The IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment held its 2nd Session (SSE2) from Monday 23 through Friday 27 March 2015. 72 Member plus 1 Associate States together with 1 United Nations Agency, 2 Inter-Governmental and 32 Non-Governmental organisations enrolled for the meeting. It was chaired by Dr Susumu Ota (JAPAN) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Kevin Hunter (UK). The former was re-elected for 2016 with a new Vice-Chair, Mr Umut Senturk (TURKEY). Sympathy was expressed from many corners to VANUATU following the havoc wreaked by Cyclone Pam during which the 83 constituent islands had been subjected to winds in excess of 300 km/hour. The 8 islands of TUVALU also fell victim to storm surges from the same source.


Three working groups (WG) were formed as follows:


WG1          Fire Protection (FP), Mr L Fisher (USA)

WG2          Life-Saving Appliances (LSA), Mr S Assheuer (GERMANY)

WG3          On-board Lifting Appliances and Winches, Mr R Lakeman (NL)


Following is a selection of points emerging from the meeting of particular interest to InterManager members:


  • REPORT OF WG1, FIRE PROTECTION. The Sub-Committee approved WG1’s report in general and, in particular:


  1. agreed a draft Performance Standard, functional requirement and system requirement for the assessment of smoke management systems, and an associated draft MSC circular for MSC95 approval;
  2. agreed revised design Guidelines and operational recommendations for ventilation systems in ro-ro cargo spaces and associated draft circular for MSC95 approval;
  3. endorsed the view that water mist systems can be considered together with automatic sprinkler systems, thus being within the scope of this output;
  4. agreed draft amendments to the Revised Guidelines for the maintenance and inspection of fire protection systems and appliances and associated circular for MSC95 approval;
  5. agreed draft amendments to Chapter 8 of the FSS Code (which stipulates that special attention shall be paid to the specification of water quality provided by the system manufacturer to prevent internal corrosion and clogging of sprinklers) for approval by MSC95 and subsequent adoption;
  6. agreed a draft new Chapter 17 of the FSS Code and a draft circular on its early implementation for submission to MSC95;
  7. agreed a draft amendment to SOLAS regulation II – 2/18 consequent to the SSE2 decision that helicopter foam fire-fighting appliances shall also be provided in the helicopter landing area where such landings take place on an occasional or emergency basis, for adoption at MSC95;
  8. agreed a draft amendment to Chapter 9 of the MODU Code for adoption at MSC96;
  9. agreed draft amendments, for MSC95 approval, to the Recommendation on helicopter landing areas on ro-ro passenger ships (MSC/Circ.895) in conjunction with adoption of a new Chapter 17 of the FSS Code and amendment to Chapter 9 of the 2009 MODU Code;
  10. referred a draft chapter 8 of the OSV Chemical Code to PPR3; and
  11. recommended to MSC95 the re-establishment of the correspondence group on Fire Protection, furnishing appropriate terms of reference.


  • REPORT OF WG3, MEASURES FOR ONBOARD LIFTING APPLIANCES AND WINCHES.   The Sub-Committee approved WG3’s report in general and in particular, noted:


  1. the view that on-board lifting appliances be provisionally defined as ‘any stationary or mobile load-handling appliances used on board ships for suspending, raising or lowering loads, or moving loads from one position to another, while suspended’;
  2. the view that provisionally, lifting appliances dedicated for a particular purpose and already covered by IMO Instruments, such as accommodation ladders, pilot ladders and any lifting appliances covered by the LSA Code should be excluded from the scope of potential Guidelines, as also could personnel / passenger lifts, non-powered load-handling appliances, detachable hoists and sludge winches;
  3. that on the analysis of available data, the potential Guidelines should include provisions for:

a/ lifting appliances and winches used in cargo handling operations, including pedestal cranes and hatch

cover gantry  cranes; and

b/ lifting appliances and winches utilising wire rope.


  1. that based on accident investigations (resulting in the adoption of national requirements), such Guidelines could include:

a/ store cranes; and

b/ engine-room cranes.


  1. that potential Guidelines should apply to all SOLAS ships, excluding vessels certified under the MODU Code but that fishing vessels may need to be addressed in future;
  2. that specific areas of focus such as routine inspection, maintenance, training and design, also construction should be taken into account in developing potential Guidelines;
  3. that ILO be kept informed of progress and should be consulted in the event that any issues involving shore-based staff arise; and
  4. that provisions in the potential Guidelines addressing inspection, maintenance and training could be applicable to new and existing equipment on new and existing ships, whereas, provisions addressing design, fabrication and construction could apply only to newly installed equipment on new and existing ships.


All of the above views will be forwarded to MSC95 as recommendations on matters related to scope and application of potential Guidelines. In addition draft terms of reference to re-establish the Correspondence Group for On-board Lifting Appliances and Winches will also be sent to MSC95 for approval to develop such draft Guidelines.




  1. Non-combustible material as ‘steel or equivalent’ for ventilation ducts –UI SC264;
  2. Arrangements for fixed hydrocarbon gas detection systems in double-hull and double-bottom spaces of oil tankers –UI SC268;
  3. Application of materials other than steel on engine, turbine and gearbox installations – UI SC264;
  4. Post-installation testing referred to in the Guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval systems (MSC.1/circ.1392, as amended);
  5. SOLAS chapter II-2, the FSS Code, the FTP Code and related fire test procedures (corrigendum to MSC.1/Circ.1120);
  6. Implementation of the requirement related to lifeboat release and retrieval systems – UI SC267;
  7. General emergency alarms and public address system in ro-ro spaces – UI SC145;
  8. Fixed foam fire-extinguishing systems – foam generating capacity – UI SC 262; and
  9. Additional indicating unit in the cargo control room – UI SC271.


  • REVIEW MODU CODE, LSA CODE AND MSC.1/CIRC.1206/REV.1. Following discussion, a Correspondence Group was established under the coordination of the USA with the following summarised terms of reference:


  1. prepare draft amendments to the MODU Code/LSA Code/MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 where deemed appropriate;
  2. consider applicability to new or existing units, in particular with regard to major structural modifications;
  3. advise potential impact on other IMO instruments and other types of ships or units; and
  4. report to SSE3.


  • REVIEW OF FLASHPOINT REQUIREMENTS FOR OIL FUEL IN SOLAS CHAPTER 11-2. EUROMOT supported, in principle the proposition that the minimum low-flashpoint value of fuel oil in SOLAS Chapter 11-2 could be lowered from 60oC to 52oC but in acknowledgement of possibly increased fire risk, proposed to accompany the process by also reviewing the applicable risk assessment process. GERMANY in particular, argued that there is a need to review the impact of the proposed lowering, pointing out that some of the necessary work is already underway in the CG on Amendments to the IFG Code and development of Guidelines for low-flashpoint fuels, which will be reporting to CCC2, suggesting that a liaison of experts looking into this matter might be the best way forward and could even expedite a result! Following discussion, the Sub-Committee inclined towards GERMANY’s view and invited Member Governments, also international organisations to submit comments and proposals directly to the IGF CG or to CCC2 which meets during the w/c 14 September 2015.


  • REPORT OF WG2, NEW FRAMEWORK OF REQUIREMENTS FOR LIFE-SAVING APPLIANCES. The Sub-Committee approved WG2’s report in general, and in particular:


  1. agreed that two proposed options for future work plan developed by WG2 on life-saving appliances be submitted to MSC for consideration;
  2. noted WG2’s discussion on matters related to three tiers activities concerning the scope of maintenance and servicing that may be carried out on specific life-saving appliances by specified ship’s personnel. This proposal by a number of Member States for suitably certificated on-board servicing personnel to extend their currently permitted level and extent of maintenance and servicing was strongly opposed by ILAMA (International Lifesaving Appliances Manufacturers’ Association). Tier 1 / weekly / monthly and Tier 3 / 5-yearly are not a source of disagreement but Tier 2 (annual) appears to be a real sticking point;
  3. agreed to replace the term ‘periodical servicing’ by ‘maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair in the draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/3 and III/20 and in the associated draft MSC resolution on Requirements;
  4. noted the WG’s decision to remove a phrase in SOLAS regulation III/20.11.5 exempting weekly and monthly inspections from the application of the Requirements;
  5. noted ILAMA concerns as to intellectual property rights and possible effects on the proprietary information of the manufacturer; and
  6. did not agree to a draft MSC resolution on Requirement for maintenance,, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats.


It was also decided not to form a CG on this matter but such a decision, resulting from a prolonged and polarised SSE2 debate, may well be reversed following MSC95’s deliberations.


  • URGENT MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED BY MSC96. Noting the close proximity between SSE3 and MSC96, the following urgent SSE3 matters only will be submitted to MSC96 for consideration:


  1. Development of life safety performance criteria for alternative design and arrangements for fire safety (MSC/Circ.1002);
  2. Safety objectives and functional requirements of the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for SOLAS Chapters II-1 and III;
  3. Review of the MODU Code, LSA Code and MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1;
  4. Amendments to the ‘Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning (DP) systems (MSC/Circ.645);
  5. Revision of requirements for escape route signs and equipment location markings in SOLAS and related instruments;
  6. Draft UI of fire pumps in ships designed to carry five or more tiers of containers on or above the weather deck; and
  7. Maintenance of lifeboat release gear.



  • DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 14 – 18 March 2016.



Captain Paddy McKnight                                                                                                        END


Leave a reply

©2020 InterManager - Promoting Excellence In Ship Management

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?