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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

MSC 100 set to review MASS regulations

Tue 23 Oct 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

MSC 100 set to review MASS regulations
IMO began a scoping exercise on autonomous vessel regulations at MSC 99

Maritime Safety Committee will review progress on emergency communications, e-navigation and autonomous shipping regulations at its 100th meeting

IMO will tackle some of the greatest issues impacting shipping at the100th meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in December. It will meet in London between 3-7 December 2018 to discuss the modernisation of emergency communications, developments in e-navigation and regulation changes required for autonomous vessels.

MSC 100 will cover matters related to maritime safety and security that fall within the scope of IMO for both passenger and cargo ships, including updating the SOLAS convention and related codes, such as those covering dangerous goods, life-saving appliances and fire safety systems.

MSC members deal with human element issues, including amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) convention and uphold IMOís goal-based standards.

MSC 100 will review the latest developments in modernising the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). It will examine progress since MSC 99 in May, where Iridium Communications was recognised as a second provider of GMDSS services.

This recognition will give the maritime industry a new choice of both equipment and service provider for navigational safety information and emergency communications. These changes to the status-quo will become a reality on 1 January 2020 when amendments to SOLAS formally go into effect, and Iridium can officially begin to provide GMDSS services.

MSC 100 will also be updated on cyber security issues and progress the industry is making towards reducing the risk from online threats. Shipping needs to work towards implementing cyber security as part of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

The committee will discuss progress on a scoping exercise into which regulations will be affected by the introduction of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS). This was initiated at MSC 99 when several member states and organisations considered regulatory arrangements for using MASS.

A consolidated report of this work will be presented for consideration by MSC 100. This includes changes that would need to be made to SOLAS, STCW, the convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue. Other regulations may also need amendments for MASS.

The consolidated report includes paragraphs or extracts from paragraphs referring to specific provisions that need to be considered for amendment. This report is not intended to replace the source documents as they may provide further information for detailed analysis by MSC at later meetings.

MSC 100 will provide more guidance to the sub-committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), meeting at IMO in London on 21-25 January 2019. This committee will revise progress on IMOís implementation of e-navigation, Iridiumís work with the International Mobile Satellite Organization on GMDSS and other organisations seeking to provide GMDSS services in the future.

At MSC 100, delegates will discuss the latest best management practices (BMP 5) guidelines for the protection of ships against piracy and armed robbery. These were developed to deter piracy and enhance maritime security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.


IMO H1 2019 meetings

21-25 January

Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR 6)

4-8 February

Ship Design and Construction (SDC 6)

18-22 February

Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6)

4-8 March

Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE 6)

8-12 April

Facilitation Committee (FAL 43)

29 April-3 May

Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 6)

13-17 May

Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74)

5-14 June

Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101)



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