The IMO Maritime Safety Committee 104 took place from 4 to 8 October, considering a wide variety of issues that bother the shipping industry.
This is a review of the topics that were discussed. More specifically:
Improvement of ferry safety
The Committee established a Working Group on Domestic Ferry Safety with appropriate terms of reference. Having considered the subsequent report of the Group, the Committee approved it in general and took action as follows:
New Goal-based ship construction standards
The Committee had for its consideration document MSC 103/7/1 (Secretary-General), containing the GBS audit report on the rectification of non-conformities stemming from the first GBS maintenance audit in 2018 and, in the case of DNV, the non-conformities confirmed with respect to the re-verification audit.
Having considered the report of the auditors, the Committee agreed with the recommendations that the non-conformities had been duly rectified and that IACS CSR and the DNV rules now demonstrate continued conformance with the Organisation’s goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers.
The Committee encouraged SOLAS Contracting Governments to:
Cyber risk management for ships and ports
Two documents were submitted for consideration, that by IAPH inviting attention to the first edition of the IAPH Cybersecurity Guidelines for Ports and Port Facilities, suggesting that they be referenced in the next version of the Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management under additional detailed guidance and industry standards; and, an information paper by France providing a brief overview on recent French initiatives aimed at addressing cybersecurity issues in the maritime sector. In considering both documents, the Committee:
Piracy and armed robbery
Updating resolution A.1069(28). MSC 103 acknowledged progress made on this draft Assembly resolution update, Prevention and suppression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the Gulf of Guinea, and agreed to finalise it at MSC 104 for approval, with a view to submission to A.32 in December for adoption, noting two outstanding issues highlighted by the Working Group on Piracy at MSC 103.
The first issue related to the footnotes containing the definition of “piracy” and “armed robbery against ships” referred to in the title and the content of the draft.
The second issue was a request from some Member States to include a reference to the EU pilot case of the Coordinated Maritime Presence (CMP) concept in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), which was included in square brackets to allow the Committee to gain a better understanding of the concept before deciding on the suggestion.
Following advice by the IMO’s Legal Affairs and External Relations Division on the first issue and by the IMO Secretariat on the second issue there followed an extensive discussion in which many views were expressed. This resulted in the Committee:
Draft international safety code for ships carrying industrial personnel (IP code). The Committee considered document MSC 104/11/3 (Bahamas et al), providing comments on the report of HTW 7 (HTW 7/16) and particularly highlighting that, in the provisions of the draft IP code, there are no requirements for crew members regarding crowd management training (as provided in section A-V/2, paragraph 3, of the STCW Code).
Such ships could carry a large number of people (industrial personnel) and there is a risk of having to take action promptly in an emergency situation.
The co-sponsors therefore proposed that the HTW Sub-Committee be requested to consider this matter with a view to developing appropriate mandatory training for crews on IP certified ships.
After discussion, with an emphasis that finalisation of the IP Code should not be delayed, the Committee instructed HTW 8 to consider the matter, taking into account the Bahamas document and the comments made at this session, with a view to advising MSC 105 as to whether or not crowd management training would be necessary for seafarers on:
As far as remote surveys are concerned, the Committee agreed to include a new output on “Development of guidance on assessments and applications of remote surveys, ISM Code audits and ISPS Code verifications” in the biennial agenda of the III Sub-Committee for 2022-2023 and the agenda for III 8, with a target completion year of 2024.
However, Maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) sparked a healthy debate following which:
The next meeting, MSC 105, has been provisionally scheduled to take place from 20 to 29 April 2022.