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Several important amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and various codes mandatory under the Convention are entering into force on 1 January 2020. 

They include:

-Amendments to requirements on subdivision and damage stability

IMO adopted a set of amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 relating to subdivision and damage stability, following a substantive review of SOLAS chapter II-1 focusing particularly on new passenger ships.

-Amendments on passenger ships safety

IMO has adopted amendments to SOLAS regulations II-1/1 and II-1/8-1, concerning computerized stability support for the master in case of flooding for existing passenger ships.

-Amendments on damage control drills

Starting from January 1 2020, amendments to SOLAS regulations III/1.4, III/30 and III/37 on damage control drills for passenger ships will require damage control drills to take place on all passenger ships every three months from 2020.

-Definition of vehicle carrier and requirements for vehicle space

Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/3.56, relating to the definition of "vehicle carrier" and adoption of new SOLAS regulation II-2/20.2 on fire safety requirements for cargo spaces containing vehicles with fuel in their tanks for their own propulsion, specifically vehicles which do not use their own propulsion within the cargo space.

-Fire integrity of windows for ships carrying not more than 36 passengers

The amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/  to clarify the requirements for fire integrity of windows on passenger ships carrying not more than 36 passengers and on special purpose ships with more than 60 (but no more than 240) persons onboard.

-Evacuation on cruise ships

Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/13 to extend the requirements for evacuation analysis to all passenger ships, not just ro-ro passenger ships. (Associated revised guidelines on evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships were also approved). 

-Harmonization of survey periods of cargo ships not subject to the ESP Code

The harmonized system under regulation XI-1/2-1 provides for a one-year standard interval between surveys, based on initial, annual, intermediate, periodical and renewal surveys, except for MARPOL Annex IV, which is based on initial and renewal surveys. It also provides for a maximum period of validity of five years for all cargo ship certificates, as well as a maximum period of validity of 12 months for the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate. 

-Amendments to the (FSS Code)

The amendments to the International Code for Fire Safety Systems are clarifying the distribution of crew in public spaces for the calculation of stairways width.Amendments to chapter 8 of the FSS Coderegarding prevention of internal corrosion and clogging of sprinklers and the inclusion of a new chapter 17 in the FSS Code, mandating requirements for helicopter facility foam firefighting appliances. 

-Amendments to FTP Code

The amendments to annex 3 to the International Code for the Application of Fire Test Procedures, 2010 (2010 FTP Code) relate to fire protection materials and required approval test methods for passenger ships and high-speed craft.

-Amendments to IGC Code

The Amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) are aligning the wheelhouse window fire-rating requirements in the IGC Code with those in SOLAS chapter II-2.

-Amendments to IMDG Code

Amendment to update the IMDG Code (Amendment 39-18) in line with the latest recommendations of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, including new provisions regarding IMO type 9 tanks, a set of new abbreviations for segregation groups and special provisions for the carriage of lithium batteries and vehicles powered by flammable liquid or gas.

-Amendments to the International Code on Intact Stability, 2008

Amendments to the 2008 International code on Intact Stability (IS Code), relating to ships engaged in anchor handling operations and to ships engaged in lifting and towing operations, including escort towing.

- Amendments to chapter IV of SOLAS, HSC Code

Amendments to chapter IV of SOLAS (Radiocommunications), and the appendix to the annex to the 1974 SOLAS Convention, replacing all references to "Inmarsat" with references to a “recognized mobile satellite service” and consequential amendments to the International Code of Safety for High speed Craft, 1994 (1994 HSC Code), the International Code of Safety for High-speed Craft, 2000 (2000 HSC Code) and the Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships, 2008 (2008 SPS Code).

-Amendments to the model forms of the Certificates of Fitness

The amendments are clarifying the requirement for an approved loading and stability manual/booklet to be supplied to the ship

-Protection against noise

Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-12 on protection against noise

MARPOL amendments entering into force on and after January 1, 2020

1 January 2020 - MARPOL Annex VI

Sulphur Content in Fuel Oil (MARPOL VI Regulation 14)

Sulphur content of any fuel oil used on board ships outside of Sox Emission Control Areas (Global Cap) shall not exceed 0.5% m/m on or after 1 January 2020.

1 January 2020 - MARPOL Annex VI

Ozone-depleting substances, Hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Refrigerants (MARPOL Annex VI)
According to MEPC.176(58), regulation 12 of MARPOL Annex VI states that installations which contain hydro chlorofluorocarbons shall be prohibited:
– On ships constructed on or after 1st January 2020 or
– In the case of ships constructed before 1st January 2020 which have a contractual date of the equipment to the ship on or after 1st January 2020, or in the absence of a contractual delivery date, the actual delivery of the equipment to the ship on or after 1st January 2020. However, this does not apply to permanently sealed equipment where there are no refrigerant charging connections or potentially removable components containing ozone depleting substances.

1 January 2020 - MARPOL Annex VI

 Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) (New Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI)
The CO2 reduction level includes three phases; Phase 2 starts on 01/01/2020.

The new chapter 4 Regulations on energy efficiency for ships to MARPOL Annex VI, makes mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. Other amendments to Annex VI add new definitions and the requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate.

1 March 2020 - MARPOL Annex VI amendments - carriage ban on non-compliant fuel oil

Adopted by MEPC 73: The amendment will prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship - unless the ship has an exhaust gas cleaning system ("scrubber") fitted, if accepted by  the flag State as an alternative means to meet the sulphur limit requirement.

The amendment supports consistent implementation of the 0.50% limit on sulphur in ships fuel oil. The 0.50% limit on sulphur in ships' fuel oil is in force from 1 January 2020, with benefits for the environment and human health.

1 October 2020 MARPOL amendments – use of electronic record books

Adopted by MEPC 73: MARPOL Amendments to allow for electronic record books to be used were adopted, for Annex I - Oil Record Book Part I – Machinery space operations and Oil Record Book Part II – Cargo/ballast operations; Annex II - Cargo Record Book; and Annex V - Garbage Record Book; and Annex VI for records relating to Regulation 12 – Ozone-depleting substances, Regulation 13 – Nitrogen oxides (NOX) and Regulation 14 – Sulphur oxides (SOX) and particulate matter. Guidelines for the use of electronic record books under MARPOL have been adopted.

1 October 2020 - MARPOL amendments - EEDI regulations for ice-strengthened ships

Adopted by MEPC 73: Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI , relating to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) regulations for ice-strengthened ships, replacing the words "cargo ships having ice-breaking capability" with "category A ships as defined in the Polar Code". 

1 January 2021 - MARPOL amendments - Cargo residues and tank washings of persistent floating noxious liquid substances  

Adopted by MEPC 74: 

Amendments to MARPOL Annex II to strengthen, in specified sea areas, discharge requirements for cargo residues and tank washings containing persistent floating products with a high-viscosity and/or a high melting point that can solidify under certain conditions (e.g. certain vegetable oils and paraffin-like cargoes), following concerns about the environmental impact of permissible discharges.

The amendments add new paragraphs to MARPOL Annex II Regulation 13 – Control of discharges of residues of noxious liquid substances, to require prewash and discharge of residue/water mixture generated during the prewash to a reception facility, for specific products, in specified areas (North West European waters, Baltic Sea area, Western European waters and Norwegian Sea).

The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal Wrecks, 2007

N&B Marine Consultant can assist you to obtain the WRC on behalf of Palau  and Panama Flag within 24 hrs. 

Container Weight Verification.

A new requirement was added to SOLAS VI Chapter 2 by the adoption of Resolution MSC.380 (94). 

The IMO -MSC.1/Circ.1475 provides recommendations on how to interpret and apply the provisions of the SOLAS requirements.