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Cablegate: International Maritime Organization (Imo): Report of The

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #6448/01 2491504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061504Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8786
INFO RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-CI/G-L/G-P/G-PS/G-PSE//
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LONDON 006448

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO IO/OIC FOR M. MORRISSEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IMO AORC ASEC UK
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO): REPORT OF THE
FORTY-NINTH SESSION OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON STABILITY AND LOAD LINES
AND ON FISHING VESSELS SAFETY, LONDON, 24-28 JULY, 2006.

1. SUMMARY: The International Maritime Organization's (IMO)
Sub-Committee (S/C) on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing
Vessels Safety (SLF) held its 49th session at IMO headquarters in
London from July 24-28, 2006, under the chair of Mr. Rob Gehling
(Australia). 59 Member Governments, 1 Associate Member, 2
representatives from United Nations Specialized Agencies, 1 observer
from an Inter-governmental Organization, and 11 observers from
Non-governmental Organizations participated. Following is the size
of several delegations: United Kingdom - 18, Germany - 14, Japan -
12, Norway - 12, Republic of Korea - 11, China - 8, Italy - 8,
France - 7, USA - 7, and Bahamas - 6.

The following Working Groups were established with the associated
attendance of countries and observers: Subdivision and Damage
Stability (19 countries, 4 observers), Intact Stability (19
countries, 2 observers), and Safety of Small Fishing Vessels (20
countries, 4 observers). Accomplishments and outcomes of particular
interest include the following:

A. The Subdivision and Damage Stability (SDS) Working Group
completed Interim Explanatory Notes for the new harmonized SOLAS
Chapter II-1 damage stability regulations, which were then agreed to
by the S/C and forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 82)
for approval as a MSC circular. Although the new damage stability
regulations will not enter into force until 1 January 2009, this
interim guidance is essential to allow future passenger ship designs
to proceed. Regarding a proposal from Sweden and the United States
on the operation of watertight doors, the S/C decided this important
issue should be considered as a separate agenda item, and requested
a new work program item on "Guidance on the impact of open
watertight doors on survivability under SOLAS regulation II-1/22.4"
be approved by MSC 82 as an urgent matter. The SDS Correspondence
Group was re-established to continue development of the Explanatory
Notes and to develop a draft MSC circular on Guidelines for damage
control plans and information to the master.

B. The SDS Working Group also completed work on Passenger Ship
Safety items. New draft SOLAS regulation II-1/8-1 regarding return
to port capability for passenger ships in the damaged condition, and
regulation II-1/22-1 regarding flooding detection systems for
passenger ships, were finalized and agreed to by the S/C for
submission to MSC 82 for consideration and adoption. The S/C also
reviewed and agreed to a draft MSC circular on Performance Standards
for the Systems and Services to Remain Operational on Passenger
Ships for Safe Return to Port After a Casualty for submission to MSC
82 for approval. The SDS Correspondence Group was tasked to prepare
guidelines for flooding detection systems in draft SOLAS regulation
II-1/22-1. This concludes the S/C's work on the Passenger Ship
Safety agenda item.

C. The Intact Stability (IS) Working Group completed its work on the
revised Code on Intact Stability (IS Code) except for matters
related to: 1) an equivalency section and 2) determining the most
appropriate way to amend the SOLAS and Load Lines regulations so
that the entry-into-force date is the same under both conventions.
Discussions on a framework for development of new performance-based
stability criteria indicate that a U.S. preferred approach is
likely. The IS Working Group also completed work on: 1) a draft
MSC circular on revised guidance to the master in dangerous
conditions, 2) two sets of explanatory notes related to the IS Code,
and 3) guidelines for the approval of stability instruments. All
were forwarded to the MSC for approval as MSC circulars. END
SUMMARY.

2. DEVELOPMENT OF EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR HARMONIZED SOLAS CHAPTER
II-1. The SDS Working Group met the entire week, and completed
Interim Explanatory Notes for the new harmonized damage stability
regulations in SOLAS Chapter II-1. The Interim Explanatory Notes
were agreed to by the S/C and forwarded to MSC 82 for approval as an
MSC Circular. Although the new regulations will not enter into force
until 1 January 2009, this interim guidance is considered essential
to allow future passenger ship designs to proceed. Proposed
guidelines on damage consequence diagrams were not included in the
Interim Explanatory Notes; however, it was agreed that this guidance
should be further developed as a new MSC circular. It was also
agreed not to include guidance proposed by Sweden and the United
States for determining the impact of open watertight doors on
survivability in the Interim Explanatory Notes, as it was decided
this important issue should be considered as a new agenda item.
Accordingly, the S/C submitted justification for a new work program
item "Guidance on the impact of open watertight doors on
survivability under SOLAS regulation II-1/22.4" to MSC 82 for
approval as an urgent matter. Regarding the Fire Protection S/C's
proposed definition of "unfavourable conditions of trim and list"
for inclusion in SOLAS regulation III/3, the S/C agreed that the new
definition was not appropriate in the context of performance
standards related to probabilistic damage stability and should be


reconsidered at MSC 82. The SDS Correspondence Group was
re-established to: (a) develop additions and improvements to the
Interim Explanatory Notes, and identify any of the new harmonized
damage stability regulations that might need improvement or
clarification; (b) develop a draft MSC circular on Guidelines for
damage control plans and information to the master; and (c) finalize
draft revisions to resolution A.266(VIII) regarding cross-flooding
arrangements. Sweden and the United States, as they have for over a
decade, will co-coordinate the Correspondence Group.

3. PASSENGER SHIP SAFETY. The SDS Working Group completed its work
on Passenger Ship Safety. Finalized draft SOLAS regulations and an
associated MSC circular were then agreed to by the S/C for
submission to MSC 82 for final consideration and adoption. The new
draft SOLAS regulation II-1/8-1, regarding return to port capability
for passenger ships in the damaged condition, includes a propulsion
redundancy requirement for return to port when subject to flooding
of any single watertight compartment. It also has an enhanced
survivability criterion for damage cases where propulsion is lost.
The S/C was divided on a suitable passenger ship size applicability
threshold for this new regulation, and agreed to include two
options--a 400 or more persons option and a 1,500 or more persons
option-- for decision at MSC 82. An associated draft MSC circular on
Performance Standards for the Systems and Services to Remain
Operational on Passenger Ships for Safe Return to Port After a
Casualty was also finalized for approval at MSC 82. The new draft
SOLAS regulation II-1/22-1 regarding flooding detection systems for
passenger ships applies to passenger ships carrying 36 or more
persons. The specific flooding detection system details for this new
regulation will be provided in guidelines which the SDS
Correspondence Group has been tasked to prepare for consideration at
SLF 50. This concludes the S/C's work under the Passenger Ship
Safety agenda item, and it was agreed to delete it.

4. REVISION OF THE INTACT STABILITY CODE. The IS Working Group met
the entire week, completed final technical editing of the draft
revised IS Code, completed four MSC circulars, and worked on
elements of the IS plan of action. The IS Working Group was not able
to determine the proper way to implement the mandatory provisions of
the draft revised IS Code (i.e., Part A). The S/C agreed that
amendment of both SOLAS and the 1988 Load Lines Protocol was
appropriate and that such amendments should be coordinated to enter
into force at the same time. Accordingly, the S/C tasked the Intact
Stability Correspondence Group to recommend a plan to achieve this
goal and to suggest amendment text. The Working Group also discussed
whether or not Part A should include an "equivalency provision"
(similar to those found in other Conventions and Codes), and the
Correspondence Group was also tasked to consider and propose a
solution. In other action, the S/C also agreed to several draft MSC
circulars completed by the IS Working Group for submission to MSC 82
for approval: (a) Explanatory Notes to the Interim Guidelines for
Alternative Assessment of the Weather Criterion (MSC.1/Circ.1200);
(b) Explanatory Notes to the Intact Stability Code; (c) Guidelines
for the Approval of Stability Instruments; and (d) Revised Guidance
to the Master for Avoiding Dangerous Situations in Adverse Weather
and Sea Conditions (MSC/Circ.707). In addition to the matters
mentioned above, the Correspondence Group was further tasked to
continue work on the items in the updated plan of action for intact
stability work (such as consideration of regulations for certain
types of ships and development of performance-based criteria) and to
prepare recommendations for any necessary amendments to the work
program.

5. SAFETY OF SMALL FISHING VESSELS. The Working Group on Safety of
Small Fishing Vessels continued development of draft Safety
Standards for Small Fishing Vessels, on the basis of the
consolidated draft text provided in the Correspondence Group report.
Noting the Working Group's recommendation, the S/C agreed to use
"Safety recommendations for decked fishing vessels of less than 12
metres in length and undecked fishing vessels" as the guidance
document title. The amended draft safety recommendations will be
provided in part 2 of the Working Group's report, which will be
issued shortly after the session. The S/C re-established the
Correspondence Group, under the coordination of South Africa, to
finalize the draft Safety recommendations for consideration at SLF
50.

6. HARMONIZATION OF DAMAGE STABILITY PROVISIONS IN OTHER IMO
INSTRUMENTS. The S/C considered the possible harmonization of the
1988 Load Lines Protocol by deletion of the footnote in new SOLAS
regulation II-1/4.1, which refers to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol.
After an extensive debate, the S/C agreed to a compromise solution
that footnotes .6 and .7 would be retained but with a new limitation
to only apply to bulk carriers that do not carry deck cargo.
Regarding harmonization of the INF Code, the S/C agreed to maintain
the existing standard with minor editorial amendments to align with
the new harmonized damage stability regulations in SOLAS Chapter


II-1. The draft amendments to the INF Code, which is a mandatory
Code under SOLAS Chapter VII, were forwarded to MSC 82 for approval
and subsequent adoption. This concludes the S/C's work under this
agenda item, and it was agreed to delete it.

7. TONNAGE MEASUREMENT OF OPEN-TOP CONTAINERSHIPS. Having agreed at
SLF 48 to amend the provisional formula for reduced gross tonnage of
open-top containerships prescribed in TM.5/Circ.4 (the reduced gross
tonnage is only for the calculation of tonnage-based fees), the S/C
considered the draft amendments provided in the Correspondence Group
report. The S/C agreed to the proposed amendment text in general,
but decided a MSC resolution concerning the tonnage measurement of
open-top containerships was preferred to an amendment to
TM.5/Circ.4. A Drafting Group developed a draft MSC resolution
concerning the tonnage measurement of open-top containerships, which
was then agreed to by the S/C for submission to MSC 82 with a view
to adoption. This concludes the S/C's work under this agenda item,
and it was agreed to delete it.

8. REVIEW OF THE SPECIAL PURPOSE SHIPS (SPS) CODE. This item was
established to update the SPS Code to reflect changes since it was
adopted in 1983, and is being coordinated by the Ship Design and
Equipment S/C. The primary task for SLF is to address the damage
stability aspects and update them to reflect the new harmonized
damage stability regulations in SOLAS Chapter II-1. In this context
the S/C considered several options for damage stability criteria
provided in the SDS Correspondence Group report, as well as
additional proposed amendments from Norway. The S/C made several
preliminary decisions, then agreed to establish a Correspondence
Group under Australia's coordination, to develop draft amendments to
the SPS Code for consideration at SLF 50. The target completion date
was extended to 2007.

9. NEXT SESSION. The S/C unanimously re-elected Mr. Rob Gehling
(Australia) as Chairman for 2007. Professor Zbigniew Szozda (Poland)
was also re-elected as Vice-Chairman. The Fiftieth Session of the
S/C is tentatively scheduled for April 30 to May 4, 2007.

TUTTLE

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