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NEWS

Major project to tackle marine litter

The magazine of the International Maritime Organization Spring Summer 2020

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FEATURE

2017 International Maritime Prize winner Birgit Sølling Olsen, shares her views on liability and its associated challenges

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MEETINGS

Polar Code application to non-SOLAS ships – correspondence group established

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MEETINGS

IMO 2020 sulphur limit guidelines agreed for on-board verification


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IMO NEWS

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IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

CONTENTS

OPINION

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Shipping and seafarers vital in global pandemic response FROM THE MEETINGS

14 IMO Assembly - 31st session 16 Sub-Committee on navigation, communications and search and rescue

on ship design 24 Sub-Committee and construction

26 Sub-Committee on pollution prevention and response

on ship systems 30 Sub-Committee and equipment

NEWS

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Major project to tackle marine litter established

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New IMO department for projects and partnerships

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IMO pledges further action on gender equality

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Maritime prize goes to longserving IMO delegate

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Low-sulphur fuel – carriage ban enters into force

MANAGING EDITOR Lee Adamson Email: ladamson@imo.org 4, Albert Embankment London SE1 7SR United Kingdom

ASSISTANT EDITOR Natasha Brown Email: nbrown@imo.org

Tel: +44 (0)20 7735 7611 Fax: +44 (0)20 7587 3210

EDITORIAL PRODUCTION Johanna Kleine

Email: imonews@imo.org Website: www.imo.org

ADVERTISING Sally McElhayer Email: SMcElhay@imo.org Tel: +44 (0)20 7735 7611

Ref SpringSummer2020

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FEATURE

2017 International Maritime 17  Prize winner Birgit Sølling Olsen, shares her views on liability and its associated challenges

IMO News is the magazine of the International Maritime Organization and is distributed free of charge to qualified readers. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IMO and the inclusion of an advertisement implies no endorsement of any kind by IMO of the product or service advertised. The contents may be reproduced free of charge on condition that acknowledgement is given to IMO News.

Please allow at least ten weeks from receipt at IMO for additions to, deletions from or changes in the mailing list. Design by FLIPSIDE www.flipsidegroup.com Copyright © IMO 2019 Printed by CPI Colour

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IMO NEWS • Spring Summer 2020 A message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

OPINION IMO AT WORK

Shipping and seafarers vital in global pandemic response T

his issue of IMO News is being prepared under extraordinary circumstances, during the unprecedented disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Let me first take this opportunity to express once again my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of COVID-19 around the world. We have all seen the devastating impact it is having in so many countries.

Throughout all of this, as you would expect, the health and safety of IMO staff and delegates, their families and all those we regularly interact with has been, and remains, my main priority. A number of IMO Committee and Sub-Committee meetings have been postponed. Nevertheless, the IMO Secretariat continues to function effectively. The majority of staff are working remotely, making full use of telecommuting and teleconferencing technology. I am confident that any negative impact this situation might have on the good progress being made at IMO on key policy issues such as environmental protection, will be short-lived. I am also very aware of the broader context of this situation, not only for IMO and its Member States but also for the shipping industry and, not least, for seafarers – who find themselves in the front line.

Together with our industry partners and colleagues in other UN agencies including the World Health Organization, IMO has been developing and issuing practical advice and guidance on a variety of technical and operational matters related to the coronavirus. You

can find this on our website, and we have been updating this as appropriate as the situation has developed.

It is absolutely imperative that global trade must continue, even during times of lockdown and similar restrictions. People need to eat, people need to heat their homes, people need medicines and other essential provisions.

All this relies on shipping. And that means seafarers are literally on the front line in fighting the pandemic. But the difficulties the maritime world has faced in conducting crew changeovers, providing medical care for sick and injured crew, allowing for shore leave and the inability to resupply or repatriate crews concern me greatly. Many seafarers have been plunged into difficult situations that could not have been imagined in modern times. I, personally, have been deeply touched by the many stories we have heard from individual seafarers of the challenges and hardships they have faced and sacrifices that they have made to keep the global supply chain moving. Both their physical and mental health are being put to the test.

At IMO, we have been in urgent contact with trade unions, seafarer welfare organizations, shipowners, governments and our fellow United Nations agencies, especially the International Labour Organization, to try and find solutions.

I have written to all our Member States, urging them to recognize all seafarers as “key workers”, to remove any barriers to their documentation and lift national travel restrictions so that they can get home on conclusion of their contracts. I have also asked the United Nations system agencies to support IMO in this request. Members of my team here at IMO have been working round the clock to help bring individual cases to a speedy resolution. I am certain that, if we continue to work together and support each other, we can emerge stronger. Please, look after yourselves and your families and follow all official guidance provided by WHO and the national Government to avoid COVID-19 infection. And I wish each and every one of you, personally, good health and a positive outcome to this unprecedented situation. I look forward to preparing the next issue of IMO News under more normal circumstances.

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IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

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IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

NEWS

Major project to tackle marine litter A

new global project to prevent and reduce marine plastic litter from shipping and fisheries has been launched by IMO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with initial funding from the Government of Norway.

The GloLitter Partnerships Project will help shipping and fisheries move to a low-plastics future. GloLitter will assist developing countries identify opportunities to prevent and reduce marine litter, including plastic litter, from within the maritime transport and fisheries sectors, and to decrease the use of plastics in these industries, including identifying opportunities to re-use and recycle plastics. The project will consider the availability and adequacy of port reception facilities; look at enhancing awareness of the marine plastics issue within the shipping and fisheries sectors, including seafarers and fishers; and encourage fishing gear to be marked so it can be traced back to its owner if discarded. These and other actions to reduce plastic litter have already been identified in IMO’s Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships, adopted in 2018.

The GloLitter project will develop guidance documents, training material and toolkits to help enforce existing regulations, including IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex V. Since 1988, this has prohibited the discharge of plastics, including discarded fishing gear, into the sea from ships. The project will also promote compliance with relevant FAO instruments (including the Voluntary Guidelines on the Marking of Fishing Gear) and will target waste management in ports. It will, additionally, emphasise implementation and enforcement of IMO’s London Convention/London Protocol regime on dumping of

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wastes at sea, which requires waste (such as from dredging) to be assessed before permits to dump are granted. The GloLitter project will include private sector participation through a global industry alliance and is seeking partners from major maritime and fisheries companies.

Ten countries, from five high priority regions (Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific) will be selected to spearhead the project. At country level, GloLitter will expand government and port management capacities and instigate legal, policy and institutional reforms. Regional cooperation will also be enhanced. The project is intended to be a multi-donor programme. The initial funding of NOK 40 million (approximately US$4.5 million) from the Government of Norway provides for a 3.5-year project, executed by IMO in partnership with FAO.

Collaboration with other international, regional and national partners through additional in-kind co-financing is envisaged, from the private sector as well as beneficiary countries. The planned Global Industry Alliance (GIA) will link with the UN Global Compact, which has adopted Sustainable Ocean Principles for responsible business practices.

The GloLitter Partnerships project will directly help to achieve one of the of the specific targets in the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 - to “prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025”. The GloLitter Partnerships Project agreement was signed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and His Excellency Wegger Chr. Strømmen, Norway’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on Thursday 5 December, 2019.

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IMO NEWS

NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

New IMO department for projects established

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new department has been established within the IMO Secretariat to focus on supporting Member States to tackle key global issues in the context of international shipping - and help promote sustainable development. Operational from 1 March 2020, the Department of Partnerships and Projects will enhance and strengthen partnerships with external stakeholders and donor agencies to tackle some of the major global challenges which impinge on today’s maritime world. It becomes the focal point for developing partnerships and coordinating long-term donor-funded projects, as well as implementing IMO’s resource mobilization strategy to strengthen its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. The new department reflects IMO’s strong and continuing commitment to helping its Member States achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and implement the Organization’s regulatory framework. It will serve as a gateway for partnership opportunities with a wide range of external partners, including IMO Member States, UN agencies, financial institutions, NGOs, IGOs and the private sector.

A key objective will be to increase IMO’s existing portfolio of donorsupported long-term projects supporting its technical cooperation objectives. With the new department, the existing Partnerships and Resource Mobilization team within IMO’s Technical Cooperation Division and the Major Projects team in the Marine Environment Division come together under a single umbrella. IMO has a long and successful track record of matching the requirements of developing and less-developed countries with resources made available by a range of governmental, institutional and corporate donors. Energy efficiency, climate change, protecting biodiversity, preventing marine pollution, maritime safety and security are just some of the areas that have been covered. The new department will build on this to help tackle these and other key global challenges, within a maritime context, through innovative partnerships and long-term projects. Decarbonization, marine plastic litter and biofouling are among the topic areas already being addressed by IMO’s major projects.

IMO Members elect new Council The IMO Assembly has elected the following States to serve as its Council for the 2020-2021 biennium: Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services:

China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States. Category (b)

10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade:

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. Category (c) 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world: Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.

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IMO NEWS

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Spring Summer 2020

NEWS

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NEWS

IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

IMO pledges further action on gender equality

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MO member States have pledged further firm action in coming years to advance gender equality throughout the maritime sector and reach a barrier-free environment, following a year of action to “empower women in the maritime community” – the World Maritime theme for 2019.

The IMO Assembly, meeting for its 31st session (25 November-4 December 2019) adopted a resolution on “Preserving the Legacy of the World Maritime Theme for 2019 and achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector”. The resolution urges governments, maritime administrations and the industry to endeavour to reach a barrier-free environment for women, so that all women can participate fully, safely and without hindrance in the activities of the maritime community, including seafaring and shipbuilding activities. The resolution notes testimony from women from across the various maritime industries which demonstrates that barriers and obstacles still exist at every level. The work towards gender equality, including the fostering of a safe environment for women in the maritime sector, remains incomplete and should continue to be pursued.

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Governments, maritime administrations and the maritime industries should consider ways to continuously identify and overcome existing constraints in all aspects of the maritime sector, particularly with regard to recruitment, promotion, training, capacity-building and technical cooperation.

The resolution encourages sharing best practices in achieving gender equality. It also encourages efforts to collect, consolidate and analyse data relating to the participation of women in the maritime sector, in order to establish an evidentiary foundation that will set baselines, identify gaps and inform policies aimed at removing barriers and increasing female participation in the sector. The resolution also encourages IMO, and its relevant subsidiary bodies to take into consideration gender equality, including the fostering of a safe environment for women in the maritime sector, and integrate these considerations into their work. Open dialogue and wider engagement between the Member States and observer delegations is encouraged. Creating a barrier-free environment for women will help achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality.

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IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

NEWS

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IMO NEWS

NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

Maritime prize goes to long-serving IMO delegate T

he prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2018 has been presented to Mr. Joseph J. Angelo, a former United States Coast Guard (USCG) and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) senior executive who participated in International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings for many years, providing leadership on a number of key regulatory developments. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented the prize at the annual IMO Awards ceremony on 25 November 2019. Mr. Lim outlined Mr. Angelo’s long commitment to IMO and his reputation as a technical expert, diplomat and problem solver.

Accepting the prize, Mr. Angelo thanked the United States and INTERTANKO for nominating him, and the IMO Council for selecting him for the “tremendous honour”. “It has been my distinct privilege to work side-by-side with many

exceptional delegates from around the world over the past 39 years – all coming together to create solutions which have resulted in crucial improvements to maritime safety, security and protection of the marine environment. I am proud to have been a part of the progress we made together,” he said. Mr. Angelo was nominated by the Government of the United States and INTERTANKO. In their nominations, they highlighted Mr. Angelo’s constructive and collaborative work with all stakeholders to achieve outcomes. Mr. Angelo was active in a number of IMO bodies, most notably the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). He first attended the MEPC’s thirteenth session in 1980 and attended every session since, up to and including MEPC 73 in 2018.

Low-sulphur fuel – carriage ban enters into force C

onsistent implementation of the IMO 2020 regulation which limits sulphur in ships fuel oil was enhanced from 1 March 2020, with the entry into force of a rule to ban the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil. The IMO 2020 regulation limits sulphur in ships’ fuel oil to a maximum 0.50%. The regulation has been in force globally since 1 January 2020, under IMO’s MARPOL treaty. It brings benefits for the environment and human health from a reduction in sulphur oxides in the air.

The complementary MARPOL amendment prohibits the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship - unless the ship has an approved exhaust gas cleaning system (“scrubber”) fitted. The amendment is an additional measure to support consistent implementation and compliance and provide a means for effective enforcement, particularly by port State control.

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From 1 March 2020 ships not fitted with a scrubber have not been allowed to carry fuel oil in board that does not comply with the low-sulphur standards www.imo.org


IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

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ASSEMBLY

IMO NEWS

FROM THE MEETINGS

ASSEMBLY

31ST SESSION

Spring Summer 2020

27 NOV – 4 DEC 2019

Budget and elections T

he IMO Assembly approved the renewal of Mr. Kitack Lim’s appointment as Secretary-General of IMO, for a second and final term of four years (1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023). It also adopted the Organization’s budget and work programme for 2020 and 2021. A new 40-Member IMO Council for the 2020-2021 biennium was elected. It met on 4 December and re-elected Mr. Xiaojie Zhang of China as Chair for 2020-2021. Mr. Edmundo Deville del Campo of Peru was re-elected as Vice-Chair.

IMO Member State Audit Scheme

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nformation reporting has been identified as a key area for improvement in the analysis of the first consolidated audit summary report, which analysed findings from mandatory Member State audits conducted during 2016.

To help improve reporting, the Assembly adopted a resolution on Guidance on communication of information by Member States. The Guidance aims to help Member States comply with the requirements, under various IMO instruments, concerning communication of information, and fulfil their reporting obligations more effectively. In particular, the Guidance recommends that Member States establish a reporting system by assigning reporting responsibilities among relevant entities that participate in the implementation and enforcement of the applicable IMO instruments. The Assembly also adopted updates to three key instruments that assist implementation of IMO instruments: • the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification, 2019;

• the 2019 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO instruments implementation Code (III Code); and • the Procedures for port State control, 2019.

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Addressing fraudulent registries

Further action on gender equality

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The Assembly resolution on this topic includes a procedure for communicating information on ship registries to IMO, including information on the name of national governmental body(ies) and authorized or delegated entities in charge of ship registration. Its aim is to allow the IMO Secretariat to verify the information, through the appropriate channels.

The resolution urges Governments, maritime administrations and the industry to endeavour to reach a barrier-free environment for women, so that all women can participate fully, safely and without hindrance in the activities of the maritime community, including seafaring and shipbuilding activities. (Full story, page 9.)

resolution addressing fraudulent ship registration was also adopted.

IMO’s Legal Committee has developed a series of measures to prevent unlawful practices associated with fraudulent ship registration and fraudulent registries, after a number of IMO Member States had reported of fraudulent use of their flag. These were adopted by the Assembly.

he Assembly adopted a resolution urging further firm action in coming years to advance gender equality throughout the maritime sector. The resolution, on “Preserving the Legacy of the World Maritime Theme for 2019 - Achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector” follows a year of action to “empower women in the maritime community” – the World Maritime theme for 2019.

Polar shipping - safety measures for non-SOLAS ships

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he Assembly adopted a resolution on Interim safety measures for ships not certified under the SOLAS Convention operating in polar waters, which urges Member States to implement, voluntarily, safety measures prescribed in the Polar Code on ships not certified under the SOLAS Convention.

IMO’s Polar Code includes additional safety and environmental protection measures for ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters. It is mandatory under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from

Ships (MARPOL) (which applies to all ships) and under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). While SOLAS chapter V (Safety of navigation) applies to all ships on all voyages (with some specific exceptions), the other chapters of the Convention do not apply to some categories of ships, sometimes termed “non-SOLAS ships”. These include cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage, pleasure yachts not engaged in trade and fishing vessels. www.imo.org


IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

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NCSR

IMO NEWS

FROM THE MEETINGS

Spring Summer 2020

SUB-COMMITTEE ON NAVIGATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND SEARCH AND RESCUE • 7TH SESSION • 15-24 JANUARY 2020

Polar Code application to non-SOLAS ships – correspondence group established

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MO’s Polar Code helps ensure the safety of ships operating in the harsh Arctic and Antarctic areas, taking into account extremes of temperature, and that critical equipment remains operational under those conditions.

The 31st Assembly in 2019 adopted a resolution urging Member States to implement, on a voluntary basis, the safety measures of the Polar Code, as far as practicable, on non-SOLAS ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic, including fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above and pleasure yachts of 300 gross tonnage and above not engaged in trade. While the Polar Code is mandatory under SOLAS, this generally excludes fishing vessels, pleasure yachts, smaller cargo ships under 500 gross tons and vessels on domestic voyages. Consideration is now being given to the possible application of chapters 9 (Safety of navigation) and 11 (Voyage planning) of the Polar Code to non-SOLAS ships and how best to enhance the safety of these ships when operating in polar waters. A correspondence group was established to continue this work intersessionally and report back to NCSR 8.

Revised SafetyNET Services Manual approved

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he Sub-Committee approved a draft revision of the International SafetyNET Manual, to reflect, among other things, updates to related GMDSS services provided by Inmarsat.

SafetyNET is an integral part of the GMDSS, providing an international automatic direct-printing satellite-based service for the promulgation of maritime safety information (MSI), navigational and meteorological warnings, meteorological forecasts, SAR related information and other urgent safety-related messages to ships.

A draft MSC circular on the IMO Enhanced Group Call (EGC) Coordinating Panel was also approved, for submission to the MSC for approval. The IMO EGC Coordinating Panel, in cooperation with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), coordinates the international broadcast of MSI and SAR-related information, using recognized mobile satellite services.

Modernizing the global maritime distress and safety system

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earch and rescue (SAR) at sea depends on the integrated satellite and terrestrial radiocommunication system known as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). The GMDSS is mandatory under the regulations in chapter IV of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974.

The Sub-Committee continued its ongoing work to review the GMDSS requirements, with the aim of enabling the use of modern communication systems in the GMDSS, while removing requirements to carry obsolete systems. Substantial progress was

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made in revising the relevant regulations in SOLAS chapters III and IV and preparing consequential amendments to other instruments. The Sub-Committee endorsed an updated work plan, including categorization and prioritization for the review of other instruments related to the amendments to SOLAS chapters III and IV. The aim is to finalize the work in 2021, for submission to the MSC, so that the amendments can be adopted in time for entry into force in 2024.

Guidance for SAR services regarding aircraft autonomous distress tracking approved

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he Sub-Committee approved interim guidance for SAR services regarding implementation of autonomous distress tracking of aircraft in flight, for dissemination as a COMSAR circular. The guidance material is intended to provide basic information on Autonomous Distress Tracking (ADT), which goes into effect 1 January 2021 as part of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS). ADT is to provide notification and location of an aircraft in potential distress. IMO and ICAO hold an annual joint working group meeting on SAR matters. The International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual is published jointly by IMO and ICAO and was also considered at this session.

Performance standards for shipborne QZSS receiver equipment approved

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he Sub-Committee approved a draft MSC resolution on Performance standards for shipborne Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) receiver equipment, for adoption by the MSC.

The Sub-Committee invited Japan to provide further information and detailed data on the system to a future session, with a view to considering its potential recognition as a future component of the WWRNS.

IMO has an important role in accepting and recognizing navigation systems which can be used by international shipping. IMO currently recognizes the Global Positioning System (GPS), Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System; and the most recent, the IRNSS mentioned above, is currently awaiting final approval. SOLAS chapter V requires all ships to carry a global navigation satellite system or terrestrial radio navigation receiver, or other means, to establish and update the ship’s position by automatic means, for use at all times throughout the voyage. www.imo.org


Spring Summer 2020

FEATURE

As tankers grew in size, so did the need for ever-higher limits to ensure adequate compensation would be available for pollution victims

Thoughts on liability and challenges By Birgit Sølling Olsen

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very year the winner of IMO’s prestigious International Maritime Prize is invited to submit a paper on a subject of his or her choice for publication in IMO News. Here, 2017 winner Mrs. Birgit Sølling Olsen, former Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority, shares her views on liability and associated challenges. The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent IMO position or policy.

IMO Member States realized at an early stage that IMO, as the focal point for international regulations, should develop legislation to ensure safe ships, clean oceans and world trade. Focus has been on improving the technical standards for ships in international trade but also on issues such as liability for damages caused by ships. After the oil spill caused by the tanker TORREY CANYON in 1967 the IMO developed not only the MARPOL convention regulating standards for tankers, but also liability conventions with the aim of ensuring compensation for victims of oil pollution. IMO has now developed a number of liability conventions covering different types of damages. The focus here is on the oldest, the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC) and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (FUND) as well as the newest, the Wreck Removal Convention (WRC). The CLC was adopted in 1969. It introduced new legal obligations which changed the concept of liability. Shipowners had to accept a new international legal framework with strict liability for oil pollution caused by persistent oil transported in bulk as cargo, the channeling of liability to the shipowner, mandatory insurance with a right for the third party to demand payments directly from the shipowner’s insurance company without any consent or acceptance of the responsibility for the damage by the shipowner. The changes also included demolishing the “pay to www.imo.org

be paid” principle which protected the insurance company from paying claimants in cases where the shipowner was insolvent or had not paid the insurance premium. The 2-tier liability system was introduced by establishing a liability fund paid by the receivers of oil who benefitted from the free movement of persistent oil by sea. The aim was to ensure adequate compensation by supplementing the 1969 CLC by the 1971 Fund convention, which entered into force in 1978. The purpose of the Fund was to provide compensation to victims when the damages exceeded the shipowner’s liability limits. The two conventions supplemented each other and established one of the most successful international liability and compensation systems.

Higher limits needed

As time passed the tankers and their cargo increased in size and volume and could cause more damages and a need emerged to ensure even higher limits to compensate for damages. The 1971 Fund convention was followed by the 1992 Fund convention and the 1969 CLC by the 1992 CLC. The two new conventions maintained the basic legal principles of the compensation and liability system. The 1971 Oil Pollution Fund Convention ceased to be in force in 2002 and was dissolved in 2014. States are now encouraged to leave the 1969 CLC convention to obtain a better protection for damages by joining the 1992 CLC and the 1992 Fund convention. This liability and compensation system has contributed to the success of IMO in line with the SOLAS convention and the MARPOL convention. Today 116 States are Party to the 1992 Fund Convention and the Fund system (1971 and 1992 Funds) have successfully dealt with more than 150 incidents. Regardless of the widespread participation and support and the well-functioning of the system there are challenges and risks of disruption. The major challenge that the oil compensation system

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faces is how to ensure that the conventions are up to date. There are limits to interpretations of the conventions and a risk that such international agreements on interpretation will not be accepted by courts in Member States.

In the more technical conventions IMO has established an amendment process whereby standards are modernized by the fast track tacit acceptance procedures. However only the limits of liability under the 1992 Fund convention and the CLC can be adjusted by using the same procedure. Such amendments have certain restrictions, see art 15 of the 1992 CLC convention, which prohibits the use of the tacit procedure to five years from the date of entry into force of a previous tacit amendment. The article also puts a cap on the new limits. It is a problem that, with the more recent increase of limits, the tacit procedure cannot be used because the limits cannot exceed the 1993 amount multipiled by 3. The restricted tacit procedure cannot in general be used for modernizing CLC or Fund e.g. amending the definition of damage or the minimum requirements for mandatory insurance so also smaller amounts of cargo could be covered.

States seeking faster solutions on higher limits or e.g. wanting to widen the scope of coverage of damages need to establish either a national solution or try to get international support for an amendment of the conventions by a protocol. Unlike the HNS convention where the shipowner’s liability and the HNS fund is covered by the same convention the CLC and the 1992 Fund conventions, even though they are linked, are two separate instruments. The consequence is that it is more difficult to get sufficient support for fundamental amendments to the conventions and to get the sufficient number of ratifications will take time. New protocols could also cause a disruption in the international system if the consequences are that States will have to denounce the older convention. Some States will accede to the new and better protection leaving other states in “the sinking boat carrying the old system”. That was the experience with the 1971 Fund.

Third layer created

The Supplementary Fund Convention adopted in 2003 avoided some of the problems by creating a third layer of liability for States Parties to the 1992 Fund convention. States can still support and contribute to the 1992 Fund, while being parties to the Supplementary Fund. However, this may be a one-off solution and it may not be possible to use this model for further similar amendments. The challenge is that such a model e.g, adjusting limits in a part of the compensation system, is likely to disrupt the balance between the shipowners payments under the CLC and the oil receivers’ contributions under the Fund – often named as the shared liability. When the Supplementary Fund was established, political pressure was put on the shipowners to accept higher limits on a voluntary basis and thus avoid the legal complications and a lengthy ratification process of amending the shipowners’ liability limits. Adjusting the contribution system, as one state has expressed preference for, could also lead to establishing a new Fund with consequences for both the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund.

In 2006 the International Group of P&I Clubs, covering 19 P& I Clubs, made a decision to enter into the voluntary agreements on higher limits with the IOPC Funds – the STOPIA and TOPIA agreements. Under STOPIA, Small Tanker Oil Pollution Indemnification Agreement, the owners of relevant tankers of 29,548 gt or less agree to indemnify the 1992 Fund for the difference between the vessel’s limit of liability under 1992 CLC convention and SDR 20 million, thus substantially increasing the minimum limit of liability for smaller tankers to SDR 20.000. As of August 2019, 6.686 tankers were covered by STOPIA and the agreement has been brought to good use in some cases under the IOPC Fund. Under the TOPIA, Tanker Oil Pollution Indemnification Agreement, the tanker owners with no limits as to the size of the

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vessel undertake to indemnify the Supplementary Fund in respect of 50% of the amount of any claim falling on the Supplementary Fund. Even though it is positive that a big percentage of the world’s tanker fleet is now covered by STOPIA and TOPIA, these voluntary agreements do not cover all tankers or all insurance companies. Fortunately, the Supplementary Fund has not yet been called upon to pay compensation. Should this occur based on an incident with a tanker, which is not covered by the TOPIA agreement, it is likely to reopen the debate on the need to ensure shared liability and whether there would be a need to amend the conventions.

When a major incident occurs, sufficient funds are important to meet the expectations of Member States. It is important to meet the expectations of the State where the marine casualty has taken place, to ensure that all claims are paid and that claimants are paid in a sufficient speedy process. On the other hand, there is a need for striking a balance to meet the expectation of other States paying to the Fund, that this is not a smorgasbord and that the system must be fair, in accordance with the convention, and not putting excessive and unexpected financial burdens on their contributors.

Claims for cleaning up after oil pollution incidents will continue to increase as most Coastal States will no longer accept the contamination of the environment or the risk of further leakage of polluting oil from a wreck. Also new types of situations need to be considered. The challenge is, that the understanding of the Coastal State of what is needed to ensure sufficient coverage, is not necessarily the same as the understanding of other States whose contributors are paying to the Fund. So far, the expectations of both views have been met by developing a number of guidelines under the fund system, but the challenges still exist as demonstrated by the PRESTIGE case. The Spanish Supreme Court only partially accepted the Fund’s appeal in that the Spanish calculation of, and the interpretation of, environmental damages in the case are not recoverable from the 1992 Fund. The Spanish judgment also confirms the Supreme Court’s previous decision that the shipowner’s insurer is liable for all the damages caused by the incident, including moral and environmental damages, up to the limit of its policy of US$1 000 million and thus expanding both the definition of damages and the limits of liability under the convention.

Growing concerns

The principle of PACTA SUNT SERVANTA is fundamental to ensure the continuous support of the international system. There seems to be a growing concern of the lack of adhering to the principles of the conventions and many States are supporting reactions towards non-compliance as demonstrated by the Volcognef 139 case. “State liability” in a broader sense cannot be ruled out.

In the Volgoneft 139 case the Russian failure to implement the increase in limits under the 1992 CLC caused an” insurance gap” as the insurance company refused to accept the higher limits. In April 2013 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee decided that this should have consequences for the claims presented by the Russian government. It authorized the Director of the 1992 Fund only to make interim payments to the three government claimants, with prorated deductions to cover the ‘insurance gap’. Later the problem was resolved by a Russian Court decision stipulating that all claimants had to “pay” for the insurance gap.

The ALPHA 1, under the 1992, Fund illustrates, that when other States are “picking up the tab“ and paying for damages occurring in other States, they are not shy of initiating discussions on the possibilities of establishing State liability, if the State could have prevented the situation from arising. The debate on State liability was initiated on the contradiction between the blue card covering CLC issued by the insurance company and the underlying insurance policy not covering CLC liability. In this case, the insurance company, with a reference to the policy, refused to pay compensation. The question was whether the Greek administration, which issued the CLC certificate and allowed the ship to operate www.imo.org


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FEATURE

and carry heavy oil, had any knowledge of the discrepancy between the blue card and the insurance policy or should have checked the policy before issuing a CLC certificate and, as a consequence of not doing so, had the administration been acting in conflict with the convention? In the end, most States accepted that there was a limit to how far a State should go in its examination if there was no reason to doubt the blue card, and decided not to hold the administration liable.

IMO has, by adopting stricter standards for tankers, improved the standard of oil tankers. It is paramount that this has had positive consequences for the number of major incidents with oil tankers. While the number of pollution incidents with tankers covered by the IOPC Funds in general is decreasing, the same positive trend is not seen in the number of incidents where tankers, typically smaller tankers, have insurance companies not part of the International Group of P&I Clubs (non-IG insurers). As illustrated by the STOPIA and TOPIA agreements and of the cooperation agreement between the Funds and the International Group of P&I Clubs, the smooth operation of claims handling and the support of the system depends on a good cooperation between the insurance company and the Funds. Problems have arisen in some of the cases covered by non-IG insurers. The Fund (in general) may risk paying claimants if the ship is not insured or the insurance is insufficient. The IMO guidelines on insurance could give some assistance, but the question is whether this is sufficient to avoid problems. As illustrated by the ALPHA 1 and the Volgoneft 139 cases, it is important to ensure that shipowners use reliable insurance companies. Problems with non-IG insurers range from non-compliance with the insurance provisions of the CLC to an uncooperative stance or actions of non-IG insurers. As compliance with the conventions is important there will be a need to address the problems to minimize the risks to benefit the victims and to ensure a continued widespread global support for the IOPC system. This is presently discussed under the Funds and it is expected that more concrete actions, including actions through IMO, will be decided at the next IOPC Funds Assembly.

Treaty obligation

The principle of PACTA SUNT SERVANTA is relevant for many convention articles. Submitting oil reports under the Funds is a treaty obligation and essential to ensure a fair treatment of the contributors. The Supplementary Fund convention under Art. 15 deals with the situation if a State fails to report on contributions and allows for compensation to be suspended on a temporary or permanent basis. The States parties to the 1992 Fund convention have also decided not to accept such a non-compliance and have decided that it has consequences if States want to maintain the benefits of being a State Party while not complying with the obligations under convention to submit reports on contributing oil or paying to the claims funds. The consequences could be a suspension of the payment of claims presented by government authorities.

Unfortunately, the lack of implementation of the convention text is a more common problem. Most recently the IOPC Fund Secretariat examined the implementation of the 1992 Fund convention and the 1992 CLC in 4 States, which submitted their legislation on a voluntary basis. A number of common problems were found, including no implementation of the increase in limit, but there was also a lack of a correct implementation in other areas. Experiences from the IMO Audit procedure illustrate that the lack of implementation of several IMO conventions, including MARPOL and SOLAS, is the number-one deficiency. IMO is trying to assist States in their implementation by providing technical assistance, seminars and other “tools”. Many States are using the findings under the mandatory IMO Audit as an extensive list of articles, annexes and other mandatory convention texts which they need to implement, and some will prioritize rectifying their legislation, policies and administrative procedures on the basis of the recommendations

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and findings in the Audit report. However, it is a problem that the IMO liability conventions, including the CLC and the Fund, are not part of the IMO Audit system and the Audit cannot, in this respect, provide States with further assistance and a chance to avoid repeating cases such as the Volgoneft case.

Widespread global support is important for the application of international conventions. While there is still progress in the number of accessions to the 1992 Fund or the Supplementary Fund it is a challenge that major States like the USA and China have decided to establish their own system. The USA has OPA 90 with its own regulations. China is a party to the 1992 CLC, but as for the 1992 Fund only the special administrative area of Hong Kong China is covered and China decided in 2013 to establish its own domestic oil pollution fund with a considerably lower maximum level of compensation than the 1992 IOPC Fund.

The above illustrates some of the challenges that the oldest IMO liability systems are facing: but are the challenges the same with one of the new conventions? Turning to one of the newest, but equally important, IMO conventions – the Nairobi International Convention on Removal of Wrecks, 2007 (WRC), which entered into force in 2015, some of the challenges may be the same.

Better standards adopted by IMO and better control and surveys by States and action by the industry have reduced the number of serious maritime incidents, but accidents will continue to occur. The WRC is relevant to ensure that private claimants are compensated for damages as well as to ensure that governments’ expenses from removing wrecks are covered. It is estimated by IMO that almost 1300 ships are abandoned wrecks worldwide. The figure speaks for itself and it is interesting that only 47 States have ratified or acceded to the WRC. Even though wreck removal of tankers and the removal of remaining oil on board in some cases may be covered by the CLC and IOPC Fund system there are many other cases where these conventions do not apply and the benefits for 47 States which have accepted the WRC are obvious. Perhaps more States should look into this and accede to the convention.

Most coastal States have experienced maritime incidents, ranging from loss of containers to the sinking of ships. Depending on its location, a wreck may constitute a hazard to navigation, potentially endangering other vessels and their crews, damaging the nets of fishermen or damaging the tourism industry. The nature of the cargo may impose a risk and have the potential to cause substantial damage to the marine and coastal environments. The costs involved in the marking and removal of hazardous wrecks may be substantial. The convention addresses these and many other issues, including the conflict of interests of States.

The WRC forms a legal basis for States to remove, or to have removed, shipwrecks or cargo or equipment from a ship that may constitute a hazard to not only the environment but also to the safety of navigation and the health of the coastal population and to a number of different interest of the Coastal State, including but not limited to fishing interest. The shipowner has strict liability and ships with a GT of 300 and above has to have an insurance which in line with the CLC enables direct action against the insurance company. The defences for the shipowner are the same as under the CLC. The insurance has to cover up to limits of the 1996 protocol to the convention on Limitation of Limits for Maritime Claims as amended, (LLMC). A big difference between the CLC and Funds system is that the WRC has no supplementing fund. As ships are getting bigger and bigger the cost of removing wrecks will be increasing. The report on wreck removal provided by Lloyds illustrates that the cost of dealing with wrecks has generally risen over the past years. The total cost of the top 20 most expensive wreck removals from the past decade currently stands at $2.1bn and is set to increase. As illustrated by the Costa Concordia, removing large ships can be costly, but relatively smaller ships can also be expensive to remove.

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Though the WRC has only been in force a few years there are issues which already now have consequences for the functioning of the convention. Most States will not accept wrecks in their territory, which threaten their interests and It is problematic if the 96 LLMC limits and the mandatory insurance in many States will not be sufficient to cover the expenses from removing a wreck. It is a problem in many Sates and this problem will increase. The cost of wreck removal will continue to rise as environmental considerations will be a key factor in wreck removal operations and will have significant cost impacts. The wide definition of hazard under the WRC will in most cases allow governments to pursue their claim, but will the mandatory insurance be sufficient? As there is no fund to supplement the shipowner’s liability. many states have already used the possibilities to expand the 1996 LLMC limits for wreck removal in accordance with LLMC Art. 2, 1 (d). These states want limits above the 1996 LLMC limits and have reserved their right to have higher limits or even unlimited liability for wreck removal. A challenge will be a national solution to increase in limits will not be covered by the mandatory WRC insurance and there will be no “automatic” direct action against the insurance company outside the MRC mandatory insurance. Unless national legislation on insurance is adopted, States will have to rely on voluntary insurance schemes for the higher limits. The International Group of P&I Clubs will most likely provide such insurance but it remains to be seen whether this would cover unlimited liability and many smaller ships will not be covered by the international Group of P&I Clubs with the risk of not providing sufficient insurance coverage. Most likely the “paid to be paid” principle would apply for the higher limits. The WRC cannot be amended by using the IMO tacit amendment procedure and can only be amended by the rather time-consuming process of having a diplomatic conference adopting a new protocol, which then needs to be ratified. One could argue that the fact that many ratifying States have the need for higher limits for wreck removal could warrant a discussion on the need for amendments of the LLMC or the WRC or both, even though the LLMC limits was adjusted just a few years ago.

As for amending the limits, the WRC relies on the LLMC limits. The 1996 LLMC protocol introduces the tacit amendment procedure in Art. 8. This allows for an amendment without going through a diplomatic conference and the subsequent ratification process. However, as is the case under the CLC and Fund conventions, limitations are put in place, e.g. the liability limits can only be adjusted 5 years after the entry into force of a previous amendment. It is illustrated by the following: the Legal Committee accepted an increase in the 1996 limits in April 2012. The increased limits entered into force in June 2015 and a new amendment of the limits may only be considered five years later - in June 2020. In the event that states want to increase the limits and, taking into consideration that adoption and entry into force takes time, it is not unlikely that there could be a 10-year timespan between adjustments of the limits. And the increase in limits will be needed to ensure higher limits on the WRC mandatory insurance with direct action and the other advantages under the WRC. 12913 Wrec k Removal

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Serious consequences

As there is no fund to supplement the shipowner’s liability a lack of implementation of the WRC or the implementation of the already adopted and entered into force of the increased limits of the 1996 LLMC will cause difficulties for the State involved or the State where the wreck constitutes a hazard. The consequences could be serious as the shipowner or the insurance company as illustrated by the Volgonef case could argue that they are not obliged to pay for the higher limits. IMO has e.g. through seminar tried to assist member States to implement conventions, but perhaps other remedies need to be considered. As is the case for the oil pollution liability schemes it could be a good idea to explore the possibilities of including the WRC under the IMO mandatory Audit scheme. My conclusion is that in general the international systems and the conventions are well functioning and well supported, but there are also challenges – one of which is the restrictions under the tacit amendment procedures and the restricted use of the IMO Audit Scheme. It is a pending issue to ensure that all IMO conventions are up to date. Some issues could be resolved by national legislation, but this is not a real answer to a common international problem. There may be a need for further consideration at international level to ensure that the conventions maintain to be a “living instrument” meeting the needs of the member States. And finally States need to take their international obligations seriously to avoid problems and to implement the conventions in good faith, and if needed, apply for IMO technical cooperation for assistance. Civil Liabi lity

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In this case the Norwegian Administration issued a wreckremoval order, arguing that the wreck was partly located in a nature reserve and that this would be an inconvenience to the

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tion Damage

Limitation a defence?

WRECK R E M OVA L

Civil Liabili ty for Oil Pollu

Another problem for States only applying the 1996 LLMC limits could be that shipowners will not undertake the wreck removal operations if there is a risk that the expenses exceed the 1996 limits and thereby the mandatory insurance. Depending on the national legislation, this may result in the State having to take over the responsibility for wreck removal. In this regard the Norwegian Supreme Court case on the ship SERVER from 2018 is interesting, clarifying a number of issues (under Norwegian law), including whether owners can use their right to limit liability as a defence against a wreck removal order. WRECK R E M OVA L

Spring Summer 2020

environment. No surveys or environmental assessments were undertaken. The Supreme Court considered the question of whether the owners could rely on their right to limit liability as a defence against the duty to perform a valid administrative order to remove the wreck, if the cost for removing the wreck exceed the limitation amount. If limitation was not a defence it would expose the owners to liability in excess of the limitation amount and, for all practical purposes, impose an unlimited obligation to incur costs to remove the wreck. If it was a defense, the limitation amount would represent the maximum economic liability for the owners. The Supreme Court based on an interpretation of the Norwegian legislation decided that the shipowner could not out rely on the defense of limited liability. In accordance with Norwegian law the owner however could file such cost under the limitation fund in competition with the claims of third-party claimants. The Norwegian case gives food for thought on how States may need to design their legislation to avoid ending up with the responsibility of removing the wreck themselves, paying for the extra cost and take on the administrative burdens. If States want to guard their interests, they will need to carefully draft their national legislation.

This publicatio n presents: • reporting and locating ships and wrecks • criteria for determining the hazard posed by wrecks • measures to facilitate the removal of wreck s • liability of the owner for the costs of locati and removing ng, marking ships and wreck s • settlement of disputes

WRECK R E M OVA L

INTERNATIO NAL MARITIME ORGANIZAT ION

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INTERNATIONA L MARITIME ORGANIZATION

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SDC

FROM THE MEETINGS

Spring Summer 2020

SUB-COMMITTEE ON SHIP DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION • 7TH SESSION • 3-7 FEBRUARY 2020

Draft code for ships carrying industrial personnel

T

he Sub-Committee has finalized a new draft International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel (IP Code) and an associated draft new SOLAS chapter XV for all cargo ship types other than high-speed craft. The draft Code and SOLAS amendments will be considered between sessions by a correspondence group, for completion at SDC 8.

For fishing vessels operating in polar waters, like this Icelandic trawler, the new safety measures will bring closer alignment with the Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety.

Safety recommendations for non-SOLAS ships in polar waters

T

he Sub-Committee developed two sets of safety measures for certain types of ships operating in polar waters and not falling under the SOLAS Convention, one for fishing vessels of 24 m in length and over, and another one for pleasure yachts above 300 gross tonnage not engaged in trade. There is currently no internationally binding instrument in force regulating the safety of these so-called non-SOLAS vessels. The guidelines were developed to increase the safety of fishing vessels and pleasure yachts operating in polar waters and persons on

board; and to mitigate the impact on people and environment in the vulnerable waters around the poles. For fishing vessels, the guidelines will add specific safety guidance closely aligned with the 2012 Cape Town Agreement, the internationally-binding instrument aimed at facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. IMO is continuously urging its Member States to ratify the Agreement, which has not yet met its entry into force conditions

The IP Code has been developed to supplement existing IMO instruments to meet the demand for carriage requirements from the offshore and energy sectors that employ and transfer industrial personnel on ships, for the construction, maintenance, decommissioning, operation or servicing of offshore facilities.

The Code, in addition to the requirements for cargo ships contained in SOLAS regulations, provides an international standard of safety for ships carrying industrial personnel and will facilitate the safe carriage and transfer of such personnel by addressing additional risks connected to such operations. The draft IP Code and the associated SOLAS amendments have been referred to MSC 102 for agreement in principle with a view to adoption, in time for their expected entry into force on 1 January 2024 as mandatory international instruments ensuring the safe carriage of industrial personnel.

Second generation intact stability criteria - guidelines approved

T

he Sub-Committee approved a comprehensive set of interim guidelines on second generation intact stability criteria which include guidelines on vulnerability criteria, direct stability failure assessment and operational measures. The aim is to ensure a uniform international level of safety with respect to dynamic stability failure modes in waves. Second generation intact stability criteria involve intact stability assessment of ship

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dynamics in waves using methods to address the five stability failure modes: pure loss of stability, parametric roll, surf-riding/broaching, dead ship condition and excessive accelerations. This development has been made possible by advanced computer technology such as complex numerical simulations and Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), technologies that have enabled designers to better assess the stability of ships in waves.

Work on developing the secondgeneration intact stability criteria has been ongoing for two decades. The finalized set of interim guidelines will now be considered by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 102) with a view to approval, so that they can be disseminated and tested in practice. The session also progressed the development of associated Explanatory Notes, providing further guidance on the application of the interim guidelines on

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PPR

FROM THE MEETINGS

Spring Summer 2020

SUB-COMMITTEE ON POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE • 7TH SESSION • 17-21 FEBRUARY 2020

IMO 2020 sulphur limit guidelines agreed for on-board verification

T

o support the safe and consistent sampling of fuel oil under the so-called IMO 2020 low-sulphur requirement, the Sub-Committee finalized draft guidelines which provide a recommended method for sampling liquid fuel oil intended to be used, or carried for use, on board a ship. They will be forwarded to the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee, with a view to adoption.

Revised guidelines on exhaust gas cleaning systems

T

he Sub-Committee finalized its work on revising the 2015 Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS, also known as “scrubbers”).

The revision is aimed at enhancing the uniform application of the guidelines, in light of recent technical developments and experience gathered from approvals and operation of such alternative compliance systems. The draft 2020 EGCS Guidelines will be submitted to the MEPC for adoption.

The Guidelines specify the criteria for the testing, survey, certification and verification of EGCS under regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI to ensure that they provide effective equivalence to the sulphur oxide emission requirements of regulations 14.1 or 14.4 of MARPOL Annex VI, as applicable. They cover continuous monitoring requirements and discharge water quality criteria, including minimum pH, maximum PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) concentration; provisions to minimize suspended particulate matter, including heavy metals and ash, and to prevent discharge of nitrates beyond specified levels. The Guidelines note that discharge water quality criteria should be reviewed in the future as more data becomes available. Guidance for voluntary discharge water data collection, by means of a recommended procedure for sampling, is included.

The Guidelines are expected to be applied to new exhaust gas cleaning systems installed after a date to be decided by the Committee.

Prohibiting cybutryne in anti-fouling systems

T

he Sub-Committee finalized a proposed amendment to the IMO Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention), to include controls on the biocide cybutryne. The draft amendment will be forwarded to MEPC 75 for approval, with a view to adoption at MEPC 76. The AFS Convention already prohibits the use of biocides using organotin compounds.

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Heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters

T

he Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I (addition of a new regulation 43A) to introduce a prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters on and after 1 July 2024.

The draft amendments will be submitted to the Marine Environment Protection Committee with a view to approval and circulation for adoption. The prohibition would cover the use and carriage for use as fuel of oils having a density at 15°C higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50°C higher than 180 mm2/s.

Ships engaged in securing the safety of ships, or in search and rescue operations, and ships dedicated to oil spill preparedness and response would be exempted.

Ships which meet certain construction standards with regard to oil fuel tank protection would need to comply on and after 1 July 2029.

A Party to MARPOL with a coastline bordering Arctic waters may temporarily waive the requirements for ships flying its flag while operating in waters subject to that Party’s sovereignty or jurisdiction, up to 1 July 2029. The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to further develop draft guidelines on measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. The draft guidelines would cover ship operation, ship construction and heavy fuel oil bunkering, infrastructure and communication, enhancement of heavy fuel oil spill preparedness, early detection and response, and drills and training. www.imo.org


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Spring Summer 2020

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FROM THE MEETINGS

Spring Summer 2020

SUB-COMMITTEE ON POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE • 7TH SESSION • 17-21 FEBRUARY 2020

Discharges from exhaust gas cleaning systems - rules and guidance

Black Carbon emissions in the Arctic

report from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) was submitted. It covers available evidence on the environmental effects of discharge water from EGCS, as well as recommendations on the data, tools and approaches that could be used as basis for conducting a risk assessment of the possible effects of discharges.

MO has been looking at how to measure and report on Black Carbon emissions, as part of its work to consider the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping. The Sub-Committee noted a number of submissions, including proposals to look at the aromatic content of blends of fuel oil. A high aromatic content, among other factors, could increase Black Carbon emissions from ships.

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The Sub-Committee agreed to recommend to the MEPC that its future work should include: • risk assessment (development of risk assessment guidelines for the evaluation of possible harmful effects of the discharge water from EGCS, taking into account existing methods and mathematical models); • impact assessment (to consider developing impact assessment guidelines); • delivery of EGCS residues (developing guidance on delivery of EGCS residues to port reception facilities, regarding volumes and composition of residues); • regulatory matters (including assessing state of technology for EGCS discharge water treatment and control, identifying possible regulatory measures, developing a database of local/regional restrictions/conditions on the discharge water from EGCS; • database of substances (establishing a database of substances identified in EGCS discharge water, covering physico-chemical data, ecotoxicological data and toxicological data, leading to relevant endpoints for risk assessment purposes). The MEPC was invited to approve the planned scope of work and to consider involving GESAMP for scientific advice.

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The International Standardization Organization (ISO) advised the Sub-Committee that it was already monitoring properties of very low sulphur fuel oil and high sulphur fuel oil and would provide feedback on their performance. It will consider adding a further measure to provide an approximate indication as to whether a fuel is more paraffinic or aromatic.

The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to advance the development of a standardized sampling, conditioning, and measurement protocol, including a traceable reference method and an uncertainty analysis, taking into account the three most appropriate Black Carbon measurement methods.

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Spring Summer 2020

FROM THE MEETINGS

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IMO NEWS

SSE

FROM THE MEETINGS

Spring Summer 2020

SUB-COMMITTEE ON SHIP SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT • 7TH SESSION • 2-6 MARCH 2020

Preventing accidents with lifting appliances and winches

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he Sub-Committee agreed to draft guidelines for lifting appliances and made progress on corresponding draft guidelines for anchor handling winches. Both sets of guidelines will complement relevant draft SOLAS regulations currently also under development. A correspondence group was established to continue the work between sessions. The guidelines form part of the Sub-Committee’s work to prevent accidents related to lifting appliances and anchor handling winches, which have caused harm to operators and damage to ships, cargo, shore-based structures and subsea structures, as well as to the marine environment.

Safe operation of on-shore power supply to ships

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n addition to choosing cleaner, greener fuels, utilizing onshore power supply service (also known as “cold ironing”, “alternative maritime power” and “shoreside electricity”) is another solution to reducing air pollution and emissions from ships, as well as limiting local noise.

IMO is addressing the need for global standards for the process of providing shoreside electrical power to a ship at berth, while its main and auxiliary engines are turned off.

Interim Guidelines on safe operation of on-shore power supply (OPS) service in port for ships engaged on international voyages were finalized by the SubCommittee, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for approval.

Minimizing ro-ro fires - draft amendments agreed

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n fire safety, the Sub-Committee continued its work to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on ro-ro passenger ships, following several recent serious accidents. The session focused on potential draft amendments to the SOLAS Convention and associated codes, to enhance fire prevention, detection and extinction on these ship types.

A correspondence group was established to continue the work between sessions.

The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendments to chapter 9 of the International Fire Safety Systems Code (FSS Code), as well as to the Revised guidelines for the design and approval of fixed water-based fire-fighting systems for ro-ro spaces and special category spaces (MSC.1/Circ.1430/Rev.1) and the Guidelines for the maintenance and inspections of fixed carbon dioxide fireextinguishing systems (MSC.1/Circ.1318); and further progressed the revision of 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).

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Ventilation requirements for survival craft

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he Sub-Committee further developed draft amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code addressing the ventilation of survival craft, especially enclosed lifeboats, and related draft amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)). The aim is to ensure a habitable environment is maintained in such survival craft at all times. Work in relation to partially enclosed lifeboats and liferafts will continue at the next session, and a correspondence group was established to progress matters intersessionally.

Revision of the Standardized life-saving appliance evaluation and test report forms

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he Sub-Committee finished revising the Standardized life-saving appliance evaluation and test report forms (MSC/Circ.980), which will be of benefit to Administrations and other parties, such as manufacturers, test facilities, owners and surveyors, in particular facilitating the mutual acceptance of type approvals of appliances carried out by other Administrations. The forms were divided into six separate circulars, each corresponding to the relevant chapter of the LSA Code, in order to facilitate their use and future amendments. www.imo.org


IMO NEWS

Spring Summer 2020

FROM THE MEETINGS

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IMO NEWS

FEATURE

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Spring Summer 2020

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IMO News - Spring/Summer - 2020