Dear All
You have been consulted throughout 2016 for developing SOLAS regulations and associated new “guidelines for safe mooring operations for all ships” as Australia participated in the correspondence group established intersessionally by the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 3). AMSA participated in the group on behalf of Australia because of the interest shown by either you or other stakeholders in the industry as accidents and fatalities during mooring operations continue to be a serious concern globally.

At the 4th session (SDC 4) last month, the Sub-Committee considered the draft SOLAS amendments and associated new guidelines developed by the correspondence group as submitted by the coordinators. Australia believed the draft guidelines needed significant amount of further work. In line with Australia’s position the Sub-Committee agreed to extend the target completion which was 2017 and re-established the intersessional correspondence group. Australia participated in an informal drafting group and influenced the development of the terms of reference (ToR) for the correspondence group (copy attached).

Please note that review of IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1175 has been added in the ToR in accordance with the instructions from MSC 97. Also the Sub-Committee agreed to develop a separate new guidelines for operational aspects and keep the new guidelines developed so far to deal with design and arrangement aspects of mooring operation only.

We are somewhat perplexed to note that we didn’t receive many comments or inputs from stakeholders during consultations last year on this important work despite receiving significant interest initially. It is AMSA policy to utilise its resources for issues with stakeholder interests so that resources are best utilised protecting the interest of the industry. Therefore I would like to know your interest for us to continue our engagement with this work. Some of you are peak bodies and some are organisations with many members. We would expect you to let us know on behalf of your members whether you want us to continue our involvement in this correspondence group. If you want us to continue, we would expect your engagement during consultations. We always appreciate your valuable comments and inputs. We work for our stakeholders and try to ensure that the final outcome is to the best interest of the industry. Without adequate interest from the stakeholders our continued involvement in this work cannot be justified.

The new requirements will be applicable to all new ships 3000 gt and above (this threshold is still being debated) and will have ramifications from design stage. The new operational guidelines will be applicable to all ships. Both the design and operational guidelines are meant to make mooring operations safe for seafarers and to some extent for shore personnel involved in mooring.

The correspondence group is going to start working soon and I look forward to hearing from you sooner rather than later.

Zaman Qamruzzaman
82 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon ACT 2612
GPO BOX 2181, Canberra ACT 2601
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