HTW 3 | IMO Reports | Annual General Assemblies

IMO Reports

Unity for Safety at Sea


IFSMA fielded five delegates to attend the meeting. The plenary and two Working Groups were attended throughout.As with HTW 1&2 the volume of work was limited, with only 36 papers submitted, however there were a number of topics of interest to shipmasters, in particular the ongoing revision of the guidelines on ‘fatigue’ and the standards of colour vision. The later issue is still undergoing research in Japan – IMHA may well provide an update.

The Sub-Committee is expected to take on a greater amount of work once the STCW 2010 comes into force on 1 January 2017 and the date for the next review of STCW1978 draws near.

Three Working Groups and one Drafting Groups were established:

Working Group 1 on Training Matters

Agenda Item 10 – Review of STCW passenger ship-specific safety training and Agenda Item 18 – Guidelines for port State control officers on certification of seafarers' rest hours. Chairman Mr. H. Tunfors (Sweden);

Working Group 2 on Training Matters

Agenda Item 5 – Guidance for the implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments and Agenda Item 6 - Comprehensive review of the 1995 STCW-F Convention. Chairman Ms. F. Fadill (Singapore);

Working Group 3 on Human Element Issues

Agenda Item 7 - Role of the Human Element, Agenda 8 – Revision of the Guidelines on Fatigue and Agenda Item 15 – Review of the MODU Code, LSA Code etc. Chairman Capt M. de Garcia (Panama);

Drafting Group 1 on Validation of Model Courses

Agenda Item 3 – Validation of Model Courses. Chairman Capt. K. Deboo (India).

There was no plenary session on Wednesday or Thursday. Working Groups continued throughout with plenary resuming on Friday.

IMO Secretary General, Litack Lim, at the opening of the meeting announced the time for World Maritime Day to be held on 29 September 2016, “Shipping, indispensable to the world”. He continued - as you are all well aware, IMO’s core goals can only be achieved when all Member States join together to implement IMO standards properly. To this end, I want to act as a bridge among Member States to ensure communication and understanding. While continuing with IMO’s vital and necessary function of rule-making, we believe that utmost focus should be placed on improving implementation at a global level.

To this end, I believe it is necessary to enhance capacity building activities including exploring ways to secure funding from a wider range of donors by building relations with international bodies and industries.

This will be based on an efficient and productive Secretariat, where we continually explore ways to work smarter.

On top of these issues, we need to raise IMO’s profile around the world, promoting the Organization as the single, global body for maritime policy and regulation. This will also lead to increased focus on the importance of the shipping industry.

According to maritime casualty statistics, the overwhelming majority of the root causes of casualties is the Human Factor.

In this regard, an important factor affecting seafarers is fatigue which has been increasingly recognised by the industry as a major human element hazard that affects most aspects of a seafarer's ability to perform effectively and safely. The effects of fatigue can lead to undesirable situations with devastating effects. I encourage you to revise and update the Guidelines on Fatigue to promote improved understanding of fatigue and fatigue risk management at sea, and to reflect current fatigue and sleep research and best practices of fatigue risk management at sea to support the well-being of seafarers, whilst enhancing safety at sea.

Among the other important issues before you this week, I would like to highlight the revision and validation of the model courses, the development of a framework for a new STCW-related GISIS module to reduce the administrative burden, the comprehensive review of the 1995 STCW-F Convention, the revision and updating of the Guidelines on Fatigue, the revision of guidelines on the implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations (resolution A.1071(28)), and the revision of the training requirements for personnel serving on board passenger ships.

You are of course already aware, and I am sure you do not need me to tell you anything more about these topics, as you have all come here well-prepared.  I would however urge you all to think about the important role you play here. You are not just here contributing to the discussions at HTW – you are participating in the decision making of the International Maritime Organization. I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise the important role of your Sub-Committee in dealing with primarily the Human Element.

He also introduced Ashok Mahapatra (IFSMA Individual Member) the new Director of the IMO Maritime Safety Division to the Sub-Committee.

See IMO Website for full text of Secretary General’s speech.

Agenda Item 1 – Adoption of the Agenda

Nothing significant.

Agenda Item 2 – Decisions of other IMO Bodies

Matters from MSC 95, MEC 68, SSE 2 and III 2 were raised with relevance to matters on the agenda.

Agenda Item 3 – Validation of Model Training Courses

The Sub-Committee agreed to draft amendments proposed by WG1 to the STCW Convention and Code regarding passenger ship training, for approval at MSC96.

Agenda Item 4 – Reports on Unlawful Practices Associated with Certificates of Competency

Paper HTW 3/4 submitted by the secretariat listed reports received by the IMO on fraudulent certificates. The numbers are actually quite insignificant but it is likely that this is more a reflection on the level of reporting rather than a true representation of the scale of the problem.

Agenda Item 5 – Guidance for the Implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments

– Paper HTW 3/5 submitted by the Bahamas detailed the experience of implementation of STCW 2010. Papers HTW 3/5/1 and HTW 3/INF.4 by New Zealand advocating greater transparency were all considered. WG2 agreed that greater transparency was required in GSIS but with the option to restrict access.

Agenda Item 6 – Comprehensive review of the 1995 STCW-F Convention

Paper HTW 3/6 submitted by Iceland, Japan and Norway seeks a review of STCW-F. Work commenced on the review but has a long way to go.

Agenda Item 7 – Role of the human element

Paper 3/7 submitted by the NI and InterManager. This Paper draws upon STW44 and HTW 2 where reference was made to Project Horizon and recommendations by the UK MAIB. The Paper receive much debate and support but in the end those against using the paper outnumbered those for, so the paper did not go any further.

Agenda Item 8 – Revision of the Guidelines on Fatigue

A number of Papers were submitted on this issue. As alluded to at MSC, to laughter, the Guidance can be changed but nothing will change. Given the seriousness of this issue where seafarers legally work 91/98 the following intervention was made in Plenary:

“Thank you Chair, IFSMA representing shipmasters welcomes the revision of the Guidelines on Fatigue. However, research including the EU Project Horizon and more recently that in Australia demonstrates the need for more substantive IMO action to address the long hours of work in many vessels and to focus on fatigue as a risk to safety of marine transport as well as the wellbeing of all seafarers. IFSMA is in favour of a more mandatory approach on this matter. Fatigue hinders shipmasters and their crews to perform up to their full professional potential. A potential very much needed in the shipping industry today, where we see reductions in manning. Thank you, Chair.”

Report from IFSMA representative: WG 3 commenced the revision of document “REVISION OF THE GUIDELINES ON FATIGUE” (HTW 3/8) but only reached page 16 out of 160+. There was huge discussion on whether module 6 only is to include “administrations” as defined in other IMO instruments or whether “administrations” can include other authorities for example port authorities? The chair suggested a compromise where the correspondence group are allowed to define other administrations and maybe have them in module 6 or in another/new module.  We should support this so that module 6 work is not postponed. We should be in favour of module 6 being administrations narrow on manning, whilst other administrations go in another module AND that HTW allows the correspondence group to make those definitions and work on.

Agenda Item 9 – Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations

Various amendments to the guidelines were proposed by WG3 which recommend they be sent to the various Committees for approval.

Agenda Item 10 – Review of STCW Passenger Ship Specific Safety Training

Paper HTW 3/10 submitted by United States and CLIA and Paper HTW 3/10/1 submitted by ICS and Interferry need to be viewed with caution. The ICS/Interferry Paper includes proposals for a lowering of standards. It is reported that this lowering of standards will be opposed by EU Flag States. The following intervention was made:

“Chair, thank you. It is good to see you in the Chair here as in the other place, Geneva. IFSMA for Shipmasters welcomes the US/CLIA Paper but has serious concern over the ICS/INTERFERRY Paper which is not acceptable. Masters need to have confidence that all personnel who are in contact with passengers are trained to an adequate standard. This is important on small passenger vessels and in particular on ferries with limited crews. Thank you, Chair.”

Agenda Item 11 – Amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-1 and associated guidelines on damage control drills for passenger ships

HTW were requested to consider only the frequency of drills, the WG recommended intervals not more than three months.

Agenda Item 12 – Completion of the detailed review of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

Deferred until HTW4 after other Sub-Committees had dealt with this item.

Agenda Item 13 – Revision of requirements for escape route signs and equipment location markings in SOLAS related instruments

No Papers submitted. Subject deferred until HTW4.

Agenda Item 14 – Amendments to the IGF Code and development of guidelines for low flashpoint fuels

No Papers submitted. Subject deferred unit HTW4 after consideration by CCC Sub-Committee.

Agenda Item 15 – Review MODU Code, LSA Code and MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1

No Papers submitted. WG3 were instructed to consider this under Agenda item 8.

Agenda Item 16 – Biennial status report and provisional agenda for HTW4

No substantive comment.

Agenda Item 17 – Election of Chair and Vice Chair for 2017

No substantive comment. The Sub-Committee unanimously elected Ms. Mayte Medina (United States) as chair man and Ms. Farrah Fadil (Singapore) as Vice-Chairman for the year 2017.

Agenda Item 18 – Any Other Business

Paper HTW 3/18/1 submitted by the United States proposed changes to the draft

Guidelines for Port State Control officers on certification of seafarers’ rest hours. WG1 produced a draft guideline on the understanding that such draft guideline would replace Appendix 11 of the existing Procedures for Port State Control, 2011 in resolution A.1052(27). The work was not completed due to time constraints and will be taken up in HTW4.