Main issues covered at the 48th session of IMO’s Sub-committee on Design & Equipment

The following is a brief account of the main issues covered by the IMO Sub-committee on Design and Equipment at its meeting this week in London (DE 48):

New Regulation for Bunker Tank Protection – the Sub-committee has agreed on the final format for this Regulation, which will apply to ships built from August 2007. The rule provides mandatory double hull protection, and where double hull protection is not possible or practical, the proposed rule allows for a probabilistic oil fuel outflow calculation from damaged bunker tanks. INTERTANKO was represented on this issue by Keith Michel of Herbert Engineering, who was instrumental in assisting the working group in developing this proposed rule to reach a balanced outcome between various governments’ views and expectations.

Performance Standards for Coating – The Sub-committee has established a correspondence group that will consider further mandatory requirements for performance standards for coating and coating application. DE 48 agreed to recommend to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) that when these performance standards are adopted, they are to apply to ballast and void spaces of bulk carriers and oil tankers.

International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Unified Interpretation (UI) for application of MARPOL Annex VI – DE 48 has streamlined the proposed IACS UI for application of MARPOL Annex VI (Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships) and taken into account the INTERTANKO recommendations.

Guidelines for the use of exhaust gas scrubbers on board ships – DE 48 has developed guidelines for the operation and monitoring of onboard scrubbers, should the ship operator opt for this alternative to the use of lower sulphur content fuels. The outcome looks positive since DE 48 has opted for a type approval monitoring rather than a continuous on board monitoring of the SOx emissions, the alternative suggested by the U.S.

A more detailed report with links to relevant documents will be given in next week’s Weekly NEWS.

Contact: Dragos Rauta