NAV 49 outcome

INTERTANKO attended the full Plenary session Monday to Friday and actively participating in various informal meetings as well as the following Working Groups:
  1. The Technical Working Group regarding VDR
  2. The Working Group regarding Ship Routeing
  3. The Drafting Group on Places of Refuge

Further updates regarding the outcome of NAV 49 are as follows:


The Sub-committee of Navigation 49 (NAV -49) concluded that it was for the Marine Safety Committee to finalise the dates for the phase-in of VDRs/S-VDRs along with exemptions for existing ships that would be phased out based upon the proposals discussed as follows:

The following implementation dates for retro-fitting VDR/S-VDR were proposed (which are currently in line with those proposed by Europe):

  • Cargo ships of 20,000 GT and upwards constructed before 1 July 2002 : not later than 1 January 2007
  • Cargo ships of 3,000GT and up to 20,000 GT constructed before 1 July 2002 : not later than 1 January 2008

"Administrations may exempt cargo ships from the application of the requirements of paragraph 20.2 when such ships will be taken permanently out of service within two years after the implementation date specified in sub-paragraphs 1 and 2 above.”

MSC 79 will meet later this year to finalise these dates with the aim of having them adopted at MSC 79 in Spring 2004.

Regarding the cost evaluation of a full VDR the sub-committee noted that the price submitted in the feasibility study (USD 91,500) had been based on figures provided by one manufacturer, which had already become outdated in a fast moving situation. Market forces had now driven down the price of a VDR by some 30-50%. Further cost reductions might be achievable particularly by creating a "simplified VDR" with a restricted data input together with a lightly protected recording medium.

Routeing of Ships

Further to our article in Weekly News 27/2003 regarding various proposals by Member States to amend/introduce new traffic separation schemes around the world, the working group assigned to discuss and review these matters reported back to the Sub Committee on Safety of Navigation (Nav49) on 4 July 2003 with its findings.

Of particular interest was the proposal to amend the traffic separation scheme presently off Cabo Finisterre by introducing two new lanes solely for the use of vessels carrying dangerous pollutant bulk cargoes. The proposed new lanes would be 3 miles wide with a separation zone from the existing scheme of 4 miles and a 1 mile wide separation between lanes. Amendments would also be made to the mandatory reporting scheme to ensure that the new area would also be included to ensure complete coverage. The Sub Committee agreed to the amendment to the TSS off Cabo Finnisterre and will forward the proposal directly to the Assembly. It will enter into force six months after adoption by the Assembly.

The working group’s report on the proposal for a new Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Adriatic Sea, Northern part (Eastern and Western portions), to include approaches to the Gulfs of Venice and Trieste, was also discussed. The working group reported that the initial proposal put forward by some Member States was not suitable in part due to the idea of “roundabouts” being used in some areas of the scheme. A revised proposal was put forward using precautionary areas in place of any “roundabouts” and the revised scheme was subsequently agreed upon. The Sub Committee will forward the matter to the Committee and is invited to adopt the proposed scheme.

The Sub Committee did not agree with the initial proposal to amend the TSS in the Straits of Singapore by designating an anchorage area as part of the routeing system. Instead the Sub Committee agreed to an amendment to the separation zone in the TSS in the Singapore Straits, by which a space for an anchorage area would be released for the purpose of providing an emergency anchorage area, the anchoring of damaged vessels requiring repairs and a safe place for vessels to take stores. This anchorage would still be located within the Western part of the Strait (Main Strait). The Sub Committee will forward the matter to the Committee inviting it to adopt the proposed amendment.

The new and amended TSS schemes in the Adriatic Sea and Singapore Straits will be implemented six months after adoption by the Committee.

Contact: Howard Snaith