IMO update - Casualty Analysis Report (Inert Gas Applications) from DE 50

The Design & Equipment Sub-committee of the IMO (DE 50) included Casualty Analysis on its agenda when it met last week in London.


This entailed further discussions pertaining to the Inter-Industry Group (ICS, IAPH, IACS, CEFIC, OCIMF, INTERTANKO, IPTA) submissions to the Marine Safety Committee (MSC 82 in December 2006) regarding its study on reported incidents of explosions on chemical and product tankers.


These submissions are available on our web site at the following link, as well as a full background to the issue and other relevant submissions and studies conducted by INTERTANKO regarding Inert Gas.


The Inter-Industry Group (IIWG) had concluded in its report that failure to follow procedures was the primary cause of the incidents in question and had established a Human Factors Task Group to look into ways of addressing this issue in the context of tankers.


The IIWG had also recommended that, as an additional safety measure, the MSC should give consideration to amending SOLAS to provide for the fitting of inert gas to new chemical tankers and new products tankers of less than 20,000 dwt which are at present exempted.


The issues related to the proposals on inert gas were referred to The Fire Protection Sub-committee (FP 51) and also to this meeting of DE for consideration and final reporting to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 83, later this year);


DE 50 agreed to follow the decision by FP 51, that it should first consider inert gas measures for new ships, and then depending on the outcome of the consideration of that process, consider what measures (if any) could be considered appropriate for existing oil and chemical tankers transporting low-flash point cargoes.


In conclusion DE 50 agreed to review what measures could be applied to new buildings and depending upon the outcome of that review, consider existing oil and chemical tankers.



As general background information for members, the INTERTANKO position regarding inert gas, following due review and recommendations by the INTERTANKO Chemical Tanker Committees; the subsequent recommendations from the INTERTANKO Executive Committee; and finally endorsement by INTERTANKO Council, is as follows:-

·          INTERTANKO supports the principle of applying the requirement for inert gas (IG/IGG/N2 as appropriate) to existing ships in parallel with new ships

·          INTERTANKO supports the logic of applying the requirement for inert gas on chemical carriers to the cargo(es) being carried (i.e the product rather than the ship)

·          INTERTANKO recognises the importance of the human element aspects and supports the continuation of further studies on these aspects.


Contact: Howard Snaith