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IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets for its 99th session from 16-25 May Autonomous Ships

May 14, 2018 IMORegulation

Autonomous Ships – Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets for its 99th session 16-25 May, with an IMO Forum on 15 May.

Adoption of amendments

The MSC is expected to adopt, inter-alia, amendments to the following instruments:

SOLAS

  • Amendments to SOLAS regulations II-1/1 and II-1/8-1, concerning the computerized stability support for the master in case of flooding for existing passenger ships. Also set for approval are related Guidelines on operational information for masters in case of flooding for passenger ships constructed before 1 January 2014.
  • Amendments to SOLAS chapter IV, replacing all references to “Inmarsat” with references to a “recognized mobile satellite service” and consequential amendments to the 1994 and 2000 HSC Codes and the 2008 SPS Code.

International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

  • Amendments to update the Code in line with the latest recommendations from the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which sets the basic requirements for all transport modes. The amendments include new provisions regarding IMO type 9 tank, a set of new abbreviations for segregation groups and special provisions for carriage of lithium batteries and of vehicles powered by flammable liquid or gas

Autonomous Ships

Polar Code – second phase
The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) entered into force in 2017 under both the SOLAS and MARPOL treaties. The MSC is expected to consider how the Polar Code provisions might be applied in the future to non-SOLAS vessels, including cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage, fishing vessels and pleasure yachts, with a view to instructing the Ship Design and Construction (SDC) Sub-Committee.

Piracy and armed robbery against ships
The MSC will receive an update on reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships. IMO received reports of 203 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide in 2017, the lowest for over 20 years, confirming the current downward year on year trend, with a reduction of about 8% at the global level. In the Gulf of Guinea, the number of incidents reported to the Organization decreased last year to 48 incidents, against 62 in 2016. However, in the first four months of 2018, the number of incidents significantly increased in the region, with 36 incidents reported, against 17 in the same period in 2017. Piracy and armed robbery remain active threats and Governments and the shipping industry need to maintain their guard.