IMO MSC 92 Decisions Summary

IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) met at the Organization’s London Headquarters for its 92nd session from 12 to 21 June 2013. Among others the MSC adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) relating to passenger drills, it also discussed recommendations arising from the Costa Concordia incident and considered matters related to piracy and armed robbery against ships and other items submitted by the IMO sub-committees.

2013.08.27 - IMO MSC 92 Decisions Summary

Passenger drill amendments. The MSC adopted amendments through, MSC.350(92)to SOLAS regulation III/19 to require musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure, instead of “within 24 hours”, as stated in the current regulations. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2015.

Interim measures for passenger ships updated in wake of Costa Concordia recommendations. Following discussion in an MSC working group on passenger ships safety, the Committee approved revised Recommended interim measures for passenger ship companies to enhance the safety of passenger ships (to be issued as MSC.1-Circ.1446/Rev.2). More specifically the following have been agreed:

  • Include new recommendations relating to harmonization of bridge navigational procedures across a fleet or fleets.
  • Securing of heavy objects, meaning that procedures to ensure securing of heavy objects should be incorporated into the safety management system.
  • Stowage of life-jackets (including stowage of additional life jackets near muster stations).
  • Extending the use of video for passenger emergency instruction notices.
  • Following voyage planning guidance in the case of any deviation.

On specific matters relating to the recommendations arising from the investigation into the Costa Concordia, the MSC invited Italy to provide more information regarding the recommendation for double-skin for protecting watertight compartments containing equipment. Moreover, the MSC endorsed the view that the role of shoreside management is critical to the proper development and function of an effective Safety Management System and invited Member States to consider the mandatory application of evacuation analysis to non ro-ro passenger ships.

The MSC also revised and updated the long term action plan on passenger ship safety.

Apart from the above the MSC also adopted the following:

  • Amendments to SOLAS regulation III/19 through MSC.350(92), on emergency training and drills, to mandate enclosed-space entry and rescue drills, which will require crew members with enclosed-space entry or rescue responsibilities to participate in an enclosed-space entry and rescue drill at least once every two months. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2015 and are applicable to SOLAS ships, and 1994 and 2000 High Speed Crafts (refer also to MSC.351(92)MSC.352(92)MSC.357(92)MSC.358(92)MSC.360(92)).
  • Amendments to SOLAS regulation XI-1/1 through MSC.350(92)MSC.356(92) to make mandatory the Code for recognized organizations (RO Code).The RO Code was also adopted through MSC.349(92). The expected entry into force date of 1 January 2015.
  • Incorporate amendments to the CSC Convention, through MSC.355(92), which were adopted in 1993 by resolution A.737(18), including amendments relating to the safety approval plate and to the approval of existing and new containers. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2015.
  • Amendments to the ISM Code through MSC.353(92), including a new requirement for the Company to ensure that the ship is appropriately manned.
  • Amendments to the IMSBC Code through MSC.354(92), including a new nickel ore schedule. The MSC also approved related circulars on Early implementation of amendments to the IMSBC Code (refer to MSC.1-Circ.1452). Guidelines for the submission of information and completion of the format for the properties of cargoes not listed in the IMSBC Code (refer to MSC.1-Circ.1453) and guidelines for developing and approving procedures for sampling, testing and controlling the moisture content for solid bulk cargoes which may liquefy (refer to MSC.1-Circ.1454). Moreover a revised List of solid bulk cargoes for which a fixed gas fire-extinguishing system may be exempted or for which a fixed gas fire-extinguishing system is ineffective, has been approved.

Apart from the above the MSC approved for future adoption a series of amendments from which the most interesting are:

  • Draft amendments to SOLAS to require the installation of inert gas systems on board new oil and chemical tankers of 8,000 dwt and above, carrying low-flashpoint (below 60°C) cargoes.
  • New draft SOLAS regulation II-2/20-1 Requirement for vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas for their own propulsion.
  • Draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/29 concerning requirements for steering gear trials.
  • Draft amendments to the STCW Code, to make the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) and IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory.
  • Draft MSC resolution on Requirements for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats, as well as associated draft SOLAS amendments to make these requirements mandatory, and also to approve, in principle, a draft MSC circular on Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats, reflecting recommendatory provisions.
  • Draft amendments to: SOLAS regulation II-2/13.4 mandating additional means of escape from machinery spaces; to SOLAS regulations II-2/3 and II-2/9.7, relating to the requirements for the fire resistance of ventilation ducts; and to SOLAS regulation II-2/10, concerning fire protection requirements for on-deck cargo areas for new ships.
  • Draft revised International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (the IGC Code).
  • Guidance related to the to the establishment and testing of long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) Data Centres (DCs) and the operation of the LRIT system.
  • Approved the List of certificate and documents required to be carried on board ships.
  • Approved a CSC circular on Guidelines for development of an Approved Continuous Examination Programme (ACEP) and approved amendments to the Revised Recommendations on harmonized interpretation and implementation of the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972, as amended.

Concerns over piracy and armed robbery off west and central Africa. The Committee expressed its clear concern over the level of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of West and Central Africa and endorsed the actions of the Secretariat over the last few years to address this. As a result the MSC welcomed the development of the new Code of Conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in West and Central Africa, which was adopted recently, at a Ministerial meeting in Benin, and is expected to be opened for signature at the forthcoming meeting of Heads of State in Cameroon. The Secretary-General announced the establishment of a new multi-donor trust fund to support an expanded programme of capacity-building activities in west and central Africa.

Finally the MSC approved a series of MSC.1 circulars, from which the most interesting are:

  • MSC.1-Circ.1455. Guidelines for the approval of alternatives and equivalents as provided for in various IMO instruments. The Guidelines are intended for use of both Administrations and submitters when dealing with an approval request for an alternative and/or equivalent design and serve to provide guidance on a variety of aspects requiring consideration when applying such a process.
  • MSC.1-Circ.1456. Unified interpretations of SOLAS Chapter II-2 and the FSS And FTP codes.
  • MSC.1-Circ.1457. Unified interpretations of the 2000 HSC code, As amended by resolutions MSC.175(79) and MSC.222(82).
  • MSC.1-Circ.1458. Unified interpretation of the revised guidelines for the approval of equivalent water-based fire-extinguishing systems for machinery spaces and cargo pump rooms (MSC.1-Circ.1165).
  • MSC.1-Circ.1459. Unified interpretation of the SOLAS convention and the IBC and IGC codes.
  • MSC.1-Circ.1461. Guidelines for verification of damage stability requirements for tankers. The Guidelines consist of two parts. Part 1 refers to fuidelines for preparation and approval of tanker damage stability calculations. This part should be applied to oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers constructed on or after 14 June 2013. Part 2 refers to guidelines for operation and demonstration of damage stability compliance. This part should be applied to all oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers.
  • MSC.1-Circ.1462. List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board Ships, 2013. The circular lists only the certificates and documents that are required under IMO instruments and it does not include certificates or documents required by other international organizations or governmental authorities.
  • MSC.1-Circ.1463. Application Of SOLAS regulations XII-3, XII-7 and XII-11. More specifically the circular refers to the meaning of the term “Periodical Survey” in respect of regulations XII-3, XII-7 and XII-11.
  • MSC.1-Circ.1464. Unified interpretations SOLAS chapters II-1 AND XII of the technical provisions for means of access for inspections (MSC.158(78)) and the performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers (MSC.145(77)).
  • MSC.1-Circ.1465. Unified interpretations of the performance standard for protective coatings for dedicated seawater ballast tanks in all types of ships and double-side skin spaces of bulk carriers (MSC.215(82)).
  • MSC.1-Circ.1466. Unified interpretation on fall preventer devices (MSC.1-Circ.1392 and MSC.1-Circ.1327)
  • MSC.1-Circ.1467. Unified interpretation Of SOLAS regulation II-126.3
  • MSC.1-Circ.1468. Unified interpretation of paragraph 1.1.4 Of The LSA code.

The full IMO report on MSC 92 decisions can be found by clicking HERE.

Sources: IMO, InterManager, DNV

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