Amendment to Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Straits

The Joint IMO submission MSC 78/11/6 made by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), INTERTANKO, and Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) (click here to download a copy) was discussed this week at the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 78). The submission requested the MSC to consider referring the matter of the Singapore Traffic Separation Scheme back to the Sub-committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) in order that the Ships’ Routeing Working Group might once again carefully consider the navigational and safety aspects of the amendment.

The three littoral states Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore stated that they had not been consulted by the industry on this issue since the proposal was first raised at NAV 49 last year. Following substantial discussion in IMO Plenary on matters of protocol in relation to the question "can traffic separation schemes (TSS) be adopted before all the rules and regulations are in place?" the IMO agreed that the littoral states should engage in discussion with the industry to enable industry to raise its concerns regarding the infrastructure surrounding the proposals for the anchorage area, and agreed that this discussion would be undertaken within the next 6 months. The littoral states would then report back to MSC79 towards the end of this year and advise and confirm that all the rules and regulations surrounding the proposal were in place. Subject to this confirmation the IMO would seek entry into force of the proposed scheme on 1 January 2005.

It is stressed however that as we go to press the MSC 78 is still in session and will not be concluded until the end of this week.

Contact: Howard Snaith