Along with a major focus on the regulatory scoping exercise for autonomous ships, the landmark 100th session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 100) held on 3-7 December, pushed further regulatory work on shipping safety, with the adoption of amendments to the SPS Code and the STCW Code, as well as the approval of draft amendments and guidelines.
Ukraine has acceded to the 1988 Protocol relating to the International Convention on Load Lines. On Wednesday, November 5, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, agreed with IMO to deposit the instruments of accession. The 1988 Load lines Protocol now has 110 Contracting States, representing more than 97% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
On the occasion of the opening of MSC 100, the IMO issued a short film reviewing its basic activities in the area of shipping safety. IMO’s MSC 100 started for its milestone 100th session on 3 December, with a busy agenda encompassing maritime autonomous surface ships, fatigue guidance for seafarers, polar shipping, goal-based standards and other agenda items.
IMO has published changes to The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG Code), incorporating the 2018 edition (feat. Amendment 39-18) which comes into force on 1 January 2020 for two years and may be applied voluntarily as from 1 January 2019.
Last week, Canada introduced new rules for whale watching and approaching marine mammals, which will provide a minimum approach distance of 100 metres for most whales, dolphins and porpoises to legally protect these animals from human disturbances.
In April 2018, IMO MEPC 72 adopted amendments to the IBC Code and BCH Code due to enter into force on January 1st of 2020. Namely, the amendments concern the International Certificate of Fitness and the Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a federal law on amendments to the merchant shipping code to pave the way for the formation of a Russian open register of ships. The register is anticipated for registration of marine vessels owned by foreign individuals and legal entities.
Mauritius has become the 15th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden focused on repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in the region.
Amendments to the STCW Convention and the STCW Code set a new requirement for training and emergency familiarization of crewmembers on passenger ships, effective from 1st of July 2018. All personnel are required to have undergone relevant training before being assigned to shipboard duties.
The Suez Canal Authority announced an increase on the allowed level of cargo residues on LNG tankers, in a bid to encourage more of these vessels to transit the Suez Canal. This move came as part of the SCA’s efforts to strengthen competitiveness compared to other shipping routes.
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