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Recap of the 8th Session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 8)

A key topic was revision of performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers.

Submitted by the Office of Design and Engineering Standards (CG-ENG)

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) held its eighth session remotely from IMO headquarters in London, United Kingdom, from January 17 to 21, 2022.  Captain Daniel Cost, Chief of the US Coast Guard’s Office of Design & Engineering Standards (CG-ENG), led the US delegation, comprised of members from US Coast Guard, US Navy, US Department of State, US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and technical advisors from the private sector.

The key topics of discussion at SDC 8 were:

  1. The further development of a mandatory code for the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel;
  2. Revision of performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers;
  3. United Interpretations to provisions of IMO safety, security, and environment –related conventions;
  4. The finalization of draft explanatory notes to the interim guidelines for second generation intact stability criteria;
  5. The review of the Guidelines for the Reduction of Underwater Noise (MEPC.1/Circ.833) and identification of next steps;
  6. The further development of amendments to the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2019 (ESP Code); and
  7. Safety objectives and functional requirements of the guidelines on alternative designs and arrangements for SOLAS Chapters II-1 & III.

Industrial personnel

The Sub-Committee completed the development of the draft Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel, and the associated SOLAS amendments (a new chapter XV) that are likely to enter into force January 1, 2024.  Specific topics addressed in this session include the scope of application, matters related to the IP Safety Certificate, lifesaving equipment requirements and berthing of IP on high-speed craft.  The Sub-Committee referred the agreed upon draft new SOLAS chapter XV and draft new IP Code to MSC 105 (April 2022) for approval. The Sub-Committee also agreed to Part III of the check/monitoring sheet using the form contained in MSC.1/Circ/1500/Rev.1 for submission to MSC 105 for consideration.

Water level detectors

The Sub-Committee finalized the draft amendments to MSC.188 (79)/Rev.1 on Performance standards for water level detectors on ships subject to SOLAS regulation II-1/25, II-1/25-1 and XII/12 – for adoption by MSC 105.  These revisions align the performance standards to the new SOLAS regulation II-1/25-1 to require water level detectors and alarms on cargo ships with multiple cargo holds, with an entry into force date of January 1, 2024.

Unified Interpretations

The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendment of the unified interpretation of regulation 37(3) of the 1988 Load Lines Protocol for type ‘B’ freeboard vessels, clarifying the calculation of superstructures and trunk deductions for vessels with conventional bows, for MSC 105 approval. The Sub-Committee also finalized a new unified interpretation related to the amendment to the stability/loading information on vessel documentation with alterations to their lightships, for MSC 105 approval.

Second generation intact stability criteria

The Sub-Committee finalized the explanatory notes to the Interim guidelines on the second generation intact stability criteria (MSC.1/Circ.1627), for submission to MSC 105 for approval.  The explanatory notes are intended to provide Administrations and the shipping industry with specific guidance to assist in the unified interpretation and application of the Interim Guidelines.

Underwater Radiated Noise

The Sub-Committee agreed to establish a Correspondence Group (CG) on the review of the Guidelines for the Reduction of Underwater Noise (MEPC.1/Circ.833) and endorsed the proposed work plan, with a view to submitting amended Guidelines and developing next steps, as appropriate, to MEPC 80.  A report of the work of the CG will be submitted to SDC 9 for consideration.

Amendments to the ESP Code

The Sub-Committee agreed to draft further amendments to the 2011 ESP Code (resolution MSC.461(101) – adopted by MSC 101), for submission to MSC 105 for approval and adoption. The Sub-Committee amended the inspection requirements and survey periods for hard protective coatings for ballast tanks on bulk carriers of single and double-side skin construction. The Sub-Committee also modified the Code’s applicability to oil tankers carrying oil in independent tanks.

Alternative Design and Arrangements for SOLAS Chapters II-1& III

The Sub-Committee established an Experts’ Group (EG) on the Development of Functional Requirements for SOLAS Chapter II-1 alternative designs.  The EG completed the goal, functional requirements and expected performances for Part D of SOLAS Chapter II-1, “Electrical Installations”. The EG also recommended that Part C of SOLAS II-1, “Machinery Installations”, be considered next, and requested that the Sub-Committee re-establish the Correspondence Group (CG). Both of these requests were approved by the Sub-Committee. The CG will submit a report to the Sub-Committee at SDC 9.

Tentative dates for SDC 9

The tentative dates for SDC 9 are 23 to 27 January 2023.

Election of Chair and Vice-Chair

The Sub-Committee elected Mr. Erik Tvedt (Denmark) and Mr. Jaideep Sirkar (United States) as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively for SDC for the calendar year 2023.

Read more at USCG

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