Maritime Safety & Environment Rule Changes Clock In
The International Maritime Organization informs that a number of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the 1988 Load Lines Protocol entered into force or took effect from 1, January 2014, as follows:
The amendments cover passenger ship safety (in relation to safe return to port after a flooding casualty); the testing of free-fall lifeboats; minimum safe manning levels; prohibition of blending onboard; the revised MARPOL Annex III; the United States Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area; and the Winter Seasonal Zone off the southern tip of Africa. Amongst the changes are:
Passenger ship safety
Amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/8-1, introduces a mandatory requirement for new passenger ships for either onboard stability computers or shore-based support, for the purpose of providing operational information to the Master for safe return to port after a flooding casualty.
Amendment to SOLAS regulation III/20.11.2 regarding the testing of free-fall lifeboats, to require that the operational testing of free-fall lifeboat release systems shall be performed either by free-fall launch with only the operating crew on board or by a simulated launching.
Amendment to SOLAS chapter V to add a new regulation V/14 on ships' manning, to require Administrations, for every ship, to establish appropriate minimum safe manning levels following a transparent procedure, taking into account the guidance adopted by IMO (Assembly resolution A.1047(27) on Principles of minimum safe manning); and issue an appropriate minimum safe manning document or equivalent as evidence of the minimum safe manning considered necessary.
2010 October MARPOL amendments
The amendments which entered into force on 1 January 2014 include a revised MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form
United States Caribbean ECA now effective
The United States Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area (SOx, NOx and PM) came into effect, under MARPOL Annex VI, on 1 January 2014, bringing in stricter controls on emissions of sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter for ships trading in certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
Winter Seasonal Zone moved south under amendments to LL Protocol
Amendments to regulation 47 of the 1988 Protocol to the International Convention on Load Lines (LL), 1966 to shift the Winter Seasonal Zone off the southern tip of Africa further southward by 50 miles, came into effect on 1 January 2014.