Goal-based standards under development at IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee

Maritime Safety Committee - 79th session: 1-10 December 2004

The development of goal-based standards for new ship construction moved forward when IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) met at the Organization's London Headquarters for its 79th session from 1 to 10 December 2004.

Other important issues considered by the Committee included passenger ship safety and implementation of the maritime security measures adopted by IMO. The Committee adopted a number of amendments to the SOLAS Convention, including a revised chapter on bulk carrier safety and amendments to make mandatory the carriage of simplified voyage data recorders on existing cargo ships. The MSC also adopted a number of ships' routeing measures and a new mandatory ship reporting system - WETREP - in the Western European Waters Particularly Sensitive Sea Area.

Goal-based construction standards for new ships
Maritime security
Maritime security - AIS ship data
Global Programmes on Maritime Security
Piracy and armed robbery against ships
Passenger ship safety
Bulk carrier safety
Free-fall lifeboats on bulk carriers
Simplified Voyage Data Recorders - SOLAS amendments
New mandatory ship reporting system (WETREP) in the Western European Waters PSSA
Pilotage in Torres Strait
Implementation of the revised STCW Convention
Survey certificates
Revised fishing vessel safety code and voluntary guidelines
Transfer of ships between States
Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents
Impact of the ISM Code and its effectiveness
Other amendments adopted
Adoption of ships' routeing measures
Amendments to General Provisions on Ships' Routeing
Amendments approved for future adoption
Resolutions adopted by MSC 79
Circulars approved by MSC 79

Background

Goal-based construction standards for new ships
The MSC agreed, in general, that work on goal-based new ship construction standards would be based on the premise that the standards should be broad, over-arching goals against which ship safety should be verified at design and construction stages and during ship operation. They are not intended to set prescriptive requirements or to give specific solutions. The main objective is to introduce a system whereby the standards would be a measure against which the safety of a ship could be assessed during its design and construction, as well as later on during its operation

A Working Group on goal-based new ship construction standards met during the session and agreed in principle a five-tier approach to further development of the basic principles. Its work plan includes the further development of the first three tiers on which the standard setting process would be based: Tier I (Goals), Tier II (Functional requirements) and Tier III (Verification of compliance criteria). It was agreed that Tiers IV (Technical procedures and guidelines, classification rules and industry standards) and V (Codes of practice and safety and quality systems for shipbuilding, ship operation, maintenance, training, manning, etc.) would be developed by classification societies, other recognized organizations and industry organizations. The work plan also includes an item to explore the linkage between Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) and goal-based standards and an item on how goal-based standards could be incorporated in the appropriate IMO instruments.

The Working Group developed Tier I goals, along with working descriptions, which address safety and environmental friendliness with respect to structural integrity and strength, dismantling and recycling and the need for design and construction to provide for safe access, inspection and proper maintenance. They include provisions regarding operating and environmental conditions and specified design life. The group also developed Tier II functional requirements, each with a working description. The Group recognized that the development of Tier I goals and Tier II functional requirements is an iterative process. Therefore, while development of Tier I leads to the development of Tier II, the results of the development of Tier II will lead to further consideration and development of Tier I. Both the Tier I goals and the Tier II functional requirements will be subject to further consideration.

Maritime security
The Working Group on Maritime Security was re-established to consider issues relating to the implementation of the special measures to enhance maritime security which were adopted by the Organization in 2002 and entered into force on 1 July 2004.

Following their development by the Working Group, the MSC approved the following MSC circulars:

  • Guidance to masters, companies and duly authorized officers on the requirements relating to the submission of security-related information prior to the entry of a ship into port, which includes a standardized data-set of security-related information that ships could be expected to provide in advance of their arrival in port;
  • Interim Guidance on voluntary self-assessment by SOLAS Contracting Governments and by port facilities, which includes a self-assessment questionnaire to assist SOLAS Contracting Governments in the implementation of, and the maintenance of compliance with, the requirements of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and of the ISPS Code;
  • Guidance relating to the implementation of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and of the ISPS Code;
  • Reminder of the obligation to notify flag States when exercising control and compliance measures; and
  • a revised MSC circular on False security alerts and distress/security double alerts to replace, in essence, MSC/Circ.1109.

Maritime security - AIS ship data
In relation to the issue of freely available automatic identification system (AIS)-generated ship data on the world-wide web, the MSC agreed that the publication on the world-wide web or elsewhere of AIS data transmitted by ships could be detrimental to the safety and security of ships and port facilities and was undermining the efforts of the Organization and its Member States to enhance the safety of navigation and security in the international maritime transport sector. The Committee condemned the regrettable publication on the world-wide web, or elsewhere, of AIS data transmitted by ships and urged Member Governments, subject to the provisions of their national laws, to discourage those who make available AIS data to others for publication on the world-wide web, or elsewhere from doing so.

In addition, the Committee condemned those who irresponsibly publish AIS data transmitted by ships on the world-wide web, or elsewhere, particularly if they offer services to the shipping and port industries.

Global Programmes on Maritime Security
The MSC noted that under the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme there was a range of technical assistance activities planned within two global programmes, including support for security seminars/workshops and train-the-trainer courses. The MSC urged Member States and industry to support the International Maritime Security Trust Fund and the two global programmes, in particular with regards to making experts with practical experience of the implementation of security measures available to assist in future technical co-operation projects for capacity-building.

Piracy and armed robbery against ships
The Committee noted that the number of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to have occurred during the first nine months of 2004 was 252, a decrease of 28% over the figure for the first nine months of 2003. However, the Committee noted with concern the reported increase in the level of violence used during attacks on ships and urged all Governments and the industry to intensify and co-ordinate their efforts to eradicate these unlawful acts.

In many of the reports received, the crews were violently attacked by groups of five to ten people carrying knives or guns. The Committee was particularly concerned to note that that 30 crew members and passengers were reportedly killed, 94 were injured and 113 were taken hostage. Amongst those confirmed as still missing and unaccounted for to date were 36 crew members including 17 crew members thrown overboard in the reported incidents.

Passenger ship safety
The MSC agreed that as many of the issues discussed under the agenda item "Large Passenger Ship Safety" applied equally to all passenger ships, the agenda item should be renamed "Passenger Ship Safety". The Committee approved a revised work plan for passenger ship safety and the revised guiding philosophy, strategic goals and objectives, developed by the Working Group on Large Passenger Ship Safety which met during the session.

The revised guiding philosophy for future work on passenger ship safety is based on the premise that the regulatory framework should place more emphasis on the prevention of a casualty from occurring in the first place and that future passenger ships should be designed for improved survivability so that, in the event of a casualty, persons can stay safely on board as the ship proceeds to port.

The Committee agreed definitions for "time to recover", "time to rescue" and "place of safety". In relation to the "time to recover", the Committee agreed to a five day maximum timeframe for which persons should be expected to stay in survival craft, taking into account the humanitarian needs of those aboard such craft and the hazards to life and health persons may face on such craft.

The work on passenger ship safety will continue in the Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR), Ship Design and Equipment (DE), Fire Protection (FP), Safety of Navigation (NAV), Stability, Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety (SLF) and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) Sub-Committees, with a target completion date of 2006.

The MSC also approved an MSC circular on Guidance on the establishment of medical and sanitation programmes for passenger ships.

Bulk carrier safety
The MSC adopted a new text for SOLAS chapter XII (Additional safety measures for bulk carriers), incorporating revisions to some regulations and new requirements relating to double-side skin bulk carriers. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2006.

The amendments include the addition of a new regulation 14 on restrictions from sailing with any hold empty and requirements for double-side skin construction as an optional alternative to single-side skin construction. The option of double-side skin construction will apply to new bulk carriers of 150m in length and over, carrying solid bulk cargoes having a density of 1,000 kg/m3 and above.

The MSC also adopted standards and criteria for side structures of bulk carriers of single-side skin construction and standards for owners' inspections and maintenance of bulk carrier hatch covers.

Free-fall lifeboats on bulk carriers
The MSC adopted an amendment to regulation 31 in SOLAS chapter III (Life-saving appliances and arrangements) to make mandatory the carriage of free-fall lifeboats on bulk carriers.

Simplified Voyage Data Recorders - SOLAS amendments
The MSC adopted amendments to regulation 20 of SOLAS chapter V (Safety of Navigation) on a phased-in carriage requirement for a shipborne simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR).

The regulation requires a VDR, which may be an S-VDR, to be fitted on existing cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards, phasing in the requirement for cargo ships of 20,000 gross tonnage and upwards first, to be followed by cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards.

The S-VDR is not required to store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, but nonetheless should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident.

New mandatory ship reporting system (WETREP) in the Western European Waters PSSA
The MSC adopted a resolution to establish a new mandatory ship reporting system - WETREP - as an associated protective measure in the Western European Waters PSSA. The reporting system will be implemented at 0000 hours UTC on 1 July 2005. The Western European Waters PSSA was designated by the MEPC at its 52nd session in October 2004.

Pilotage in Torres Strait
The Committee agreed that Australia and Papua New Guinea's proposal to extend the associated protective measure of a system of pilotage within the Great Barrier Reef to the Torres Strait should be adopted. The proposed MEPC resolution (to be considered by MEPC 53 in 2005) would recommend that Governments inform ships flying their flag that they should act in accordance with Australia's system of pilotage for merchant ships 70 m in length and over or oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers, irrespective of size, when navigating the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait.

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, was updated following the submission of a report by IMO Secretary-General Mitropoulos on those countries whose evaluations were completed since the previous MSC meeting. The list of confirmed STCW Parties now includes 114 Parties.

Survey certificates
The MSC adopted the addition of the words "Completion date of the survey on which this certificate is based" to certificates issued following surveys in respect of both mandatory and non-mandatory instruments. The aim is to clarify, for control purposes, the date of the last survey.

Revised fishing vessel safety code and voluntary guidelines
The Committee approved the Code of Safety for Fishermen and Fishing Vessels, 2005, and the Voluntary Guidelines for the Design, Construction and Equipment of Small Fishing Vessels, 2005 and instructed the Secretariat to forward them to FAO and ILO for concurrent approval.

The revised version of the Fishing Vessel Safety Code and Voluntary Guidelines - originally developed and approved in the 1970s - has been developed for use primarily by competent authorities, training institutions, fishing vessel owners, fishermen's representative organizations and non-governmental organizations having a recognized role in fishermen's safety and health and training.

Part A of the Code provides guidance on the development of national codes and fishermen's education and training manuals and guidance on the safety and health of fishermen. Competent authorities will be encouraged to make use of the contents of the Code and the Voluntary Guidelines in the production of safety and health and training materials in an appropriate format to suit the particular needs of the fisheries of the country or region and in local languages.

Meanwhile, IMO Member States have been urged to accept the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol and the 1995 STCW-F Convention in order to bring these treaties into force to enhance fishing vessel safety and training standards of fishing vessel personnel.

Transfer of ships between States
The Committee approved a joint MSC/MEPC circular on Transfer of ships between States. The aim is to provide a procedure under which the transfer of ships between flag States should be conducted so that the "gaining" flag State could seek safety-related information from the "losing" flag State.

Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents
The Committee agreed that the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) should review the Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents (resolution A.849(20) as amended by resolution A.884(21)). The aim would be to redraft and reformat the Code to make it more effective as a tool for the conduct of investigations. A proposal to look at ways to make the Code mandatory under SOLAS will also be discussed.

Impact of the ISM Code and its effectiveness
The Committee noted that an Independent Experts Group has been established by the IMO Secretariat to study the impact of the ISM Code. An interim report on the activities of the Experts Group will be submitted to MSC 80 in May 2005.

Other amendments adopted
The MSC adopted the following amendments with an expected entry into force date of 1 July 2006 (except for IBC and IGC Codes - which have an effective date of 1 January 2007).

  - SOLAS chapter II-1 regulation 18 Construction and initial tests of watertight doors, sidescuttles, etc., in passenger ships and cargo ships to allow testing of watertight doors with a prototype pressure test in certain circumstances. Also regulation 45 - Precautions against shock, fire and other hazards of electrical origin to replace the existing paragraph 10 and the addition of a new paragraph 11 in order to control the installation of electrical equipment in spaces where flammable mixtures are likely to collect and in hazardous locations on tankers.
  - SOLAS chapter V regulation 19 Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment to add the words "being clearly readable by the helmsman at the main steering position" in paragraph 2.5 relating to carriage of a gyro compass, or other means to determine and display heading by shipborne non-magnetic means.
  - SOLAS chapter VII regulation 10 to delete the superfluous words "For the purpose of this regulation, the requirements of the Code shall be treated as mandatory."
  - SOLAS chapter V - addition of Simplified Voyage Data Recorder (S-VDR) to the Record of Equipment for the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate (Form E).
  - International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures (FTP Code) in Part 2 - Smoke and toxicity test - the addition of "(200 ppm for floor coverings)" in the table of limits in 2.6 Classification criteria, 2.6.2 Toxicity.
  - International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft, 2000 (2000 HSC Code) relating to buoyant spaces in Chapter 2 - Buoyancy, stability and subdivision.
  - International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code) (entry into force date of 1 January 2007).
  - International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) - to reflect the draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 Regulation 45 - Precautions against shock, fire and other hazards of electrical origin. (entry into force date of 1 January 2007).
  -

STCW Code - amendments to Table A-VI/2-1 - Specifications of minimum standards of competence in survival crafts and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats.

Adoption of ships' routeing measures
The MSC adopted the following ships' routeing measures, with entry into force set for 1 July 2005 at 0000 hours UTC.

New traffic separation schemes (TSSs)

  • Approaches to the Cape Fear river (United States)
  • Off Mina Al-Ahmadi (Kuwait)

Amendments to existing TSSs

  • In Puget Sound and its approaches in Haro Strait, Boundary Pass and in the Strait of Georgia (Canada and the United States)
  • In the approaches to Chesapeake Bay (United States)
  • Off Cape Roca and Off Cape S. Vicente (Portugal)
  • In the approaches to Puerto San Martin (Peru)
  • Off Berlenga (Portugal) (revoked)

Routeing measures other than TSSs

  • Establishment of a new Area to be Avoided and a mandatory No-Anchoring Area in the West Cameron Area of the Gulf of Mexico (United States)
  • Amendments to the Notes in the existing deep-water route in the southern approach to Chesapeake Bay (United States)
  • Establishment of a new Area to be Avoided in the region of the Berlengas Islands (Portugal)

Amendments to General Provisions on Ships' Routeing
The MSC agreed, subject to confirmation by the Assembly, amendments to the General Provisions on Ships' Routeing (resolution A.572(14), as amended). Amendments to Guidelines and Criteria for Ship Reporting Systems (resolution MSC.43(64)), as amended by resolution MSC.111(73) were also agreed. The purpose is to standardize the use of WGS 84 datum for ships' routeing and ship reporting systems.

Amendments approved for future adoption
The MSC approved the following amendments for adoption at MSC 80 in May 2005:

  • Draft revised SOLAS chapter II-1 parts A, B and B-1 (the Committee agreed to hold an intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Subdivision and Damage Stability, to be held at IMO Headquarters from 17 to 19 January 2005, to discuss issues relating to the proposed amendments, specifically the probability densities of damage length and damage penetration for large ships.).
  • Draft new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-7 to require construction drawings to be maintained on board and ashore.
  • Draft new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 concerning anchoring, mooring and towing equipment. The regulation will require all ships to be provided with arrangements, equipment and fittings of sufficient safe working load to enable the safe conduct of all anchoring, towing and mooring operations associated with the normal and emergency operations of the ship.
  • Draft new SOLAS regulation II-1/23-3 concerning water level detectors on new single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers.
  • Draft amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/31 Machinery control to restrict the application of paragraph 2.10 relating to propulsion control automation systems to new ships only.
  • Draft amendments to the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution A.744(18)), as amended. The amendments incorporate some elements of the Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) required for certain single hull tankers under the revised MARPOL regulation I/13G and include re-organization of the guidelines to include a new section aimed at double hull tankers.
  • Draft amendments to SOLAS regulation V/19 concerning carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment, relating to information provided by the AIS. The information provided through the AIS shall be presented to the OOW.

Resolutions adopted by MSC 79

MSC.168(79) Standards and criteria for side structures of bulk carriers of single-side skin construction
MSC.169(79) Standards for owners' inspection and maintenance of bulk carrier hatch covers
MSC.170(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended
MSC.171(79) Adoption of amendments to the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974
MSC.172(79) Adoption of amendments to the Protocol of 1988 Relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966
MSC.173(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures (FTP Code)
MSC.174(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft, 1994 (1994 HSC Code)
MSC.175(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft, 2000 (2000 HSC Code)
MSC.176(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code)
MSC.177(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code
MSC.178(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships (INF Code)
MSC.179(79) Adoption of amendments to the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International Safety Management (ISM) Code)
MSC.180(79) Adoption of amendments to the Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code
MSC.181(79) Adoption of amendments to the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code)
MSC.182(79) Adoption of amendments to the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquified Gases in Bulk (GC Code)
MSC.183(79) Adoption of amendments to the Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (SPS Code)
MSC.184(79) Adoption of amendments to the Guidelines for the transport and handling of limited amounts of hazardous and noxious liquid substances in bulk on offshore support vessels (LHNS Guidelines)
MSC.185(79) Adoption of amendments to the Code of Safety for Diving Systems
MSC.186(79) Adoption of amendments to the Code of Safety for Dynamically Supported Craft (DSC Code)
MSC.187(79) Adoption of amendments to the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code)
MSC.188(79) Performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers
MSC.189 (79) Adoption of amendments to the Guidelines and Criteria for Ship Reporting Systems (Resolution MSC.43(64), as amended byResolution MSC.111(73))
MSC.190(79) Adoption of mandatory ship reporting system in the Western European Particularly Sensitive Sea Area
MSC.191(79) Performance standards for the presentation of navigation-related information on shipborne navigational displays
MSC.192(79) Adoption of the revised performance standards for radar equipment
MSC.193(79)

Adoption of the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes, 2004

Circulars approved by MSC 79

MSC circulars

MSC/Circ.1109/Rev.1 False security alerts and distress/security double alerts
MSC/Circ.1125 Amendments to the Guidelines for the design, construction and operation of passenger submersible craft
MSC/Circ.1126 Amendments to the Interim Guidelines for wing-in-ground craft
MSC/Circ.1127 Early implementation of amendment to SOLAS regulation III/19.3.3.3 adopted by resolution MSC.152(78)
MSC/Circ.1128 MEPC/Circ.423 List of products that have been omitted from either chapter 17 or 18 of the IBC Code due to missing safety data, pollution data or both
MSC/Circ.1129 Guidance on the establishment of medical and sanitation related programmes for passenger ships
MSC/Circ.1130 Guidance to masters, companies and duly authorized officers on the requirements relating to the submission of security-related information prior to the entry of a ship into port
MSC/Circ.1131 Interim Guidance on voluntary self-assessment by SOLAS Contracting Governments and by port facilities
MSC/Circ.1132 Guidance relating to the implementation of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and of the ISPS code
MSC/Circ.1133 Reminder of the obligation to notify flag States when exercising control and compliance measures
MSC/Circ.1134 Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, confirmed by the Maritime Safety Committee to have communicated information which demonstrates that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the Convention
MSC/Circ.1135 As-built construction drawings to be maintained on board the ship and ashore
MSC/Circ.1136 Guidance on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats
MSC/Circ.1137 Guidelines for simulated launching of free-fall lifeboats
MSC/Circ.1138 Interpretations to the Guidelines for design, construction and operation of passenger submersible craft
MSC/Circ.1139 Conditions applicable to propulsion control automation systems of ships built after 1 July 1986, but before 1 July 2004 (SOLAS regulation II-1/31)
MSC/Circ.1140
-MEPC/Circ.424
Transfer of ships between States
MSC/Circ.1141 Unified interpretation of the term "first survey" referred to in SOLAS regulations II-2/1.2.2.2, V/19.1.2.2, V/19.2.4.2.2 and V/20.1.2
MSC/Circ.1142
- MEPC/Circ.425
Marking the ship's plans, manuals and other documents with the IMO ship identification number
MSC/Circ.1143 Guidelines on early assessment of hull damage and possible need for abandonment of bulk carriers
MSC/Circ.1144 Additional guidance for the uniform application of rule 1(e) of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended
MSC/Circ.1145 Precautionary advice to masters when undertaking ballast water exchange operations
MSC/Circ.1146 Lists of solid bulk cargoes for which a fixed gas fire extinguishing system may be exempted or for which a fixed gas fire-extinguishing system is ineffective
MSC/Circ.1147 Questionnaire on inspections of containers/vehicles carrying packaged dangerous goods
MSC/Circ.1148 Issuing and renewal of document of compliance with the special requirements applicable to ships carrying dangerous goods
MSC/Circ.1149 Accidents involving bulk cargoes not specifically listed in the Code of safe practice for solid bulk cargoes (BC Code)
MSC/Circ.1150 Provision of information on the implementation of codes, recommendations, guidelines and other non-mandatory instruments
MSC/Circ.1151
-MEPC/Circ.426
-FAL/Circ.105
Revised list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships
MSC/Circ.1152 Helicopter facilities on board ships - Amendments to Annex 14 (Aerodromes) Volume II (Heliports), to the Convention on International Civil Aviation

Other circulars

COLREG.2/Circ.54/Add.2 Traffic separation schemes - Postponed date of implementation of the amended traffic separation scheme "In the Singapore Strait"
COLREG.2/Circ.55 New and amended traffic separation schemes and associated routeing measures
SN/Circ.240 Routeing measures other than traffic separation schemes
SN/Circ.241 Amendments to the General provisions on ships' routeing
SN/Circ.242 Mandatory ship reporting systems
SN/Circ.243 Guidelines for the presentation of navigation-related symbols, terms and abbreviations
SN/Circ.244 Guidance on the use of UN/LOCODE in the destination field in AIS messages
SN/Circ.245 Amendments to the Guidelines for the installation of a shipborne automatic identification system (AIS) (SN/Circ.227)

Background

IMO is the United Nations agency concerned with safety and security of shipping and protection of the marine environment and is concerned with ensuring ships comply with international standards, including financial security. The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) is the highest technical body of the Organization. Delegates from all 164 member States may attend. The main function of the MSC is to consider any matter within the scope of the Organization that directly affects maritime safety and security. It has the mandate to adopt amendments to conventions, such as the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), Collision Regulations, Load Lines, etc. It is assisted in its work by nine sub-committees which are also open to all Member States. They deal with the following subjects: Bulk Liquids and Gases; Carriage of Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers; Fire Protection; Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue; Safety of Navigation; Ship Design and Equipment; Stability and Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety; Standards of Training and Watchkeeping and Flag State Implementation.

The seventy-ninth session of the Committee was held from 1 to 10 December 2004 under the chairmanship of Mr. Tom Allan (United Kingdom).

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