Common Structural Rules for tankers and those for bulk carriers unanimously adopted by IACS Council

The annual meeting between the IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) Council and the Industry was held on 13 December 2005 in London 

The meeting was attended by all IACS Council members, INTERTANKO, Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), INTERCARGO, BIMCO, International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) and P&I International. INTERTANKO was represented by Chairman Stephen Van Dyck, Managing Director Peter Swift, and Technical Director Dragos Rauta. 

The agenda of the meeting included priority issues of the shipping industry such as: 

  • Tripartite Meetings (i.e. between owners, class and shipbuilders);
  • the status of the ongoing Inter-Industry Working Group (IIWG) on fires and explosions on chemical and product tankers;
  • the outcome of the Joint Working Group between IACS and the industry on new procedures to streamline audits under the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code);
  • developments and impact of elements in the European Union (EU) Third Maritime Safety Package; IMO developments and possible industry coordination on Goal-Based Standards;
  • the progress on the possible further development of the IACS Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS);
  • exchanges of views on some specific items of the new IACS Common Structural Rules, due to be adopted by the IACS Council later in the week.

In discussing the Common Structural Rules, the industry representatives praised IACS for its efforts to reach this goal but at the same time expressed disappointment with some elements of the proposed rules, which are perceived as not attaining the best possible standard. IACS provided information on the latest decisions for improvements, thus clarifying some of the industry’s concerns. However, some items were still left for discussion during the IACS Council's 52nd meeting on 14 and 15 December 2005 

On behalf of the industry, INTERTANKO Chairman Stephen Van Dyck told class representatives that he hoped IACS will still take into account all our comments, and they will "vote right and vote positive" when adopting these rules.  

The attendees agreed to seek more efficiency in the planning and preparation for the Tripartite Meetings, and in particular to involve shipbuilders significantly more in the initial stages. It was also agreed to coordinate an industry response to the EU Third Maritime Safety Package request to set up an independent monitoring system for classification societies and Recognised Organisations (ROs). A solution to this suggested by industry would be a consolidation of the IACS QSCS, which could become an independent auditor not only for class but also for ROs. 

In a Press Release of 14 December 2005 it was announced that the Common Structural Rules for Tankers and the Common Structural Rules for Bulkcarriers were unanimously adopted by the Council for implementation on 1 April 2006. 

Contact: Dragos Rauta