MSC 95 | IMO Reports | Annual General Assemblies

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Unity for Safety at Sea

MSC 95

This Committee, as the principle Committee of the IMO attracts considerable attention with high attendance. Regrettably, as is the case with MEPC the debate invariably centres upon the political objectives of flag states and the financial interests of industry rather than safety issues. The meeting will be chaired by Mr. Christian Breinholt of Denmark
It is anticipated that the following Working, Drafting and Expert Groups will be formed:
WG1 – Working Group on IGF Code;
WG2 – Working Group on Maritime Security and LRIT;
WG3 – Working Group on Goal-based Standards;
DG1 – Drafting Group on Amendments to Mandatory Instruments; and
EG1 – Capacity-building Needs Analysis Group
Although the provisional timetable is predicting that all working groups will be sent out on the first day, this is very unlikely to occur in reality. There are several contentious issues on the agenda that will attract considerable discussion. Therefore it is likely, as has been the case in recent IMO meetings, that several items will be rushed through, forwarded to the next session or sent back to the Sub-Committee
IFSMA representatives may be conflicted during the course of the meeting so it is recommended that close attention is paid to the staffing of the plenary throughout
Agenda 1 – Adoption of the Agenda
No substantive comment
Agenda Item 2 – Decisions of other IMO Bodies
While nothing specific has been identified, the introduction of the papers by the Secretariat should be followed closely and intervention made as appropriate
Agenda Item 3 – Consideration and adoption of amendments to mandatory instruments
The key issue under this agenda item is the number of papers submitted concerning the IGF Code. There is hope amongst some member states that the IGF code may be adopted at this session however the number of papers and the fact that there is a Working Group rather than a Drafting Group makes this unlikel
Attention is drawn to paper 95/3/21 submitted by Norway and the US. This paper proposes a potential solution to the problem that seafarers are unable to gain experience on ships subject to the IGF Code until it enters into force and are therefore unable to meet the current STCW requirements for those ships
Agenda Item 4 – Measures to Enhance Maritime Security
There are two main issues under this agenda item – cyber security and guidance for the development of national maritime security legislation
Several papers propose the development of cyber security guidelines. There is likely to be wide support providing that any guidelines are voluntary
Attention is drawn to papers MSC95/4 submitted by the United States as correspondence group coordinator and commenting paper MSC95/4/5 submitted by the ITF and IFSMA
95/4 provides the outcome of the work on of the correspondence group for the development of national maritime security legislation. This guidance is intended to be used by administrations lacking their own maritime security strategy as a basis for implementing the requirements of the ISPS Code
Paper 95/4/5 co-sponsored by IFSMA raises concerns that the proposed guidance is too prescriptive with regards to searches and preapproval of visitors and this could result in restricted access to shore leave for seafarers, and restricted access to the vessel for welfare organisations etc
It is predicted that the report of the correspondence group will receive widespread support with the recommendation that the ITF/IFSMA comments are taken into account in the working group
Agenda Item 5 – Goal-Based New Ship Construction Standards
It is clear from the different submissions made under this agenda item that this item is suffering from a lack of direction and further discussion will be required in the working group before any progress is made
Agenda Item 6 – Passenger Ship Safety
Attention is drawn to paper MSC95/6 submitted by the Secretary General which urges the Committee to take immediate action to enhance the safety of ro-ro passenger ships in light of the Norman Atlantic disaster. Although many member states agree with the sentiment and are planning future proposals, there is likely to be a reluctance to comment on the Norman Atlantic in particular until the results of the investigation have been published
Attention is drawn to paper MSC95/6/2 submitted by the EU which presents the results of the EMSA 3 study and proposes that the IMO authorise a meeting of the Formal Safety Assessment Expert Group to validate the final results of the study. It is anticipated that the proposal will receive widespread support but close attention should be paid to the discussion and intervention made as necessary
Agenda Item 7 – Performance Review and Audit of LRIT Data Centres
No significant comment
Agenda item 8 – Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (Report of the First Session of the Sub-Committee)
No significant comment
Agenda Item 9 – Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (Report of the Second Session of the Sub-Committee)
Attention is drawn to paper 95/9/2 submitted by IFSMA et al. This paper proposes differentiation of medical standards between those persons seeking to start a career at sea and those seafarers already serving at sea
Attention is drawn to paper MSC95/9/3 submitted by the United Kingdom. This paper provides comments on the guidelines on fatigue mitigation and management which were proposed in the IFSMA co-sponsored paper at MSC94. This paper seeks to clarify the way forward by making it clear that guidance on manning levels can be included in the guidelines but amendments to any mandatory measures are out of scope. This is to prevent those parties who want to maintain the status quo from shutting down the conversation on the grounds that the manning of ships is outside the scope of this output. This paper should be supported
Agenda Item 10 – Ship Design and Construction (Report of the Second Session of the Sub-Committee)
The main item under this agenda item is the issue of the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on international voyages. The discussion is likely to be a repeat of that held at SDC2 where there will be a choice of making an amendment to SOLAS or to the SPS Code
Amendment of SOLAS should be opposed as this will undermine the principle that a person on a ship is either a passenger or crew, will require a large number of other conventions to be amended to take account of this new definition and will also undermine the MLC definition of seafarer
Paper MSC95/10/2 submitted by Argentina opposes amendments to SOLAS and suggests non-mandatory guidelines instead. This paper should be supported
Agenda Item 11 – Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (Report of the Second Session of the Sub-Committee)
No significant comment
Agenda Item 12 – Ship Systems and Equipment
Attention is drawn to papers MSC95/12/1 submitted by Barbuda et al, paper MSC 95/12/2 submitted by ICS and paper MSC/12/3 submitted by Vanuatu. A clear majority were in favour of mandatory provisions for onboard lifting appliances and winches at SSE2 but the sub-committee shied away from making a positive decision due to obstruction from a minority. Paper MSC 95/12/1 proposes mandatory provisions and should be supported
Agenda Item 13 – Capacity Building for the Implementation of New Measures
No significant comment
Agenda Item 14 – Formal Safety Assessment, Including General Cargo Ship Safety
No significant comment
Agenda Item 15 – Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships
Attention is drawn to papers 95/15/1 and 15/15/5 submitted by Egypt and Oman respectively. These papers request that the definition of a High Risk Area as defined in Best Management Practice 4 (BMP4) is amended so as to exclude Egyptian and Omani waters. It is anticipated that these requests will be noted but no action taken as this subject is under discussion at the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) which is due to meet in July
Agenda Item 16 – Implementation of Instruments and Related Matters
The Bahamas and Japan have submitted paper MSC95/Inf.11 which is the report of the MOL Comfort sinking. Paper MSC95/16 also submitted by the Bahamas and Japan requests that Flag States review the recommendations and that IACS submit its own review to the next session. Careful attention should be paid to the introduction of the papers and intervention made as necessary
Agenda Item 17 – Relations with other Organisations
No significant comment.
Agenda Item 18 – Application of the Committees Guidelines
No documents submitted.
Agenda Item 19 – Work Programme
Attention is drawn to MSC95/19/2 submitted by the EU. This paper proposes a new output to develop SOLAS regulations on mooring equipment. The aim is that by using innovative design features and more appropriate equipment, unsafe and unhealthy work situations can be prevented whilst mooring and unmooring the ship. This is a laudable aim and the paper should therefore be supported
Paper MSC95/19/3 submitted by Canada et al proposes a thorough revision of the STCW-F convention to encourage ratification. There is thought to be little appetite for this proposal from Flag States who have their own domestic certification structure in place
Paper 95/19/8 submitted by Australia et al is the latest proposal for E-navigation and reduces the number of outputs to a more manageable six. Significant discussion is expected on this topic
MSC 95/19/12 submitted by Australia et al and co-sponsored by IFSMA proposes a way ahead to develop “S-Mode” guidance for the design of shipboard navigation equipment
Agenda Item 20 – Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2016
The current chairman is not standing for re-election so it is expected that Mr Brad Groves of Australia will be elected
Agenda Item 21 – Any Other Business
No significant comment
Papers Presented
The 3 papers that were presented at this meeting by IFSMA and other co-sponsors well received and have moved forward in the IMO Agenda. These papers were:-
MSC 95/4/5 IFSMA & ITF Guidelines for the development of National Maritime Security Legislation Comments on the Report of the Correspondence Group
MSC 95/9/2 Guidance for the implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments

MSC 95/19/12 Implementing e-navigation to enhance the safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment
S. Korea
MSC 95/INF.8 Information on the work within the EU on operational guidelines for places of refuge following recent event
This paper was presented following on from the work conducted by INTERTANKO and IFSMA in raising this issue in previous papers to the IMO
This was a successful MSC for IFSMA and progress is being made to working with other NGOs and flag States to further the safety of master in particular and all seafarers in general
MSC 95
3 – 12 June 2015
Agenda Item 10 – Ship Design & Construction
95/10/2 & 95/10/4 – Definition of “Industrial Personnel”
"Thank you Mr Chairman,
IFSMA, representing ship masters thanks those that have submitted papers on this subject.
We believe that amending SOLAS to introduce a third category of person would set a dangerous precedent.
We are dealing here with human beings and human beings have a right to life.
We agree with the opinion expressed by Argentina in paper 95/10/2 that non mandatory guidelines would provide a more suitable solution to this problem for this particular sector and therefore fully support this paper.
Thank you Mr Chairman"
This is an important change in functions of the IMO Conventions. This new title would change many items and also impact on the MLC 2006.
ISMA was invited and attended teo meetings under the title of “Friends of the Chairman” to progress this matter. There is no definitive solution reached but there is a consensus that this might tile of Industrial Personnel may be transferred into the Special Purpose Ship Code. The final solution may well be different.