STW 39 - comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and the STCW Code

Chapter V – Special Training Requirements for Personnel on Certain Types of Ships


The Joint Industry group Human Factors Task Group Human Factors Task Group (HTFG) comprising ICS, IAPH, CEFIC, OCIMF, INTERTANKO, IPTA and SIGTTO, made a proposal to the IMO’s Sub-committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW 39), which met this week in London, to enhance and update the tanker endorsement and tanker familarisation requirements within the STCW Convention (International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers).


This submission was called document STW/39/6/1. Click here to access.    


The Human Factors Task Group (HFTG), in response to the instructions of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), investigated fires and explosions on chemical and product tankers and concluded that one of the most significant contributory factors to these incident causes was a failure to follow or understand cargo operation guidelines and procedures at both shipboard and ship management levels. In response, it made a number of proposals, within a tanker endorsement structure, that it considered appropriate to operational functions, and which will encourage an effective safety culture at both operational and managerial levels.


The working group that dealt with this issue this week at the IMO produced some preliminary revisions to the STCW Convention regarding tanker familiarisation courses for oil, chemical and gas tankers, and the associated requirements for these endorsements, along with preliminary revised tables regarding the competencies that should be required within the comprehensive review of the Convention.


At this time, however, the text and competencies remain preliminary as the work regarding the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention is still ongoing and will now proceed through an intersessional meeting in September 2008, on to STW 40 in January 2009, and then on for adoption in 2010.


The HFTG expressed the view, however, that the STW Sub-committee should be requested to invite the MSC to consider the joint submission, document STW39/6/1 further. The STW Sub-committee endorsed this view and consequently document STW/39/6/1 will be forwarded to the MSC for further consideration. 

Contact: Howard Snaith and Ajay Gour