Recap: IMO SSE 7

Highlights from the IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment, held in London from 2 to 6 March 2020 and attended by SYBAss.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment held its seventh session in London from 2 to 6 March 2020. This annual meeting deals with a wide range of technical and operational matters related to systems and equipment on all types of ships, vessels, craft and mobile units covered by IMO instruments. This includes life-saving equipment, appliances and arrangements; and fire detection and fire extinguishing systems. Lorenzo Pollicardo, SYBAss’ Technical and Environmental Director, was in attendance and ensured that member interests were well-represented on the global regulatory stage. He also attended two working groups held during the week.

A key development from the meeting for SYBAss members was the finalisation of the guidelines for “Lifting Appliances” in support of the amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1. The draft guidelines for Lifting Appliances contains a list of definitions; design, construction and installation; thorough examination and load testing; demonstration of compliance; design, manufacturing and thorough examination of loose gear; and inoperative lifting appliances and loose gear. These SOLAS amendments and Guidelines are foreseen to enter into force on 1 January 2024.

The sub-committee also agreed on a draft MSC Circular Guidelines on the “Safe operation of onshore power supply service in port for ships engaged on international voyages”, the so-called, “cold ironing”. The guidelines provide an international standard for the safe operation of the onshore power supply service in port on ships engaged on international voyages.

Looking at passenger and crew safety matters, the sub-committee finalised draft amendments to the Life-Saving Appliance Code on ventilation requirements for survival craft and related draft amendments to the revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances, to ensure a habitable environment is maintained in such survival craft.

The sub-committee also continued the work on the review of SOLAS chapter II-2 and associated codes to minimise the incidence and consequences of fires on ro-ro spaces and special category spaces of new and existing ro-ro passenger ships. SSE 7 agreed to form an inter-sessional correspondence group to continue the discussion in view of SSE 8.

SYBAss members will soon receive, as usual, a detailed report on this Ship Systems and Equipment meeting.