3/4/2019: Recap of the Sixth session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction

Submitted by Lt. Jonathan Duffett, Office of Design & Engineering Standards, Naval Architecture Division

The IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) held its sixth session at IMO headquarters in London, Feb. 4-8, 2019. Mr. Benjamin Hawkins, chief of the US Coast Guard’s Office of Design & Engineering Standards, led the US delegation, comprised of members from the Coast Guard, US Navy, US Department of State, and technical advisors from the private sector.

The key topics of discussion at SDC 6 were:

1. The further development of a mandatory code for the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel.
2. The development of amendments to the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2019 (ESP Code).
3. The development of SOLAS amendments for safe mooring.
4. Issues related to subdivision and damage stability.
5. The development of second-generation intact stability criteria.
6. The development of guidelines for certain non-SOLAS vessels operating in polar waters.
7. Downflooding through ro-ro and enclosed vehicle space ventilation openings.

Industrial personnel

The Sub-Committee continued development of the draft Industrial Personnel Code. Notable results include completing the goals and functional requirements of the code, forwarding the portions regarding the simultaneous carriage of industrial personnel and dangerous goods to the relevant sub-committees for their views and comment, and re-organizing the regulations into separate sections for high speed craft and conventional displacement ships. The Sub-Committee re-established a correspondence group, coordinated by Norway, to continue progress on the agenda item, with the intention of completion by 2021.

Amendments to ESP Code

The Sub-Committee completed amendments to the ESP Code and developed a consolidated edition of the ESP Code. The consolidated text will be forwarded to the 101st session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101, June 2019) for approval and subsequent adoption by the 31st Assembly (November-December 2019).

Safe mooring

The Sub-Committee agreed to amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8, “Towing and Mooring Equipment,” and the annex to existing MSC.1/Circ.1175, “Guidance on Shipboard Towing and Mooring Equipment.” The Sub-Committee also approved two new associated guidelines: “Guidelines on the Design of Mooring Arrangements and the Selection of Appropriate Mooring Equipment and Fittings for Safe Mooring,” and “Guidelines for Inspection and Maintenance of Mooring Equipment, including Lines.” These will now be forwarded to MSC 101 for approval with an entry into force date of Jan. 1, 2024.

Issues related to subdivision and damage stability

The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendments to the SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations for submission to MSC 101 for approval, with an entry into force date of Jan. 1, 2024. These amendments are intended to ensure regulation alignment with the new 2009 probabilistic damage stability methodology and resolve inconsistencies related to watertight integrity requirements. The Sub-Committee also re-established a correspondence group, coordinated by the United States, to develop related consequential amendments to the Revised Explanatory Notes to the SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations (resolution MSC.429(98)). The correspondence group was further tasked to revise MSC.1/Circ.1572 based on the IACS Unified Interpretation SC156 regarding watertight doors.

Second generation intact stability criteria

The Sub-Committee established an experts’ group that dealt with technical matters for the five stability failure modes addressed in the draft guidelines such that the only remaining items were: editorial harmonization, re-structuring, and drafting of a preamble and introduction. The Sub-Committee also re-established a correspondence group, coordinated by Japan to address these items with a view towards finalization of the Guidelines at SDC 7.

The development of guidelines for certain non-SOLAS vessels operating in polar waters

The Sub-Committee discussed draft guidelines for fishing vessels greater than 24 meters operating in polar waters, and draft guidelines for pleasure yachts over 300 GT. A correspondence group was established, coordinated by New Zealand, to further develop these sets of guidelines with a view to finalization at SDC 7, focusing first on the guidelines for fishing vessels.

Downflooding through ro-ro and enclosed vehicle space ventilation openings

The United States had proposed to SDC 6 that three MSC Unified Interpretation circulars addressing openings that should be considered as downflooding points be revised to include vents to ro-ro and enclosed vehicle spaces as unprotected openings in stability analyses. The proposal was accepted by the Sub-Committee, and the three amended Circulars will now be forwarded for consideration and approval at MSC 101.

The next session of the SDC Sub-committee (SDC 7) is scheduled for Feb. 3-7, 2020.

For more details, background, related issues, please contact Mr. Jaideep Sirkar at jaideep.sirkar@uscg.mil.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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