United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has just held a meeting in the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE). With Denmark as the promoter, the DE Sub-Committee has strived to develop new, binding, international regulations on the protection of the crew against noise.
The work is about to be finalized, and at the meeting agreement was reached about a draft for a new binding IMO code on noise in ships (IMO Code on Noise Levels on Board Ships). The draft for the new code will now be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which is expected to consider it in May 2012, before it is forwarded for adoption at the session to be held in December.
Navigation in Arctic regions and the drawing up of new regulations for the so-called Polar Code were also high on the agenda. At the maritime safety level, important progress was made. A Danish proposal that ships should co-ordinate their voyages in order to be able to acquire assistance from other ships in case of an accident is still included in the basis for the coming code. This is especially important in connection with cruise liners’ voyages in Arctic regions. Furthermore, a number of countries and organizations had submitted proposals for protecting the vulnerable Arctic environment. It was not possible to finalize this work at the meeting. In order to ensure continued progress in the development of the code, a timetable was made for the ongoing work, according to which it is expected that a draft will be presented to the MSC in the spring of 2014 with a view to approval.
At the meeting, the following issues were discussed:
- The determination of noise limits in working and accommodation areas on cargo and passenger ships.
- Navigation in polar areas.
- Wind farm vessels.
- Electrical installations in cargo and passenger ships.
- Amendments of the type approval requirements for incinerators.
- Revision of the guidelines for the approval of sewage systems in ships.
- Framework for the maintenance of ships’ life-saving appliances.
- Fixed criteria for the approval of lifejackets and immersion suits.
- New provisions on the rescue of persons who have fallen over board.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 24, 2012; Image: dma