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Cablegate: International Maritime Organization (Imo):

VZCZCXRO4774
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHLO #0276/01 0300948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300948Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7188
INFO RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-ACO-I/CG-094/CG-5//
RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-52/CG-521/CG-522//
RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-523/CG-544/CG-62/
RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-7M/CG-534//
RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 000276

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO IO/IOC FOR M. MORRISSEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IMO AORC ASEC UK
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO):
REPORT OF THE 52ND SESSION OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE (S/C) ON
FIRE PROTECTION (FP), LONDON, 14-18 JANUARY 2008.


1. SUMMARY: The 52nd session of the IMO FP S/C met at
Central Hall Westminster in London 14-18 January 2008,
chaired by Mr. Juan Carlos Cubisino (Argentina). The
session was attended by delegations from 58 member
states, one associate member, one state not a member, two
intergovernmental organizations, and observers from 17
non-governmental organizations in consultative status.
All significant U.S. objectives were achieved.
Significant accomplishments, all to be forwarded to MSC
84 in May for approval, were completion of guidelines for
cabin balcony sprinkler systems; completion of guidelines
for evaluation of fire risk of external areas on
passenger ships; completion of a unified interpretation
on number and arrangement of portable fire extinguishers;
completion of Revised Guidelines for the approval of
fixed aerosol fire-extinguishing systems equivalent to
fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems; completion of
amendments to the Revised Guidelines for sprinkler
systems equivalent to that referred to in SOLAS
regulation II-2/12 (water mist systems); completion of
Guidelines for high expansion foam using inside air for
the protection of machinery spaces and cargo pump-rooms;
completion of Guidelines for approval of fixed water-
based fire-fighting systems for ro-ro spaces and special
category spaces equivalent to that referred to in
resolution A.123(V); completion of draft amendments to
SOLAS concerning recharging requirements and spare
charges for breathing apparatus on passenger ships
carrying more than 36 passengers, material of ventilation
ducts, fire dampers on galley ventilation ducts for ships
carrying 36 or fewer passengers, and installation of fire
doors with 3-sided frames; and completion of amendments
to the Revised Guidelines for the approval of equivalent
fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems, consistent with a
U.S. submission on the subject. END SUMMARY.

2. Performance testing and approval standards for fire
safety systems. Following on to work at earlier sessions
and by an intersessional correspondence group (CG) under
coordination of the U.S., a working group (WG) chaired by
the U.S. on performance testing and approval standards
for fire safety systems completed development, for
submission to MSC 84 for approval, of guidelines for
approval of cabin balcony sprinkler systems pursuant to
the 2006 STAR PRINCESS fire; Revised Guidelines for the
approval of fixed aerosol fire-extinguishing systems
equivalent to fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems;
amendments to the Revised Guidelines for sprinkler
systems equivalent to that referred to in SOLAS
regulation II-2/12 (Res. A.800(19)); Guidelines for high
expansion foam using inside air for the protection of
machinery spaces and cargo pump-rooms; Guidelines for
approval of fixed water-based fire-fighting systems for
ro-ro spaces and special category spaces equivalent to
that referred to in resolution A.123(V); and amendments
to the Revised Guidelines for the approval of equivalent
fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems (MSC/Circ. 848),
consistent with a U.S. submission on the subject (Italy
reserved its position and is expected to vigorously
pursue the matter at MSC 84). The U.S. will coordinate a
re-established CG to continue progress intersessionally
on outstanding items in the updated WG work plan for
consideration at FP 53.

3. Comprehensive review of the Fire Test Procedures
(FTP) Code. Following on to work at FP 51, and taking
into account the report of an intersessional CG, a WG on
comprehensive review of the FTP Code developed numerous
editorial and technical improvements to the Code. Japan
will coordinate a re-established CG to continue progress
intersessionally with a view to completion of the work at
FP 53.

4. Review of the fire safety of external areas on
passenger ships. This item stems from a UK proposal at
MSC 81, pursuant to the 2006 STAR PRINCESS fire, to
address fire safety of external areas other than
passenger cabin balconies. A new WG was formed at this
session to complete work begun by an intersessional CG
under coordination of Italy. The S/C agreed to new
guidelines for evaluation of fire risks of external
areas, including a simplified risk assessment method for
the crew's use in considering impacts of seasonal or

LONDON 00000276 002 OF 003


theme-based changes to external area configurations, for
submission to MSC 84 for approval, and invited the MSC to
delete this item from the S/C work program.

5. Measures to prevent fires in engine rooms and cargo
pump rooms. Taking into account the work of an
intersessional CG, the S/C continued development of a
draft MSC Circular to provide guidance on, inter alia,
isolating potential oil leakage points from hot surfaces
and other potential sources of ignition in machinery
spaces. A drafting group, taking into account a plenary
decision limiting the scope of the work, prepared an
updated working draft for further consideration by an
intersessional CG with a view to finalization at FP 53.

6. Fire resistance of ventilation ducts. MSC 83
instructed the S/C to expand the scope of the work to
address all ventilation system requirements. The S/C
considered one proposal by Denmark concerning fire
dampers on small passenger ships, and editorial
refinements to the original proposal to MSC 81 by the UK,
and developed suitable draft SOLAS amendments for
submission to MSC 84 for approval. The S/C invited
submission of further comments and proposals on the
subject to FP 53.

7. Unified interpretation on the number and arrangement
of portable extinguishers in accommodation spaces,
service spaces, control stations, etc. At FP 51, the S/C
prepared a consolidated draft guideline, consistent with
a risk-based U.S. proposal, for further consideration and
finalization at this session. Several proposals for
significant increases in the number of extinguishers were
not accepted by the S/C after a U.S. intervention
questioning their justification. With some minor
amendments, the interpretation was forwarded to MSC 84
for approval under cover of a suitable MSC Circular.

8. Development of provisions for gas fuelled ships. The
S/C considered technical comments submitted by the U.S.
on the draft guidelines for the use of LNG fuel on ships
other than LNG carriers developed by the S/C on Carriage
of Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG). The S/C established an
intersessional CG under coordination of Norway to further
develop the draft guidelines taking into account the U.S.
comments.

9. Consideration of IACS unified interpretations. The
S/C considered eight unified interpretations submitted by
IACS, and prepared a draft MSC Circular containing agreed
interpretations of SOLAS Chapter II-2 relating to
arrangements of gaseous fuel for domestic purposes,
separation of galley exhaust ducts from spaces, and fixed
deck foam fire extinguishing systems for pipe trunks in
the cargo tank deck area for submission to MSC 84 for
approval.

10. Fixed hydrocarbon detection systems on double-hull
tankers. The S/C agreed in principle with the proposal
by a coalition of EU members at MSC 82 for fixed gas
detection on double-hull tankers in addition to portable
detection, to ensure more rapid detection of cargo
leakage into double bottom spaces, and established an
intersessional CG coordinated by INTERTANKO to develop
suitable amendments to SOLAS and a new Chapter 16 of the
Fire Safety Systems Code for further consideration at FP
53.

11. Clarification of SOLAS chapter II-2 requirements
regarding interrelation between central control station
and safety centre. This is a new work item jointly
proposed by Argentina and the Cruise Lines International
Association (CLIA) to clarify the new regulation II-2/23
requirements for control and monitoring of vital safety
systems from the onboard safety centre required pursuant
to the recent passenger ship safety initiative. After
preliminary consideration by a WG, the S/C established an
intersessional CG under coordination of CLIA to further
progress the work and report to FP 53.

12. Recommendation on evacuation analysis for new and
existing passenger ships. At FP 51, a WG on the interim
recommendation on evacuation analysis for new and

LONDON 00000276 003 OF 003


existing passenger ships completed a revision of the
guidance with regard to computer simulation of evacuation
times, criteria for passenger awareness times and
response time distributions. Pursuant to a proposal by
Germany, the target completion date was extended to allow
further consideration of two new evacuation scenarios
stemming from new safe area and safe return to port
requirements. The S/C decided that additional data on
the issue is needed before considering an additional
German proposal for mandatory application of evacuation
analysis to all new passenger ships. Despite strong
German objections, an envisioned correspondence group was
not established due to the large number of other
correspondence groups proposed at this session.

13. Measures to prevent explosions on oil and chemical
tankers transporting low-flash point cargoes. This is a
new work item to consider the merits of installing inert
gas systems on oil and chemical tankers of less than
20,000 DWT, based on the report to MSC 81 of an Inter-
Industry Working Group (IIWG). While noting the views of
several delegations and observers that IGS would reduce
the risk of explosion and should be required, the S/C
also noted the value of operational measures, taking into
account that the most significant contributory factor to
the casualties studied by the IIWG was a failure to
follow or understand cargo operation guidelines and
procedures. After vigorous debate, the S/C decided to
tentatively establish a WG on the matter at FP 53, and
urged members to submit essential data to FP 53 to enable
thorough consideration of the risks, benefits, and
alternatives.

14. Election of chairman/date of next meeting. The S/C
unanimously elected Mr. J. C. Cubisino as Chairman, and
Mr. C. Abbate (Italy) as Vice-Chairman for 2008. The
53rd session of the S/C is tentatively scheduled for 19-
23 January 2009 in London.

TUTTLE

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