The 96th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 96) was held at the headquarters of the IMO in London from 11 to 20 May. A summary of the outcome is given hereunder for your information.
1. Adopted mandatory requirements
Mandatory requirements were adopted as follows:
- Enforcement of MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1
Outline: MSC resolution on requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear was adopted. Amendments to SOLAS III/regulation 3 and III/regulation 20 to make the MSC resolution mandatory were also adopted.
Applied to: on or after 1 January 2020.
- Foam firefighting appliances for helicopter facilities
Outline: New chapter 17 of FSS Code which provides the specifications for foam firefighting appliances for the protection of helicopter facilities, and amendments to SOLAS II-2/regulation 18 to make the provisions mandatory were adopted.
Applied to: Ships constructed on or after 1 January 2020
- Evacuation analysis for passenger ships
Outline: Amendments to SOLAS II-2/regulation 13 to require an evacuation analysis for passenger ships were adopted.
Applied to: - ro-ro passenger ships
- passenger ships constructed on or after 1 January 2020 carrying more than 36 passengers.
- Water quality of automatic sprinkler
Outline: Amendments to chapter 8 of FSS Code to provide requirements on water quality to prevent internal corrosion and clogging of sprinklers were adopted.
Applied to: On or after 1 January 2020
- Amendments to IMDG Code
Outline: Amendments to IMDG Code to add requirements for transportation to dangerous goods list etc. were adopted.
Applied to: on or after 1 January 2018.
2. Approved mandatory requirements
Mandatory requirements were approved at this session, which are expected to be considered for adoption at MSC 97 in November 2016.
- Foam-type extinguisher required for boiler room
Amendments to SOLAS II-2/regulation 10.5, not to require foam-type extinguisher of at least 135L capacity in the boiler room which is protected by fixed water-based local application fire-extinguishing systems were approved.
- Amendments to SOLAS II-1 on subdivision and damage stability regulations
Amendments to SOLAS II-1 on subdivision and damage stability regulations to strengthen requirements for passenger ships safety, and in order to resolve the issues raised at the harmonization of passenger ship requirements, were approved.
- Requirements for fire integrity of wheelhouse window for ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk.
Amendments to paragraph 3.2.5 of the IGC Code were approved, for deletion of the provision that the wheelhouse windows facing the cargo area shall be constructed not less than “A-0” class.
3. GBS (Goal-Based Standards for the design and construction of new ships)
GBS of new ships for oil tankers and bulk carriers have been discussed since MSC 78 in 2004. At MSC 87 in May 2010, amendments to SOLAS to implement GBS were adopted.
GBS is applied to oil tankers and bulk carriers contracted for construction on or after 1 July 2016. Design and construction of these ships shall comply with rules deemed as compliant with GBS.
The verification audit on rules of IACS members were conducted between March 2014 and July 2015. In December 2015, IACS and its members submitted corrective action plans in response to the audit findings.
At this session, GBS verification audit reports and corrective action plans submitted by IACS were considered. As a result of the deliberation, it was confirmed that rules of IACS members comply with GBS. It was also confirmed that oil tankers and bulk carriers, which are contracted for construction on or after 1 July 2016 and constructed in compliance with these rules, should be deemed as compliant with GBS. IMO has published MSC.1/Circ.1518 to disseminate the results of MSC 96.
4. Approval of guidelines etc.
The following unified interpretations (UIs) and guidelines were approved during MSC 96.
Interpretation of materials for ducts (SOLAS II-2/18.104.22.168)
- MSC 96 approved an interpretation that a ventilation duct made of material other than steel may be considered equivalent to a ventilation duct made of steel, provided that the material is non-combustible and has passed a standard fire test in accordance with the FTP Code as non-load bearing structure for 30 minutes, following the requirements for testing "B" class divisions. This interpretation is not applied to those ducts that are explicitly required to be constructed of steel. (UI SC264)
- Interpretation of arrangements for fixed hydrocarbon gas detection systems (SOLAS II-2/22.214.171.124.1)
MSC 96 approved an interpretation that clarifies arrangements for fixed hydrocarbon gas detection systems in double-hull and double-bottom spaces of oil tankers. (UI SC268)
- Interpretation related to lifeboat release and retrieval systems (LRRS) (Paragraph 126.96.36.199 of the LSA Code)
MAS 96 approved an interpretation on mass of lifeboats for calculation of safety design factor for the assessment of corrosion resistant material, release and hanging off mechanisms. (UI SC 267)
- Interpretation related to general emergency alarm and public address system (SOLAS III/6.4 and III/6.5, Section 7.2 of the LSA Code)
MSC 96 approved an interpretation that clarifies requirements of the audibility (sound pressure level) and installation of general emergency alarm and public address system.
- Interpretation related to an additional indicating unit of fire detection and fire alarm systems in cargo control rooms (FSS Code Chapter 188.8.131.52.3)
MSC 96 approved an interpretation that a space in which a cargo control console is installed, but does not serve as a dedicated cargo control room (e.g. ship's office, machinery control room), should be regarded as a cargo control room, and therefore be provided with an additional indicating unit. (IACS UI SC271)
- Interpretation related to the steering gear test with the vessels not at the deepest seagoing draught (SOLAS II-1/29.3, 29.4)
MSC 96 approved an interpretation to establish conditions for ships which cannot achieve deepest seagoing draught at the trial. The interpretation allows vessels to be tested at a ballast draught and the rudder load and torque to be reliably extrapolated to obtain the loading and torque at the full draught condition. (UI SC246)
- Interpretation related to lightweight (SOLAS II-1/2.21, paragraph 2.23 of IS Code, HSC Code, MODU Code)
MSC 96 approved an interpretation that the weight of mediums stored on board for the firefighting systems (e.g. CO2,, dry chemical powder, foam concentrate etc.) shall be included in the lightweight and lightship condition. (IACS UI SC273)
- Guidelines for evacuation analysis
MSC 96 approved the revised "Guidelines for evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships (MSC.1/Circ.1238)".
5. Cyber Security
At previous session, it was pointed out on the importance of maritime cybersecurity on board ships, and the development of countermeasures on this issue.
At this session, BIMCO et al. submitted a document providing industry guidelines on cybersecurity on board ships in response to vulnerability of ships to cybersecurity risks. United States et al. submitted a document proposing the development of non-mandatory guidelines for cyber risk management to assist in protecting and enhancing the resiliency of cyber systems.
As a result of discussion, interim guidelines on maritime cyber risk management were approved. The guidelines stipulates functional elements that support effective cyber risk management, such as identification of systems that pose risks to ship operations, detection of cyber event in a timely manner, and protection/recovery of systems necessary for shipping operations etc.