The 107th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 107), 31 May to 9 June 2023, adopted new SOLAS as well as new STCW, LSA Code and IMSBC Code ammendments.
SC adopted a new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-13 that covers requirements for the application, design and construction, operation, inspection, testing and maintenance of onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches. Two related sets of draft guidelines for lifting appliances and anchor handling winches were approved, to support the implementation of the new SOLAS regulation.
The regulation is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2026.
Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters – Polar Code and SOLAS
MSC adopted a first set of amendments to the Polar Code, together with associated amendments to the SOLAS Convention, to incorporate new requirements concerning safety of navigation and voyage planning, applicable to fishing vessels of 24 m in length overall and above, pleasure yachts of 300 GT and above not engaged in trade and cargo ships of 300 GT and above but below 500 GT, operating in polar waters.
The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2026.
STCW Convention amendments related to electronic certificates
MSC adopted amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, regulation I/2 (Certificates and endorsements), and the corresponding section of the Seafarers’ Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code, related to electronic certificates. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2025.
MSC also approved an associated circular on Guidelines on the use of electronic certificates of seafarers.
International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code
MSC adopted amendments to the LSA Code related to ventilation requirements for totally enclosed lifeboats. The provisions should be applied to such lifeboats installed on or after 1 January 2029.
In this connection, MSC adopted associated amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life‑saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)) and approved circulars on: Revised standardized life-saving appliance evaluation and test report forms (survival craft); and Revised standardized life-saving appliance evaluation and test report forms (personal life-saving appliances).
International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code amendments
MSC adopted the latest set of amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, following finalization by the Editorial & Technical Group. As usual, these amendments were adopted in the form of a consolidated version of the whole IMSBC Code and will enter into force on 1 January 2025, with voluntary application from 1 January 2024.
The MSC also approved related circulars on: Guidelines for the submission of information and completion of the format for the properties of cargoes not listed in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code and their conditions of carriage; Guidelines for developing and approving procedures for sampling, testing and controlling the moisture content for solid bulk cargoes which may liquefy or undergo dynamic separation; and 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.