Major changes in the ABS Marine Vessel Rules announced from January 2022

The ABS 2022 Marine Vessel Rules have changed in January 2022, in some cases significantly
The ABS 2022 Marine Vessel Rules have changed in January 2022, in some cases significantly

In an open communication to the maritime industry, Adam W. Moilanen, Vice President/Chief Surveyor with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), has written to advise of the raft of major changes in the ABS 2022 Marine Vessel Rules, Material and Welding, High Speed Craft, Mobile Offshore Units (MOU), Facility on Offshore Installations (FAC) and Single Point Moorings (SPM) that became effective on 1 January 1 2022.

In brief, the changes to the ABS 2022 Marine Vessel Rules are:

Mechanical Properties:
Added that tubulars in quenched and tempered condition intended for structural applications are to be tested on both ends of the product with the samples taken from both ends. Due to the manufacturing process, the water flow and temperature at the end of the pipe might be subjected to cooling rates that may affect the properties of the material

Anchor Chain:
Added that all materials entered into the construction of torque transmitting and load bearing parts of windlasses are to be tested in the presence of, inspected and certified by the surveyor.

General Requirements for All Grades of Steel Plates for Machinery, Boilers, and Pressure Vessels
MVR 4-4-1/1.9 requires Pressure Vessel manufacturers to be approved by ABS. As part of the PV manufacturer approval program, the raw material is requested to be procured from ABS approved mills.

Welding Procedure Qualification Tests of Steels for Hull Construction and Marine Structures
Clarified requirements for weld procedure qualification of slot welds, stud welds, process piping welds, structural tubular welds, and TKY-joints, reference to ABS Guide for Materials and Welding of Stainless Steels. Clarified requirements for preheat, interposes temperature, welding consumable, current, and polarity.

Accumulator Batteries
Clarified definition of well-ventilated in current Rules for battery installation including requirement for batteries to be protected from mechanical damage, dripping water, condensation and are to be installed away from sources of ignition.

Sills of Access Openings
Clarified that the sill height of the access openings in external bulkheads of enclosed superstructures and deck houses only applies to access opening in Position 1 and Position 2 per the International Loadline Convention regulation 18(4). Note that the sill height requirements per Loadline Convention and ABS Rules may be supplemented by the specific requirements from Flag Administration.

Requirements for Machinery Spaces
Clarified that fixed water based local application fire-fighting systems may be powered from the emergency power source unless instructed otherwise by the Flag Administration as the main power source may not be available due to the water spray above the main generators upon activation.

High Fire Risk Areas
Clarified Rules to include galleys, saunas, paint lockers and store rooms having 4㎡ or more, flammable liquid storage spaces and workshops not forming part of the machinery space are regarded as high fire risk area per SOLAS II-2/9.2.3.3.2.2 (9) and 9.2.4.2.2.2 (9).

Discharge of Machinery Space Bilges into Slop Tank
Added alternative arrangements for separation by means of the removal of a spool piece provided the arrangement details are met.

Cargo Oil and Associated Systems – Cargo Vapor Emission Control Systems
Added that Vapor collecting piping should be electrically bonded to the hull and should be electrically continuous per IMO MSC Circular 585.

Annual Survey Machinery Computer Based Control Systems
Added annual survey requirements for computer-based systems for vessels with or without automation notations. Hardware, software, configuration and communications are to be verified in accordance with Rules applicable on the vessel’s contract date.

Shipboard Automatic and Remote-Control Systems – Annual Surveys
Added AMCC and AMCCU notations under the Shipboard Automatic and Remote-Control Systems. The Annual Survey requirements for function indicators, alarms, shutdowns and such control actuators has been amended to include automatic controls for turbines and reciprocating engines, automatic controls for thermal fluid heaters, and fired heaters, incinerators, inert gas system and ballast & cargo oil system.

Shipboard Automatic and Remote Control Systems – Special Surveys

Added AMCC and AMCCU notations/requirements under the Shipboard Automatic and Remote-Control Systems. Clarified Special Survey requirements for examination of electrical resistance and propulsion system dock trials.

Certification of Equipment
Consolidated all the survey and design review requirements in tables (3-2/7.13 TABLE 2, 4-2/7 TABLE 2 and 5-1/3.3 TABLE 1). A new section has been created with new Table, all the components and equipment have been assigned to appropriate Type approval tiers similar to other rule sets (MVR and MOU) in the new consolidated.
Table in the new section 1-6. The section also details the certification process and Type approval program similar to the requirements in MVR 4-1-1/3.

Conditions for Surveys After Construction – Suspect Areas
Clarified the definition of suspect areas. Special attention should be paid to the areas prone to rapid wastage or having substantial corrosion.

Conditions for Surveys After Construction – Lay up and Reactivation
Added requirements when units are to be laid up and reactivated. Unit laid up offshore will be subject to special consideration and will require submittal of plans to ensure integrity of the unit while in lay-up. Also clarified mandatory reactivation survey requirements for units returning to active service.

In-Service Inspection Plan (ISIP)
Added requirement for mapping of pitting in ISIP. Also included that the average wastage of the top section and bottom section of the selected girth belts is to be in ISIP.

Intermediate Survey
Added the required tank inspection for the intermediate survey including voids, cofferdams, ballast tanks and cargo tanks.
Also added that the entire side shell plating including visible riser and mooring balconies, fendering areas along with bow and stern areas above the draft of the last UWILD survey is to be examined.

Special Periodical Survey
Special Survey requirements have been clarified for the repair of pitting, thickness measurements, close-up survey requirements full examination of side shell plating, and modification of thickness measurement requirements.

Special Periodical Survey – Hull Thickness Measurement
Included the wastage allowance table for clarification of thickness measurements.

Special Periodical Survey – Machinery
Extensive updates have been made to the requirements of Special Survey Machinery to align with MVR and IACS UR Z15. Also incorporated the ABS Guide for Survey and Inspection of Jacking Systems in this section.

Requirements for Testing During Construction
Aligned with other Rule sets, updates include requirements for construction of the buoy and to allow for more flexibility when conducting testing of the buoy. Specific mooring equipment requires certification to be presented, including discussion of surveys at vendor’s facility. Update ABCD table to Tier table. Included section for construction of the buoy.

Annual Survey – Document reviews
Added new requirement for the review of maintenance records during the Annual Surveys and examination of the main bearing.

For full details of ABS Marine Vessel Rules 2022 download the pdf documents below.

Download: ABS Conditions of Classification
Download: ABS Materials and Welding
Download: ABS Light and High Speed Craft
Download: ABS Survey after Construction

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