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amendments to SOLAS

1 January 2011: Entry into force of December 2008 amendments to SOLAS
Amendments to SOLAS chapter VI to make mandatory the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) The IMSBC Code will replace the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code), which was first adopted as a recommendatory code in 1965 and has been updated at regular intervals since then.

The aim of the mandatory IMSBC Code is to facilitate the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes by providing information on the dangers associated with the shipment of certain types of cargo and instructions on the appropriate procedures to be adopted.

1 January 2011: Entry into force of June 2009 amendments to SOLAS
ECDIS and BNWAS to be made mandatory under SOLAS
Amendments to SOLAS regulation V/19, to make mandatory the carriage of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) and Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm Systems (BNWAS), under SOLAS chapter V, Safety of Navigation. The requirements will be mandatory for new ships and phased-in for existing ships.

Other SOLAS amendments coming into force:
• an amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-5.2, to prohibit all new installations of asbestos on board ships, without exceptions; and 
• amendments to the title of Chapter VI to read, Carriage of Cargoes "and Oil Fuels" and to Regulation VI/5-1 on Material safety data sheets (MSDS) to require MSDS to be provided for ships carrying oil or oil fuel, prior to the loading of such oil as cargo in bulk or bunkering of oil fuel. The MSC also approved Recommendations for material safety data sheets (MSDS) for MARPOL Annex I type cargoes and oil fuels.

1 January 2011: Entry into force of July 2009 amendments to MARPOL
MARPOL Annex I - transfer of oil cargo between oil tankers at sea 
Amendments to MARPOL Annex I for the prevention of marine pollution during some ship-to-ship (STS) oil transfer operations.

The new chapter 8 on Prevention of pollution during transfer of oil cargo between oil tankers at sea will apply to oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage and above and will require any oil tanker involved in oil cargo STS operations to have, on board, a plan prescribing how to conduct STS operations (the STS Plan), which would be approved by its Administration.

Notification to the relevant coastal State will be required not less than 48 hours in advance of the scheduled STS operations although some relaxation to this rule is allowed in certain, very specific, cases. The regulations are not intended to apply to bunkering operations.

Consequential amendments to the International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Certificate, the Supplement to the IOPP Certificate and the Oil Record Book.

Amendments to MARPOL Annex I regulations 1, 12, 13, 17 and 38, relating to the on board management of oil residue (sludge). The amendments clarify long standing requirements and remove existing ambiguities in order to facilitate compliance by ships' crews. Definitions for oil residue (sludge), oil residue (sludge) tanks, oily bilge water and oily bilge water holding tanks are introduced for the first time. Related amendments to the Supplement to the IOPP Certificate, Form A and Form B, and to the Oil Record Book.

1 August 2011: Entry into force of March 2010 amendments to MARPOL
Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI (Prevention of air pollution from ships) to formally establish a North American Emission Control Area, in which emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter from ships will be subject to more stringent controls than the limits that apply globally.

New MARPOL regulation, to protect the Antarctic from pollution by heavy grade oils, in MARPOL Annex I (Regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil) on Special requirements for the use or carriage of oils in the Antarctic area, a new chapter 9 with a new regulation 43, which would prohibit the carriage, in bulk as cargo, or carriage and use as fuel, of: crude oils having a density, at 15°C, higher than 900 kg/m3; oils, other than crude oils, having a density, at 15°C, higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity, at 50°C, higher than 180 mm2/s; or bitumen, tar and their emulsions. An exception is envisaged for vessels engaged in securing the safety of ships or in a search-and-rescue operation.

1 January 2012: Entry into force of May 2010 amendments to SOLAS
Goal-based standards
International Goal based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, along with amendments to Chapter II-1. The new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 will apply to oil tankers and bulk carriers of 150m in length and above. It will require new ships to be designed and constructed for a specified design life and to be safe and environmentally friendly, in intact and specified damage conditions, throughout their life. Under the regulation, ships should have adequate strength, integrity and stability to minimize the risk of loss of the ship or pollution to the marine environment due to structural failure, including collapse, resulting in flooding or loss of watertight integrity.

Corrosion andfire protection
A new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-11 on Corrosion protection of cargo oil tanks of crude oil tankers, to require all such tanks to be protected against corrosion, with related performance standards also adopted.

Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/4.5.7 on Gas measurement and detection and to SOLAS regulation II-2/7.4.1 relating to fixed fire detection and fire alarm systems. Amendments to the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code).

1 January 2012: Entry into force of June 2010 Manila amendments to STCW
Major revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (the STCW Convention), and its associated Code adopted at a Diplomatic Conference in Manila, the Philippines, held from 21 to 25 June 2010.

"The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code" are aimed at bringing the Convention and Code up to date with developments since they were initially adopted in 1978 and further revised in 1995; and to enable them to address issues that are anticipated to emerge in the foreseeable future.

Amongst the amendments adopted, there are a number of important changes to each chapter of the Convention and Code, including:

• Improved measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and strengthen the evaluation process (monitoring of Parties' compliance with the Convention);
• Revised requirements on hours of work and rest and new requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as updated standards relating to medical fitness standards for seafarers;
• New certification requirements for able seafarers;
• New requirements relating to training in modern technology such as electronic charts and information systems (ECDIS);
• New requirements for marine environment awareness training and training in leadership and teamwork;
• New training and certification requirements for electro-technical officers; 
Updating of competence requirements for personnel serving on board all types of tankers, including new requirements for personnel serving on liquefied gas tankers;
• New requirements for security training, as well as provisions to ensure that seafarers are properly trained to cope if their ship comes under attack by pirates;
• Introduction of modern training methodology including distance learning and web-based learning;
• New training guidance for personnel serving on board ships operating in polar waters; and
• New training guidance for personnel operating Dynamic Positioning Systems.

1 January 2013: Entry into force of May 2011 SOLAS amendments
A new paragraph 5 of SOLAS regulation III/1 is added to require lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with new International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code requirements to be replaced no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July 2014 but, in any case, not later than 1 July 2019.

The SOLAS amendment is intended to establish new, stricter, safety standards for lifeboat release and retrieval systems, aimed at preventing accidents during lifeboat launching, and will require the assessment and possible replacement of a large number of lifeboat release hooks.

1 January 2013: entry into force of July 2011 amendments to MARPOL
Annex VI energy efficiency
Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, add a new chapter 4 to make 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. 

The regulations apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. However, under regulation 19, the Administration may waive the requirement for new ships of 400 gross tonnage and above from complying with the EEDI requirements. This waiver may not be applied to ships above 400 gross tonnage for which the building contract is placed four years after the entry into force date of chapter 4; the keel of which is laid or which is at a similar stage of construction four years and six months after the entry into force; the delivery of which is after six years and six months after the entry into force; or in cases of the major conversion of a new or existing ship, four years after the entry into force date.

The EEDI is a non-prescriptive, performance-based mechanism that leaves the choice of technologies to use in a specific ship design to the industry. As long as the required energy-efficiency level is attained, ship designers and builders would be free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for the ship to comply with the regulations.

The SEEMP establishes a mechanism for operators to improve the energy efficiency of ships.

Annex VI emissions
Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships to designate certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico (United States) and the Virgin Islands (United States) as an ECA for the control of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), and particulate matter under. Another amendment makes old steamships exempt from the requirements on sulphur relating to both the North American and United States Caribbean Sea ECAs. The new ECA takes effect 12 months after entry into force.

Annex IV sewage
Amendments to MARPOL Annex IV Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships to include the possibility of establishing “Special Areas” for the prevention of such pollution from passenger ships and to designate the Baltic Sea as a Special Area under this Annex.

Annex V garbage 
Revised MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships, developed following a comprehensive review to bring the Annex up to date.

The main changes include the updating of definitions; the inclusion of a new requirement specifying that discharge of all garbage into the sea is prohibited, except as expressly provided otherwise (the discharges permitted in certain circumstances include food wastes, cargo residues and water used for washing deck and external surfaces containing cleaning agents or additives which are not harmful to the marine environment); expansion of the requirements for placards and garbage management plans to fixed and floating platforms engaged in exploration and exploitation of the sea-bed; and the addition of discharge requirements covering animal carcasses.

1 January 2014: Entry into force of 2010 October MARPOL amendments
Revised MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form adopted in order for changes to the Annex to coincide with the next update of the mandatory International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, specifying that goods should be shipped in accordance with relevant provisions

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