IMO MARITIME SAFETY COMMITTEE 102nd SESSION 4 – 11 NOVEMBER 2020

The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 102nd Session (MSC 102) remotely from Wednesday 4 through Wednesday 11 November under the Chairmanship of Mr Brad Groves (AUSTRALIA) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Juan Carlos Cubisino (ARGENTINA).  106 Member States presented their Credentials for the meeting supported by a number of Associate Member States and representatives from the United Nations Programmes, specialised agencies and other entities.  In addition, Intergovernmental organisations and Non-governmental organisations were also well represented.

 

In his traditional welcoming address, the Secretary-General informed the Committee of the passing of Mr William O’Neil, IMO Secretary-General Emeritus, on 29 October 2020, who led the Organisation from 1990 to 2004, making him the second longest serving in the post.  Mr Lim also expressed his sincere sympathy to the delegations of Greece and Turkey for the victims of the earthquake that occurred on 30 October 2020 in the region of the Turkish coast bordering the Aegean Sea, also commending those involved in the search and rescue operations.

Following a brief outline of the most important items to be discussed by Committee members over the following six days, the S-G wished them good luck in their deliberations.

 

Taking into account the limited time available at this session and in order to ensure continuity of the work of the Sub-Committees, consideration of their reports to the Committee was given top priority.  It was agreed to postpone a large number of agenda items, and the attendant documents submitted under those items, discussed by MSC 103.

 

CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF AMENDMENTS TO MANDATORY INSTRUMENTS.  Following a lengthy discussion on proposed amendments to the IGF, IGC,  and IMDG Codes, all of which are mandatory under the 1974 Convention, and Non-Mandatory Instruments such as the Revised EmS guide, Medical First Aid Guide, also Mooring arrangements and equipment, a drafting group was established under the chairmanship of Mr N Boldt (Germany) with comprehensive terms of reference.  In considering the DG’s subsequent report, the Committee approved it in general, and in particular:

 

  • Adopted draft MSC resolutions on Amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention, the IGF Code, the IGC Code and a draft amendment to the IMDG Code;
  • Approved a draft MSC circular on Amendments to the Revised Emergency Response Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods (MSC.1/Circ.1588) (EmS Guide);
  • Agreed in principle to draft amendments to the IMO/WHO/ILO Medical First aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods (MFAG) (MSC/Circ.857);
  • Approved a draft MSC circular on Guidelines on the design of mooring arrangements and the selection of appropriate mooring equipment and fittings for safe mooring;
  • Approved a draft MSC circular on Guidelines for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment including lines; and,
  • Approved a draft MSC Circular on the draft revised guidance on shipboard towing and mooring equipment (MSC.1/Circ.1175).

 

HUMAN ELEMENT, TRAINING AND WATCHKEEPING.  Having recalled that MSC 101 had already taken action on urgent matters emanating from HTW 6, the Committee approved, in general, the report of the sixth session of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping and took action as indicated:

 

Conversion of training material into e-learning training material.  Noting the advice of HTW 6 that a conversion of STCW model courses into e-learning ones would change the current approach and goal of model courses since they are not courses ready to be delivered but tools assisting Member States and other stakeholders to develop detailed training programmes; and that this would further require careful consideration of any accountability implications for the subsequent assessment of competence, training quality and independent evaluations relating to this training material in accordance with the STCW Convention, it was decided to request the III Sub-Committee to consider how e-learning training material could assist with the implementation of instruments other than the STCW Convention and advise the Committee accordingly.

 

Use of the Model Course Trust Fund.  The Committee endorsed the systematic use of the Fund to hire experts for the development and revision of model courses applicable to all IMO bodies dealing with model courses, as necessary, subject to the concurrent decision of MEPC 75.

 

New joint ILO/IMO medical guide for ships.  The committee endorsed the initiative to develop a new joint ILO/IMO medical guide for ships.

 

Review of the checklist for considering human element issues by IMO bodies.  The Committee endorsed the decision taken by HTW 6 to carry out a review of the checklist (MSC-MEPC.7Circ.1) and associated guidance and instructions under the existing output on “Role of the human element”.

 

Draft amendments to the definition of “operational level”.  The Committee approved a draft amendment to section A-1/1 of the STCW Code prepared by HTW 6 to include the capacity “electro-technical officer” in the definition of “operational level”, for circulation with a view to adoption by MSC 103.

 

Draft definition of high-voltage.  The Committee approved the draft definition of “high voltage” to be included in STCW regulation 1/1, also for circulation and adoption by MSC 103.

 

Approval of competent persons.  Following consideration, the Committee:

 

  • Approved the inclusion of 12 competent persons recommended by four Parties and requested the Secretariat to issue a revised list;
  • Noted the names of competent persons withdrawn from the List by two STCW Parties;
  • Invited STCW Parties to inform the Secretariat of any amendments that the List might need to reflect such as withdrawals, additions, change of address, etc, with a view to ensuring that those listed in the updated revision are available to serve as competent persons and readily contactable; and,
  • Encouraged all Parties to submit additional nominations to ensure effective implementation of the provisions in the STCW Convention.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF IMO INSTRUMENTS.  The Committee approved, in general, the report of the sixth session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments and in particular, adopted the following four resolutions prepared by III 6;

 

  • Procedures for port State control (A.1138(31));
  • Guidance on communication of information by Member States (A.1139(31));
  • Survey Guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC), 2019 (A1140(31)); and,
  • 2019 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) (A.1141(31)).

 

Model agreement for the authorisation of ROs acting on behalf of the Administration.  Following the introduction of document MSC 102/14/1 (Norway et al), proposing changes to the draft Model agreement in order to eliminate vague and undefined expressions such as “dangerous occurrences” and “accidents”, views on the matter were almost evenly divided.  Accordingly, III 7 was instructed to further consider the text of paragraph 6,5,5 only, taking into account the amended text proposed in paragraph 10 of document MSC 102/14/1.  In this context, they were also instructed to consider paragraph 5.3.2.4 of the recommendatory Part III of the RO Code, with a view to advising the Committees on whether the text of both paragraphs should be aligned, keeping MEPC informed.

 

Working arrangements for III 7.  Taking into account the postponement of III 7 from July 2020 until 12–16 July 2021, it was agreed that, subject to concurrence by MEPC 75, the correspondence groups established by III 6 should continue their work on the basis of their agreed terms of reference.  The groups will also take into account any pertinent outcome of other IMO bodies that have met in the interim.   III 7 is expected to include, in particular, the anticipated development of draft Assembly resolutions on the procedures for Port State Control (PSC, 2021); Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2021; and the 2021 Non- exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code.

 

MSC Zoe casualty.  The delegation of the Netherlands provided information on the marine safety investigation into the MSC Zoe (IMO 9703318) casualty.  The report on the loss of 342 containers during a storm off the coasts of Germany and the Netherlands has been uploaded into the GISIS Marine Casualties and incidents module (C0012974) for consideration by the Correspondence Group on Analysis of Marine Safety Investigation Reports.

CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND CONTAINERS.  The Committee approved, in general, the report of the sixth session of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and containers (CCC) and took action as follows:

 

Draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel.  Approval was given to an MSC circular on the interim Guidelines.

 

Application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service.  The Committee approved an MSC circular on Guidelines for the acceptance of alternative metallic materials for cryogenic service in ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk and ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels.  Approval was also given to another MSC circular on Revised guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service.

 

Draft amendments to the CSS Code and consequential amendments to other instruments.  An MSC circular on Amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) was approved together with consequential amendments to the guidelines for the preparation of the Cargo Securing Manual and the Code of Safe Practice for Ships carrying Timber Deck Cargoes.  In this context, the Committee also adopted an MSC resolution on Guidelines for securing arrangements for the transport of road vehicles on ro-ro ships which will replace resolution A.581(14), subject to endorsement by the Assembly.

 

Unified interpretations of the IGC and IMDG Codes.  In considering the draft MSC circular on unified interpretation (UI) of the IGC Code, a wide variety of views were expressed concerning the definition of the word “duct”.  Following discussion, the CCC Sub-Committee was instructed to further consider the draft UI and Member States plus international organisations were invited to submit further comments and proposals to CCC 7, under the agenda item “Unified interpretations of provisions of IMO safety, security and environment-related conventions”.

The Committee subsequently approved the draft MSC circular on Unified interpretations of the IGC Code, which in view of the decision already taken, did not include the interpretation of paragraph 3.1 proposed by CCC 6.  The Committee also approved the MSC circular on Unified interpretation of the IMDG Code.

 

Revision of the inspection programmes for cargo transport units carrying dangerous goods.  The Committee noted the discussion and progress made by CCC on the revision of the inspection programmes for cargo transport carrying dangerous goods, in particular the importance of IMO’s involvement in the work of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regarding pest control associated with the movement of CTUs and their cargoes.  The Secretariat was requested to continue closely following the work of IPPC and to participate as a member of the Sea Container Task Force.  Member States were also encouraged to undertake CTU inspections in accordance with the inspection programmes and report their findings to the Organisation.

 

E&T 34 and 35.  Observing that the thirty-second session of the Council (C32) had adopted a meeting reconstruction priority list, it was noted that all four CGs established by CCC 6 were continuing their work and that their reports could be submitted as a revision of the existing documents submitted within CCC 7’s document deadline.  Following discussion, the Committee:

 

  • Approved the holding of E&T 34 (IMDG Code, depending on the finalisation of amendments to the UN Orange Book), to take place in Spring 2021;
  • Approved the holding of E&T 35 (IMDG and IMSBC Codes) to take place immediately after CCC 7; and,
  • Authorised E&T 33 and E&T 34 to consider IMDG and IMSBC Codes-related CCC 7 submissions with a view to reporting back to CCC 7.

NAVIGATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND SEARCH AND RESCUE.  The Committee approved, in general, the report of the seventh session of the NCSR Sub-Committee and took action as follows:

Traffic separation schemes and routeing measures.  Measures to be implemented include:

 

  • Consolidated TSSs and associated measures “Off the coast of Norway”, replacing the existing TSSs and their associated measures;
  • An amended TSS replacing the existing TSS in “Slupska Bank” (Poland); and,
  • Amendments to the existing TSS and associated measures “Off Ushant”.

 

Amendments to the existing two-way route “In the Great Barrier Reef Inner Route (North)” (Australia) were adopted and will be implemented in 6 months time.

 

Recognition of IRNSS as a component of the World-wide radionavigation system.  The Committee adopted a resolution on Recognition of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) as a component of the World-wide radionavigation system.

 

Dissemination of MSI and SAR-related information over multiple GMDSS recognised mobile satellite services.  The discussion at NCSR 7 on cost implications for Maritime safety information (MSI) providers (i.e. NAVAREA and METAREA Coordinators) related to the dissemination of MSI to ships over multiple recognised mobile satellite services for use in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was noted.  NCSR 7 had also invited interested Member States to submit relevant proposals to MSC as this was adjudged to be a policy issue. The urgent need to address such cost implications for MSI and SAR information providers was recognised but in view of time constraints, it was decided to defer consideration of this matter to MSC 103.  In doing so, the Committee:

 

  • Noted the concerns expressed on cost implications;
  • Invited IMSO to liaise with GMDSS-recognised mobile satellite service providers regarding the implementation of an automatic self-confirmation broadcast functionality by the satellite service provider and advise NCSR as appropriate;
  • Instructed NCSR to consider technical solutions for the dissemination of MSI and SAR-related information such as, for example, the implementation of the single web interface being considered by IHO and the need for amendments to resolutions to address broadcast monitoring requirements.

 

The observer delegate from WMO emphasised that the decision taken by IMO regarding the recognition of additional satellite services had generated an “unfunded mandate” on NAVAREA and METAREA Coordinators and thus, it was under the remit of IMO to find a solution to the issue.

 

Revision of the Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance.  In order to achieve the target completion and adoption of the revised guidelines by A 32 in 2021, the Committee authorised NCSR to submit the revised Guidelines direct to MEPC and LEG for concurrent approval, with a view to subsequent adoption by A 32.

 

Intended Designation of New Archipelagic Sea Lanes by the Philippines.  Due to time constraints, this proposal by the Philippines promoting navigational safety, protection of the environment and national security was not discussed but instead, will be considered by the NCSR Sub-Committee under existing output OW 4 (Routeing measures and mandatory ship reporting systems.

 

Developments related to GMDSS Mobile Satellite Services.  The information provided in document MSC 102/16/1 (IMSO) reminding all of the closure of Inmarsat Fleet 77 (F77) service as of 1 December 2020 was duly noted and in this context, SOLAS Contracting Governments were encouraged to urgently inform all parties concerned about the closure date.

Amendments to the IAMSAR Manual.  The ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonisation of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue has now finalised draft amendments to the IAMSAR Manual for submission to NCSR and subsequent approval by MSC (103) and ICAO for inclusion in the 2022 edition of the Manual.

SHIP DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION.  The Committee approved, in general, the report of the seventh session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction and took action as follows:

 

Revised explanatory notes to the SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations.  The revised explanatory notes will take effect on 1 January 2024 for ships as defined in SOLAS regulation II-1/1.1.1.

 

Amendments to UIs of SOLAS chapters II-1 and XII.  The Committee approved the Unified interpretations of SOLAS chapters II-1 and XII, of the technical provisions for means of access for inspections (resolution MSC. 158(78)) and also, the Performance Standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers.

 

Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters.  MSC 98 specified the types of non-SOLAS ships to be considered as, fishing vessels, pleasure yachts above 300 GT not engaged in trade, and cargo ships below 500 GT down to 300 GT.  The development of guidelines for fishing vessels and pleasure yachts not engaged in trade operating in polar waters has since been completed by SDC 7.  In this connection, the Committee considered whether safety guidelines should also be considered for pleasure yachts of 300 GT and above but less than 500 GT engaged in trade (i.e. commercial yachts) in addition to cargo ships of 300GT and above but less than 500 GT, and agreed that guidance should be developed for these categories by the SDC Sub-Committee under an existing output.

 

Safety standards for the carriage of industrial personnel (IP).  The Committee considered the application of draft SOLAS chapter XV (Safety measures for ships carrying industrial personnel) to existing ships certified to the Interim recommendations on the safe carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages (Interim Recommendations) and the provision therein that the interim recommendations should be applied until such time as mandatory regulations come into force.  In this context, several delegations argued that some of the vessels carrying IP on international voyages would not meet the requirements of the new IP Code and that grandfathering, exemption and equivalence provisions should be developed in order for existing vessels to continue to be permitted to carry IP in accordance with the Interim Recommendations or other standards, provided that they meet an equivalent level of safety acceptable to the administration.  Following a lengthy discussion, the Committee agreed that, with the entry into force of the IP Code, existing ships certified under the Interim Recommendations (resolution MSC.418(97))should be allowed to operate, provided that they also meet some of the operational and equipment requirements in the new IP Code, which can include a transitional period..  Consequently, SDC 8 was instructed to develop grandfathering provisions for existing ships certified under the Interim Recommendations.

 

Entry into force of the new SOLAS chapter XV and the IP Code.  In light of the postponement of SDC 8 to early 2022 and consequential delay in adoption of the new draft SOLAS chapter XV and new IP Code, it was agreed to exempt both of these instruments from the 4-year amendment cycle.  In order to facilitate their development, approval was given to hold a virtual intersessional IP Working Group meeting in March 2021, subject to Council endorsement, with the aim to finalise the work and submit a report to SDC 8.

 

Amendments to the 2011 ESP Code.  Having considered draft amendments to the 2011 ESP Code, prepared by SDC 7 in accordance with the procedure for undertaking regular updates of the Code agreed by MSC 92, the Committee approved draft amendments to the 2011 ESP Code, with a view to adoption at MSC 103.

 

Mandatory requirements regarding watertight doors on cargo ships.  Draft amendments to the 1988 LL Protocol, the IBC and IGC Codes, also MARPOL Annex I with respect to watertight doors on cargo ships, developed by SDC were considered.  Despite concerns raised by the Australian delegation concerning hinged watertight access doors and for which it will submit relevant comments to MSC 103, the Committee approved draft amendments regarding watertight doors on cargo ships to the 1988 LL Protocol, the IBC Code and the IGC Code with a view to adoption at MSC 103 for entry into force by I January 2024.  Having noted that these draft amendments would have no impact on existing ships, the Committee agreed to apply them to all ships and invited MEPC 76 to concur with this decision when considering the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I.

POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE.  It was recalled that PPR 7 last met from 17 to 21 February 2020 and that its report had been duly circulated.  Action was then taken as follows:

Timing of replacement of existing IBC Code certificates.  The Committee approved, subject to concurrent decision by MEPC 75, the revised Circular on Guidance on the timing of existing certificates by revised certificates as a consequence of the entry into force of amendments to chapters 17 and 18 of the IBC Code (to be issued after MSC 75).

Revised carriage requirements for methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.  Having noted that PPR 7 approved and issued PPR.1/Circ.9 on the revised carriage requirements prior to MEPC 75 and MSC 102 taking place in order to notify relevant stakeholders in a timely manner that operational requirements 16.6.1 and 16.6.2 of the IBC Code apply to methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate, the Committee endorsed the PPR circular.  The Committee also concurred with the recommendation that chapter 17 of the IBC Code should be amended to include the updated carriage requirements for methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.

 

SHIP SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT.  Approval was given, in general, to the report of SSE 7.  Items of interest follow:

 

New requirements for ventilation of survival craft.  Finalised draft amendments to the LSA Code regarding new requirements for ventilation of survival craft will be considered by the Committee as a package once the associated draft amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances have also been finalised.

 

Draft amendments to the FSS Code.  The Committee considered and approved draft amendments to chapter 9 of the FSS Code prepared by SSE 7, aiming to clarify the  acceptability of less complex and costly section identifiable fault isolation for individually identifiable fire detector systems installed on cargo ships and passenger ship cabin balconies.

 

Draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1.  The Committee considered draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 in relation to onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches (OLAW) finalised at PPR 7, aiming to develop uniform, goal and function-based standards to prevent serious incidents with respect to the operation of OLAW.  Following discussion, the Committee agreed that the amendments should be adopted as early as possible, outside the 4-year cycle due to exceptional circumstances.  Draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 were approved in principle, with a view to subsequent adoption at a future session of the Committee, in conjunction with the approval of the associated draft guidelines for lifting appliances and the draft guidelines for anchor handling winches, once finalised.

 

Draft guidelines for lifting appliances.  Regarding the draft guidelines for lifting appliances, the Committee noted a statement by IACS expressing the view that some definitions and expressions need to be clearly differentiated and clarified, citing a number of examples such as “competent person” and responsible person”.  In this connection, note was taken of IACS intention to propose solutions to such concerns, as well as submitting some example forms for the “register of ship’s lifting appliances and cargo handling gear”, and for the “certificate of test and thorough examination” to be included in the draft guidelines, proposals for which will be submitted to the SSE Sub-Committee. The Committee approved, in principle, a draft MSC circular on Guidelines for lifting appliances, with a view to final approval in conjunction with the associated amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1.  The matter of training, familiarisation and qualifications of shore-based personnel operating shipboard lifting appliances and loose gear was referred to the FAL Committee.

 

Transfer of an output to the SDC Sub-Committee.  Following discussion, it was agreed that the output on “Safety objectives and functional requirements of the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for SOLAS chapters II-1 and III”, should be transferred to SDC 8 in order to balance the workload between the two Sub-Committees.  The CG established at SSE 7 will report to SDC 8 and relevant submissions submitted likewise. The SDC Sub-Committee was authorised to establish an experts’ group to deal with the matter.

 

Draft amendments to the LSA Code concerning single fall and hook systems.  It was decided that the finalised amendments to paragraph 4.4.7.6.17 of the LSA Code concerning single fall and hook systems with on-load release capability will be submitted to a future session of MSC, as a package, in conjunction with the draft amendments to the LSA Code related to ventilation of survival craft.

 

Draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/33 and the LSA Code.  The Committee approved draft amendments to paragraph 4.4.1.3 of the LSA Code and SOLAS regulation III/33, thus removing the applicability of the requirements to launch free-fall lifeboats to test their strength with the ship making headway at speeds up to 5 knots in calm waters on cargo ships of 20,000 GT and above.

 

Corrigendum to MSC.1/Circ.1430/Rev.1.  SSE’s recommendation to issue a corrigendum to the Revised guidelines for the design and approval of fixed water-based fire-fighting systems for ro-ro spaces and special category spaces was endorsed.  This will allow fire and component tests previously conducted to remain valid for the approval of systems according to the revised circular and to permit existing fixed fire-fighting systems approved and installed to remain in service, as long as they are serviceable.

 

Use and fitting of retro-reflective materials on LSA.  Following an instruction from Assembly (A 31) for MSC to take action on this item, the Committee considered document MSC 102/19/1 (UK et al), proposing amendments to resolution A.658(16) with the goal of better reflecting the current practices of test laboratories involved in accelerated weather testing.  In discussion the Committee agreed that, the proposed amendment to paragraph 4.10 of Annex 2 to the resolution referring to “a test methodology based on a standard recognised by the Organisation” should be replaced by “in accordance with an international standard acceptable to the Organisation” following which the amendments could be introduced as a new draft MSC resolution, superceding resolution A.658(16).  Following this, the proposed MSC resolution on the Revised use and fitting of retro-reflective materials on life-saving appliances was adopted and A 32 invited to revoke the existing resolution A.658 (16) accordingly.

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS.  MSC 103 has been scheduled to take place from 5 to 14 May 2021 and MSC 104 from 4 to 8 October 2021.  The Committee recalled its earlier decision to only consider at this session, documents related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on safety-related matters and to postpone consideration of all remaining documents to MSC 103.  Note was taken of a statement by the Marshall Islands (supported by Bahamas, Liberia and ICS) regarding perceived unjustified port State control action against ships.

 

Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes.  The Committee had for its consideration document MSC 102/22/8 (Cook Islands et al), proposing to recognise the Recommended Framework of Protocols related to safe ship crew changes (Circular letter No.4204/Add.14/Rev.1), developed by the Industry, by means of an MSC Circular.  In considering the document, and taking into account document MSC 102/INF .26 (Austria et al) on safe practices for seafarer mobility and crew changes, the following views were noted:

 

  • Effective crew changes are a key element for the safe operation of ships, safety of life at sea, and mental wellbeing, recruitment and retention of seafarers;
  • Member States should share the burden of crew change, repatriation and access to medical care; remove obstacles to crew change; and, ensure that seafarers have not been infected by coronavirus before they leave a Member State’s territory;
  • Promulgation of clear guidance through recognition of the Industry Framework of Protocols by means of an MSC circular being paramount for safe crew change, travel and repatriation of seafarers; and pertinent, following the adoption of resolution MSC.473(ES.2);
  • The recommendatory nature of the Recommended Framework of Protocols should be emphasised; and,
  • Joint actions by UN agencies, together with the draft UN resolution dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic to maritime trade and seafarers currently under consideration by the UN General Assembly, with a view to adoption, should yield positive results in order to address this humanitarian crisis.

 

Following consideration, the Committee approved an MSC circular on the Industry recommended framework of Protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It also authorised the Chair and Secretariat, in consultation with the authors of the Protocols, to distribute relevant updates as revisions of the circular, in order to ensure that the information therein remains current.

 

Universal non-text logo to guide seafarers.  This proposal by New Zealand received general support in principle, following which the Secretariat was requested to initiate the development, in collaboration with ILO and ICAO, of a logo or symbol to promote awareness of resources dedicated to seafarers.  Progress made will be reported to MSC 103 and FAL 45 will also be kept informed of developments.

 

GISIS module to register ports that facilitate crew changes.  The Committee considered document MSC 102/12 (Cyprus et al), proposing the development of a new GISIS module to register ports that facilitate crew changes and disseminate information provided by Member States regarding those ports, to enable shipping companies to more easily plan and organise crew changes during the pandemic.  Such information would preclude the need for Circular Letters on the subject.

Following consideration and much discussion, and having recognised the need for cooperation by Member States to keep relevant information accessible, reliable and up to date, the Secretariat was requested to develop, as a matter of priority, a new GISIS module for the dissemination of information by Member States regarding ports that facilitate crew changes, which should:

 

  • Be based on the form set out in the annex to document MSC 102/22/12;
  • Include a checkbox for the identification of Member States not applying restrictions to crew change and repatriation; and
  • Incorporate information on the designation of National Focal Points on Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers which Member States have submitted in accordance with resolution MSC.473(ES.2).

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  MSC 103 will convene on Wednesday 5 May 2021 for eight working days.

End

Captain Paddy McKnight

 

 

 

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