Further to our article on the outcome of IMO’s Safety of Navigation sub-Committee (NAV 48) meeting held last week, the issue of Places of Refuge was advanced last week when two key Resolutions were approved on the issues of places of refuge.

Firstly, the sub-Committee approved the Resolution providing Guidelines on Places of Refuge for Ships in Need of Assistance. INTERTANKO participated in the Working Group which finalised the Guidelines that accompany the Resolution. The Guidelines ensure adequate guidance is given to all those involved in such a situation, including instructions on action to be taken by the master and or salvors in need of assistance, and also guidance to coastal States for the assessment of a place of refuge and aspects to be considered in the decision-making process for the use of a place of refuge.


The second Resolution which received approval was based on the establishment of Marine Assistance Services (MAS) by coastal States. MAS's will be responsible for receiving reports during any such event and to act as the point of contact between the shipmaster and the coastal State.


One key debate during the week was the provision of adequate financial security for the coastal State from the ship owner. On this issue, the sub-Committee have requested assistance from IMO's Legal Committee.


The two resolutions were approved by the sub-Committee and have now been forwarded for further action to both the MSC and the MEPC. It is intended that these two Committees will revert with comment at the next NAV meeting following which the final drafts will be sent directly to the Assembly for adoption in 2003.


Contact: Tim Wilkins, e-mail: