The proposed amendments include the establishment of a new area to be avoided (ABTA) as an associated protective measure for the 'Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in the Sulu Sea' (the Philippines). This ABTA is linked to the proposed PSSA, which was approved in principle in 2016 and is expected to be formally designated by IMO's MEPC 71 meeting in July.
The MSC is expected to adopt or approve a number of new and revised performance standards and guidelines related to operational safety, including those to implement the e-navigation strategy, reported London's Tanker Operator.
These include draft amendments to the revised guidelines and criteria for ship reporting systems (resolution MSC.43(64)), addressing mandatory ship reporting systems established in accordance with SOLAS regulation V/11. The revisions update the resolution and encourage the use and recognition of automated electronic means of ship reporting.
The MSC is expected to also consider revisions to the Guidelines for Verification of Conformity with Goal-Based Ship Construction Standards, based on the experience gained during initial verification audits.
The meeting will also consider the GBS non-conformities verification audit report, which relates to rectification of non-conformities stemming from the initial verification audit.
With regards to Cyber risk management, the MSC is expected to approve a joint MSC-FAL circular on guidelines on maritime cyber risk management, based on the interim guidelines on maritime cyber risk management (MSC.1/Circ.1526), following the recent approval of the circular by the Facilitation Committee.
In addition, MSC will likely approve draft guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats and draft amendments to update the guidelines for developing operation and maintenance manuals for lifeboat systems (MSC.1/Circ.1205).