IMO’s SSE 7 took place in London on 2-6 March 2020. Highlights included agreement of draft new requirements for onboard lifting appliances, and on draft new interim guidelines for safe operation of shore power, as well as progressed work on ventilation of survival craft and on fire safety of ro-ro passenger ships.
The IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) which started on 2 March, is set to finalize the draft guidelines focused on the safety of offshore power supply to vessels’ operations, while is also working on crew safety matters.
Bureau Veritas focuses on SOLAS Chapter III amendments, which will be applied on January 1, 2020, including requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear.
MPA Singapore issued a circular providing information on the implementation of the requirements on life saving appliances for Singapore registered ships (SRS) as adopted by MSC 96, which will take effect from 1st January 2020 as part of the associated SOLAS amendments.
Several amendments of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) agreed in 2016, 2017 and 2018 are entering into force in less than three months, marking reforms to SOLAS and to international codes made mandatory under the SOLAS Convention.
2019 is considered a busy year for the shipping industry and the IMO, especially with the upcoming SOLAS amendments. In fact, special consideration should be given to amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-1 on damage stability, which came into force in 2009. Amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-1 aim to harmonise cargo ship and passenger ship damage stability, as they made probabilistic damage stability the main method for calculating damage stability.
32 years have passed since the capsizing of Herald of Free Enterprise, only a few minutes after leaving Zeebrugge port on 6 March 1987, killing 193 people. The incident is considered, not only as the deadliest casualty involving a UK-registered ship since 1919, but also as a wake-up call for safety improvements.
In the meeting conducted by IMO’s Sub-Committee focusing on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE 6) it was further discussed the development of functional requirements for SOLAS Chapter III on life-saving appliances and arrangements.
As part of its work to make ships mooring safer, IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 6), which took place on 4-8 February 2019, introduced new requirements for appropriate and safe-to-use designs of mooring arrangements, a maintenance and inspection regime, as well as proper documentation.
The 99th session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee concluded on 25 May, endorsing a framework for a regulatory scoping exercise, as work in progress, including preliminary definitions of autonomous ships and degrees of autonomy, as well as a methodology for conducting the exercise and a plan of work.
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