The IMO Maritime Safety Committee held its 99th Session (MSC 99) from Wednesday 16 through Friday 25 May 2018 under the Chairmanship of Mr Brad Groves (AUSTRALIA) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Juan Carlos Cubisino (ARGENTINA), both of whom remain in office for MSC 100 which takes place later this year.  Three Working Groups (WG) and one Drafting Group (DG) were formed and chaired as follows:


WG1                Goal-based Standards, Mr J Sirkar (USA)

WG2                Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships, Mr H Tunfors (SWEDEN)

WG3                Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in Polar waters,

Ms S Sonninen (FINLAND)

DG1                Amendments to Mandatory Instruments, Mr N Boldt (GERMANY)


The meeting was attended by representatives from 98 IMO Member Governments, 3 Associate Member Governments, 4 UN and Specialised Agencies, 7 Inter-Governmental Organisations and 52 Non-Governmental organisations.


As a matter of interest, the final report of the meeting amounts to approximately 120 typed pages of A4 size and thus the following round-up is necessarily only a summary of items pertinent to InterManager.  However, precise details of every item discussed at the meeting are available on request to any Member who has such a need :


IMO SECRETARY GENERAL’S ADDRESS.  The Secretary General, Mr K Lim, welcomed delegates to the 99th meeting of MSC.  He made customary reference to World Maritime Day, the theme for this year being “IMO 70: Our heritage-better shipping for a better future” and which will be celebrated at IMO Headquarters on 27 September. In order to ensure that measures adopted by IMO are not rendered obsolete by the time lag between adoption and entry-into-force, he asserted that the regulatory framework for shipping must be based firmly around goals and functions rather than prescriptive solutions.


In highlighting some of the key issues to be discussed, he spoke of the regulatory scoping exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) to be pursued during the meeting and the setting up of an interdivisional MASS task force within the IMO Secretariat.  Of similar importance is the new way of rule-making adopted by the Organisation in following a goal-based approach aiming to make ships safer, the first phase of which has been successfully completed, leading to embarkation on the second stage of the process, the maintenance of verification, involving audits of the rule changes of the 12 classification societies.


Stating that Maritime Security remains a concern, he spoke of reports on 203 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide in 2017, the lowest for 20 years, confirming the downward year on year trend, with a reduction of 8% at the global level.


Consideration of an expansion to application of the Polar code provisions to all ships operating in polar waters, including cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage, fishing vessels and pleasure yachts would also be addressed.


Referring to the reports of the six sub-committees which will be considered for approval, Mr Lim mentioned in particular, the outcome of NCSR 5 (the proposed recognition of Iridium as a maritime mobile satellite services provider) and the work of HTW, drawing attention to the requirement for Parties to the STCW Convention to systematically communicate information to the Organisation on the measures adopted to implement its requirements nationally.


The Secretary General concluded his 15 minute speech by wishing delegates every success in their forthcoming deliberations.


AMENDMENTS TO MANDATORY INSTRUMENTS.  Following extensive discussion in Plenary, the Drafting Group was formed and after 5 days deliberation, the DG compiled its report to Plenary which was approved in general.  In particular, the Committee:


  1. Agreed that : footnotes (which were introduced for reference purposes only) should not appear in the authentic text of mandatory instruments; model forms of certificates may not be considered as parts of “the main body of the Regulations”, therefore footnotes should not be excluded from the authentic text of the model form of the Certificate of Fitness under the IBC and IGC Codes; amendments to SOLAS regulations II-1/1 and II-1/8-1 in resolution MSC.421(98) should be superseded by draft amendments at this session; and for the purpose of clarity, the words “recognised mobile satellite service ship station” should replace the equivalent existing text in SOLAS;
  2. Adopted : draft MSC resolutions on amendments to; the 1974 SOLAS Convention, the 2010 FTP Code, the 1994 HSC Code, the IBC Code, the IGC Code, the IMDG Code, part A of the 2008 IS Code, the 2008 SPS Code, the BCH Code, the GC Code, and the EGC Code;
  3. Approved : draft MSC circulars containing guidelines on operational information, for Masters in case of flooding for passenger ships constructed before 1 January 2014,  for Masters of passenger ships for safe return to port by own power or under tow, and a revision to the EmS Guide;
  4. Authorised : the Secretariat to effect any minor editorial corrections that may be identified when preparing the authentic text of the amendments.


MEASURES TO ENHANCE MARITIME SECURITY.  The Committee considered document MSC 99/4/1 submitted by the Secretariat reporting on developments related to maritime security since MSC 98 and noted, in particular, that:


  1. The information on 28% of all port facilities registered in the security module of GISIS submitted by Member States requires updating;
  2. Secure electronic transfer of information between Member States and the maritime security module of GISIS has been developed and is being tested with Norway’s assistance;
  3. A UN Global Counter-Terrorism Compact has been agreed by the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) entities, including IMO;
  4. Member States are encouraged to become Parties to the 2005 SUA Protocols which entered into force on 28 July 2010; and
  5. The security-related activities delivered by IMO as part of its Integrated Technical Cooperation programme (ITCP), has contributed significantly to the enhancement of maritime security.


With regard to Model Course 3.24 on security awareness training for port facility personnel with designated security duties, the Islamic Republic of Iran, elected as course developer, submitted the revised course which received general support by the Committee.  It was agreed to validate it whilst requesting the Secretariat to conduct a final editorial review for subsequent publication.  After consideration, the Committee agreed that the future review and validation of all maritime security-related model courses should be undertaken by the HTW Sub-Committee in order to ensure consistency between ship and port facility security measures, conformity of terminology and coordination of descriptions and competences, also that revision of model courses 3.19, 3.26 and 3.27 relating to ship-side security should take the 3.24 revisions into account.


Following discussion on Stowaways, the Committee adopted a resolution on ‘Revised guidelines on the prevention of access by stowaways and the allocation of responsibilities to seek the successful resolution of stowaway cases’.


A final aspect on the item of maritime security was that of a discussion on ships and port facilities not subject to the ISPS Code which provoked an interesting debate.  A number of delegations expressed reservations about the proposed introduction of new measures at the international level included views such as : any new guidelines should be non-mandatory; elements are in conflict with the ISPS Code principles; new obligations for the large number of smaller ports world-wide need to be proportionate to the threat; practical measures and legislation could be undertaken by Member States at the national level with respect to small non-SOLAS vessels and non-ISPS Code certified ports; and, there is a need for a comprehensive approach to maritime security with regard to potential threats from vessels and ports not covered by the ISPS Code. Consequently, having noted the many varied views expressed, the Committee invited the Islamic Republic of Iran to take them into account for any further action they might wish to take in this matter.


REGULATORY SCOPING EXERCISE FOR THE USE OF MARITIME AUTONOMOUS SURFACE SHIPS (MASS). Following a prolonged debate, the Committee established a MASS Working Group (WG2) with instructions that largely mirrored the issues discussed in Plenary. Reflecting this, WG2 was instructed to :

  1. Develop a framework for the regulatory scoping exercise, including aims, objectives, methodology, instruments, type and size of ships, provisional definitions and different types and concepts of autonomy, automation, operation and manning to be considered;
  2. Develop a plan of work for the regulatory scoping exercise, including timelines, deliverables and priorities, involvement of other committees and intersessional arrangements;
  3. Consider the need to develop a mechanism for sharing information and lessons learned and liaison with other international organisations to share up-to-date information on MASS, advising as appropriate; and,
  4. Consider the need for a Correspondence Group, developing draft terms of reference, as appropriate.


After 5 days of concentrated work, WG2 submitted a report which was approved by the Committee in general and, in particular :


  1. Endorsed the framework for the regulatory scoping exercise which addresses all the aspects in 1. above together with a plan of work;
  2. Invited Member States and international organisations to submit proposals to MSC 100 related to the development of interim guidelines for MASS trials;
  3. Noted that no further actions are required at this stage in respect of sharing of information and lessons learned; and
  4. Established a Correspondence Group (coordinated by FINLAND) on MASS with approved terms of reference, authorising it to commence its work as soon as possible and to submit its report by the second deadline of submissions (nine-week deadline), providing results of the test of the framework in an Annex in English only.

Of particular interest in the Framework for the Regulatory Scoping Exercise are the degrees of autonomy which will be organised as follows :

  1. Ship with automated processes and decision support: Seafarers are on board to operate and control shipboard systems and functions. Some operations may be automated.
  2. Remotely controlled ship with seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location, but seafarers are on board.
  3. Remotely controlled ship without seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location. There are no seafarers on board.
  4. Fully autonomous ship: The operating system of the ship is able to make decisions and determine actions by itself.


This list does not represent a hierarchic order and it is envisaged that MASS could be operating at one or more degrees of autonomy for the duration of a single voyage.


GOAL-BASED NEW SHIP CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS.  This item continues to be of peripheral interest to InterManager members but a few aspects may be worthy of note.  Debate in Plenary centred on the Corrective Action Plan addressing GBS audit observations during the initial GBS verification audits, noting how the shortage of GBS auditors from Member States might inhibit the timely implementation of the Plan.  However, following Plenary discussion, the Committee agreed, in principle, to a three-year verification cycle, allowing for some flexibility in this respect by utilising the qualitative approach.  Following Plenary discussions, WG1 was established and given appropriate terms of reference with which to do their work.  Subsequently, the Committee approved WG1’s report in general, and in particular :


  1. Approved, in principle, the draft MSC resolution on Revised guidelines for verification of conformity with goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers, also the draft interim guidelines for development and application of IMO goal-based standards safety level approach;
  2. Endorsed the Revised timetable and schedule of activities for the implementation of the GBS verification Scheme together with the Group’s conclusion that the Revised GBS Verification Guidelines would require a periodical review, taking into account the experience gained in the auditing process over time.


SAFETY MEASURES FOR NON-SOLAS SHIPS OPERATING IN POLAR WATERS.  Following debate in Plenary, a working group (WG3) was established.  It was tasked to ;


  1. Consider the scope of application of the further work on safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in Polar waters;
  2. Consider the types of vessels to be addressed;
  3. Consider the mandatory and/or advisory status of any recommended safety measures; and,
  4. Prepare a road map, identifying priorities, time frames and responsibilities for the work to be accomplished.


Having considered the report of WG3, the Committee approved it in general and took action as follows :

  1. Agreed that any safety measures for non-SOLAS ships should, in principle apply to both the Arctic area and the Antarctic area;
  2. When considering specific safety measures for each type of vessel, it was necessary to consider the area of application on a case by case basis as exemptions/exceptions might apply;
  3. Any recommendatory measures for polar operations should not be limited to vessels operating on international voyages only.
  4. Not to refer the table on the existing regulatory provisions for non-SOLAS vessels operating in polar waters to the NCSR and SDC Sub-Committees at this stage;
  5. Agreed that of the non-SOLAS vessels operating in polar waters, pleasure yachts above 300gt not engaged in trade and cargo ships below 500 down to 300gt, should be considered;
  6. Agreed for the need of a pragmatic and flexible approach prior to embarking on any mandatory or recommendatory measures under this output; and
  7. Decided not to involve the NCSR Sub-Committee at this stage.


Following further discussion, the Committee, recognising the importance and urgency of the matter :


  1. Included the output on “Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters” in the biennial agenda of the SDC Sub-Committee and the provisional agenda for SDC 6;
  2. Instructed SDC 6 to develop recommendatory safety measures for fishing vessels of 24m in length and over, with a view to alignment with the 2012 Cape Town Agreement and pleasure yachts above 300gt not engaged in trade, operating in polar waters;
  3. Invited interested Member States and international organisations to submit concrete proposals to SDC 6; and,
  4. Agreed to establish a working group at MSC 100 to further consider outstanding issues, provide clear instructions to the NCSR Sub-Committee and further consider the roadmap prepared by the Group.


CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND CONTAINERS.  Actions arising from the fourth session of the Sub-Committee are as follows :


  1. ISO has been invited to develop a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol as a marine fuel and for fuel couplings and although ISO expressed willingness to do so, pointed out that there is a lack of sufficient use of such a fuel and industry is short of experience;
  2. In consideration of draft amendments to parts A and A-1 of the IGF Code, the inclusion of an alternative solution to protect against leakage from liquefied fuel pipes outside machinery spaces using a drip tray did not enjoy universal approval and following discussion, it was agreed to hold the approval of the draft amendments in abeyance but instructed CCC 5 to give the matter due consideration and report the outcome to MSC 100 as a matter of urgency;
  3. Having noted the need for the information to be available to all stakeholders, the Committee endorsed the decision of the Sub-Committee to issue CCC.1/Circ.4 on ‘Carriage of Bauxite which may liquefy’, and that of CCC.1/Circ.4 on ‘Carriage of Ammonium Nitrate based Fertiliser’ (non-hazardous);
  4. Having approved an MSC Circular on Unified interpretation (UI) of para 13.3.5 of the IGC Code, III 5 was instructed to consider consequential updates to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2017 (resolution A.1120(30); and,
  5. Approved the holding of the thirtieth meeting of the E&T Group, to take place directly after CCC 5, with a view to finalising the next set of draft amendments (05-19) to the IMSBC Code for submission to MSC 101 with a view to adoption.


IMPLEMENTATION OF IMO INSTRUMENTS.  The Committee approved in general, the report of the fourth session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments and took action as follows :


  1. Following the release of marine safety investigation reports to the public, by default, in GISIS, the Committee concurred with III 4’s invitation to the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) to advise Member States on the release and the availability of these reports for the benefit of seafarers’ training and education;
  2. Having noted a statement by the delegation of the Russian Federation at its concerns of a legal nature when requiring Port State Control officers (PSCOs) to apply a pragmatic and practical approach, the Committee endorsed the issuance of III.2/Circ.2 on ‘Action to be taken by port States on the required updates of ECDIS’ and undertook to consider related matters further under NCSR;
  3. In the wake of considering the outcome of the third session of the Joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and related matters (JWG 3) relevant to the IMO carried out by III 4, wide ranging discussions took place. These included IMOs contribution to the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing (PSMA) and the organisation of joint capacity development programmes.
  4. Further FAO related discussions included topics such as Records of fishing vessel fleets and Ship Identification Number Scheme, FAO Voluntary guidelines for Flag State Performance, Piracy and armed robbery against ships plus other security-related issues, Marking of fishing gear, Navigational hazards caused by marine litter, 2012 Cape Town Agreement and related instruments, VMS and AIS/LRIT, Training and certification of fishing vessel personnel, and a Roadmap for UN inter-agency cooperation.


SHIP DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION.  SDC 5’s report of its fifth session was welcomed and approved.  In particular, the Committee:


  1. Agreed, following an extensive debate on the availability of passenger ships’ electrical power supply in cases of flooding from side raking damage, that no further action was required under this output and endorsed the view that the systems required should be specified in terms of “systems that are required to remain operational”. Member States were invited to review the systems that are required by SOLAS regulation II-1/42 to be supplied by the emergency source of power, and the methods of energy distribution for those systems, and to consider whether there are any additional systems that may need to remain operational in a flooding damage casualty; and,
  2. Recalled that MSC 96 had agreed that a new chapter to SOLAS should be developed solely for the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel, supported by a new code to include elements of the 2008 SPS and 2000 HSC Codes. Following an impasse on description of the nature of voyages (eg, international or not), it was agreed to keep this issue open for future consideration.  However, it was also agreed that the aggregated total maximum number of passengers, industrial personnel and special personnel that may be carried on board in order not to require compliance with the new code should be 12, and application of the new SOLAS chapter [XV] and the new code should be limited to ships holding Cargo Ship Safety Certificates; and,
  3. Approved draft amendments to the 2011 ESP Code.


POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE.  The Committee noted the information provided in document MSC 99/11 by the Secretariat on the outcome of the fifth session of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), in particular the draft amendments to the IBC and BCH Codes, with a view to submission to MEPC 73 and MSC 100.  Note was also taken that a number of issues discussed during PPR 5 could have safety implications, e.g. the identified control measures for black carbon, sampling points for fuel oil used on board ships, also safety issues with blended fuels and blending of bulk liquid cargoes.


NAVIGATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND SEARCH AND RESCUE.  The Committee approved, in general, the report of the fifth session of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue and took action as follows :

  1. Adopted the amendments to traffic separation schemes and routeing measures including designation and substitution of archipelagic sea lanes, and ship reporting systems (as set out in NCSR 5 report to InterManager members dated 25 February 2018), for dissemination by means of a COLREG Circular;
  2. Noted that the issue of possible interference of terrestrial mobile communications with L-band maritime satellite communications was a cause of great concern and that regional spectrum management bodies, such as CEPT, were dominated by the mobile industry, including the mobile phone industry. Maritime administrations were therefore encouraged by the Committee to liaise closely with their national authorities attending meetings of ITU and regional bodies concerned with spectrum management, with the aim of addressing such a safety critical issue.  Towards this end, the Committee requested the IMO Secretariat to send a letter to ITU outlining concerns on spectrum allocation by stressing the effect that compromised GMDSS services might have for safety of life at sea;
  3. Following a prolonged debate, the Committee (finally!) adopted a resolution stating recognition of the Maritime Mobile Satellite Services provided by Iridium Satellite LLC;
  4. An analysis of the heavy workload of the NCSR Sub-Committee was submitted by the Secretariat outlining alternatives as to how the burden might be alleviated. Following discussion, it was agreed to extend the NCSR’s meeting time for each session to eight days, for a trial period of two sessions starting from NCSR 6 in 2019, given Council’s authorisation.  It was also agreed not to include any new outputs in the post-biennial agenda and that the arrangement for interpretation should remain unchanged at the current level of four days per session;
  5. The Committee endorsed a recommendation by NCSR 5 to revoke III.2/Circ.2 (Action to be taken by port States on the required updates of electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS)) as of 1 July 2018. Following a submission by CHINA commenting on the implementation difficulties as to ECDIS software updates from the perspective of statutory surveys, interested parties were invited to submit proposals for a new output to address this and related issues; and,
  6. Noted information provided by IACS on the application of COLREG with respect to the placement of sidelights (MSC.1/Circ.1577).

SHIP SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT.  The Committee considered urgent matters emanating from the fifth session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE 5) in which it :

  1. Noted the progress made on the development of goals and functional requirements for onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches (OLAW) and, in particular, the views expressed at SSE 5 on how to address training and certification of crews and shore-based personnel using OLAW; and,
  2. Recalled that MSC 98 had instructed SSE 5 to further consider the draft UI of SOLAS regulation 11-2/ related to the fire integrity of bulkheads and decks of tankers, whilst noting the decision of SSE 5 to await additional information before giving full consideration to the matter.


IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STCW CONVENTION.  Evaluations of six Parties, signatories to the STCW Convention, were carried out by competent persons selected from the IMO  established list of competent persons.  Following consideration of the reports, the Committee confirmed that all six Parties (Bulgaria, Liberia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Oman and the United States) continued to give full and complete effect to the provisions of the STCW Convention. The Committee thanked those Member States that had nominated competent persons to undertake auditing and encouraged all Member States to nominate more experts in order to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the STCW Convention.


PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS.  As already stated by the Secretary General of IMO in his welcoming address, reports on 203 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide were received by the organisation in 2017, the lowest for 20 years, confirming the downward year-on-year trend, with a reduction of about 8% at global level.  In considering document 99/17 reporting on piracy and armed robbery developments by the Secretariat, the Committee :

  1. Reminded Member States, as well as shipmasters, shipowners/operators and commercial companies, to continue reporting incidents to IMO, using the reporting form in appendix 5 of MSC.1/Circ.1333/Rev.1;
  2. Reiterated the need for responses to the Questionnaire on information apropos port and coastal State requirements related to privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships as set out in MSC-FAL.1/Circ.2;
  3. Noted that a total of six incidents had been reported off Somalia in 2017 (two hijacked, one boarded, and three attempted boardings). So far in 2018, two have been reported, details of which were promulgated in GISIS, thus Somalia-based piracy has been suppressed rather than eradicated;
  4. Noted that in the Gulf of Guinea, as of 30 April 2018, 37 incidents have been reported this year, some resulting in the hijacking of ships and holding of crew members for ransom. In late March 2018, several attacks on large fishing vessels took place in waters off Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria, involving the use of captured vessels as temporary mother ships to conduct attacks on other fishing vessels and merchant ships as well as abduction of crew members;
  5. Noted that in response to the threats and recent incidents arising from the conflict in Yemen, such as sea mines and waterborne improvised explosive devices, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), ICS, BIMCO and INTERTANKO has published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb, which was promulgated on the IMO website;
  6. The Committee noted that ISO 28007 for private maritime security companies could be applied to accredited certification of floating armouries but would require an informative annex to clarify the unique requirements for such a vessel. The issue of floating armouries is currently being examined by UNODC in consultation with the IMO Secretariat and a draft summary of applicable law will be discussed at UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme’s legal conference in Colomba, Sri Lanka commencing on 18 June 2018;
  7. It was agreed to discontinue monthly circulars containing reports on incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships given the availability of such information and statistics in GISIS; and,
  8. Noted with appreciation, information provided by the observer from ReCAAP-ISC in document MSC.99/INF.15 providing an update of the activities they had carried out and the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.


UNSAFE MIXED MIGRATION BY SEAThe Committee noted that the intergovernmental negotiations on the global compact for migration to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York will conclude by July 2018, in accordance with resolution 71/280, and the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will be held in Morocco from 10 to 11 December 2018.  In the ensuing discussion, the Committee noted that :

  1. Most SAR events were happening close to, or sometimes within, Libyan territorial waters;
  2. There is an urgent need to rebuild maritime institutions in Libya, including a fully fledged MRCC in Libya (communications network included), delivery of training to Libyan Coast Guard personnel, development of standard operating procedures, also defining the organisation of a SAR unit and support to the Libyan authorities for autonomous management of their MRCC;
  3. EUNAVFOR MED has contributed to disruption of the smugglers’ business model having neutralised more than 500 boats, referred 139 suspected smugglers to the Italian judicial authorities, conducted 307 rescue operations and rescued more than 44,200 migrants;
  4. The Libyan Coast Guard has saved more than 20,000 lives at sea in 2017 with similar pro rata success achieved in 2018 thus confirming their strong commitment and eagerness to be part of the solution;
  5. The SHADE MED initiative, a bi-annual conference held in Rome, aimed at sharing information and experience in an international context, will hold its sixth conference on 19 and 20 June 2018;
  6. EUNAVFOR MED will continue to play the maritime security provider role in the Mediterranean Sea in accordance with EU Member States decisions;
  7. While the number of migrants arriving by sea in Italy has decreased, the rate at which desperate people are losing their lives could be moving in the opposite direction;
  8. Refugees and migrants continue to take to the sea not only in the central Mediterranean towards Italy but also along sea routes leading to Greece, Spain, the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the Andaman Sea and elsewhere;
  9. SAR operations for boats with migrants in 2017 increased by 150% compared to 2016 in the west Mediterranean while the number of deaths in the same period has increased by over 200%; and,
  10. The problem of irregular mixed migration also affects other regions, such as South Asia.


ANY OTHER BUSINESS.  A variety of items were discussed under this heading and the Committee deliberated as follows :


  1. With regard to Technical cooperation activities related to maritime safety, maritime security and facilitation and as part of the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, Member States that had not done so, were urged to provide their Country Maritime Profile (CMP) by including the pertinent information in the relevant GISIS module;
  2. The Committee agreed to the indefinite continuation of the IMO consultant/observer participation in the IMO/IACS cooperation on the IACS Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS). The current incumbent, Mr David Howard will be succeeded on his imminent retirement by Mr Andrew Winbow, former Director of IMO’s Maritime Safety Division;
  3. The Committee noted information provided regarding the new GISIS module on National Maritime Legislation, welcomed the module and urged Member states to use the information in preparation for their own audits;
  4. China provided a report on the lessons learned from the casualty during sea trials of the azimuth stern drive (ASD) tug, JMS Delta and the outcome of a gap analysis which will be taken into account when proposing new outputs;
  5. Having considered a proposal by the Marshall Islands and RINA to revise the current basic seat space dimensions in survival craft to allow for additional space which takes into account recent anthropometric research and following discussion which indicated general support, the Committee invited proposals for a new output to a future session;
  6. The Committee, having noted support for the update of the IALA Standards, approved MSC.1/Circ.1065/Rev.1 on IALA Standards for training and certification of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) personnel;
  7. Following a proposal by WMO to revise ‘Participation in the WMO Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) Scheme’ in order to reflect developments in the field of ship-based marine meteorological and oceanographic developments and WMO’s VOS Scheme, the Committee agreed to approve a revision of MSC.1/Circ.1293;
  8. A proposal by the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea to amend the ‘List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships’ was agreed with a view to avoiding the use of two different terms, i.e. “stability information” and “intact stability booklet”;
  9. The Committee agreed to discontinue MSC.1/Circ.1371 and invited Member States to solely consult the GISIS module. This will clarify the relationship between the ‘List of Codes, recommendations, guidelines and other safety and related non-mandatory instruments’ and the “Non-mandatory Instruments” module of GISIS;
  10. The Committee noted information provided by ICS and OCIMF on their initiative to produce industry guidance for the development of a Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM), which must be carried on board ships in accordance with chapter 2 of part I-A of the Polar code;
  11. The Committee noted the information provided by IMPA on survey results which indicated that the inclusion of pilot ladders in the ships’ safety equipment inspection regime had not had any detrimental effects on the standards found;
  12. The committee noted information provided by Ukraine on the closure of seaports in the Autonomous republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, together with information provided by the Russian Federation in response to the submission by Ukraine. A large number of Member States associated themselves with the statements made by the delegations of Estonia and France in support of Ukraine; and,
  13. Finally, the Committee considered information submitted by the Netherlands and Vanuatu concerning the work of The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organisation focussed on cleaning the plastic debris floating in the five main ocean gyres, starting with the North Pacific Gyre in 2018, and on the safety measures taken by them to minimise any hindrance to shipping.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  The 100th Session of the Maritime Safety Committee will take place from 3 to 7 December 2018 whilst the session following that has been tentatively arranged from 5 to 14 June 2019.


Captain Paddy McKnight                                                                                            End




Leave a reply

©2022 InterManager - Promoting Excellence In Ship Management

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?