Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), 5th session 10-14 September 2018 (opening address)


(10 to 14 September 2018)

Good morning, distinguished delegates,

It is a pleasure for me to welcome you all to London and to the fifth session of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers.

This is the first meeting following the summer break here in the northern hemisphere and I hope that you had a nice and relaxing recess from the IMO meeting schedule and have returned with your batteries recharged, ready to take on the new challenges that lie ahead.

Before turning to the important items on your agenda for this week, I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about this year’s World Maritime Day theme. As you all know, this year IMO celebrates 70 years since the IMO Convention was adopted and the World Maritime Day theme "IMO 70: Our heritage: better shipping for a better future" provides the opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the past and look forward to the future, with a focus on the challenges for maritime transport in maintaining a continued and strengthened contribution towards sustainable growth for all. This year’s World Maritime Day will be celebrated at IMO Headquarters on 27 September and I would encourage you to use this occasion to promote the theme, and reflect and showcase how the Organization has developed and adapted over the years as a crucial player in the global supply chain, while staying true to its overall mission – to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.

Distinguished delegates,

Coming back to the fifth session of your Sub-Committee, I would like to reflect on the important milestone the Sub-Committee has reached with the development of the IGF Code. With this, the necessary regulatory framework has been strengthened and the confidence for new orders of LNG-fuelled ships has grown, with new plans and financing for bunkering infrastructure projects dramatically increased. I would encourage you all to intensify your efforts to further develop the IGF Code, in particular, to include specific requirements for low-flashpoint fuels other than LNG. In the meantime, as the 0.50% limit for the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, comes into effect from 1 January 2020, the work of this Sub-Committee is especially relevant and I welcome your work on the safe use of alternative fuels on ships as this continues to provide important means for the shipping industry to reduce atmospheric pollution originating from ships and to improve the health of residents in port cities in particular. 

Distinguished delegates,

I would now like to turn to the agenda for CCC 5 and highlight some key issues among the various items.

With regard to the work related to the requirements for fuel cells, you will consider further development of the related draft amendments to the IGF Code. I would like to urge you to reach a decision on the way forward so that the finalization of the related safety provisions can be achieved in the near future.

As for your task related to technical provisions for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuels, I encourage you to consider prioritizing the finalization of the interim guidelines, possibly at this session, taking into account that methyl/ethyl alcohol is already used as fuel in a number of ships.

As I mentioned earlier, it is important that there are options for the use of additional alternative fuels in maritime transport and all of your work related to fuel cells and methyl/ethyl alcohol will provide feasible alternative technologies for the shipping industry to meet its sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon reduction targets. I am sure that your Sub-Committee will also carefully consider the implications and potential risks associated with the use of low-flashpoint fuels and develop practical ways forward for the future.

Another very important item on your agenda for this week is the suitability of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service. Significant progress has already been made on this issue by a Correspondence Group and I am confident that your Sub-Committee will take the appropriate action to prepare the interim guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service. 

Distinguished delegates,

With regard to the IMSBC Code, I appreciate your detailed deliberation of the consolidated edition of the Code and urge the Sub-Committee to conclude its work for the next amendment 05-19 to the Code, with a view to adoption at MSC 101.

Concerning solid bulk cargoes, I encourage you to decide on the way forward for the reclassification of existing individual schedule for Ammonium Nitrate Based Fertilizer (non-hazardous) at this session. As instructed by MSC 99, your Sub-Committee will also discuss one of the important findings of the Global Bauxite Working Group, the new phenomenon of dynamic separation, and consider possible amendments to the definition of "Group A" in the IMSBC Code.

Taking into account the volume of documents submitted under this agenda item, i.e. 41, I would also urge you to expedite this work and finalize the amendments to the IMSBC Code as scheduled, bearing in mind accidents associated with solid bulk cargoes.

Following the adoption of amendment 39-18 to the IMDG Code by MSC 99, I would advise the Sub-Committee to provide instructions to the Editorial and Technical Group to initiate draft amendment 40-20 to the IMDG Code for the next two-year revision cycle.

It is also the responsibility of your Sub-Committee this week to consider the important matter of amendments to the CSS Code with regard to weather-dependent lashing. I encourage you to prepare at this session a first draft of the calculation method for determining the reduction factor for accelerations due to weather-dependent lashing, and to facilitate the operation of cargo securing without affecting the safety of personnel or ships.

Distinguished delegates,

It remains for me to encourage you to proactively work together to tackle the heavy and complex workload of this session, evidenced by the 108 documents submitted, in the limited time available, and to support your experienced Chair, Mr Xie Hui of China, ably supported by the Vice-Chair, Ms. Gudula Schwan of Germany, and the staff of the Secretariat, to make sound, balanced and timely decisions, in the usual IMO spirit of cooperation. 

As you may know, next December we will be celebrating the 100th session of the Maritime Safety Committee, which is certainly going to be a meaningful and significant event. Several years ago, when I was in your position as a delegate, I had to deal with the same matters that you will be discussing this week: I know how difficult they are, but also how they important. Today they are even more relevant, therefore you should really be proud of the great contribution that your sub-committee provides to the work of this Organization. I truly appreciate your expertise and devotion and hope to see as many of you at the celebratory event on the occasion of MSC 100.

With this, I wish you every success in your deliberations. Last but not least, I look forward to you all joining me and my Secretariat colleagues at my welcome reception in the Delegates' Lounge after the closure of today's session.

Thank you.