Thursday, May 27, 2010

IMO Increase Their Control On Oil Tankers And Bulk Freight Carriers

New Safety of Life at Sea Standards will be Enforced
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The International Maritime Organization (IMO) have announced some details of the new standards they will demand for the construction of oil tankers and bulk cargo carriers over 150 metres in length. The revolutionary move, the first time the IMO have set construction standards for these, or any other vessel types, follows a prolonged period of pressure to tighten new build regulations.

In future newly-constructed vessels of these types will have to comply with structural standards conforming to functional requirements developed and agreed by the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). Since the beginning of the century governments and international organizations have expressed the view that the Organization should play a larger role in determining the structural standards to which new ships are built. The philosophy underpinning this move has been that ships should be designed and constructed for a specified design life and that, if properly operated and maintained, they should remain safe and environmentally friendly throughout their service life.

The notion of "goal-based ship construction standards" was introduced in IMO at the 89th session of the Council in November 2002, through a proposal by the Bahamas and Greece, suggesting that the Organization should develop ship construction standards that would permit innovation in design but ensure that ships are constructed in such a manner that, if properly maintained, they remain safe for their entire economic life.The standards would also have to ensure that all parts of a ship can be easily accessed to permit proper inspection and ease of maintenance.

The MSC formally adopted International Goal based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, along with amendments to Chapter II-1 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), during a meeting this month, making their application mandatory, with an entry into force date of 1st January 2012. Under the regulations, ships should have adequate strength, integrity and stability to minimize the risk of loss of the ship or pollution to the marine environment due to structural failure, including collapse, resulting in flooding or loss of watertight integrity.