INTERTANKO reports from 51st session of IMO Sub-committee on Fire Protection (FP 51)

Last week INTERTANKO participated in the 51st session of the IMO’s Sub-committee on Fire Protection (FP 51). A broad range of issues could not be addressed at this session and were therefore assigned to various Correspondence Groups. The following is a summary of the issues dealt with that are relevant to INTERTANKO’s members.


Inert Gas requirements for tankers less than 20,000 DWT


After a lengthy debate, the Sub-committee agreed to recommend that a new item on "Measures to prevent explosions on oil and chemical tankers transporting low flash point cargoes" be recommended for inclusion in the agenda of the 83rd session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 83). The Sub-committee agreed that under the proposed work programme item, it should first consider measures for new ships and thereafter the appropriate measures for existing oil and chemical tankers transporting low flash point cargoes.

INTERTANKO participated in the debate, and expressed the view that  the inert gas requirement should relate to the nature of the cargo rather than the size of the vessel, and should apply to existing vessels as well.


For further background on this particular issue please click here


Further, FP 51 considered that many carbon dioxide systems fitted with a single control system presented an unacceptable level of risk to the crew. It agreed that a proposal to require all carbon dioxide systems to have two separate release controls would be submitted to MSC 83 (October 2007) for approval and subsequent adoption, taking into account that existing ships will have to comply by completion of the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2009.


After a request for clarification from Sweden regarding the definition of the cargo tank area in respect of SOLAS regulation II-2/10.8.1 (fixed deck foam fire-extinguishing systems), FP 51 decided to refer the request to a Correspondence Group which will report back to FP 52. The request is specific to vessels constructed with a covered pipe trunk along the cargo deck.


The International Association of Classification Societies' (IACS) recommendation for clarification of SOLAS II-/ (Protection of Fuel Oil Tanks), with regard to the extent that fuel oil tanks located in category 'A' machinery spaces should be protected from radiant heat, was referred to a Correspondence Group.


Contact: Howard Snaith or Fredrik Larsson