INTERTANKO at IMO’s Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Sub-committee meeting (STW 38)

INTERTANKO attended the 38th session of the IMO’s Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Sub-committee meeting (STW 38). Below is a summary of the main items discussed relevant to INTERTANKO members.

 

Review of the STCW Convention and STCW Code

 

The STW Sub-committee had been instructed by the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 81 - May 2006) to define the main issues to be reviewed in the STCW Convention/Code and to advise the MSC accordingly.

 

Several issues were discussed and after an extensive debate, the STW Sub-committee finally agreed to review most of both the STCW Convention and the STCW Code. The list of issues now defined for review by the STW Sub-committee requires the final approval of MSC 83 (October 2007) before any work may begin. Members will be updated on the work undertaken in due course.

 

Safe Manning

 

A "review of the principles for establishing the safe manning levels of ships" (contained in the non-mandatory resolution A.890 (21)) was included on the agenda of STW 38. During the review several issues were discussed including:

 

  • Fatigue mitigation/management
  • Record keeping of work hours
  • Cadet requirement
  • Increasing workload due to increased regulatory burden
  • Automation failure
  • Length of tours of duty
  • Degree of shore-side support
  • Inter-departmental flexibility

 

The conclusions of the Sub-committee will be forwarded to MSC 83 for further consideration and decision. These included:

  • There is a need to develop a system whereby the actual hours worked can be easily verified, in order to comply with international instruments in force at the time of reference.
  • There was a legitimate concern about how verification of actual hours worked or rest taken could be enforced in the context of flag state and port state control.
  • Shipowners should be encouraged to facilitate the training of seafarers in view of the impending global shortage of seafarers.

The working group also considered concerns regarding length of tours of duty, automation failure, degree of shore-side support, inter-departmental flexibility and increased workload due to regulatory burden. However, the working group felt that those issues already  are covered in the existing resolution.

Beside the above findings, a Correspondence Group was established to review resolution A.890 (21) and identify any aspects in need of revision and report to STW 39 (2008).

 

IMO Model Courses

 

The STW Sub-committee validated the following three IMO Model Courses:

 

  • LPG cargo and ballast handling simulator
  • LNG cargo and ballast handling simulator
  • Chemical cargo and ballast handling simulator

 

The Model Courses will be made available by the IMO once they have been updated and various amendments carried out resulting from last week's discussions.

 

Development of competences for ratings

 

Having been tasked by the MSC to further develop competences for ratings, STW 37 established a Correspondence Group. The report from this Group was presented and reviewed at STW 38. The following amendments were proposed and will be forwarded to the MSC for endorsement:

 

  • The generic term "motorman" should be replaced by "Able Seafarer Engine", to better match the existing term "Able Seafarer Deck" and in order to be consistent.

 

  • The minimum requirement should be changed to an "Able Seafarer Deck" so that candidates shall meet the requirements for certification to form part of a navigational watch according to STCW chapter II, Regulation II / 4, with a minimum of two months' seagoing service. Thereafter seagoing service of not less than 18 months should be required, or alternatively 12 months with completed approved training.

 

  • The minimum requirement should be changed to an "Able Seafarer Engine" so that candidates shall meet the requirements for certification to form part of a watch in a manned engine room / periodically unmanned engine room according to STCW chapter III, Regulation III / 4, with a minimum of two months' seagoing service. Thereafter seagoing service of not less than 12 months should be required, or alternatively 6 months with completed approved training.

 

These amendments are proposed for adoption by the MSC together with any eventual further amendments to the STCW Convention when/if it should be amended.

 

Maritime Security

 

See our article in Weekly NEWS No. 4/2007 of 26 January 2007 on STW 38 - report from Maritime Security Working Group.

 

Contact: Fredrik Larsson