The IMO subcommittee held its 49th session in London February 20-24. The following issues, among others, were addressed: Protective coatings; Condition Assessment Scheme; Amendments to the Enhanced Survey Programme for bulk carriers and oil tankers; Passenger ship safety Amendments to the HSC and DSC Codes; Emergency towing; Inspection and survey requirements for accommodation ladders; Revision of guidelines for handling oily wastes in machinery spaces of ships; and Unified Interpretations.
Protective coatings - performance standard agreed
A draft Performance standard for protective coatings for dedicated seawater tanks and for double side-skin spaces of bulk carriers, was agreed in general. The draft standard has several unresolved issues, but will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee for final consideration. The draft performance standard is based on specifications and requirements which intend to provide a useful coating life of 15 years.
Amendments to the CAS agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) for oil tankers, which provides guidance for Administrations to consider in determining the validity of a Statement of Compliance when a change of flag, recognized organization, ship ownership or ISM Code company occurs during the course of a CAS survey or after the issue of a Statement of Compliance to an oil tanker; as well as draft amendments to the CAS and related draft Guidelines on assessment of the residual fillet weld between deck plating and longitudinals.
Amendments to the Enhanced Survey Programme for bulk carriers and oil tankers
The Sub-Committee reviewed the work in developing proposed draft amendments to the enhanced survey programme (ESP) Guidelines regarding surveys of double-hull bulk carriers. A correspondence group was established to prepare concrete proposals for draft amendments to the ESP Guidelines, based on the relevant IACS Unified Requirements, concerning: procedural requirements for surveyor monitoring of thickness measurements; procedures for hull surveys of double-skin bulk carriers; restrictions on the use of portable ladders by surveyors carrying out close-up surveys of the cargo hold shell frames of capesize bulk carriers; and requirements for the provision and maintenance of as-built drawings, covering items such as machinery installations, electrical installations and control systems.
Passenger ship safety
A number of draft amendments to SOLAS, to contribute to the major MSC work program on passenger ship safety, were agreed. The focus is on the prevention of a casualty from occurring and improved survivability so that, in the event of a casualty, persons can stay safely on board as the ship proceeds to port.
Amendments to the HSC and DSC Codes
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the 1994 and 2000 High-Speed Craft (HSC) Codes and the Code of Safety for Dynamically Supported Craft (DSC Code). The amendments are intended to bring the Codes into line with current provisions in SOLAS for ships. It was agreed that the application of the amendments would be limited to new craft constructed on or after their entry into force, unless specifically stated otherwise, which is similar to the application SOLAS amendments.
The Sub-Committee agreed in principle to draft SOLAS amendments to revise the existing regulation II-1/3-4 Emergency towing arrangements on tankers and replace it with a proposed revised regulation on Emergency towing procedures on ships, which would require all ships to carry on board details of their emergency towing procedure, to include drawings showing possible emergency towing arrangements, an inventory of equipment that can be used for towing, means and method of communication and sample procedures to facilitate emergency towing operations. It was agreed to split the date of entry into force into two phases: one date for new ships, existing cargo ships of not less than 20,000 dwt, and existing passenger ships; and another date for existing cargo ships of less than 20,000 dwt two years later.
Inspection and survey requirements for accommodation ladders
The Sub-Committee discussed proposals for a draft new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-9 on means of entering and leaving ships and related guidelines for inspection and survey for accommodation and pilot ladders, as well as a proposal for a draft new SOLAS regulation on Gangways and accommodation ladders. There was general agreement on the need to discuss inspection and survey requirements for accommodation and pilot ladders further at the next session. In the meantime, the Sub-Committee agreed to a draft MSC circular on Means of embarkation on and disembarkation from ships, for submission to MSC 81 for approval. The Circular invites Administrations to review and update existing national requirements to provide for safe means of access to and from ships and for survey and inspection provisions.
Revision of guidelines for handling oily wastes in machinery spaces of ships
The Sub-Committee agreed draft Revised Guidelines for systems for handling oily wastes in machinery spaces of ships including draft Guidelines for integrated bilge water treatment systems (IBTS), for submission to the Marine Environment Protection Committee for approval. The revised guidelines on IBTS replace "100 ppm" with "15 ppm" so as to be consistent with the discharge requirements for equipment used for bilge water and oily waste.
The Sub-Committee agreed to a draft MSC circular on Amendments to unified interpretations to SOLAS chapters II-1 and XII approved by MSC/Circ.1176, for submission to MSC 81 for approval. The unified interpretations covered include those related to water level detectors installed on bulk carriers in compliance with SOLAS regulation XII/12; access hatchways and ladders for surveys of the underdeck of oil tankers in relation to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-6, paragraph 3.2; and fuel oil service tank arrangements in relation to SOLAS regulation II-1/26.11.