RS took part in the 108th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee

RS took part in the 108th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee
RS Photo.

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) took part in the 108th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108). The meeting was held recently at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), London.

One of the focal points of MSC 108 was the development of the Code to regulate Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS Code). The Committee clarified the Code’s scope of application – its provisions will apply to cargo ships certified in accordance with chapter I of the SOLAS Convention. Exceptions will be made for high-speed craft and government-owned (or government-operated) vessels, including warships.

The range of issues addressed during the session included a complementary certification scheme alternative to the ISM Code intended for the safe operation management of remote operation centers (Remote Operation Management concept), the approval of new specialized equipment for MASS, a concept of MASS application, communication means, software security principles, risk assessment for ship, its systems and equipment.

The Committee also rescheduled the adoption date of the non-mandatory MASS Code to May 2025 (MSC 110) and the mandatory Code to the first half of 2030. The Code is to enter into force on January 1, 2032.

An important item on the agenda was the amendment of mandatory IMO instruments. A number of important revisions of the SOLAS Convention and international codes were adopted with regards to:

  • fire safety of ro-ro passenger ships;
  • emergency towing arrangements to be fitted on ships other than tankers with a gross tonnage above 20,000;
  • safety measures for ships using natural gas as fuel;
  • new types of fuels and technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships;
  • supplementing reports with information on the loss as well as the discovery of drifting cargo containers;
  • maintenance, examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear etc.

As part of the session, the Committee

  • adopted amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F Convention) and the new STCW‑F Code;
  • adopted the revised Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management;
  • approved the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on Maritime Safety Information; Guidelines on the Medical Examination of Fishing Vessel Personnel;
  • approved Interim guidelines for the use of LPG cargo as ship fuel;
  • approved the Guidance in relation to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS).

Detailed results of the MSC 108 can be found under the section "Useful Information" on the official RS website.

Additional information:

Founded in 1913, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is a world-renowned classification society that operates within all spheres of the maritime industry. The organization’s main objectives are to enhance the safety standards of human life at sea, ensure the safe navigation of ships and the secure transportation of cargoes by sea and inland waterways, as well as to develop standards for environmental protection.

RS reviews technical documentation, surveys ships under construction and in service, issues documents and certificates for vessels, offshore facilities, ship machinery, equipment and devices; conducts measurements of ships and floating facilities; carries out surveys to ensure compliance with international conventions; certifies industrial products and manufacturers, quality management systems, sustainability management and occupational health and safety management systems in compliance with ISO standards. RS surveys general cargo containers, thermal containers, tank containers, platform containers, offshore containers, etc.