SDC 3 | IMO Reports | Annual General Assemblies

IMO Reports

Unity for Safety at Sea


The following working, drafting and expert groups were formed:

  • WG1 – Subdivision and Stability (Agenda 3,4,5 and 9)

  • WG2 – Intact Stability (Agenda 6 and 7)

  • WG3 – Fire Protection (Agenda 8 and 17)

  • DG1 – Guidelines for WIG Craft (Agenda 12)

  • EG1 – Industrial Personnel engaged on International Voyages

Various Correspondence groups had worked in the intervening period since SDC 2 to progress various work items and their reports were presented under the relevant agenda item.

Agenda 3 – Amendments to SOLAS regulations II-1/6 and II-1/8-1 (Subdivision and damage stability)

The issue of increasing the minimum value of the “R-Factor” was considered under this agenda. This was one of the main topics of discussion at the meeting and attracted 11 substantive papers and several INF. papers. Notable INF. papers include paper INF.3 from the EC which contained the results of the EMSA 3 study; paper INF.4 from Denmark on small RoPax Ship Stability and Paper INF.9 from Norway on water integrity of boundaries. There were several submissions on the proposed new level of the “R-Factor” including paper 3/3/7 from the EU; Paper 3/3/9 from the USA; Paper 3/3/8 from Japan and Paper 3/3/10 from CESA and SYBASS.

The EU paper is the most robust and proposes two separate curves, one at a higher level that also includes the risk of grounding in the cost analysis and one at a slightly lower level that does not include the grounding risk. Both proposed curves are significantly higher than the current 2009 regulations and it is anticipated that there will be support for implementing the higher curve from several flag states. Amongst other matters it was considered that protection of the electrical supply on passenger ships could be achieved by means other than double sided hulls.

Paper 3/3/6 by the United States made proposals on improving the availability of a ship’s power supply in the case of side raking damage. There are concerns with the wording of this paper for several reasons. The submission moves away from using the term “propulsion power” and instead uses the term “electrical power”; the paper proposes a side skin protection level of B/20 which, whilst an improvement on the B/30 proposed by CLIA is still considered insufficient. There are also concerns with the proposed degree of separation for the longitudinally separated engine room option.

IFSMA made the following intervention:

Thank you Mr Chairman,

Appreciating the statements already made. IFSMA representing Shipmasters, thanks the United States and supports their intentions. While a double side skin option is laudable, in reality, in certain cases, is unlikely to be effective. IFSMA therefore requests that this Sub-Committee reflects on Recommendation One by Lord Mersey in the Titanic Inquiry, namely, not only increased transverse sub division and double-side skin, but longitudinal sub-division as an alternative to double-side skin. Propulsion systems with separate power generation readily afford such an option, it is appreciated, as already identified, may not be possible.

Work continues on this topic.

Agenda Item 4 – Computerised Stability Support for the Master in Case of Flooding for Existing Passenger Ships

The purpose of this agenda item is to further consider the proposal to extend, to existing passenger ships, the SOLAS requirement relating to computerised stability support for the master in case of flooding, based on document MSC 94/6/1, and advised the Sub-Committee accordingly.

Due to time constraints the working group was only able to briefly discuss the proposal. It was considered that there was sufficient information available to complete the task at SDC 4 next year.

Agenda Item 5 – Guidelines on Safe Return to Port for Passenger Ships

Paper SDC 3/5, submitted by the United States, contains the Guidelines for Safe Return to Port for Passenger Ships. It should be noted that whilst the guidelines refer to the option of a shore-based stability computer, which is clearly unacceptable, there is no evidence of shipping companies utilising this option in reality. As the option is available in the regulations it must be covered in the guidance.

Paper 3/5/1 submitted by the ITF drew attention to several outstanding matters relating to the Safe Return to Port Concept. The following intervention was made in support of this paper:

Thank you Mr Chairman,

IFSMA representing Shipmasters shares the concerns expressed by the ITF, regarding the safe return to port concept.

Although this is a laudable, the assumption that any ship is "unsinkable" is a dangerous one and, is certainly not a situation that has been achieved to date.

For this reason, we are fully supportive of measures to improve the watertight integrity and stability of passenger vessels and for the Master to make a correct decision.

Thank you Mr Chairman.

After extensive discussion the working group finalised the draft revised guidelines. This was a complete rewrite and update of MSC.1/Circ.1400 and should be issued as a new MSC circular for passenger ships constructed after the issue date. The Sub-Committee invited the Secretariat to produce the MSC circular.

Agenda Item 6 – Finalisation of Second Generation Intact Stability Criteria

A large number of papers were submitted under this agenda item. There is a concern that this Agenda item is becoming increasingly academically led and is not meeting the needs of the industry.

This is a large and complex project which is progressing in stages, much work remains. The correspondence group was re-established to continue the work between SDC meetings.

Agenda Item 7 – Amendments to part B of the 2008 IS Code on Towing, Lifting and Anchor Handling Operations

Draft amendments to Part B of the 2008 IS Code regarding vessels engaged in towing and lifting operations were agreed for submission to MSC 96 for approval.

Agenda Item 8 – Amendments to SOLAS and FSS Code to make Evacuation Analysis Mandatory for New Passenger Ships and Review of the Recommendation on Evacuation Analysis for New and Existing Passenger Ships

It is disappointing that recommendations put forward to improve the realism of this process were rejected. The following intervention was made in plenary:

Thank you Mr Chairman,

IFSMA would like to thank Germany for submitting the papers on this subject. IFSMA are extremely disappointed to read that propositions aimed at increasing the realism of the evacuation analysis process that were rejected.

We believe this outcome provides further confirmation of our opinion previously expressed at MSC93, that computer simulation alone cannot be accepted as a realistic indication of what is likely to occur in a real life scenario and, that full scale trial evacuations of ‘first of class’ are necessary to validate computer models.

Thank you Mr Chairman

The Sub-Committee considered the report of the correspondence group and approved it in general. However, there remain some matters to be further considered on Fire Protection which were considered by the working group.

The Sub-Committee agreed that the “Revised Guidelines for Evacuation Analysis for New and Existing Passenger Ships” contained in a draft MSC circular, should be submitted to MSC 96 for approval.

Agenda Item 9 – Amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-1 and Associated Guidelines on Damage Control Drills for Passenger Ships

The working group considered the report of the correspondence group. It was noted that the finalized draft amendments to SOLAS regulations II-1/19-1, III/30 and III/37 were sufficiently detailed, and views were expressed that guidelines may not be necessary. In the discussion that followed, views were expressed that the damage control drill requirements should be generally similar in detail to that for fire and abandon ship drills (that do not have any specific guidelines). After further discussion, the group agreed that such guidelines were not necessary at this time. However, it was recognized that in the future, after some experience has been gained conducting these drills on a range of passenger ship types and sizes, the development of guidelines might be considered appropriate.

Agenda Item 10 – Revision of Section 3 of the Guidelines for Damage Control Plans and Information to the Master

Due to time constraints, the working group was only able to briefly discuss the proposal to extend the requirement in SOLAS regulation II-1/8-1.3 regarding computerized stability support for the master in case of flooding to existing passenger ships. However, the Sub-Committee is invited to note that further consideration would be necessary regarding implementation of the new Revised guidelines on operational information for masters of passenger ships for safe return to port on existing passenger ships. Therefore, the participants were encouraged to develop proposals on this matter for submission to the next session.

Agenda Item 11 – Classification of Offshore Industry Vessels and a Review of the Need for a Non-mandatory Code for Offshore Construction Support Vessels

There was no progress made on this issue at this Sub-Committee.

Agenda Item 12 – Guidelines for WIG Craft

Work continues on this item.

Agenda Item 13 – Amendments to the 2011 ESP Code

Of no particular interest for IFSMA.

Agenda Item 14 – Unified Interpretations

One particular item of interest concerned the definition of deadweight. Following an in-depth discussion, the Sub-Committee agreed that even keel hydrostatics should be used to determine the regulatory deadweight to be entered on relevant statutory certificates. The Sub-Committee also agreed that it is acceptable for a loading manual and stability information to include a loading condition at a trimmed waterline with a corresponding deadweight that exceeds the even keel deadweight. To address concerns that were raised in the discussion, the Sub-Committee agreed that further consideration should be given to addressing the application of deadweight-dependent regulations (e.g. MARPOL) if a deadweight at a trimmed waterline exceeds the even keel deadweight.

Agenda Item 15 – Revised SOLAS Regulations II-1/3-8 and Associated Guidelines and New Guidelines for Safe Mooring Operations on All Ships.

This item was allocated to a correspondence group to report back at SDC4 and terms of reference were agreed. Although an IFSMA intervention had been prepared in support of this item it was not necessary to use it as there was general agreement during plenary to the proposals put forward.

Agenda Item 16 – Mandatory Instrument and/or Provisions Addressing Safety Standards for the Carriage of More than 12 Industrial Personnel Onboard Vessels Engaged on International Voyages

This subject is proving difficult to resolve; proposals have been made which will be considered by MSC 96. No final conclusions were reached

Agenda Item 17 – Guidelines for the Use of Fibre Reinforced Plastic within Ship Structures

A Correspondence Group was established to progress Development of Interim Guidelines for the use of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) elements within ship structures. It will report back to SDC4.

Agenda Item 19 – Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2017

Mr Kevin Hunter (UK) as Chairman and Mrs. T. Stemre (Norway) as Vice-Chairman were both re-elected for 2017.