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Hazardous Materials Convention (HNS)


The HNS Convention – why it is needed

The transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by sea is a vital trade. Chemicals and other products underpin many manufacturing processes and IMO regulations ensure their safe transport.

However, incidents do happen – and the HNS Convention is the last piece in the puzzle needed to ensure that those who have suffered damage have access to a comprehensive and international liability and compensation regime.

HNS covered by the Convention include: oils; other liquid substances defined as noxious or dangerous; liquefied gases; liquid substances with a flashpoint not exceeding 60˚C; dangerous, hazardous and harmful materials and substances carried in packaged form or in containers; and solid bulk materials defined as possessing chemical hazards.

The Hazardous Materials Convention (HNS) Convention establishes the principle that the ‘polluter pays’ by ensuring that the shipping and HNS industries provide compensation for those who have suffered loss or damage resulting from an HNS incident.

The shipping, oil, gas, chemical, petrochemical and other HNS industries are committed to paying such compensation through an international system, and the HNS Convention provides the framework just such a system. The HNS Convention benefits all State Parties (producing, receiving and coastal States) by establishing a system of strict liability and clear claims criteria.

The current HNS Convention was adopted in 2010, amending a previous instrument that had been adopted in 1996. However, the 2010 HNS Convention has still not entered into force; States must ratify it before this can happen.


Hazardous Materials Convention

2015 Guidelines for the development of the Inventory of the Hazardous Materials, adopted by resolution MEPC.269(68)



BIMCO has co-sponsored a proposal at the 43rd session of the Facilitation Committee (FAL 43) held at the IMO Headquarters on 8-12 April, putting anti-corruption formally on the IMO agenda going forward.


This week, a maritime corruption paper was presented at the 43rd session, including a request to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make maritime corruption a regular work item.

The paper received solid support from 23 countries and international organizations, including BIMCO who attended the meeting, and it was decided that the IMO will work on a maritime corruption guidance expected to be completed by 2021.

“We are very pleased that the IMO will now discuss the issue of maritime corruption in the FAL Convention and that the IMO will now come up with guidance to help our members by addressing corruption,” says Aron Sorensen, Head of Maritime Technology & Regulation at BIMCO.

“No less than 23 countries and international organisations supported the anti-corruption paper, marking a new step towards a stronger fight against corruption in our industry,” Sorensen says.

To assist its members, BIMCO has developed an Anti-Corruption Clause for Charter Parties that addresses the situation by providing market users with a regime for responding to unlawful demands for gifts.




Charting the 2019 maritime regulatory landscape

Siddharth Mahajan, Loss Prevention Executive, Gard, Singapore has noted in an article that the marine industry “saw a plethora of regulations come into force during 2018”, with no slowing-down in 2019. Regulations related to crew, life and fire safety, environment, cargo, and certification would be implemented in the course of this year.

1 January 2019

Resolution A.1116(30): Escape Route Signs and Equipment Location Markings

To ensure uniformity of safety signs with ISO standards, the IMO has introduced updated signs and graphic symbols that should be used to mark the location of means of escape, life-saving systems, and mandatory action signs for launching lifesaving equipment. Safety signs and equipment location markings are now harmonized with the ISO standards.

Resolution MEPC.286(71): Information to be included in bunker delivery note

The existing bunker delivery note (BDN) limits the supplier’s declaration to stating that the fuel oil supplied conforms with MARPOL Annex regulation 14.1, which reduces the global limit from 3.5% to 0.5% from 1 January 2020, or regulation 14.4 covering limits for emission control areas. It does not accommodate the supply of high sulphur fuel oil to vessels installed with scrubbers or those with an exemption. Text of the BDN was therefore amended to allow for such supply. A selection box has been introduced stating the purchaser’s specified limit of sulphur content. The text of the selection box in the new BDN also obliges the bunker supplier to obtain a notification from the purchaser that fuel is intended to be used in compliance with MARPOL, if the fuel supplied exceeds the 0.5% sulphur limit.

Resolution MEPC.286(71): Designation of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea Emission Control Areas for NOX Tier III control

The Baltic Sea and North Sea emission control areas (ECA) will be extended to cover NOx in addition to SOx. Engines whose power output exceeds 130kw installed on vessels constructed on or after 01 January 2021 must be Tier III certified if operating inside these two areas. The regulation also applies to non-identical replacement engines or additional engines installed on existing ships on or after 1 January 2021. From 1 January 2019, all the four ECAs; the Baltic Sea, North Sea, North America and US Caribbean, will cover both SOx and NOx.

Resolution MSC.426(98): Amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk cargoes (IMSBC) code

New individual schedules for some cargoes have been introduced and some existing ones have been revised. Most notably, coal will now be classified as both Group A and B cargo unless otherwise tested.

Resolution MEPC.278(70) and Resolution MEPC 282(70): IMO Data Collection System (DCS) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP Part II)

All ships of 5,000 gross tonnes and above and engaged in international voyages should collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work, in accordance with the procedures mentioned in SEEMP Part II, which is to be approved by 31 December 2018.

Domestic emissions control requirements in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong

China: From 1 January 2019 vessels must switch to fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% prior to entering China’s territorial sea. Other key dates until 2020 are:

From 1 July 2019, vessels other than tankers capable of receiving shore power should use shore power.

From 1 January 2020, vessels entering Inland ECAs (Yangtze River and Xi Jiang River) must use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.10% while operating within the Inland ECA.

Taiwan: Ships not fitted with scrubbers must burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% when entering its international commercial port areas. Our Gard Alert on the introduction of low sulphur limits in Taiwan can be read here.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s current Fuel at Berth Regulation requiring ships to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% while at berth will be replaced by a regulation extending the standard to ships operating in Hong Kong waters. Ships not fitted with scrubbers will be required to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% within Hong Kong waters, irrespective of whether they are sailing or at berth.

China Regulation on Data Collection for Energy Consumption of Ships (RDCECS)

Ships of 400 GT or over, or powered by main propulsion machinery greater than 750 kW of propulsion power calling a port in China should report energy consumption data of last voyage to China MSA before leaving a port.  Vessels are advised to report the data through the local agents as the web based platform which is to be used is currently available only in Chinese language.

8 January 2019

2016 Amendments to Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC): Amendments related to Regulations 4.3 and 5.1

Regulation 4.3: The MLC Guideline B4.3.1, concerning the provisions on occupational accidents, injuries and diseases, is amended such that implications for health and safety will also include harassment and bullying.

Regulation 5.1: Standard A5.1.3 was amended to allow an extension of the validity of the Maritime Labour (ML) Certificate for not more than five months in circumstances where ships have passed the renewal inspection but a new full term ML Certificate cannot be issued immediately and provided on board. The new certificate will remain valid for a period not exceeding five years from the date of the existing one.

9 April 2019

Resolution FAL.12(40): Electronic exchange of information

In accordance with the 2016 amendments to FAL Convention, electronic exchange of information will be mandatory for public authorities with a transition period of no less than 12 months from the date of the introduction of such systems.

30 April 2019

EU MRV shipping Regulation 2015/757: submission of CO2 emissions report

Companies must submit to the EU Commission and to the authorities of the flag States concerned, an emissions report concerning the CO2 emissions and other relevant information for the entire reporting period for each ship under their responsibility, which has been verified as satisfactory by a verifier. By 30 June 2019 all vessels must carry a document of compliance onboard.

1 June 2019

Resolution MEPC.275(69): Baltic Sea special area

Passenger ships must not discharge untreated sewage in the Baltic Sea in accordance with the below implementation schedule. To discharge treated sewage, ships must have onboard an approved  sewage treatment plant meeting the requirements set out in Resolution MEPC.227(64). Alternatively, they should have a sewage holding tank of adequate capacity.

30 June 2019

EU MRV shipping Regulation 2015/757: Carriage of Document of Compliance (DOC)

Ships arriving at or departing from an EU port and which have carried out voyages during that reporting period must carry onboard a DOC issued by an accredited verifier. The DOC shall be valid for a period of 18 months from the end of the reporting period and must include the following information:

1 July 2019

Resolution MSC.338(91): New requirements for compressed air breathing apparatus used in fire fighting

Compressed air breathing apparatus on ships constructed before 1 July 2014 shall be fitted with an audible alarm and a visual or other device that will alert the wearer before the volume of the compressed air in the cylinder has been reduced to no less than 200 litres. Compliance shall be verified at the first safety equipment survey on or after 1 July 2019.

MSC.1/Circ.1594: Amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual

Besides other significant updates to Vol.III of the manual, a new section has been introduced on search and rescue by maritime rescue services in times of armed conflict. In accordance with SOLAS regulation V/21, vessels should be supplied with up-to-date copies of the IAMSAR Manual Vol.III. Crew members should be informed of the changes introduced in the new version of the publication.

Amendments to the Performance Standards for EGC and NAVTEX Equipment

MSC.430(98) contains amendments to the performance standards for EGC (Enhanced Group Call) and MSC.431(98) for NAVTEX. This equipment is required to be onboard as per SOLAS IV/7 and it must meet the relevant performance standards in SOLAS IV/14. Equipment installed on or after 1 July 2019, should be type approved in accordance with the SOLAS IV/14 performance standards.

Domestic emissions control area in China: use of shore power

Vessels, other than tankers, capable of receiving shore power, must use shore power if they berth for more than three hours in ports in the Coastal ECA that have shore power capabilities and more than two hours in ports with such capabilities in the Inland ECAs.

1 September 2019

Resolution MEPC.301(72): Required EEDI for ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships

Following the IMO being made aware of problems in meeting EEDI requirements for ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships, the IMO has decided to increase the reference line, defined as a baseline EEDI for each ship type, representing reference EEDI as a function of ship size, by 20% and to introduce a deadweight threshold value. This new reference line comes into force on 1 September 2019.

13 October 2019

Resolution MEPC.296(72): Resolution MEPC.297(72): Implementation schedule of ballast water management for ships

The Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS Code) is introduced based on G8 Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems. There is no change in technical content between the new code and G8 guidelines. The latter will be revoked once the BWMS Code comes into force. The BWMS Code is contained in MEPC.300(72).

Resolution MEPC.297(72): Implementation schedule of ballast water management for ships

Amended Regulation B-3 of the Ballast Water Management Convention was adopted by the IMO at the MEPC 72 and comes into force on 13 October 2019. The implementation schedule for compliance with D-2 biological standard remains unchanged

Resolution MEPC.299(72):  Endorsements of additional surveys on the International Ballast Water Management Certificate

Regulation E-1 of the Ballast Water Management Convention was amended to clarify that additional surveys will require endorsement on BWM certificate. Regulation E-5 was also amended to clarify that requirements for Annual survey schedule also applies to Intermediate surveys.


SOURCE : http://www.gard.no/web/updates/content/26910125/charting-the-2019-maritime-regulatory-landscape


BIMCO aims to publish cyber security clause in spring 2019


BIMCO is developing a clause dealing with cyber security risks and incidents that might affect the ability of one of the parties to perform their contractual obligations.

The clause is being drafted by a small team led by Inga Froysa of Klaveness, Oslo. Other companies involved include Navig8, the UK P&I Club and HFW, and the project is due to be completed in May 2019.

Planning and protecting is key

The BIMCO cyber security clause requires the parties to have plans and procedures in place to protect its computer systems and data, and to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to a cyber incident.

Mitigating the effect of a cyber security breach is of paramount importance and the clause requires the affected party to notify the other party quickly, so that they can take any necessary counter-measures. The clause is also designed for use in a broad range of contracts. This way, the clause can cover arrangements with third-party service providers, such as brokers and agents.

The liability of the parties to each other for claims is limited to an amount agreed during negotiations. A sum of USD 100,000 will apply if no other amount is inserted.

Two important functions

The clause will fulfill two important functions. The first is to raise awareness of cyber risks among owners, charterers and brokers. The second is to provide a mechanism for ensuring that the parties to the contract have procedures and systems in place, in order to help minimize the risk of an incident occurring in the first place and, if it does occur, to mitigate the effects of such an incident.

In the early stages of development, the drafting team discussed if the clause should also address payment fraud. It was concluded that the risk of this increasingly common fraud is probably best dealt with at a procedural level by companies tightening up their internal payment procedures to require verification of any changes to payment details.


BWMS type approval !

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its 20th application for Ballast Water Management System type approval for the Aquarius UV Ballast Water Management System manufactured by Wärtsilä Water Systems Ltd.

MSC will review the application for compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate.

BWMS type approval applications and approval certificates are posted on MSC’s website. The list will be updated frequently in order to provide industry and the general public the most current information regarding the status of each application.




What are the challenges of autonomous ships navigation on board masterless vessels?

Autonomous ships, Challenges, whether legislative, sociological or technological, form part of our daily work routine. Contrary to previous decades, innovative models do not require years or even months to cross an ocean. Evolution tends to spread very fast, more so nowadays when millennials are rapidly engaging themselves in managerial roles largely concerned with quick and effective product placement.

The recent emergence of blockchain technologies, the steady infiltration of cryptocurrencies in our lives and the recently introduced GDPR rules have proved that shipping, like any other sector involved in the carriage of persons and goods, is also not immune to such novelties.

Unmanned technology is also gaining particular momentum within the shipping industry. The aim of such technology is clearly that of supporting the ship operator, cargo owner and ultimate consumer by reducing human-derived risks and operational costs connected with the carriage of goods by sea. However, when it comes to ships and navigation one must keep in mind that the lawmaker often ranks the protection of seafarers and of the sea environment at the top of its priorities, ahead of such strictly navigational or commercial aspects which also arise from the use of autonomous ships. It will be interesting to see how these two differing interests can and should coexist next to each other.

Use of driverless means of transport has become common across various sectors of public transportation. Many capital cities have adopted driverless metro systems for years now. The same is happening with respect to the private transportation by car, although the latter is still going through (an advanced) testing phase.

The difference between such means of transport lies mainly on the number of variables that these come across throughout their operation. As metros operate on a one-direction line, collisions can be easily reduced through a number of mechanical and electronic precautions. On the other hand, during their journey, cars come across other cars, buses, trucks, pedestrians, animals and different meteorological events, and so cannot make a linear journey.

What does autonomy mean with particular reference to ships? The International Maritime Organisation has identified four different types of vessel autonomy.

The first are ships with automated processes and decision support where seafarers operate and control systems and functions directly from the vessel and only some operations may be automated. The second are remotely controlled ships where seafarers are on board the vessel although the ship is controlled and operated from another location. The third are remotely controlled ships without seafarers on board where the vessel is controlled and operated from another location with no

seafarers on board. Finally, the fourth are fully autonomous ships where the operation is performed automatically by the vessel’s operating system.

Trials on autonomous ships have already commenced in Norway and Finland. Denmark has also taken steps to regulate this particular aspect of navigation; with the first autonomous ship to be used for subsea positioning, surveying and environmental monitoring currently registered under the British flag. The European Union has also invested in research projects such as the EU’s FP7 project (Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks).

The introduction of automation, as happened in other industries, would produce an immediate and tangible effect on the workforce on board ships and port operators engaged in the loading and offloading of cargo. On the other hand this would be beneficial for IT developers involved in the creation of software meant to govern navigation and protecting same from the risk of cyber-attacks. Automation might be welcomed by insurers, and a bit less by ship litigators, since with respect to the cargo loading and unloading procedures it will reduce the amount of mistakes deriving from human error.

However, one of the main obstacles faced by autonomous ships lies in the current legal framework within which their manned counterparts operate. In fact most – if not all – maritime conventions (and charter parties) assume that vessels operate with crew on board – this is the case, for example, of the Maritime Labour Convention or the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers – a requirement an autonomous ship would unlikely be able to satisfy.

Another challenging aspect concerning autonomous ships revolves around the implementation of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) in particular when these will be navigating alongside manned ships. The COLREGS often contain provisions referring to the human element; referring for example to “the ordinary practice of seamen” test, that is, what a reasonably competent mariner should do in a given situation (similarly to the bonus paterfamilias test used in civil law).

Automation would require practitioners to start considering accidents which might arise, for example, when an operator makes a poor decision in reliance on wrong information provided by the vessels’ sensors due to a technical failure. Such instances are bound to raise further questions on the apportionment of liability between the operator, manufacturer or software developer and ship- owner.

Moreover, within a shipping ambit different types and degrees of liability already coexist next to each other: that of the ship-owner (or the bareboat charterer) for crew’s actions (i.e. COLREGS); or that of the registered owner (i.e. pollution at sea conventions) while other forms of liability make the ship liable in its own right (e.g. maritime liens).

Apportionment of liability between the ship-owner, software developer and manufacturer is an aspect not to be underestimated even in such a context. How would an autonomous ship be expected to intervene in case should it encounter, throughout her route, another ship in distress? Also, where would responsibility lie in the case of environmental damage? Will the ship-owner be held accountable or will responsibility for the ensuing damage lie on the software provider, for

example, for not having developed a sound algorithm or on the vessel’s sensors’ manufacturer for their technical failure?

Legal clarity around cyber liability and collision regulations is fundamental if autonomous ships want to sail free on our seas and oceans, especially before the maritime industry starts investing in infrastructure and skills needed to for unmanned ships to reach a commercial level.

The answers to these questions are far from clear, and much work needs to be done before international solutions are in place. The Comité Maritime International (CMI), of which the Malta Maritime Association is a proud and active member, has recently established a working group on maritime law for unmanned craft, aimed at analysing how international conventions and regulations can adapt themselves to autonomous ships.

Many in the industry, in view of a lack of clear regulations in this respect, have welcomed this news in a conservative manner. Truth is that you cannot stop innovation from happening. Not, at least, in today’s world where ideas travel at the speed of sound from one corner of the world to another and with such a multitude of players wishing to gain new shares in an often saturated market. The interests in such area are many, from that of ship builders wishing to consolidate or grow their market share, to that of the ship owner wishing to cut costs or that of IT developers wishing to expand their reach in this industry, to that of crew members wishing to safeguard their jobs.

The importance of such a new means of navigation, although still far from becoming an everyday reality, has generated such an interest that even the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee kicked off the procedure leading to the regulation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). This exercise aims at regulating aspects concerning safety, security and environment. IMO’s focus is international trade facilitation, analysis of potential costs of the industry and the impact on individuals operating both off and onshore. The IMO will first look into the application of current legislation onto MASS and ascertain whether each specific provision can be applied to it and the regulations that need to be amended or introduced.

A possible key to facilitating navigation of autonomous ships on our seas and oceans could lie in the adoption of a uniform and linear set of rules modelled on the current IMO framework. It is submitted that a mere temporary or piecemeal update of regulation is not sufficient. Rules should, as much as possible, contain self-updating provisions able to cater for current as well as future technological advances. Shipping, more than any other sector in view of its global breadth, requires common and uniform standards and this can clearly only be achieved through the intervention of the International Maritime Organisation.

autonomous ships!

Source: Times of Malta


The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has published nine of its 12 recommendations on cyber safety for ships.

IACS initially addressed the subject of software quality with the publication of UR E22 in 2006.  Recognizing the huge increase in the use of onboard cyber-systems since that time, IACS has developed this new series of recommendations with a view to reflecting the resilience requirements of a ship with many more interdependencies. They address the need for:

•     A more complete understanding of the interplay between ship’s systems
•     Protection from events beyond software errors
•     In the event that protection failed, the need for an appropriate response and ultimately recovery.
•     In order that the appropriate response could be put in place, a means of detection is required.

Noting the challenge of bringing traditional technical assurance processes to bear against new and unfamiliar technologies, IACS has launched the recommendations in the expectation that they will rapidly evolve as a result of the experience gained from their practical implementation. So, as an interim solution, they will be subject to amalgamation and consolidation.

More than 90 percent of the world’s cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification design, construction and through-life compliance rules and standards set by the 12 member societies of IACS.

The 12 Recommendations are:

Recommended procedures for software maintenance of shipboard equipment and systems (published)

Shipboard equipment and associated integrated systems to which these procedures apply can include:
– Bridge systems;
– Cargo handling and management systems;
– Propulsion and machinery management and power control systems;
– Access control systems;
– Ballast water control system;
– Communication systems; and
– Safety system.

Recommendation concerning manual / local control capabilities for software dependent machinery systems (published)

IMO requires through SOLAS that local control of essential machinery shall be available in case of failure in the remote (and for unattended machinery spaces, also automatic) control systems. For traditional mechanical propulsion machinery, this design principle is well established. The same design requirement applies to computerized propulsion machinery, i.e. complex computer based systems with unclear boundaries and with functions maintained in the different components.

Contingency plan for onboard computer based systems (published)

Computer based systems are vulnerable to a variety of failures such as software malfunction, hardware failure and other cyber incidents. It is not possible for all failure risks to be eliminated so residual risks always remain. In addition, a limited understanding of the operation of complex computer based systems together with fewer opportunities for manual operation can lead to crews being ill-prepared to use their initiative to responding effectively during a failure.

IMO and Classification Society rules contain many context specific examples of requirements for independent or local control in order to provide the crew with the means to operate the vessel in emergencies or following equipment failures. These requirements have generally been introduced when automation or remote control is introduced to individual pieces of equipment or functions and address concerns regarding its possible failure of the new features. The introduction of technologies which integrate different vessel’s functions creates the opportunity for two or more systems to be impacted by a single failure simultaneously.

Where, due to high computer dependence, manual operation is no longer practical or where the number of systems simultaneously affected is too high for manual operation to be practical with existing crew levels then the value of local control as a form of reassurance is limited, however the crew will still need to be provided with practical options to try to manage threats to human safety, safety of the vessel and/or threat to the environment.

If the practical options are not considered during the design and installed during construction of the vessel then the vessel and its crew could be, due to the introduction of new technologies, exposed to risks which they cannot manage.

Practical options could include limiting the extent of potential damage so that manual control is still achievable or providing backup systems which could be used in a worst case systems failure. Whatever form of contingency is provided to address failures it is important that it is well documented, tested and that the crew is aware and trained.

Requirements related to preventive means, independent mitigation means, engineered backups, redundancy, reinstatement etc. are dealt with in the other relevant recommendations.

Network Architecture (published)

Ship control networks have evolved from simple stand-alone systems to integrated systems over the years and the demand for ship to shore remote connectivity for maintenance, remote monitoring is increasing.

Incorporation of Ethernet technology has resulted in a growing similarity between the once disconnected fieldbus and Internet technologies. This has given rise to new terms such as industrial control networking, which encompasses not only the functions and requirements of conventional fieldbus, but also the additional functions and requirements that Ethernet-based systems present.

The objective of the present recommendation is to develop broad guidelines on ship board network architecture. The recommendation broadly covers various aspects from design to installation phases which should be addressed by the Supplier, system integrator and yard.

Data Assurance (published)

Regulation strongly focuses on system hardware and software development, however, data related aspects are poorly covered comparatively. Data available on ships has become very complex and in a large volume, meaning a user is unlikely to spot an error and it would be unreasonable to expect them to do so. Cyber systems depend not only on hardware and software, but also on the data they generate, process, store and transmit. These systems are also becoming more data intensive and data centric, often used as decision support and advisory systems and for remote digital communication.

Data Assurance may be intended as the activity, or set of activities, aimed at enforcing the security of data generated, processed, transferred and stored in the operation of computer based systems on board ships. Security of data includes confidentiality, integrity and availability; the scope of application of Data Assurance covers data whose lifecycle is entirely within on board computer based system, as well as data exchanged with shore systems connected to the on board networks.

Physical Security of onboard computer based systems (to be published Q4, 2018)

Network Security of onboard computer based systems (published)

Network security of onboard computer-based systems consists in taking physical, organizational, procedural and technical measures to make the network infrastructure connecting Information Technology and/or Operational Technology systems resilient to unauthorized access, misuse, malfunction, modification, destruction or improper disclosure, thereby ensuring that such systems perform their intended functions within a secure environment.

Vessel System Design (to be published Q4, 2018)

Inventory List of computer based systems (published)

For effective assessment and control of the cyber systems on board, an inventory of all of the vessel’s equipment and computer based systems should be created during the vessel’s design and construction and updated during the life of the ship: tracking the software and hardware modifications inside ship computer based systems enables to check that new vulnerabilities and dependencies have not occurred or have been treated appropriately to mitigate the risk related to their possible exploitation.

Integration (published)

Integration refers to an organized combination of computer-based systems, which are interconnected in order to allow communication and cooperation between computer subsystems e.g. monitoring, control, Vessel management, etc.

Integration of otherwise independent systems increases the possibility that the systems responsible for safety functions can be subject to cyber events including external cyberattacks and failures caused by unintentionally introduced malware. Systems which are not directly responsible for safety, if not properly separated from essential systems or not properly secured and monitored in an integrated system, can introduce routes for intrusion or cause unintended damage of important systems. It is necessary to have a record and an understanding of the extent of integration of vessels’ systems and for them to be arranged with sufficient redundancy and segregation as part of an overall strategy aimed at preventing the complete loss of ship’s essential functions.

Remote Update / Access (published)

Information and communications technology (ICT) is revolutionizing shipping, bringing with it a new era – the ‘cyber-enabled’ ship. Many ICT systems on-board ships connect to remote services and systems on shore for monitoring of systems, diagnosis and remote maintenance, creating an extra level of complexity and risk. ICT systems have the potential to enhance safety, reliability and business performance, but there are numerous risks that need to be identified, understood and mitigated to make sure that technologies are safely integrated into ship design and operations.

Communication and Interfaces (to be published Q4, 2018)


Marine incident reporting

AMSA – Marine Safety Awareness Bulletin  Issue 8 — September 2018

Incident reporting is essential to maritime safety. When you report a marine incident to AMSA, you help shape the way maritime safety is improved.

Benefits of marine incident reporting
The information obtained from marine incidents enable us to:
 identify issues, patterns and trends
 respond to concerns
 share information with the maritime industry
 learn and improve maritime safety

Case study one
Faulty emergency generator
During routine maintenance onboard a bulk carrier, it was discovered that the emergency generator wasn’t working and needed replacing.

Case study two
Knowledge of rescue helicopters
Following a number of incident reports submitted to AMSA from vessels operating in remote areas around Australia, it became clear that the limited range of rescue helicopters was not widely known among vessel operators.

The incident reporting process

Report a marine incident that has affected, or is likely to affect, the safety, operation or seaworthiness of the vessel1. The alerts let us know that a serious event has occured. The incident report provides us detailed information about the incident, in particular the measures put in place to prevent reoccurrence.





AMSA – Annual Regulatory Plan 2018–19

Our regulatory plan is produced annually and contains planned changes to our regulatory instruments.

Our regulatory plan provides details of planned changes to our regulatory instruments, such as marine orders and the National Standard for Commercial Vessels, to make it easier for business and the community to take part in the development of those instruments.

The regulatory plans contain information on:

  • legislative or other action planned for the current financial year that could lead to changes in business regulation.
  • a five-year outlook of future action, including for specific industry issues, international developments, priorities for standards and legislative expiry.
  • changes to business regulation that occurred during the previous financial year.

We publish an annual regulatory plan early in each financial year. While there may be some regulatory activities that we are unable to forecast, these activities will involve consultation with affected parties and will be recorded in future regulatory plans.

AMSA – Annual Regulatory Plan 2018–19

Marine order Description Consultation Proposed date
Marine Order 5 (Alcohol and Drugs) 2020 Proposed new Marine Order to prescribe the kinds of alcohol and drug tests for seafarers and pilots under the Navigation Act 2012, Chapter 2, Part 6. Q1 2020 1 July 2020
Marine Order 11 (Living and working conditions on vessels) 2015 Implement 2016 Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) amendments related to bullying and harassment. Q4 2018 8 January 2019
Marine Order 27 (Safety of Navigation and Radio Equipment) 2016 Full review and implement International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution MSC.450(99) replacing INMARSAT as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service provider with the term ‘recognised mobile satellite service’. Also reference IMO Resolution MSC.434(98) in Schedule 2 (enters into force 1 January 2021). Q3 2019 1 January 2020
Marine Order 31 (Vessel surveys and certification) 2015 Full review to clarify and incorporate the existing survey and certification requirements for government vessels (currently in Marine Order 62). Proposed change will cover all vessels including special provision for vessels under 7.5 metres. Repeal Marine Order 62. Q1 2019 1 June 2019
Marine Order 44 (Safe Containers) 2002 Full review and reissue to modernise drafting style under the Navigation Act 2012. Replace schedule 24 of Marine Order 4. Q4 2018 1 April 2019
Marine Order 47 (Mobile offshore drilling units) 2012 Review and reissue the Order under the Navigation Act 2012 and modernise the drafting style. Amalgamate with Marine Order 60. Replace schedule 25 of Marine Order 4. Q1 2019 1 June 2019
Marine Order 52 (Yachts and Training Vessels) 2016 Review to determine whether the new Red Ensign Group Code (combining the Large Yacht Code 3 and the Passenger Yacht Code), which comes into effect on 1 January 2019, affects the Order. Q4 2018 1 January 2019
Marine Order 60 (Floating Offshore Facilities) 2001 Review and reissue the Order under the Navigation Act 2012 and modernise the drafting style. Amalgamate with Marine Order 47. Replace schedule 36 of Marine Order 4. Q1 2019 1 June 2019
Marine Order 62 (Government Vessels) 2003 Repeal this Order following the review of Marine Order 31. Q1 2019 1 June 2019
Marine Order 63 (Vessel Reporting Systems) 2015 Implement IMO Resolution MSC.450(99) replacing INMARSAT as GMDSS service provider with the term ‘recognised mobile satellite service’. Amendments to the Australian ship reporting system ‘REEFREP’ reporting area. Q3 2019 1 January 2020
Marine Order 97 (Marine pollution prevention – air pollution) 2013 Amendment to cover adoption of IMO Resolution MEPC.304a(73) banning use, and carriage for use, of fuel oil with sulphur content >0.5%m/m. Enact the exemption provisions in Regulation 13.5.4 and 13.5.5 of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). Q3 2019 1 January 2020
Marine Order 503 (Certificates of survey – national law) 2018 Apply float-free EPIRB requirements to certain kinds of new, transitional and existing vessels required to be in survey. 31 October 2017 – 2 February 2018 1 January 2019
Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency – national law) 2013 Review to simplify the qualifications framework. The NSCV Part D will be incorporated into Marine Order 505. Q4 2018 1 July 2019
HideRegulatory program of National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV)
NSCV Description Consultation Proposed date
NSCV Part B – General requirements Amendment to definition of ‘smooth waters’ and ‘partially smooth waters’ to recognise waters designated as such by laws in force in a state or territory, to support the implementation of a new Ordinance under the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955 to designate the waters in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands lagoon as ‘partially smooth waters’ (Category D). 25 May – 1 June 2018 27 July 2018
NSCV Part C2 – Watertight and Weathertight Integrity A new standard to specify requirements for watertight and weather tight integrity (removing existing references to the Uniform Shipping Laws Code). Q1 2019 1 July 2019
NSCV Part C5B – Design and Construction—Engineering—Electrical Full review to incorporate AS/NZS 3004—Electrical Installations—Marinas and Recreational Boats. Q3 2018 1 November 2018
NSCV Part C7A – Safety Equipment Review of Scale D, E, F medical kit guidance notes in view of codeine becoming prescription-only medication. Deal with any outstanding issues from ‘transitional’ changes to require all vessels to comply with contemporary safety equipment standard. Q3 2018 1 January 2019
NSCV Part D – Crew Competencies Review to simplify the qualifications framework. NSCV Part D will be incorporated into Marine Order 505. Q4 2018 1 July 2019




The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), at its 99th session, adopted the Amendments in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Procedures for amending and updating the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual. The Committee agreed that the amendments should become applicable on July 01, 2019.

SOLAS regulation V/21 requires all ships to carry an up-to-date copy of IAMSAR Manual Volume III. A new point 1.8 has been included in the Manual for the search and rescue operations (SAR) by maritime rescue services in time of armed conflict.

Recognizing the important role search and rescue operations play in implementing its provisions, GC II extends protection to small coastal rescue craft and fixed coastal rescue installations used by such craft, such as rescue coordination centres, repair boats, sickbays and hangars for their humanitarian mission, including for SAR operations concerning civilians.

Such craft and their associated fixed coastal rescue installations, when employed by a State that is party to a conflict (whether by its armed forces or by civilian governmental agencies) or by officially recognized lifeboat institutions (i.e. the institution must have been approved or authorized by a governmental authority or other public body to perform coastal rescue functions, which presupposes the existence of a legal or administrative framework in the State in which the lifeboat institution operates to provide for its prior approval or authorization in peacetime) “shall be respected and protected, that is, may not be attacked, captured or otherwise prevented from performing their humanitarian tasks, so far as operational requirements permit“.

International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual