IMO Model Course on Safe Handling and Transport of Solid Bulk Cargoes validated

The safety of ships transporting bulk cargoes is based on proper implementation of IMO rules, while training is also crucial. For this reason, a new IMO Model Course on Safe Handling and Transport of Solid Bulk Cargoes was validated by the Sub-Committee.

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The course will give emphasis on the mandatory measures for handling and transport of solid bulk cargoes, described in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.

The course will cover all solid bulk cargoes, including those which could liquefy when moisture limits are reached and cause instability of the ship. These cargoes require that special attention is paid to testing and recording moisture limits prior to loading.

New and alternative fuels - interim safety guidelines on methyl/ethyl alcohol agreed

In addition, there is increased focus on new fuels and fuel blends, which are being developed in order to ensure compliance with the 0.50% sulphur limit, starting from 1 January 2020, and IMO 2030 and 2050 CO₂ emission targets, as set out in the IMO GHG strategy.

Matters regarding newer types of fuel are also considered under the agenda item on the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code). The IGF Code, which entered into force in 2017, aims to limit the risk to ships, their crews and the environment, given the nature of the fuels involved. It has initially focused on LNG, but work is now underway to consider other relevant fuel types.

Moreover, draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel were finalised, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for approval.

Progress was also made in developing draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using fuel cell power installations.

Furthermore, the Sub-Committee agreed to establish amendments to the IGF Code to include safety provisions for ships using low-flashpoint oil fuels safety. Work will continue in a correspondence group.

The Sub-Committee further agreed to develop interim guidelines on safety provisions for ships using LPG fuels.

In the meantime, the Sub-Committee approved in principle, draft amendments to certain regulations of the IGF Code, regarding specific requirements for ships using natural gas as fuel.

Also, draft 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, were agreed for submission to the MSC.

Next set of draft amendments to the IMDG Code agreed

Additionally, the Sub-Committee agreed the next set of draft amendments (40-20) to the IMDG Code, which will be submitted to MSC 102 for adoption, after finalization by the E&T group.

Draft amendments include those in relation to:

  • Segregation requirements for alcoholates;
  • Segregation in relation to liquid organic substances;
  • Classification and transport of carbon, following incidents involving the spontaneous ignition of charcoal;
  • Classification of UN portable tanks for multimodal transport;
  • Provisions for labels.

The Sub‑Committee established a correspondence group as well, to review maritime special provisions in in chapter 3.3 of the IMDG Code. This aims to identify those allowing exemptions from the full application of the Code, and recommend a way forward. The review aims to mitigate issues regarding non-declaration and misdeclaration of dangerous goods.

Development of next set of draft amendments to IMSBC Code

Progress was also made in the development of the next set of draft amendments to the IMSBC Code, which will be further considered by the Editorial and Technical (E&T) group in the spring of 2020. This set of amendments (06-21) to the IMSBC Code will contain updates to individual schedules, proposed new individual schedules and other amendments.

Continuing, the Sub-Committee discussed the necessity for a distinction between the phenomena of liquefaction and dynamic separation for Group A cargoes, stating that dynamic separation only applied to bauxite. The issue was referred to the E&T group for further discussion ahead of the next CCC 7 session.

In June 2019, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted a consolidated edition of the IMSBC Code, including all amendments until now, since the IMSBC Code was first adopted in 2008, as well as amendment 05-19.

Draft amendments to CSS Code on weather-dependent lashing agreed

The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) to annex 13, regarding weather-dependent lashing, in order to ensure the highest level of cargo securing, considering the expected weather and other factors.

Inspection programme for containers

The Sub-Committee also made progress in revising and updating the guidance on inspection programmes for cargo transport units (CTUs), including expanding the current guidelines for inspections related to transport of dangerous goods at sea, in order to include all types of cargoes carried in cargo transport units.

The Sub-Committee encouraged Member States to conduct CTU inspections and report their findings to the Organization.

Finally, a correspondence group was instructed to develop the draft amendments to the inspection programmes, review the draft circular to ensure it is up-to-date, and consider contamination and pest control matters with regard to CTU inspections taking into account the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code).