Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 9), 23-27 January 2023 (closing remarks)


Delivered by Dr. Heike Deggim, Director, Maritime Safety Division, IMO

Mr. Chair, distinguished delegates and observers,

We are at the end of another successful session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction.

With SDC 8 having been a fully remote session, this has been your first session in a hybrid format. We have successfully used the new equipment and while there is room for improvement, which the Secretariat will follow up upon, I believe it has been a successful trial overall.

You have had very detailed deliberations on the items that were put before you. To this end, we can all afford to pause now for a few moments to look back, with a sense of satisfaction, on what has been achieved this week.

I would single out, from among the noteworthy achievements of this week, the finalization of the draft Revised guidelines for the reduction of underwater radiated noise from shipping. This is remarkable, given the large volume of input you had received in the correspondence group and during this session. MEPC 80 has been invited to approve the Revised Guidelines and the Correspondence Group that you have established today will need to discuss the next steps in order to ensure that ship underwater radiated noise will indeed be effectively reduced.

You also finalized:

  • draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-4, requiring ships of 20.000 GT and above to be fitted with emergency towing equipment; 

  • draft amendments to the 1979, 1989 and 2009 MODU Codes, prohibiting new installation of materials containing asbestos; and 

  • draft unified interpretations related to: mooring arrangement and equipment; pressure testing after a fire test for penetrations in watertight divisions; the SOLAS chapter II-1 amendments adopted at MSC 102 and MSC 103; and the 2008 Intact Stability Code.

Progress has also been made on the revision of the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for SOLAS chapter II-1 which, when completed, will provide a sound basis for novel designs deviating from the prescriptive requirements of SOLAS chapter II-1.

With respect to passenger ship safety and the SOLAS safe-return to port requirements and their interpretation, you have started to revise the Interim explanatory notes for the assessment of passenger ship capabilities after a fire or flooding casualty (MSC.1/Circ.1369).

All of this has been achieved under the able leadership of your new and very capable Chair, Mr. Erik Tvedt of Denmark, supported by your equally experienced Vice‑Chair, Mr. Jaideep Sirkar of the United States.  Their leadership skills have successfully guided us all through your constructive interventions and relevant technical comments.

I also wish to express sincere thanks to the Chairs of the working, experts and drafting groups we had at this session for their hard work. In particular:

  • Ms. Susini (Belgium)
  • Dr. Yoshida (Japan)
  • Ms. Poupaki (Germany)
  • Mr. Legathe (France)
  • Mr. Theocharis (Marshall Islands).

Thanks also go to the coordinators of the correspondence groups for their commitment, good-will and cooperation, enabling the progress of the Sub-Committee's work over the past year and, most importantly, to achieve consensus decisions at this hybrid session.

My appreciation also goes to the dedicated staff in the Maritime Safety Division, in particular the Subdivision for Marine Technology and Cargoes under the leadership of the Senior Deputy Director Mr. Westwood-Booth, and the Secretary of your Sub-Committee, Mr. Pristrom, supported by many Technical Officers from all of MSD, but also to the interpreters, who facilitated our communication greatly, and to all staff of the Conference Division, in particular those of the Documents and Conference Sections and the translators. All of them work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide the required professional support to meet your expectations.

 I would also like to wish your re-elected Chair, Mr. Tvedt of Denmark, and your long-standing and also re-elected Vice-Chair, Mr. Sirkar of the United States, all the best for the next meeting.

 In closing, I wish you all an enjoyable and very well-deserved weekend and, for those of you travelling home, safe travels.