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IMO Adopts interim guidance on use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships

Approved on Maritime Safety Committee 89th session - 11 to 20 May 2011 Interim guidance on the employment of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships transiting the high-risk piracy area off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean was approved by IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which met at the Organization's London Headquarters for its 89th session from 11 to 20 May 2011.The MSC approved an MSC Circular on Interim guidance to shipowners, ship operators, and shipmasters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area, and Interim recommendations for flag States on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area. Both sets of guidance are aimed at addressing the complex issue of the employment of private, armed security on board ships.The guidance to shipowners notes that flag State jurisdiction and any laws and regulations imposed by the flag State concerning the use of private security companies apply to their vessels. Port and coastal States laws may also apply to such vessels.The guidance notes that the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) ...

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MSC 89 Piracy Working Group 1 drafts guidance on private security

Measures to enhance Maritime Security Working Group 1 "Measures to enhance Maritime Security - Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships" has been working on the following report items:1. Development of the Maritime Security Manual.2. Consideration of Periodical Survey to Ship Security Alert System (SSAS).3. Guidelines for flag states and other authorities to assist investigators to collect evidence after hijack.4. Development of guidance to ship owners, ship operators and shipmasters on the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) on board ships.5. Implementation of counter-piracy measures, including Best Management Practices (BMP).The Chairman of Working Group 1, Arsenio Dominguez, presents the finished report to the plenary meeting of the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 89) on the last day of its 11-20 May meetings.Of particular interest will be the drafting of "Guidance to ship owners, ship operators and shipmasters on the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) on board ships".This document has been developed by the IMO in conjunction with reference documents which included the document submitted by the industry - "Industry Guidelines for the use of Private Maritime Security Contractors (PMSC) as Additional Protection in waters affected by Somali Piracy (May 2011)", which was submitted as MSC 89/J/5.To ...

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Goal Based Standards using safety level approach

Regulations for newbuildings IMO has recently adopted amendments to SOLAS defining a Goal Based Standard (GBS) approach in how the IMO regulations for newbuildings should be developed and verified.This initial GBS used a deterministic approach which would accommodate the verification of conformity of the current prescriptive IACS Common Structural Rules for Oil Tankers and Bulk Carriers.The terminology needs to be clearly understood: the IMO GBS rules are a set of "rules for rules", which means the GBS rules are setting the standards which need to be met by the criteria contained in the rules developed by class or other industry bodies. It should also be noted that the verification of the class rules means an audit for "conformity" (instead of "compliance") with the standards.At its 89th session in London 11-20 May, the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 89) has re-generated the process of developing GBS rules for newbuildings based on a Safety Level Approach (SLA). In other words, the GBS SLA set of standards will not be defined in a prescriptive manner, but a set of safety levels will be defined which will be developed by using formal safety assessment (FSA) approaches. So, in the main, the GBS SLA will ...

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Prohibition on blending bulk liquid cargoes during the sea voyage

Amendments to SOLAS Chapter VI The IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 89) this week considered the draft amendments to SOLAS Chapter VI regarding the prohibition of the blending of bulk liquid cargoes during the sea voyage.These amendments were developed by the Sub-committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) to mandate the circular developed to prohibit the blending of bulk liquid cargoes onboard during the sea voyage.During its discussions, MSC also considered a proposal from the Netherlands to develop and approve an additional regulation specifically to prohibit production processes onboard ships that result in new products.The importance of this issue was acknowledged by the Committee. However, noting the technical aspects of developing such regulations, the Committee decided to refer this to the next session of BLG (BLG 16) for further consideration and subsequent advice to the next session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 90).The draft amendment to SOLAS Chapter VI, which the Committee has approved, will be circulated in accordance with SOLAS article VIII with a view to adoption at MSC 90.The proposal by Netherlands can be accessed hereSource: Intertanko

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Tank entry guidelines when using nitrogen as an inerting medium

Guidelines on tank entry for tankers using nitrogen The IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 99), in considering the approval of the revised 'Recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships' as completed by the Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC), also considered the circular on 'Guidelines on tank entry for tankers using nitrogen as an inerting medium' developed by the Sub-committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG).The Committee considered two documents, MSC 89/11/2 by Argentina and MSC 89/11/3 by Norway, INTERTANKO, OCIMF, IFSMA, ITF, NI and BIMCO which essentially proposed that these guidelines should be combined into one single guideline.It was proposed, in MSC 89/11/3, that the use of nitrogen in this context is not exclusive to tankers (it is also used on bulk carriers, gas carriers and offshore supply vessels) and therefore combining the guidelines into one guideline would ensure the widest possible availability and applicability, and would not be lost on seafarers who do not serve on tankers.It was also proposed that the principal issue should be that of precautions before entering enclosed spaces, and not what is within the enclosed space, as the latter would give the impression that some enclosed spaces could be more ...

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Guidelines for the Evaluation and Replacement of Lifeboat Release and Retrieval Systems

A milestone has been reached Readers will remember from previous articles that INTERTANKO is a member of the Industry Lifeboat Group (ILG), which was instrumental in the creation of the "Proposed Guidelines for the Evaluation and Replacement of Lifeboat Release and Retrieval Systems".At this week's meetings of the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 89), the Committee:- approved the draft MSC circular on Guidelines for Evaluation and Replacement of Lifeboat Release and Retrieval Systems;- adopted the modified amendments to SOLAS regulation III/1;- approved the draft MSC circular on early application of new SOLAS regulation III/1.5;- adopted the modified amendments to the LSA Code and decided on their application date;- adopted the draft MSC resolution on amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81 (70)), as amended.INTERTANKO voiced its support for the proposed Guidelines in Plenary. However, like other members of the ILG and many Member States, INTERTANKO was of the opinion that it would be premature to close-out the lifeboat release hook topic in its entirety. The ILG has identified several elements which have not been addressed in the proposed Guidelines:- Vibration;- Secondary safety systems.The ILG recognises that vibration can potentially be a major factor in the ...

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IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee meets for its 89th session

Piracy high on the Agenda Piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean will be high on the agenda when IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets at the Organization's London Headquarters for its 89th session from 11 to 20 May 2011.The busy agenda also includes adoption of amendments, concerning lifeboat release hooks, to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and work related to the implementation of the Torremolinos Protocol on fishing vessel safety, as well as goal-based standards for vessel construction and the long-range identification and tracking of ships. The MSC will also consider the approval of a number of draft resolutions for submission to the IMO Assembly, to be held in late 2011.Piracy and armed robbery against ships to be discussedThe MSC is expected to discuss the development of guidance on the employment of private, armed security service providers on board ships; measures to improve compliance with the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea area; and proposed guidelines to assist in the collection of evidence after a hijack.The number of ...

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Shipping is increasingly subject to environmental pressure

For many the environmental rules set by the IMO are seen as a minimum standard There is more to environmental compliance than operating a vessel in accordance with whatever rule has come from the International Maritime Organization.Shipping is increasingly subject to commercial environmental pressure as other companies focus on their own supply chain performance and expect their suppliers to do the same.For many organisations the environmental rules that have been set by the IMO are seen as a minimum standard, and owners hoping to sound like they have a sound environmental stewardship by stating their vessels are in full compliance and by increasingly sounding like they are in fact doing the minimum needed.The development of commercial and social pressures comes as the shipping industry faces a make or break year. The IMO is hoping to get its design index sorted out and made mandatory and to develop a market-based measure. These are the two mandatory tools it hopes will demonstrate movement in tackling CO2 emissions from shipping.

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