On 17 May 2019, MEPC 74 adopted resolution MEPC.319(74) in order to amend the special, operational and minimum requirements in Chapters IV, V and VI of the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code). These amendments are expected to apply from 1 January 2021.
The key mandatory requirements of the amendments to the BCH Code are the following:
- Ships carrying bulk liquids that are prone to hydrogen sulphide formation must have H2S detection equipment. Toxic vapour detection instruments complying with 3.11.1 of the Code for testing for H2S may be used to meet this requirement;
- Regarding operational requirements, the amendment of the Chapter V of the Code requires mandatory prewash in specific areas for substances which are designated as persistent floaters with a high viscosity and/or high melting point.
The amendments to the BCH Code must have been accepted on 1 July 2020 unless, before that date, not less than one third of the Parties or Parties, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 50% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet, have communicated to the Organization their objection to the amendments.