Good Afternoon All,

The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at MSC 92 (2013) instructed the IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) to develop guidelines to address the safety of vessels carrying more than 12 industrial personnel on international voyages. Since the first session of SDC (SDC 1) (2014), Australia has been active at both SDC and MSC meetings and participated in all relevant correspondence and working groups on this topic. Australia’s position was to have a mandatory permanent solution rather than a guideline not to allow accommodation barges/vessels carrying a large number of industrial personnel who are more like passengers and still be covered by the guideline.

As a coastal State, Australia experiences a large number of foreign vessels carrying hundreds of so called industrial personnel to Australian offshore energy sector whose flag States do not even implement the 2008 Special Purpose Ships (SPS) Code. This makes it very difficult to regulate those vessels to ensure safety of the personnel who are more like passengers. Australia submitted documents to MSC 95 and SDC 3 on the matter. MSC 95 agreed on a mandatory solution consistent with Australia’s position. At MSC 96, the Committee agreed on developing a new SOLAS chapter and an associated mandatory code (to be developed based on 2000 HSC Code and 2008 SPS Code).

The Sub-Committee, at SDC 4 (February 13 – 17, 2017), established a correspondence group to commence the work. AMSA would be interested to participate in the correspondence group on behalf of Australia to influence the development of this important instrument. The new mandatory requirements will regulate offshore vessels carrying personnel to offshore energy sectors including wind farms and construction sites. Being mandated through SOLAS these requirements will be implemented globally.

It is AMSA’s 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 get engaged in this work. If you want us to participate, we would appreciate your engagement during consultations. We always value your comments and inputs. We work for and with our stakeholders to ensure that the final outcome is to the best interest of the industry as well as to us (AMSA as the Administration). Without adequate interest from the stakeholders we may have to reassess the value of our involvement with this work. Even if you cannot get actively engaged during consultations, you may still think that it is important for you and you may still want us to be involved in this work. Please let us know.

The new requirements will be applicable to all ships 500 gross tonnage and above (this threshold is yet to be fully agreed) and may have implications on many Australian shipowners and operators. The key issue is how the term “industrial personnel” will be defined. At MSC 97, the Committee approved an Interim Recommendation for the safe carriage of industrial personnel as annexed in IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.418(97) (copy attached). The mandatory instruments will define “industrial personnel” consistent with the definition of it in this Interim Recommendations. The definition of “industrial personnel” will determine the applicability of the new instrument.

The correspondence group is going to start working soon. I am attaching the terms of reference for the correspondence group for your perusal. So that we can inform the coordinator about our intention, please send me your position on this by Monday the 13th March.
Please do not hesitate to call me on 02 62795650 if you want to discuss anything. I look forward to hearing from you.


Zaman Qamruzzaman
PRINCIPAL ADVISOR VESSEL SAFETY                             Link to PDF Doc: -                         418-97 PDF     
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