In response to the heavy interest from Industry in the development of IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) new common rules, IACS Council agreed to extend the period for comments from Industry to 6 months in total. The last day for comments will be 31st December 2004. The two project teams have received over 3000 contributions from Industry. In order to fully evaluate all these inputs the Council has decided to postpone final approvaland publication of the rules until its meeting in June 2005 with the rules coming into force on 1st January 2006.
With this short postponement IACS Council will also be able to consider the implications of the debate at IMO at MSC 79 on the Goal Based Standards. IACS will publish two sets of rules, one for bulk carriers and one for tankers. Whilst there are distinct differences inherent between bulk carriers and tankers, sufficient harmonisation will have taken place prior to publication between the bulk carrier and tanker rules. However further harmonisation work and consideration of the feedback from Industry into the continuous updating of the rules will remain IACS priorities after initial implementation. IACS stated it is committed to meeting the Industry demands for robust ships through the timely publication and implementation of common rules.