The 105th session of the Maritime Safety Committee was held remotely from 20 to 29 April 2022, chaired by Mrs. Mayte Medina (United States). The Vice-Chair of the Committee, Mr. Theofilos Mozas (Greece), was also present.
The main technical outcomes from the Committee meeting are reported below.
A. Consideration and adoption of amendments to mandatory & non-mandatory instruments
The Committee adopted the following draft amendments to mandatory instruments.
Note: The term ‘Modernization of GMDSS’ wherever it appears in this report, relates to the outcome of NCSR work on modernization of GMDSS and related amendments to SOLAS II-1, III, IV and V, and the appendix (Certificates), the 1988 SOLAS Protocol, the 1994 and 2000 HSC Codes, the 1983 and 2008 SPS Codes and the 1979, 1989 and 2009 MODU Codes (which were finalized and approved at MSC 104) and also approval of the relevant performance standards, guidelines and guidance.
The main points addressed through this work item are:
(1) Definition of "Sea area A3" are modified to "a recognized mobile satellite service supported by the ship earth station carried on board" from "an Inmarsat geostationary satellite".
(2) The provisions in SOLAS regulation III/6 related to two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus and search and rescue locating devices (SART) have been relocated under SOLAS IV.
(3) The performance standards for the reception of maritime safety information and search and rescue related information by MF (NAVTEX) and HF, shipborne VHF radio installations, shipborne MF and MF/HF radio installations, Inmarsat-C ship earth stations, simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs)/VDRs, etc. were amended.
The Committee adopted the following draft amendments to non-mandatory instruments.
B. The Committee confirmed the contents of the following draft MSC resolutions, subject to editorial improvements, if any.
1. System performance standard for the promulgation and coordination of maritime safety information using high-frequency narrow-band direct-printing;
2. Performance standards for the reception of maritime safety information and search and rescue related information by MF (NAVTEX) and HF;
3. Provision of radio services for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS);
4. Performance standards for search and rescue radar transponders;
5. Performance standards for shipborne VHF radio installations capable of voice communication and digital selective calling;
6. Performance standards for shipborne MF and MF/HF radio installations capable of voice communication, digital selective calling and reception of maritime safety information and search and rescue related information;
7. Performance standards for Inmarsat-C ship earth stations capable of transmitting and receiving direct-printing communications;
8. Guidelines for the avoidance of false distress alerts;
9. Performance standards for survival craft portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus;
10. Amendments to the Performance standards for radiocommunication equipment (resolution MSC.80(70)); and
11. Performance standards for a shipborne integrated communication system (ICS) when used in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
C. Further, the Committee confirmed the contents of the following draft MSC circulars, subject to editorial improvements, if any.
1. Revised interim guidance for conducting the refined MHB (CR) test (MSC.1/Circ.1600), to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1600/Rev.1;
2. Lists 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 (MSC.1/Circ.1395/Rev.4), to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1395/Rev.5;
3. Revised emergency response procedures for ships carrying dangerous goods (EmS Guide) (MSC.1/Circ.1588/Rev.1), to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1588/Rev.2; and
4. Revised recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships applicable to the fumigation of cargo transport units (MSC.1/Circ.1361), to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1361/Rev.1
D. Measures to improve domestic ferry safety
The Committee adopted resolution on Model Regulations on Domestic Ferry Safety, and encouraged Member States to take accelerated measures towards the domestication and implementation of the model regulations and inform the Secretary-General in due course of any action taken in this regard.
E. Development of further measures to enhance the safety of ships relating to the use of fuel oil
The Committee approved draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2, on the reporting of confirmed cases where oil fuel suppliers have failed to meet the flashpoint requirements specified in SOLAS regulation II-2/4.2.1, with a view to adoption at MSC 106.
F. Development of a goal-based instrument for maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS)
The Committee approved the Road map for developing a goal-based Code for MASS, noting that the road map should be considered to be a living document, which may require regular updating and modification at the Committee's future sessions.
Further, the Committee, taking into account the proposal of the Chairs of the MSC and the LEG and FAL Committees to establish a joint group as soon as possible after C 127, agreed to the Working Groups recommendation to hold the first meeting of the Joint MSC/LEG/FAL Working Group on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) remotely from 6 to 8 September 2022, subject to concurrent approval by FAL 46 and C 127.
In considering the need to make progress inter-sessionally, the Committee established the MASS Correspondence Group with relevant terms of reference, which would report to MSC 107; and also requested the Coordinator of the MASS Correspondence Group to provide a verbal status report at MSC 106.
G. Carriage of cargoes and containers
The Committee approved MSC.1/Circ 1647 on Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using fuel cell power installations.
H. With regard to the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service, the Committee approved:
1. draft amendments to the IGC and IGF Codes, with a view to adoption at MSC 106;
2. MSC.1/Circ.1622 on Amendments to the Guidelines for the acceptance of alternative metallic materials for cryogenic service in ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk and ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels (MSC.1/Circ.1622); and
3. MSC.1/Circ.1599/Rev.2 on Revised guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service (MSC.1/Circ.1599/Rev.1).
I. The Committee approved MSC.1/Circ.1649 on Guidelines for the implementation of inspection programmes for cargo transport units and encouraged Member States and international organizations to implement them. In this regard, the Committee also approved the associated MSC.1/Circ.1650 on List of voluntary guidance on pest contamination.
J. The Committee approved MSC.1/Circ.1651 on Amendment to MSC.1/Circ.1625 on Unified interpretations of the IGC Code (as amended by resolution MSC.370 (93)).
K. Ship design and construction
a) The Committee approved the draft new SOLAS chapter XV on Safety measures for ships carrying industrial personnel, making the new draft International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel (IP Code) mandatory, with a view to adoption at MSC 106 for entry into force on 1 July 2024, as an exemption from the four-year SOLAS amendment cycle, as agreed by MSC 102.
b) The Committee approved, in principle, the draft MSC resolution on Adoption of the International Code of Safety for Ships carrying Industrial Personnel (IP Code), with a view to adoption in conjunction with the adoption of the associated SOLAS chapter XV.
c) The Committee approved MSC.1/Circ.1652 on Explanatory notes to the interim guidelines on the second generation intact stability criteria.
d) ‘The Committee approved draft amendments to the 2011 ESP Code, prepared by SDC 8, with a view to adoption at MSC 106.
e) The Committee approved MSC.1/Circ.1653 on Unified interpretation regarding timber deck cargo in the context of damage stability requirements, superseding MSC/Circ.988.
f) The Committee approved MSC.1/Circ.1654 on Unified interpretation on noise level limit in workshops on board ships, with the intention of protecting ships' crew from hearing damage.
g) The Committee considered draft amendments to MSC.1/Circ.1535/Rev.1 to clarify freeboard deductions for superstructures and trunks for type-B ships and subsequently approved MSC.1/Circ.1535/Rev.2 on Unified interpretations relating to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966
h) After consideration of the draft unified interpretations of SOLAS regulations II-1/5.4 and II-1/5.5 requiring amendments to the stability/loading information in conjunction with the alterations of lightweight, the Committee approved MSC.1/Circ.1362/Rev.1 on Unified interpretation of SOLAS chapter II-1.
i) The Committee adopted resolution MSC.188 (79)/Rev.1 on Revised performance standards for water level detectors on ships subject to SOLAS regulations II-1/25, II-1/25-1 and XII/12
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