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

(17 to 21 September 2012)

Good morning, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the 17th session of the Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers.
I hope that you all had a good summer break.  We are already in mid-September, with DSC 17 starting the post-summer activities this week, to be followed by various other meetings and events.  Next week, we celebrate World Maritime Day and I hope to see many of you at the reception.  Then, we have MEPC 64 in the first week of October; the Diplomatic Conference in South Africa from 9 to 11 October, which I urge you to attend; the 109th regular session of the Council from 5 to 9 November; and MSC 91 from 26 to 30 November.  The second half of the year will be very busy, so it will pass very quickly.  I would appreciate your cooperation in all aspects of IMO’s activities.  I personally aim at IMO being open, fair, efficient, creative, indeed a forward-looking UN agency dealing with maritime matters.
I address you first this morning because, as you may recall, at your last session no elections were conducted for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the year 2012.  Therefore, after I conclude my short opening remarks, you will have to elect your Chairman and Vice-Chairman for this year.
I will now move onto the business of the Sub-Committee.  On the issue of amendments to the IMSBC Code and supplements (item 4), I particularly appreciate the work of the E&T Group on the IMSBC Code and the correspondence group, for their work on amendment 02-13 to the IMSBC Code.  Taking into account the huge volume of documents submitted under this item (50), I would encourage the Sub-Committee to expedite its work and finalize the amendment to the IMSBC Code as scheduled, bearing in mind the series of accidents apparently due to liquefaction.
Concerning amendments to SOLAS to mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills (item 5), I also appreciate the work done so far and urge the Sub-Committee to finalize the matter at this session.
Pertaining to development of measures to prevent loss of containers (item 7), mandatory weighing of containers has become an important issue with major repercussions, and, hence, I would advise the Sub-Committee to consider the matter carefully and to develop a proper implementation plan for any mandatory measures.
With respect to amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972 (item 10) and development of guidance for Approved Continuous Examination Programmes (ACEP) (item 8), I would urge you to finalize the draft amendments to the 1972 CSC at this session, since the 1993 amendment has yet to enter into force, together with the finalization of the guidance for ACEP.
In relation to the arrangement of working/drafting groups, the Council, at its 108th session, decided that the sub-committees meeting plans should be made on the basis of eight plenary sessions requiring interpretation, instead of 10 sessions.  This means the plenary will be held four days, i.e., Monday to Wednesday and Friday.  I understand that the Secretariat is proposing to have a working group on the IMSBC Code, bearing in mind the high volume of documents submitted under the item and also recognizing the need to discuss the issue of liquefaction in detail.