IMO meets to make Polar Code mandatory, and consider new rules to live by
THE UN's International Maritime Organisation's maritime safety committee is expected to adopt the Polar Code to make it mandatory at a meeting this week, reports London's Tanker Operator.
The safety committee will also seek to approve the draft Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) amendments to make mandatory the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases, or other Low flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
The Polar Code contains additional design, construction, equipment, operational, training and search and rescue rules for ships in Arctic and Antarctic waters.
The safety committee is also expected to approve the e-navigation strategy implementation plan (SIP), which provides tasks that need enforcement to effect harmonised, user-friendly bridge design and standardised, automated reporting.
There will also be new rules on reliability, resilience and integrity of bridge equipment and navigation information; integration and presentation of available information in graphic displays received via communication equipment and improved communication of vessel traffic services (VTS).
Other rules to be considered are new and amended ships' routing measures and an amended ship reporting systems, changes to the inflatable liferaft regime and secondary means of venting cargo tanks in order to ensure adequate safety against over- and under-pressure with respect to air quality control.
The IMO will also recognise the BeiDou Navigation Satellite system (BDS), operated by China, as a component of Worldwide Radionavigation System (WWRNS); approve the draft revised Guide to recovery techniques; consider draft Guidelines for the development of national maritime security legislation, developed by a correspondence group.
It also plans to approve the revised and update the joint IMO/IHO/World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) manual on Maritime Safety Information, the draft assembly resolution on revised guidelines for the on board operational use of shipborne automatic identification systems (AIS) for submission to the next IMO assembly for adoption, to update earlier guidelines (first adopted in 2001 and revised in 2003) and approve revised rules on guidance on Cospas-Sarsat International 406 MHz beacon registration database (IBRD) as well as deciding on which independent body should produce a technical and operational assessment of Iridium as a GMDSS mobile satellite service provider.
It will also consider a proposal to develop voluntary guidelines on cyber security practices to protect and enhance the resiliency of cyber systems supporting the operations of ports, vessels, marine facilities and other elements of the maritime transportation system;