbow, Assistant Secretary-General)
AT THE OPENING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND CONTAINERS
(14 to 18 September 2015)
Good morning distinguished delegates and welcome to the second session of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers. The Secretary-General is away so I will make a few opening remarks on his behalf.
Firstly, I appreciate very much your understanding and cooperation on the logistical arrangements we have had to make for this session of your Sub-Committee. As some of you are aware, the system in the Main Hall has been causing problems recently and disrupting meeting proceedings. If you have looked into that room now you will see the extensive work on-going as we are replacing the whole simultaneous interpretation and sound system which is a large task and not possible to complete during the two-month summer break – hence the need to hold your plenary sessions in this room with an overflow in room 10 next door.
I should put on record our thanks to the host Government for providing timely financial support to enable this work to be done in advance of the upcoming meetings of the 29th session of the Assembly.
Turning now to your meeting, at MSC 95, the IGF Code was adopted – due in no small part to the significant contribution of this Sub-Committee, thus providing the industry with the opportunity to move safely towards using cleaner fuels. I welcome the work done so far by the Sub-Committee on the second phase of the development of the IGF Code. It is important to provide options for additional alternative fuels, such as methyl/ethyl alcohol, but also important to carefully consider the implications and potential risks associated with the use of low-flashpoint fuels. I am sure your Sub-Committee will develop workable ways forward for the future.
On solid bulk cargoes, I appreciate the work of the E&T Group on the IMSBC Code and recognize the large volume of documents submitted to this session leading toward the next amendment of that Code. In this context, you will be aware of the recent very serious casualty and loss of life on M/V Bulk Jupiter which was carrying bauxite in bulk and rapidly sank off the coast of Vietnam, costing the lives of 18 seafarers. I thank the Bahamas for the submission of the thorough investigation report which is posted on GISIS. I urge the Sub-Committee to address, as a matter of urgency, the safety concerns that have emerged with regard to the transport of bauxite in bulk given its potential to liquefy under certain circumstances.
On the classification and declaration of solid bulk cargoes as harmful to the marine environment, HME substances, I note that a number of proposals have been submitted on the development of mandatory requirements for classification and declaration of solid bulk cargoes as HME despite the relatively short period between MEPC 68 and CCC 2 and encourage the Sub-Committee to progress the matter and advise MEPC and MSC accordingly.
On the IMDG Code, I again appreciate the work of the E&T Group for its detailed deliberation of draft amendment 38-16 to the IMDG Code, and urge the Sub-Committee to conclude its work for the next amendments to the IMDG Code with a view to adoption at MSC 96.
On a new issue you will be considering on the safety requirements for carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk, given the increasing importance of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, I encourage the Sub-Committee to progress the work under this output in order to facilitate its safe transport in bulk at sea.
Turning to containers, I wish to express appreciation for the work done so far by the Sub-Committee, and I urge the Sub-Committee to conclude its consideration of the ACEP database in order to finalize the matter at this session, and its consideration of the material for promoting a culture of safety in the supply chain, in order to finalize the matter at this session and complete the work on this output.
The work on both of these issues has been well advanced by the correspondence groups.
And finally, I wish the Sub-Committee and its Chairman, Mr. Xie, a successful meeting and before concluding my remarks, I would like to invite you all to join the usual drinks reception, which will be held at the end of the day today in the delegates lounge.