Inter-industry Group (IIG) updates the IMO on industry investigations into tanker accidents

After receiving the report of the casualty inquiry into an explosion on board the "Chassiron" in 2003, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) invited the Inter-industry Group (IIG), comprising CEFIC, IACS, IAPH, ICS, INTERTANKO, IPTA and OCIMF, to submit the results of its work to the Committee at the earliest opportunity. 

The IIG formed a Steering Committee in January 2005, which appointed a Working Group (IIWG) drawn from members of the individual organisations together with the International Group of P&I Clubs.   

From a database of incidents that have occurred over the past 25 years the Working Group identified 35 that had involved fires and explosions in cargo areas on tankers and set itself the task of identifying the root causes and establishing whether there were any common factors, with the object of identifying corrective actions that would prevent any further such incidents.  

The Steering Committee has been evaluating the findings of the various task groups and is finalising a paper containing conclusions and recommendations to IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee 81. It is anticipated that the paper will be submitted to the IMO at the end of January/early February 2006.  

In order to keep the IMO appraised, the following verbal update was presented this week to the IMO’s Sub-committee on Fire Protection (FP 50) on behalf of the industry associations. 

Background.

MSC 79 considered the French submission MSC 79/22/8, which summarised the findings of the casualty inquiry into the explosion on board the "Chassiron". The Committee noted that industry associations were investigating a number of similar incidents and agreed to refrain from taking further action until the Group had completed its investigations.  MSC 79 invited industry to submit the results of its work to the Committee at the earliest opportunity. 

MSC 80, having received an update on the activities of the IIWG, urged flag States to provide IMO and, through the Secretariat, the IIWG with outstanding reports into casualties involving explosions on chemical and product carriers. MSC 80 also invited the IIWG to provide interim reports to FP 50, STW 37, DE 49 and BLG 10.  

Update.

During its deliberations the IIWG agreed that, in view of the complexity of the casualties and the time taken to complete the investigations, it would be premature to make interim recommendations to the relevant Sub-Committees. The work of the IIG is only now close to completion and the Group remains fully committed to meeting its obligation to provide a full report to MSC 81 including identification of the actions being taken by industry and its recommendations to the Committee. 

Contact: Howard Snaith