IMO agrees amendments and changes to SOLAS guidelines on ship systems and equipment

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has held the 7th session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), held from 2 – 6 March 2020. ICOMIA has released a report from the meeting and the main items of interest to the superyacht and leisure marine industry are as follows:

On board lifting appliances and winches (OLAW)
During this session, minor modifications were made to the SOLAS amendments in order to align with the draft guidelines which were agreed to at this session. The guidelines address the testing, operation and maintenance of lifting equipment and are broadly in line with the guidance contained in the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers.

Elevator safety
There are currently no regulations regarding the unintended operation of elevators whilst crew are carrying out work in elevator shafts. The Sub-Committee agreed that this was an important matter which needed to be addressed. It was felt that adding this subject to the OLAW regulations would delay their entry into force and it was decided that interested parties should submit proposals for a new output to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).

Revision of the guidelines for the maintenance and inspection of fixed carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing systems (MSC.1/Circ.1318)
In order to try and address the issue of fatalities and serious injuries caused by accidental discharge of vessels CO2 systems the working group on fire protection amended MSC.1/Circ.1318 to require that all CO2 cylinders are tested in a 20-year period and flexible hoses should be replaced at intervals specified by the manufacturer and in any event at intervals not exceeding 10 years.

Cold ironing of ships
This is a commercial shipping term for connecting to shore power or on-shore power supply (OPS). A correspondence group was established at SSE 6 to draft operational guidelines and these were finalised by an experts’ group at this session and agreed by the Sub-Committee. The guidelines only apply to vessels using shore power when in port and not during docking and refit periods.

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