INTERTANKO was in strong attendance at IMO at the meeting of the Design & Equipment Sub committee, Session 45 (DE/45), 18-22 March. Many relevant topics were on the agenda but the following will be of particular interest to members:

Anchoring, mooring and towing equipment Proposals by Australia and Canada with comments by IACS and supporting publication by OCIMF

Australia raised certain concerns regarding towing equipment used on vessels and the associated strength of the vessels mooring bitts used for securing tugs. They asked that the following aspects be addressed in IMO:

Mandatory standards should be identified and specified for anchoring towing and mooring fittings, which would require these fittings to be clearly marked with their SWL (safe working load) in order to avoid over application of loads. Such requirements should be included in SOLAS, whilst at the same time bringing the maintenance of such equipment in line with the ISM Code

OCIMF has announced its new publication ‘Recommendations for ships fittings for use with tugs, with particular reference to escorting and other high load operations’ (members were notified of this in Weekly News No 4 of 25 January 2002).

One of the main aspects of the proposals would require permanent bead weld markings on any towage bitt that would be used for tugs, including harbour tug use. Whilst the bead weld marking is not such a problem our investigations indicate that difficulties may be encountered in making a full assessment of the bitt, and determining its under deck stiffening and subsequent tie down. INTERTANKO reported to DE that we fully recognise that there currently exist no guidelines or standards for designers and builders to work to, and that diverse arrangements are being made at the building stage. It was noted that IACS are currently working on producing a standard unified requirement for this assessment and the method of determining tie downs and under deck stiffening.

INTERTANKO, however, believes that any new rules, regulations or recommendations are only warranted after a comprehensive investigation of the "problem" has been carried out, as well as a full review of the implications and an objective consultation with all of the principal parties involved. Accordingly, INTERTANKO asked DE to allow sufficient time for a full evaluation of the proposal with regard to existing vessels, because after wide consultations within our membership, with classification societies and others regarding current towing arrangements, we have not found compelling reasons for endorsing fully the recommendations developed by OCIMF for existing vessels.

DE therefore agreed that one session would be allowed to fully investigate the problems and the application of these recommendations to existing vessels before reporting back to the next session of DE. Based upon the discussion and the findings, a draft guideline for the inclusion in SOLAS would be completed.

Submissions in this regard have been invited for the 48th session of the Navigation Sub-committee.
Contact: Howard Snaith, e-mail:

Lifeboat accidents
After earlier joint efforts by INTERTANKO, OCIMF and SIGTTO regarding studies into lifeboat accidents, it was agreed that this matter would be given high priority within the DE Sub-committee.

After further submissions to DE, including joint submissions from OCIMF and INTERTANKO & SIGTTO, DE agreed to propose to MSC that an MSC circular on lifeboat accidents be issued and a work plan be developed for measures to prevent accidents, in the short, medium and long term.

(The Joint OCIMF, INTERTANKO submission DE/45/17/4 can viewed on INTERTANKO’s web site at: Click here for more information
Howard Snaith, e-mail:

Matters relating to Resolution A.744 (18) in particular permanent means of access to cargo and ballast tanks.

INTERTANKO attended the working group on this issue which centred around two submissions for permanent means of access, one from IACS and one from Japan. The culmination of this study by the working group resulted in an amalgamation of the two proposals for permanent access. The group acknowledged that with regard to tankers a means of access to the overhead structure was required for detecting corrosion as well as fatigue cracks. The most critical area for fatigue cracks is at the transverse bulkheads. The group considered rafting to be a practical means of access for close up survey and thickness measurement of tanks, provided the depth of the deck transverse webs is less than 1.5m

However, INTERTANKO raised valid concerns that there was insufficient time to fully address the following points within the working group:

1. Current studies of tanker corrosion which would highlight problem areas and thus areas that require access

2. Current studies of sloshing effects and possible damage to means of access

3. The undertaking of a proper formal safety assessment including cost benefit analysis of the proposed means of access.

Accordingly, INTERTANKO requested that these aspects of A.744 be deferred to MSC 76 in order to allow more time for assessment. Whether this request will be met will be decided at the forthcoming session of MSC 75, which will meet between the 15th and 24th May 2002.

Contact: Howard Snaith, e-mail:

Guidelines for onboard NOx monitoring and recording devices
INTERTANKO attended the Drafting Group work on the captioned subject throughout DE 45. Major advances were made relating to the supporting guidelines to undertake these measurements as an alternative to other options available for engine compliance for NOx emission requirements to meet Annex VI to MARPOL. A major issue to be considered by the Drafting Group were the words "continuous monitoring" and what this really meant in the context of continuous verification of the engine’s performance to meet the NOx cap defined by Regulation 13 of Annex VI to MARPOL. This work exposed a major deficiency in the requirements contained in the NOx technical code that would impact a vessel's ability to show verification outside of the required and defined verification periods. A full report on this and other issues discussed will be provided in a forthcoming Weekly News.

Contact: Tim Gunner, e-mail:

Amendments to SOLAS regarding electrical installations This refers to the revised IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard (IEC 60092-502) proposal for inclusion in SOLAS, with two items being addressed by the Sub-committee

A. To amend SOLAS to bring it in line with the IEC guide
B. Referring to the Bulk Liquid gases Sub-committee work programme ‘amendments to requirements on electrical installations in the IBC (International Bulk Chemical) and IG (International Gas ) code’, concerns were raised by Norway that the revised IEC code was not quite as strict as the current IBCIGC code. Therefore, it was agreed that although there was general support for inclusion of the IEC code in SOLAS, to allow the guide to be harmonised with SOLAS the agenda item would be not be finalised until the next meeting of Bulk Liquid gases Sub-committee.

Contact: Howard Snaith, e-mail:

Revision of MEPC 60(33) and A.586 (14) O.D.M.E. (overboard discharge monitoring equipment)

ODME design and systems for the handling of Oily Wastes in Machinery Spaces of ships – at this session a member of the INTERTANKO delegation was requested by the Chairman of the Working Group to address the issues relating to the calibration liquids to be used to calibrate the relevant instruments being manufactured. Currently this is undertaken using a selection of liquids of undefined quality and standardised behaviour. The Netherlands delegation, however, required a more standardised approach to this problem such that uniformity of calibration could be obtained.

The proposal put forward to achieve this result was immediately accepted by the working group with the solution to be further developed as part of the work items at DE 46. The work in general on this item will continue to be considered both by MEPC and DE at their next meetings.

Contact: Tim Gunner, e-mail:

Maritime security
An informal group met on the matter of Maritime Security to consider the suggestions given to the sub-committee by the ISWG (intersessional working group) on Maritime Security and report back to the forthcoming meeting of MSC 75. Matters discussed were

1. Means of raising an alarm on ships under terrorist attack:
The group considered that means to alert other vessels in the vicinity would not be appropriate, but notification to a shore reception station would be.

2. Ship security equipment:
The group concluded that the kind of equipment to be used onboard would largely depend on the risk assessment, the impact on the ship security plan and the interface between the ship security officer and the company. It was agreed that this should be further discussed at MSC 75.

3. Other issues:
The group considered that depending upon the level of security required to counteract the threat to the ship the company may be required to provide additional personnel in order to achieve the required level of security.

Contact: Howard Snaith, e-mail: