Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Making lifting and winching operations safer
The Sub-Committee agreed in principle to draft mandatory regulations to make lifting appliances such as onboard cargo cranes safer. The draft SOLAS regulation II-1/3-13 covers requirements for the application, design and construction, operation, inspection, testing and maintenance of onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches.
These rules are intended to help prevent accidents and harm to operators and damage to ships, cargo, shore-based structures and subsea structures, as well as the marine environment.
A correspondence group was established to finalize draft related guidelines for the safety of onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches.
Fire safety on ro-ro ships – draft interim guidelines agreed
As part of its ongoing work to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires in ro-ro spaces and special category spaces of new and existing ro-ro passenger ships, the Sub-Committee agreed to draft interim guidelines.
Draft guidelines cover prevention/ignition – including inspection and maintenance plans of ship’s power supply equipment and cables; detection/decision – including fixed fire detection and alarm system; extinguishing fires – including fixed fire-extinguishing measures and appropriate training and drills; containment – including fire integrity; and integrity of lifesaving appliances and evacuation.
Draft guidelines will be submitted for approval to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101) to be held from 5 to 14 June 2019.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee on Human Element Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) was invited to consider sections relative to training and drills for seafarers, and advise the MSC, as appropriate.
The Sub-Committee agreed to continue its work at the next session, in relation to developing draft amendments to the SOLAS Convention and associated codes, following consideration of relevant casualty reports and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) FIRESAFE II study*.
Revising guidelines for the approval of fixed dry powder systems
The Sub-Committee began developing draft amendments to the Guidelines for the approval of fixed dry chemical powder fire-extinguishing systems for the protection of ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk (MSC.1/Circ.1315).
A correspondence group was established to identify appropriate test standards for acceptance of dry chemical powder for fixed fire-extinguishing systems; further develop the draft amendments to the Guidelines; and consider whether an implementation provision to the draft amendments to the Guidelines would be needed.
Goal-based standards safety-level approach for life-saving appliances
The Sub-Committee completed its work to develop functional requirements for SOLAS Chapter III on life-saving appliances and arrangements. It agreed that the goals, functional requirements and expected performance criteria for SOLAS chapter III be included as a new appendix 5 to the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for SOLAS chapters II-1 and III (MSC.1/Circ.1212).
For the goal: To save and maintain human life during and after an emergency situation, 12 functional requirements are listed with a series of expected performance criteria.
The amendments to MSC.1/Circ.1212 will be submitted to MSC 101 for approval.
Polar life-saving appliances – draft interim guidelines agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed to draft interim guidelines on life-saving appliances and arrangements for ships operating in polar waters, to ensure they meet the needs for survival in the harsh and specific conditions in such waters. For example, the guidelines cover specifications of the equipment needed and would require that lifeboats and rescue boats on ships proceeding to latitudes over 80°N should be fitted with a non-magnetic means for determining heading. The draft interim guidelines will be submitted to MSC 101 for approval.
Guidelines are intended to support the implementation of the mandatory Polar Code.
Ventilation requirements for survival craft
The Sub-Committee reviewed the draft amendments to the LSA Code in relation to ventilation requirements of totally enclosed lifeboats and made progress in developing draft amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (Resolution MSC.81(70)), regarding the ventilation of survival craft. The aim is to ensure a habitable environment is maintained in such survival craft.
A correspondence group was established to further develop the draft amendments to the LSA Code and resolution MSC.81(70); prepare the necessary consequential amendments to other IMO instruments, e.g. MSC/Circ.980; gather and review research data on the microclimate in partially enclosed lifeboats and life-raft and identify and recommend the possible criteria for new ventilation requirements for partially enclosed lifeboats and liferafts; prepare draft amendments related to the testing of the means of ventilation for partially enclosed lifeboats and liferafts and the necessary consequential amendments to other IMO instruments; and consider the possible benefits of air quality monitoring for all survival crafts.
On-shore power supply
Plugging a ship into shore-side power – and turning off onboard generators – is one solution to reducing air pollution from ships, as well as limiting local noise.
Following discussion on operational and technical aspects of onshore power supply, the Sub-Committee re-established the correspondence group to further develop draft guidelines on safe operation of onshore power supply (OPS) service in port for ships engaged on international voyages, limited to operational requirements.
Onshore power supply to ships is also known as cold ironing, alternative maritime power and shoreside electricity.
A new IMO video puts the spotlight on how an IMO/EU initiative is helping cut maritime emissions in the Solomon Islands as part of a global project to help tackle climate change.
The illustration published here shows the new solar-powered LED lights erected in the port of Honiara, Solomon Islands. Their operation helps the port meet IMO maritime security requirements.
These lights are also an ideal example of how a global project, through regional centres, can help individual countries’ ports and shipping sectors improve energy efficiency, cut emissions and clean up local air quality. This was the approach outlined in a media briefing issued by IMO on 15 May.
Data sharing is a prerequisite to enabling the successful implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) operations – which can cut the time ships spend idling outside ports and help cut emissions as well as save on fuel costs. This was the message in a media briefing by IMO in the first week of May
Participants at a roundtable meeting of IMO’s Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) in London on 1 / 2 May, agreed that increased transparency of information through data sharing was imperative, while this should be achieved through standardized functional and data definitions.
IHMA Project Officer, Captain Ben van Scherpenzeel, (Port of Rotterdam) participated in this roundtable and is seen in the accompanying illustration at IMO HQ, fourth from right.
It was learnt that more frequent exchange of information would lead to better predictability of when a berth is available. Additionally, it was reported that the roundtable identified the need for a global, neutral, not-for profit data sharing platform, to allow frequent updates from terminals and vessel service providers on completion times.
At its meeting at IMO the roundtable also identified the potential benefits of regulating data sharing, while incentivising data quality.