The 107th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 107) approved with a view to subsequent adoption, draft amendments to SOLAS chapter V with regard to the reporting of the loss of containers.
ontainers lost overboard present a serious hazard to navigation and safety at sea in general, in particular to recreational sailing yachts, fishing vessels and other smaller craft, as well as to the marine environment, according to the IMO.
The draft amendments on detection and reporting of lost containers developed by the CCC Sub-Committee are also relevant for the Organization’s work on addressing marine litter.
The draft amendments to SOLAS chapter V (Safety of navigation), address in particular regulation 31 (Danger messages) and would require the master of every ship involved in the loss of freight container(s) to communicate the particulars of such an incident to ships in the vicinity, to the nearest coastal State, and also to the flag State which would be required to report the incident to IMO.
The draft amendments also address regulation 32 (Information required in danger messages), specifying the information to be reported, including position, number of containers, etc.
Related draft amendments to the MARPOL Convention, under Article V (Reporting procedures), have also been developed, for approval and adoption by MEPC.
MSC also agreed a new holistic output on “Development of measures to prevent the loss of containers at seaʺ, with a target completion year of 2025, assigning the CCC Sub-Committee as the coordinating organ, in association with the SDC, NCSR, HTW and III Sub-Committees, as and when requested by the CCC Sub-Committee.
To remind, World Shipping Council’s recent report showed that 661 containers were lost at sea in 2022 alone while the average losses for the last three years was 2,301 containers per year (2020-2022).