IMO SDC 5 will continue the work to make mooring safer on future ships


The 5th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 5) will be held in London from 22 to 26 January 2018.

SDC considers technical and operational matters related to design, construction, fire protection and equipment of ships, and mobile units covered by IMO instruments. It addresses testing and approval of construction and equipment, including noise on board ships, coating and corrosion protection, steel structures and pollution prevention; as well as matters related to buoyancy, intact stability, subdivision and damage stability of all types of ships. The agenda for SDC 5 includes the following important items:

SDC 5 will continue its development of safe mooring operations. Mooring of a ship is normally done by the deck crew with assistance from linemen ashore. Mooring operations are complex especially on large ships, and the number of serious accidents shows that is also one of the riskiest operations on board. If an accident occurs, it usually has severe consequences for the persons involved.

Review on SOLAS chapter II-1 to ensure consistency with regards to watertight integrity - This is a new item because inconsistencies have been identified between the calculation method and the regulation found as it mixes different ship types characteristics. There is potential for a significant impact on ships design and BIMCO will follow this issue closely.

Finalization of second generation intact stability criteria - The second generation of intact stability criteria is now under development and of increasing in importance for BIMCO members. These criteria are based on physics and in principle will be applicable to all ships. The second-generation criteria deal with five failure modes, which can have severe implications for the safety of the ship. BIMCO supports the development of Guidelines for the specification of direct stability assessment and the Guidelines for the preparation and approval of operational limitations and operational guidance.

Amendments to the 2011 ESP Code – The 2011 ESP code contains the survey requirements for bulk carriers and oil tankers. MSC agreed that the 2011 ESP Code should be closely aligned with the more practical IACS Unified Requirement on hull survey (UR Z10) so as to keep the Code simple, user-friendly and updated. Prior to this meeting IACS has done extensive work to identify instances of non-mandatory language and footnotes that contain substantive text. As this is a simplification, BIMCO will support the submissions.

Mooring operation – SDC 5 will continue reviewing new regulations and guidelines on safe mooring operations. An amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 is being proposed to ensure that mooring equipment on large ships (3000 GT and above) are fit for purpose. The correspondence group (CG) in which BIMCO participated has prepared draft Guidelines for safe mooring operations. BIMCO has co-sponsored a submission together with Antigua, Barbuda, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Panama, ICS, ICHCA, OCIMF, INTERTANKO, SIGTTO and NI that provides comments to the CG’s report regarding the introduction of the term “Human centred design” of mooring decks. In BIMCO’s view, the draft revision will need more work and it is expected that a number of principle discussions will stop the work from being finalized at this meeting.

A brief report on the outcome of the meeting will be published shortly after the meeting.


Karin Petersen
By Lars Gullaksen
in Copenhagen, DK


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