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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Common Structural Rules discussed in Shanghai

Delegates at the Tradewinds/Mare Forum in Shanghai last week took the opportunity, with the presence of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Chairman and other representatives from classification societies, to discuss progress in the development of Common Structural Rules for tankers and bulk carriers.  

They were advised that the formal timetable remains the release of the second drafts at the end of March with a view to approvals being obtained from the respective technical committees by the end of June, enabling the Common Rules to be introduced in January 2006. However, IACS has acknowledged that there are still several hurdles to be overcome and an extraordinary meeting of the IACS Council has been called for late March in London. 

In its intervention, INTERTANKO recalled that together with the Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF), they have been calling for common scantlings and restoration of design margins for more than five years. It is INTERTANKO’s view that classification societies should not compete on structural rules and IACS and the individual members were therefore encouraged to: 

-   develop “good rules”, i.e. geared to the design and construction of fit-for-purpose ships

-   ensure that the rules are “common” to all societies, i.e. adopted by all IACS members

-   provide these rules as quickly as possible

-   make them freely available within all the societies and across the industry without commercial impediments

-   incorporate appropriate processes for ongoing development and refinement and progressive harmonisation. 

The INTERTANKO position received wide support from various shipowners present, while the IACS Chairman confirmed that he would convey these views, as well as the other expressions of support for Common Rules, to the IACS Council’s extraordinary meeting. 

Contact: Peter Swift