INTERTANKO attends MSC 83 in Copenhagen 3-12 October 2007

A full team from INTERTANKO is attending the 83rd session of the IMO's Marine Safety Committee (MSC 83) in Copenhagen, 3-12 October 2007.


The main issues on the agenda which are of interest to INTERTANKO members are as follows:


·          Long Range Identification and Tracking - technical specifications and guidelines
The MSC will be invited to make a number of decisions to ensure the timely implementation of the LRIT system. SOLAS regulation V/19-1 on LRIT will enter into force on 1 January 2008 and will apply to ships constructed on or after 31 December 2008 with a phased-in implementation schedule for ships constructed before 31 December 2008.


·          Goal-based Standards for new ship construction
The MSC is expected to re-establish the Working Group on Goal-Based Standards (GBS) for New Ship Construction to further progress the work on this issue. The reports of two correspondence groups will be reviewed, namely the Correspondence Group on GBS for oil tankers and bulk carriers and the Correspondence Group on GBS based on the safety level approach.

·          Damage stability verification

      A new work programme item proposed jointly by Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and INTERTANKO, to develop guidelines for the verification of damage stability requirements contained in existing instruments for tank vessels, and for consideration of their application to new and existing vessels to ensure the consistent verification of damage stability on such vessels.


·          Measures to enhance maritime security
The MSC has established an ad hoc Working Group on Maritime Security to discuss issues relating to maritime security, including the security aspects of the operation of ships which do not fall within the scope of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code (including cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage which travel on international routes).

     After brief deliberations the Working Group concluded that the approach to drafting guidelines for non-SOLAS vessels should be based on developing risk assessments of the different types of craft rather than trying to categorise the various ships. Such elements as the area of operation and location should be considered. One national delegation advised that it had physically separated SOLAS and non-SOLAS vessels at its ports and applied elements of the ISPS Code to the handling of such craft.

The Working Group may reconvene at a later stage during MSC 83 and establish a small Drafting Group, made up of the U.K. as Co-ordinator of the Correspondence Group together with some other nations, to start the drafting process. INTERTANKO will have an opportunity to report further on this issue after a possible follow-up meeting.  

 A second item was added to the Working Group's Terms of Reference - namely to consider and make proposals based on the comments by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) submitted to MSC 83/4/3 relating to the continued incidents involving the refusal by public authorities to produce proper identification when boarding ships and entering port facilities.

     It was quickly agreed by the Working Group to invite Port State Control officers and other port officials to observe this important requirement in compliance with the requirements of the ISPS Code.


·          Implementation of the revised STCW Convention
The list of parties deemed to be giving full and complete effect to the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, is expected to be updated when the Secretary-General submits his report on those countries whose reports of independent evaluations have been completed since the previous MSC meeting.


·          Manning: Proposals from India to make two cadets per ship mandatory.


·          Lifeboat-related issues: Consideration of amendments to MSC.1/Circ.1206.


·          Inert Gas: The outcome from the Fire Protection Committee (FP) and the Design & Equipment Sub-committee (DE) regarding their conclusions relating to any inert gas revisions. The INTERTANKO position can be accessed here .


·          Consideration of a draft performance standard for protective coatings for void spaces on bulk carriers and oil tankers.


·          Consideration of the report of the Joint MSC/Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) Working Group on Human Element, which met during MEPC 56 in July 2007.  

·          Consideration of a draft new Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident, revoking Resolution A.849(20) on the Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents.

·          Piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to have occurred since the last report to the Committee.


Contacts: Howard Snaith; Dragos Rauta; Fredrik Larsson; Joe Angelo; Gunnar A. Knudsen; Minerva Alfonso