Recap: IMO SDC 10

Highlights from the 10th session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) that was held in person from 22 to 26 January 2024..

The 10th session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) was held in person from 22 to 26 January 2024. SDC 10 agreed on an Action Plan to further prevent and reduce underwater radiated noise (URN) from ships, with the aim of minimising its adverse effects on the marine environment, particularly on marine wildlife and indigenous communities. The Action Plan intends to increase awareness, uptake and implementation of Revised Guidelines for the reduction of underwater radiated noise from shipping, which took effect in October 2023.

The major meeting highlights are summarised below:

• Agreed on draft amendments to the Load Line Protocol to require guard rails also on deck structures other than superstructures and freeboard decks.
• Agreed on draft goal-based requirements for machinery and electrical installations in SOLAS Chapter II-1 for inclusion in the Guidelines on Alternative Design and Arrangements for SOLAS Chapters II-1 and III (MSC.1/Circ.1212/Rev.1)
• Progressed a revision of the “Interim Explanatory Notes for the Assessment of Passenger Ship Systems’ Capabilities After a Fire or Flooding Casualty” (MSC.1/Circ.1369)
• Progressed goal-based requirements to both traditional and non-traditional steering and propulsion systems.
• Agreed on a draft revision of the Revised Guidelines for the Reduction of Underwater Radiated Noise from Shipping to Address Adverse Impacts on Marine Life (MEPC.1/ Circ.906/Rev.1)

The following notes are a summary of the relevant topics and outcomes discussed. Note that the presented information reflects the status at the time of Ship Design Sub-Committee 10 which may change as a result of ongoing developments. As SDC is a Sub-Committee, all decisions concerning rules, regulations and dates are subject to further consideration and approval by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). It is also uncertain at this time whether the mentioned amendments or new regulations will eventually be adopted in future versions of the Red Ensign Group Yacht Codes or other flag codes.