Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) took part in the work of the 107th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 107) as part of the delegation of the Russian Federation.
The meeting was held on May 31 - June 9, 2023 at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), London.
The central topic on the agenda was the development of the International Code for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). The Committee continued to discuss the goals and functional requirements of the sections in the future Code, clarified its terminology and scope (cargo ships covered by the SOLAS Convention). The new IMO instrument is planned to take effect in 2024 as a recommendation, and to become mandatory from 2028.
Following the session, a large package of amendments will be introduced to the SOLAS Convention. Thus, the amendments to chapter II-1 of SOLAS, which will enter into force on January 1, 2026, will expand the range of lifting appliances and anchor winches that will be covered by the requirements of the Convention. Together with these amendments, MSC 107 adopted two Guidelines that contain requirements for the design, testing, inspection, maintenance and operation (including operational documentation) for lifting appliances and anchor winches.
The amendments to SOLAS and related Codes adopted by the Committee also include a ban on the use and storage of fire-extinguishing media containing perfluoro-octane sulfonic acid (PFOS) on ships, list the requirements for equipping containerships and bulk carriers with electronic inclinometers, which provide the determination, indication, and transmission of vessel roll parameters to the voyage data recorder. They also cover the reduction of the lifeboats and rescue boats launching speed, the effectiveness of lifejackets in the water and ventilation in fully enclosed lifeboats. The amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-4 contain new requirements for emergency towing arrangements and procedures.
The delegates also focused their attention on measures for improving the safety of ships using gas fuel. MSC 107 approved the draft Interim Guidelines for the safety of ships using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The main idea of the document is to define the placement, installation, control and monitoring of mechanisms, equipment and systems using LPG as fuel in such a way as to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and environment. In addition, MSC 107 plans to initiate an assessment of IMO requirements for the use of new technologies and alternative fuels. In the course of the analysis, ways for further developing the regulatory and technical base of the IMO in this direction will be determined. The main task is to remove barriers and lay out the groundwork for the safe implementation of new solutions and the development of a roadmap for enacting IMO’s strategy on the reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.
An important item on the agenda was the review of the regular assessment by Maritime Administrations of the rules of their recognized organizations (classification societies), including Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. The Committee confirmed their compliance with the IMO Goal Based Standards for the construction of oil tankers and bulk carriers, which allows RS to continue providing services of classification surveys and certification of new oil tankers and bulk carriers with a length of 150 m or more.
In addition, MSC 107 adopted amendments to the 1979, 1989 and 2009 Codes for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Codes) and a unified interpretation clarifying the requirements for the storage of materials containing asbestos on board, as well as draft of new Guidelines for maintenance and monitoring of materials containing asbestos on board MODUs.
In the near future MSC plans to start reviewing:
• International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention ((ISM) Code) and related guidelines;
• Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management (MSC-FAL.1/Circ.3/Rev.2);
• Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG).
Detailed information on the 107th session of the MSC are available in the section on the results of the sessions of the IMO bodies on the RS website.
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