MSC 76 – Permanent means of access

INTERTANKO agrees and supports in principle the draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/12-2 and the draft associated Technical Provisions for means of access for inspections.

Accordingly INTERTANKO submitted a document to MSC 76 regarding this issue.

In particular INTERTANKO suggested adding a new paragraph 2.4:

When ever practically possible, place by design the upper longitudinal stringer at a convenient distance of less than 6 m from the deck head. Subsequently, place by design each other lower stringer to equal distances of maximum of 6 m.

and add  a  new  sentence:

To facilitate the operation of the portable means of access, in-line openings in horizontal stringers should be provided. The openings should be of an adequate diameter and should have suitable protective railings.

The two proposed additions to the text aim to:

  1. Maximise the existing steelwork and use the ships’ structure as a permanent means of access; the advantage is less exposure of additional steel to oil cargo free surface sloshing effects and a uniform distribution of the means of access in the wing ballast tanks
  2. Facilitate communication between the fixed means of access situated at different height levels in the wing tanks and ensure easier communication between the people on the ships' deck and the inspector, irrespective of the permanent means of access at which he is situated

General support was given to the proposals but the issue remains unfinished at the current time. INTERTANKO is attending a working Group which is debating the matter of rafting to gain access to the vertical bulkheads in the ships structure.

A final report will be given next week regarding the outcome of these discussions

Contact: Dragos Rauta, e-mail: