MSC 90 Outcome

MSC 90 was held in London from 16-25 May 2012 under the chairmanship of Deputy Director-General Christian Breinholt. At the ninetieth session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 90) the following items have been discussed and relevant decisions have been taken: Piracy, Passenger ship safety, Navigation bridge visibility, Fishing vessel safety, The Polar Code, Development of new ship standards and the use of risk analyses.

A brief Description of decisions taken are presented below:

 SOLAS II-1/8-1 System capabilities after a floating casualty on passenger ships: New passenger ships with a length of 120 m or more, or having three or more main vertical zones are required to install a stability computer or to have access to shore-based support for the purpose of providing necessary operational information to the Master to achieve the safe return to port in case of flooding. This requirement applies to new passenger ships keel laid on or after 1 January 2014.

SOLAS III/20 Operational readiness, maintenance & inspections: A simulated launching is accepted as a substitute for regular operational testing of free-fall lifeboats (free-fall testing), which are operated after an over-hauling (at least once every five years). MSC.1/Circ.1411 has since been issued to promote the early implementation of this amendment. Mentioned amendments to be applied on or after 1 January 2014.

SOLAS V/14 Ships manning: The Administration is required to establish appropriate minimum safe manning levels following a transparent procedure, taking into account the guidelines adopted as Resolution A. 1047(27) in view of securing the effectiveness of Principles of Safe Manning. Application on or after January 2014.

SOLAS VI/5-2 Blending of bulk cargoes: The blending of liquid bulk cargoes and the producing of new products by a chemical reaction onboard ship during voyages are prohibited. Application on or after 1 January 2014.

SOLAS VII/4 Carriage of dangerous goods documents: Requirements regarding transport documents for packaged dangerous goods are clarified and consistency with the IMDG Code are ensured. Application on or after 1 January 2014.

SOLAS XI-1/2 Enhanced Surveys:  Editorial changes were adopted in accordance with the changes incorporated in A.744(18) regarding the enhanced survey of bulk carriers and oil tankers to “ESP Code (International Code on the Enhanced Program of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers & Oil Tankers)”. Application on or after 1 January 2014.

1988 Load Line Protocol: In view of the congestion of eastbound and westbound vessels with the summer load line at the South end of South Africa waters, amendments to the 1988 LL Protocol to enlarge the summer zones (current Southern Winter Seasonal Zone of 35 nautical miles from the shore will be shifted 50 nautical miles further southward at the South end of South Africa waters) were adopted to secure the safe navigation in the subject area. Application on or after 1 January 2014.

FSS Code: Chapter 6 and Chapter 8 have been revised regarding the requirements for fixed foam fire extinguishing systems and the clarification of the availability of dry pipe sprinkler systems at control stations where water may cause damage to equipment, respectively. Application of the amendments refers to fire extinguishing systems installed onto new vessels keel laid on or after 1 January 2014.

IMDG Code were adopted, in which 11 new items are added based on the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (17th revised
edition) and specific dangerous goods are clarified to which relaxation provisions regarding transport documents are applicable. While the amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2014, Administrations may implement them in whole or in part on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2013.

Furthermore, the following guidelines were developed during MSC90:

  1. Unified interpretations based on UI SC251 were approved clarifying that the “bilge injection system” stipulated in SOLAS II-2/48.3 requirements for protection against flooding does not include emergency bilge system.
  2. Unified interpretations based on IACS UI SC246 were approved, accepting for vessels to conduct sea trials not at the deepest seagoing draught, on the condition that the estimation of load and torque on steering under the full load condition is derived, to the satisfaction of the Administration or RO.
  3. Unified interpretations based on IACS UI SC239 regarding SOLAS II-2/3.2.3, which requests the “A” class insulation on board should be provided by the same way as that of approval test, and on IACS UI FTP5 regarding Chapter 3 of the FTP Code, which requests the details of approval test condition should be mentioned in the test report, were approved.
  4. Unified interpretations based on IACS UI SC240 were approved regarding SOLAS II-2/, which clarifies the ventilation system of battery rooms may be omitted in the special cases.
  5. Unified interpretations were approved, clarifying that with regard to vessels carrying cargoes which require continuous ventilation under the IMSBC Code, the installation of a closing device is not prohibited in view of fire extinguishing, while a closing device is not required for the opening of ventilation. (IACS UI SC89)
  6. Unified interpretations based on IACS UI SC243 were approved regarding the access to controls for closing of ventilation of ro-ro spaces.
  7. Unified interpretations based on IACS UI SC249 (Corr.1) were approved, clarifying the process to verify that materials which contain asbestos, prohibited under SOLAS regulation II-1/3-5, are not installed on ships by reviewing asbestos-free declarations and supporting documentation for the structure, machinery, electrical installations and equipment covered by the SOLAS Convention, which should be provided to the Administration or recognized organization by shipyards, repair yards, and equipment manufacturers.

IACS unified interpretations on the SOLAS convention can be found HERE.

For further reading regarding decisions taken on MSC.90 please refer to the following documents

Sources: IMO, NKK

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