Muster / Drill prior Departure
In the wake of the Costa Concordia incident, new regulations were adopted in 2013 which came into force on 1 January 2015. Regulations were aimed to ensure that passengers undergo safety drills, including mustering at the lifeboat stations, before the ship departs or immediately on departure. Previously, the requirement was for the muster of passengers to take place within 24 hours of their embarkation.
Enclosed-space entry and rescue drills
An amendment to SOLAS regulation III/19, on emergency training and drills, makes it mandatory to carry out enclosed-space entry and rescue drills. This will train crew members in respect of enclosed-space entry and rescue responsibilities. The idea being they participate in an enclosed-space entry and rescue drill. The drill is to be conducted at least once every two months. The aim of the amendments is to try and reduce the fatalities.
Code for Recognized Organizations
The Code for recognized organizations (RO Code) became mandatory, on 1 January 2015, under SOLAS, MARPOL and the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966. As per the Code, Administrations (flag States) may delegate certain responsibilities for surveying and certification of ships to “recognized organizations” (often the classification societies), which can act on behalf of the flag State. The RO Code provides flag States with standards mechanisms for assessment and authorization of recognized organizations (ROs) and clarifies the responsibilities of such organizations.
Amendments to ISM Code
In June 2014 IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee adopted amendments to ISM Code. The changes, as detailed in Res MSC 353(92) are in respect of manning levels on vessels and a requirement for periodic confirmation that work practices on board and ashore are in accordance with the ISM Code.
Thus, the company should ensure that each ship is:
1 manned with qualified, certificated and medically fit seafarers in accordance with national and international requirements; and
2 appropriately manned in order to encompass all aspects of maintaining safe operations on board
Member State Audit Scheme
Amendments to a number of treaties covering safety, training, prevention of pollution, load lines, tonnage measurement and collision prevention make the audits under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme, mandatory for all IMO Member States from 1 January 2016. The aim is to assess the applicability status of various instruments. Up to 25 Member State audits per year are expected under the audit scheme, which aims to provide a mechanism by which Member States can be assessed, in order to determine to what extent they are implementing and enforcing the applicable IMO instruments by identifying areas in need of improvement, as well as areas of good practices. The process will also provide assistance and capacity-building to States, as well as to the Organization’s regulatory process.
IG System on small tankers
This involves amendments to different SOLAS regulations of chapter II-2, to introduce mandatory requirements for inert gas systems on board new oil and chemical tankers of 8,000 dwt and above, and for ventilation systems on board new ships; plus related amendments to chapter 15 of the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code) on inert gas systems.
For tankers of 20,000 tonnes deadweight and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002 but before 1 January 2016, the protection of the cargo tanks shall be achieved by a fixed inert gas system in accordance with the requirements of the Fire Safety Systems Code. The Administration may however, accept other equivalent systems or arrangements.
For tankers of 8,000 tonnes deadweight and upwards constructed on or after 1 January 2016 when carrying certain cargoes, the protection of the cargo tanks shall be achieved by a fixed inert gas system in accordance with the requirements of the FSS Code. Administration may however, accept other equivalent systems or arrangements.
Tankers operating with a cargo tank cleaning procedure using crude oil washing shall be fitted with an inert gas system complying with the FSS Code and with fixed tank washing machines. However, some remedy is available for pre 2016 tankers.
Tankers required to be fitted with inert gas systems shall ensure due supply of IG in double-hull spaces and means to prevent hydrocarbon gases from the cargo tanks entering.
The requirements for inert gas systems contained in the FSS Code need not be applied to chemical tankers constructed before 1 January 2016, including those constructed before 1 July 2012, and all gas carriers:
.1 when carrying certain cargoes, provided that they comply with the requirements for inert gas systems on chemical tankers established by the Administration, based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.
.2 when carrying flammable cargoes other than crude oil or petroleum products such as cargoes listed in chapters 17 and 18 of the IBC Code, provided that the capacity of tanks used for their carriage does not exceed 3,000 m3 and the individual nozzle capacities of tank washing machines do not exceed 17.5 m3 /h and the total combined throughput from the number of machines in use in a cargo tank at any one time does not exceed 110 m3 /h.
The inert gas system shall be capable of inerting, purging and gas-freeing empty tanks and maintaining the atmosphere in cargo tanks with the required oxygen content. Tankers fitted with a fixed inert gas system shall be provided with a closed ullage system.
For tankers of 8,000 tonnes deadweight and upwards but less than 20,000 tonnes deadweight constructed on or after 1 January 2016, the Administration may accept other equivalent arrangements or means of protection.
Tankers shall be equipped with at least one portable instrument for measuring oxygen and one for measuring flammable vapour concentrations, together with a sufficient set of spares. Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of such instruments. Suitable portable instruments for measuring oxygen and flammable vapour concentrations in double-hull spaces and double-bottom spaces shall be provided.
Oil tankers of 20,000 tonnes deadweight and above, constructed on or after 1 January 2012, shall be provided with a fixed hydrocarbon gas detection system complying with the FSS Code for measuring hydrocarbon gas concentrations in all ballast tanks and void spaces of double hull and double-bottom spaces adjacent to the cargo tanks, including the forepeak tank and any other tanks and spaces under the bulkhead deck adjacent to cargo tanks. Oil tankers provided with constant operative inerting systems for such spaces need not be equipped with fixed hydrocarbon gas detection equipment.
Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/29 on steering gear, to update the requirements relating to sea trials.
The main steering gear and rudder stock shall be:
1. of adequate strength and capable of steering the ship at maximum ahead service speed which shall be demonstrated;
2. capable of putting the rudder over from 35° on one side to 35° on the other side with the ship at its deepest seagoing draught and running ahead at maximum ahead service speed and, under the same conditions, from 35° on either side to 30° on the other side in not more than 28 seconds.
Where it is impractical to demonstrate compliance with this requirement during sea trials with the ship at its deepest seagoing draught and running ahead at the speed corresponding to the number of maximum continuous revolutions of the main engine and maximum design pitch, ships regardless of date of construction may demonstrate compliance with this requirement by one of the alternate methods provided.
Thus, even keel is maintained with the rudder fully submerged giving regard to maximum continuous revolutions of the main engine and maximum design pitch; or
where full rudder immersion during sea trials cannot be achieved, an appropriate ahead speed allowing for such condition is considered; or
the rudder force and torque at the sea trial loading condition are predicted and extrapolated to the full load condition.
The auxiliary steering gear shall be:
1. of adequate strength and capable of steering the ship at navigable speed and of being brought speedily into action in an emergency;
2. capable of putting the rudder over from 15° on one side to 15° on the other side in not more than 60 seconds with the ship at its deepest seagoing draught and running ahead at one half of the maximum ahead service speed or 7 knots, whichever is the greater.
Where it is impractical to demonstrate compliance with this requirement during sea trials with the ship at its deepest seagoing draught and running ahead at one half of the speed, alternate procedure is provided.
Amendments to SOLAS II/2
Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/10 are concerning fire protection requirements for new ships designed to carry containers on or above the weather deck. Thus, ships shall carry, in addition to the equipment and arrangements required, at least one water mist lance.
Water Mist Lance and Penetration Hammer is designed to meet the requirements for extinguishing fires inside confined spaces, such as fires in containers. The water mist lance shall consist of a tube with a piercing nozzle which is capable of penetrating a container wall and producing water mist inside a confined space (container, etc.) when connected to the fire main.
Ships designed to carry five or more tiers of containers on or above the weather deck shall additionally carry, mobile water monitors as follows:
1. ships with breadth less than 30 m: at least two mobile water monitors; or
2. ships with breadth of 30 m or more: at least four mobile water monitors.
The mobile water monitors, all necessary hoses, fittings and required fixing hardware shall be kept ready for use in a location outside the cargo space area not likely to be cut-off in the event of a fire in the cargo spaces.
Sufficient number of fire hydrants shall be provided such that:
1. all provided mobile water monitors can be operated simultaneously for creating effective water barriers forward and aft of each container bay;
2. the two jets of water required can be supplied at the pressure required; and
3. each of the required mobile water monitors can be supplied by separate hydrants at the pressure necessary to reach the top tier of containers on deck.
Mobile Water Monitors: The material of monitor body is of stainless steel. The monitor head is of copper alloy. The flow rate generally is ≥ 1000L/min. The jetting range being ≥ 40m. The rated working pressure being 0.4MPa. Generally it has rotation range in horizontal direction of 270°and in vertical direction of upto 900. It is manually operated. It can be operated in jet as well as spray. It weighs about 22kg.
The mobile water monitors may be supplied by the fire main, provided the capacity of fire pumps and fire main diameter are adequate to simultaneously operate the mobile water monitors and two jets of water from fire hoses at the required pressure values. If carrying dangerous goods, the capacity of fire pumps and fire main diameter shall also comply with relevant regulation as applicable to on-deck cargo areas.
The operational performance of each mobile water monitor shall be tested during initial survey on board the ship to the satisfaction of the Administration. The test shall verify that:
1. the mobile water monitor can be securely fixed to the ship structure ensuring safe and effective operation; and
2. the mobile water monitor jet reaches the top tier of containers with all required monitors and water jets from fire hoses operated simultaneously.
Additional means of escape from machinery spaces.
1. Inclined ladders and stairways
For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2016, all inclined ladders/stairways fitted to comply with paragraph 4.1.1 with open treads in machinery spaces being part of or providing access to escape routes but not located within a protected enclosure shall be made of steel. Such ladders/stairways shall be fitted with steel shields attached to their undersides, such as to provide escaping personnel protection against heat and flame from beneath.
2. Escape from main workshops within machinery spaces
For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2016, two means of escape shall be provided from the main workshop within a machinery space. At least one of these escape routes shall provide a continuous fire shelter to a safe position outside the machinery space.
Carriage of motor vehicles with CH or CNG in their tanks on vehicle carriers
New regulation 20-1 of SOLAS Ch II/2, which provides additional safety measures for vehicle carriers with vehicle and ro-ro spaces intended for carriage of motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or compressed natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion as cargo.
The purpose of this regulation is to provide additional safety measures in order to address the fire safety objectives of this chapter. On such ships, all electrical equipment and wiring shall be of a certified safe type for use in an explosive methane and air mixture. Electrical equipment and wiring, if installed in any ventilation duct, shall be of a certified safe type for use in explosive methane and air mixtures. The fans shall be such as to avoid the possibility of ignition of methane and air mixtures. Suitable wire mesh guards shall be fitted over inlet and outlet ventilation openings. Other equipment which may constitute a source of ignition of methane and air mixtures shall not be permitted.
When a vehicle carrier carries as cargo one or more motor vehicles with either compressed hydrogen or compressed natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion, at least two portable gas detectors shall be provided. Such detectors shall be suitable for the detection of the gas fuel and be of a certified safe type for use in the explosive gas and air mixture.
Carriage of stability instruments mandatory for tankers
Stability instrument for oil tankers and chemical tankers became mandatory, under amendments to: MARPOL Annex 1; BCH Code; IBC Code; and IGC Code.
LSA Code lifejacket testing
The amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance relate to the testing of lifejackets. The requirements for testing adult lifejackets are updated and new paragraphs are added relating to the testing of infant lifejackets, including the possibility to substitute manikins for human test subjects.
Revised IGC Code
The completely revised and updated International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk entered into force. The amendments were developed following a comprehensive five-year review and are intended to take into account the latest advances in science and technology.
The earlier IGC Code, adopted by resolution MSC.5(48), has been mandatory under SOLAS chapter VII since 1 July 1986. The IGC Code applies to ships regardless of their size, including those of less than 500 gross tonnage, engaged in carriage of liquefied gases having a vapour pressure exceeding 2.8 bar absolute at a temperature of 37.8°C, and certain other substances listed in chapter 19 of the Code. The aim of the Code is to provide an international standard for the safe carriage by sea in bulk of liquefied gases and the substances listed in chapter 19, by prescribing the design and construction standards of ships involved in such carriage and the equipment they should carry so as to minimize the risk to the ship, to its crew and to the environment, having regard to the nature of the products involved.
Severe collisions or strandings could lead to cargo tank damage and uncontrolled release of the product. Such release could result in evaporation and dispersion of the product and, in some cases, could cause brittle fracture of the ship’s hull. The requirements in the codes are intended to minimize these risks as far as is practicable, based upon present knowledge and technology.
Throughout the development of the Code it was recognized that it must be based upon sound naval architectural and engineering principles and the best understanding available as to the hazards of the various products covered; furthermore that gas carrier design technology is not only a complex technology but is rapidly evolving and that the Code should not remain static. Therefore, IGC Code is kept under review, taking into account experience and technological development. The latest comprehensive amendments entered into force on 1 July 2016. Some of the chapters being: ship survival capability and location of cargo tanks; cargo containment materials of construction and quality control; pressure/Temperature control; electrical installations; ventilation in the cargo area; instrumentation and automation systems; filling limits for cargo tanks; use of cargo as fuel. Various appendices provide:
data reporting form; model form of International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk; non-metallic materials, etc.
Listing of products in Annex 6 is as follows:
Portable atmosphere testing instrument(s)“
SOLAS Chapter XI-1 amended by resolution MSC.380(94) on 1 July 2016 requires a portable atmosphere testing instrument(s) to be used for enclosed space entry.
The following new regulation 7 is added, which states, ‘every ship to which chapter I applies shall carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments. As a minimum, these shall be capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide prior to entry into enclosed spaces. Instruments carried under other requirements may satisfy this regulation. Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of all such instruments.
Record of Safety Equipment Certificate
SOLAS Appendix was amended vide IMO resolution MSC.380(94) on 1 July 2016 changing the format of Cargo Ship Record of Safety Equipment (Form E or C). Thus, section 2 of the Record of Equipment for Cargo Ship Safety (Form C) and the Record of Equipment for Cargo Ship Safety (Form E), is replaced with the following:
(Excerpt from new format)
Ship Construction File
SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 introduced by IMO resolution MSC.290(87) requires oil tankers and bulk carriers (excluding ore carriers and combination carriers) of 150m in length (as per LL 66) and above to be provided with a Ship Construction File which shall be kept on board the ship and/or ashore and updated as appropriate throughout the ship’s service. This requirement applies to ships:
1. contracted for construction on or after 1 July 2016; or
2. delivered on or after 1 July 2020.
The Guidelines about the information to be included in a Ship Construction File is in MSC.1/Circ.1343.
Guidelines for the information to be included in a ship construction file:
The aim of these Guidelines is to provide additional guidance on the content of the Ship Construction File (SCF) to be provided upon delivery of new bulk carriers and oil tankers in accordance with SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10.4, kept on board the ship and/or ashore and updated as appropriate throughout the ship’s life in order to facilitate safe operation, maintenance, survey, repair and emergency measures. It is to be noted that parts of the content of the SCF may be subject to various degrees of restricted access and that such documentation may be appropriately kept ashore as indicated in these Guidelines. In this context, tier II items means the functional requirements included in the International Goal-based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, adopted by resolution MSC 287(87).
The SCF should include the list of documents constituting the SCF and all information listed in the annex, which is required for a ship’s safe operation, maintenance, survey, repair and in emergency situations. Details of specific information that is not considered to be critical to safety might be included directly or by reference to other documents.
The SCF should remain with the ship and, in addition, be available to its classification society and flag State throughout the ship’s life. Where information not considered necessary to be on board is stored ashore, procedures to access this information should be specified in the onboard SCF. The intellectual property provisions within the SCF should be duly complied with. The SCF should be updated throughout the ship’s life at any major event, including, but not limited to, substantial repair and conversion, or any modification to the ship structure. Following is the skeleton form with limited details made for getting a brief idea of the form.
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