IMO’s MSC 101 kicks off next week

May 31 2019

In a packed programme, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 101st session, due to take place from 5th to 14th June, will discuss and adopt many amendments and guidelines covering all aspects of safety.

For example, MSC is expected to consider, for adoption, proposed amendments to the SOLAS Convention and to mandatory codes:

•  Draft amendments to the appendix to SOLAS, to the record of equipment, relating to rudder, propeller, thrust, pitch and operational mode indicator.

•  Draft amendments to the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code), relating to inert gas systems.

•  Draft amendments to the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other ow-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), including those relating to regulations on loading limit for liquefied gas fuel tanks, regulations for fuel distribution outside of machinery space, regulations for internal combustion engines of piston type and fire protection for fuel storage hold space; and amendments relating to the protection of the fuel supply for liquefied gas fuel tanks, aimed at preventing explosions.

•  Draft amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliances Code (LSA Code), relating to general requirements for lifeboats and launching and embarkation appliances. 

•  A comprehensive set of draft amendments to the IBC Code.


Goal-based standards (GBS) and safety level approach -

Since IMO adopted the GBS construction standards in 2010, a total 13 ROs have undergone successful initial verification of compliance by IMO GBS audit teams. The committee will discuss the latest audits.

MSC will also consider proposals to amend the Generic guidelines for developing GBS, following experience gained by the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE).


A GBS Working Group is expected to be established. 

Ships’ safety in polar waters will be discussed with the MSC expected to approve draft guidance for navigation and communication equipment intended for use on ships operating in polar waters.

Fuel oil and the safety of ships will be addressed where the committee will be invited to consider submissions under the agenda item "Development of further measures to enhance the safety of ships relating to the use of fuel oil".

This concerns the potential need for guidance and advice on possible safety issues relating to the implementation of the 0.5% limit of the sulfur content of fuel oil (outside ECAs).

MSC is expected to concurrently approve a draft MSC/MEPC circular on delivery of compliant fuel oil by suppliers, already approved by MEPC 74.

As for piracy and armed robbery against ships, MSC will consider the latest figures on piracy and armed robbery against ships based on reports received by IMO.  

In 2018, 223 incidents occurred worldwide as compared to 204 incidents reported in 2017, an increase of about 9% at the global level. So far in 2019, incidents in West and Central African waters have accounted for about half of all reported incidents.

Progress on e-navigation will be discussed with the MSC expected to approve a number of circulars related to the development of e-navigation.

Other draft amendments, guidance and guidelines are expected to be approved during the 10 days of discussions.

‘Tanker Operator’ will endeavour to produce a roundup of the results of the meeting relevant to the tanker sector.


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May 2019

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