Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 104), 4-8 October 2021
MSC 104 will be held remotely, from 4-8 October 2021
Time: 11.00 am to 14:00 pm London Time each day.
The MSC will consider a draft Assembly resolution consolidating issues related to crew change, access to medical care, ʺkey workerʺ designation and seafarers’ vaccination to further highlight the relevance of these problems, with a view to adoption at the 32nd session of the IMO Assembly (6-15 December).
The draft Assembly resolution on comprehensive action to address seafarers’ challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in document MSC 104/17/1.
Piracy and armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activity
The MSC will consider a draft update of IMO Assembly resolution A.1069(28) on Prevention and suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships and illicit activity in the Gulf of Guinea. The resolution is expected to be finalized and approved for adoption by the the 32nd session of the IMO Assembly.
The draft revised resolution can be found in document MSC 104/8/1.
The Committee will also be updated on IMO initiatives in the Gulf of Guinea.
Domestic ferry safety
The Committee will consider matters pertaining to domestic ferry safety. A related working group is expected to be established, with a view to finalizing recommendatory Model Regulations on Domestic Ferry Safety, for adoption at MSC 105 in April 2022.
Goal-based ship construction standards (GBS)
The Committee is expected to consider the report of the combined GBS audit on the rectification of non-conformities of IACS and DNV-GL ship construction rules.
The International Goal-based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers (“the Standards”) describe the goals and establish the functional requirements that the rules for the design and construction of bulk carriers and oil tankers of an organization recognized by the Administration, or the national rules of an Administration, shall conform to, as defined in SOLAS regulations II-1/2.27 and II-1/3-10. Additionally, the Standards establish that the abovementioned rules shall be verified as conforming to the goals and functional requirements.
The verification is achieved by conducting regular GBS audits of the ship construction rules of organization recognized by the Administration who had already been verified to conform to the Standards. Those ROs or Administration seeking to have their ship construction rules verified to be GBS-conform for the first time will have to undergo an initial GBS audit, in accordance with the Revised guidelines for verification of conformity with goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution MSC.454(100))
The next scheduled GBS audits will be conducted in early 2022 when the first three-year maintenance audit cycle begins.
Amendments to mandatory instruments
The MSC is expected to consider for adoption:
- draft amendments to chapters II (Conditions of assignment of freeboard) and III (Freeboards) of annex I (Regulations for determining load lines) of annex B to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol, concerning amendments to the acceptable arrangements of scuppers and discharges, as well as satisfactory condition of equilibrium after flooding, respectively; and
- draft amendments to chapter 2 (Ship survival capability and location of cargo tanks) of the International Gas Carrier Code (IGC Code), concerning watertight doors on cargo ships, with the entry into force date of 1 January 2024.
Modernization of the GMDSS – approval of amendments to SOLAS and related instruments
Following a comprehensive review of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) by the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), the MSC is expected to approve, for adoption at the next session, a set of draft amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention, including amendments and revisions to existing related instruments.
The aim is to enable the use of modern communication systems in the GMDSS whilst removing requirements to carry obsolete systems concerning the modernization of the GMDSS.
The revision of the relevant regulations in SOLAS chapters II-1, III, IV and V and preparation of related and consequential amendments to other existing instruments is the result of a decade of detail-oriented work by IMO, in particular by the NCSR Sub-Committee.
Safety of navigation and safety of life at sea depend on the integrated satellite and terrestrial radiocommunication systems to support ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship distress, urgency and safety communications at sea, which is known as the GMDSS in general. Mandatory requirements for the GMDSS are laid down in the SOLAS Convention.
The MSC is expected to approve, for adoption at MSC 105, draft amendments to:
- SOLAS chapters II-1, III, IV and V, and the appendix (Certificates)
- the 1988 SOLAS Protocol;
- the 1994 and 2000 HSC Codes;
- the 1983 and 2008 SPS Codes; and
- the 1979, 1989 and 2009 MODU Codes.
In addition, the MSC is expected to approve, in principle, a further 11 draft MSC resolutions and two draft MSC circulars, with a view to final approval/adoption at MSC 105, as follows:
- draft MSC resolution on “System performance standard for the promulgation and coordination of maritime safety information using high-frequency narrow-band direct-printing”, revising and superseding resolution A.699(17);
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for the reception of maritime safety information and search and rescue related information by MF (NAVTEX) and HF”, revising and consolidating resolutions A.700(17) and MSC.148(77), as amended;
- draft MSC resolution on “Provision of radio services for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)”, revising and superseding resolution A.801(19), as amended;
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for search and rescue radar transponders”, revising and superseding resolutions A.530(13) and A.802(19), as amended;
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for shipborne VHF radio installations capable of voice communication and digital selective calling”, revising resolution A.803(19), as amended;
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for shipborne MF and MF/HF radio installations capable of voice communication, digital selective calling and reception of maritime safety information and search and rescue related information”, revising and consolidating resolutions A.804(19), as amended, and A.806(19), as amended;
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for Inmarsat-C ship earth stations capable of transmitting and receiving direct-printing communications”, revising resolution A.807(19), as amended;
- draft MSC resolution on “Guidelines for the avoidance of false distress alerts”, revising and superseding resolution A.814(19);
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for survival craft portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus”, revising resolution MSC.149(77);
- draft MSC resolution on “Amendments to the performance standards for radiocommunication equipment (resolution MSC.80(70))”;
- draft MSC resolution on “Performance standards for a shipborne integrated communication system (ICS) when used in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)”, revising resolution A.811(19);
- draft MSC circular on “Participation of non-SOLAS ships in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)”, to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.803/Rev.1; and
- draft MSC circular on “Guidance for the reception of maritime safety information and search and rescue related information as required in the Global Maritime Distress.
The Committee is expected to:
- Adopt the draft MSC resolutions on “Amendments to the Performance standards for shipborne simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs) (resolution MSC.163(78), as amended)” and “Amendments to the Performance standards for shipborne voyage data recorders (VDRs) (resolution MSC.333(90))”;
- Approve the draft revised text of the Interim Iridium SafetyCast service manual, for dissemination as MSC.1/Circ.1613/Rev.1;
- Approve the draft MSC circular on “Guidance on the validity of VHF radiocommunication equipment installed and used on ships”, to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1460/Rev.3; and
- Approve the draft MSC circulars on “Guidelines for shore-based maintenance of emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs)”, to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1039/Rev.1, and “Guidelines on annual testing of emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs)”, to be disseminated as MSC.1/Circ.1040/Rev.2.