Looking ahead to the main agenda items for the meeting, he singled out:
- Draft Assembly resolutions for adoption at A 31 later this year, notably the Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC); the Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to IMO instruments implementation Code (III Code); and, Procedures for port State control;
- MARPOL-related matters-IMO 2020, viewing this session as an opportunity for all stakeholders to consider the implementation of requirements in respect of the global sulphur limit of 0.5% on 1 January 2020 in relation to the relevant set of guidelines developed by MEPC 74 and MSC 101;
- Reporting of Casualties, for which the Secretariat estimates a somewhat disappointing 50% reporting rate of very serious casualties notwithstanding a decrease in the number of casualties over the years. In view of this, he repeated his invitation to Member States, that of establishing more effective data transfer facilities to improve the reporting rate of incidents and investigations, whilst also acknowledging current teething problems with the associated GISIS module;
- Port Reception facilities, urging Member States to strengthen the reporting on the inadequacy of such facilities via the GISIS Port Reception Facilities module, which data has proved to be very useful in policy discussions on reducing pollution caused by marine plastic litter from ships [resolution MEPC.310(73)];
- Port State Control, where the harmonization of PSC activities is essential in ensuring that shipping remains efficient and sustainable, providing input for the next workshop of PSC MOU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers, also attended by Chairs of the PSC Committees;
- IMSAS, [IMO Member State Audit Scheme] welcoming the endorsement of the analysis outcome of the first consolidated audit summary report under IMSAS, including the process for providing feedback from audits to inform the regulatory work of the Organization;
- Survey and certification related matters, stressing his belief that the ‘draft Model agreement for the authorization of recognized organizations acting on behalf of the Administration’ approved by the Committees, to be in line with the requirements of the ‘Code for Recognized Organizations’ [RO Code], a non-binding but nevertheless powerful tool to support Member States in monitoring the authorization granted by them to ROs;
- Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and IUU Fishing which will be held in Torremolinos, Spain, in October followed by the fourth session of the Joint FAO/ILO/IMO Ad hoc Working Group on IUU fishing related matters; and
- World Maritime Day which will be celebrated at IMO Headquarters on 26 September preceded by the annual parallel event in Cartagena from 15 to 17 September. This year’s theme is ‘Empowering women in the maritime community’.
UPDATED SURVEY GUIDELINES UNDER THE HARMONISED SYSTEM OF SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION (HSSC). It was recalled that III 5 had agreed to the text of the Model agreement for the authorization of ROs acting on behalf of the Administration for submission to MEPC 74 and MSC 101 for approval. MSC agreed to amendments of an editorial nature proposed by Marshall Islands rather than those of a substantive nature, and stressed the fact that the model agreement should remain fully in line with the mandatory provisions of the RO Code. WG 3, established under a separate agenda item was instructed to finalize the draft revised Model Agreement together with an associated draft MSC-MEPC.5 circular.
Following further discussion, WG 3 was instructed to develop amendments to relevant circulars, on ‘List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017’, with a view to submission, in a consolidated form, to MSC 75 and MSC 102 for approval, also FAL 45 and LEG 108, taking into account the comments made in Plenary.
With regard to Exemption of survey and certification requirements under the MARPOL Convention for unmanned non-self-propelled (UNSP) barges, following discussion, WG 3 was tasked to finalize the draft amendments to MARPOL concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements and the associated draft guidelines, with a view of submission to MEPC 75 for approval.
A CG, coordinated by China, on the Review of the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, updated the Guidelines up to and including 31 December 2019, subject to approval at A 31. The Sub-Committee was advised that MEPC 73, whilst approving BWM.2/Circ.70 on ‘Guidance for the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems (BWMS), instructed the above-mentioned CG to ensure that the validation of BWMS at their commissioning, be incorporated in the ‘Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2019’ for all ships, including new BWMS installations on existing ships.
Following further consideration of the report by the CG, the Sub-Committee instructed the Working Group to finalize the proposed draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2017; prepare the terms of reference for a CG to continue the work; and, to examine the list of new and outstanding requirements as contained in document III 6/INF.4.
Having generally approved the report of WG 3 on this item, the Sub-Committee took specific decisions as follows;
- Endorsed the decision to keep the text of the second half sentence of paragraph 6.5.5 of the draft Model Agreement as it was in the report of III 5, ensuring consistency with the RO Code;
- Agreed the draft MSC-MEPC circular on the revised Model Agreement for the authorization of recognized organizations (ROs) acting on behalf of the Administration with a view to approval by MEPC 75 and MSC 102;
- Noted the progress made on draft amendments to relevant circulars on the ‘List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, 2017’;
- Concurred with the Group’s view that it is necessary for the updated version of the List of Certificates to reflect the latest amendments to MARPOL so that the issue regarding electronic record books under MARPOL and the NOx Technical Code 2008 can be comprehensively addressed;
- Concurred with the recommendation that the relevant draft amendments to the List of Certificates be tasked to an intersessional CG for further development;
- Endorsed the removal of the technical and operational requirements in the square brackets from the text of the draft amendments to MARPOL and the addition of two new paragraphs in the Guidelines to address the applications of such technical and operational requirements;
- Endorsed the Group’s decision on invalidity of certificates on proposed conditions in the draft amendments that relevant paragraphs in the proposed amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, IV, and VI and associated guidelines be removed;
- Agreed that draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, IV and VI concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements be submitted to MEPC 75 for approval;
- Agreed to the draft MEPC.1 circular on the Guidelines for exemption of UNSP barges from the survey and certification requirements under MARPOL for consideration and approval at MEPC 75, in conjunction with associated amendments to MARPOL;
- Noted that, as per the instructions of MEPC 73, the survey item (B1) 126.96.36.199 regarding the validation of BWMS at their commissioning has been incorporated into the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines;
- Approved the draft amendments to the Survey Guidelines under the HSSC, 2017, (resolution A.1120(30)), together with the draft requisite Assembly resolution to A 31 for consideration and adoption, as appropriate; and,
- Noted that the Group finalized the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Survey Guidelines, with a view to maintaining the status of the mandatory items for future amendments to the Survey Guidelines.
NON-EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER INSTRUMENTS RELEVANT TO THE IMO INSTRUMENTS IMPLEMENTATION CODE (III CODE). It was recalled that III 5 had agreed that the draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code (resolution A.1121(30)) needed to be further developed intersessionally to include the requirements deriving from all amendments to the relevant mandatory IMO instruments entering into force up to and including 1 July 2020, with a view to submission to A31 for adoption. A CG was thus established by III 5 on the Review, co-ordinated by China, to continue development of the draft amendments intersessionally to the Non-exhaustive list of obligations. In this context, the Sub-Committee had for its consideration the report of the CG with proposed amendments and a submission by the Secretariat containing a list of provisions, deriving from amendments to mandatory instruments pertinent to the task, which was then allotted to WG 3, that of conducting a detailed review for finalization of the text of draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list. In considering the findings of the Group, the Sub-Committee:
- Approved the draft amendments to the 2017 Non-exhaustive list of obligations for adoption at Assembly 31;
- Noted that the Group finalized the list of amendments to mandatory instruments not yet included in the Non-exhaustive list of obligations, with a view to maintaining the status of the mandatory items as already described;
- Concurred with the recommendation that the Secretariat be authorized to effect any necessary editorial corrections when preparing the final texts of the revised Model Agreement, UNSP barges exemption, Survey Guidelines under HSSC and the Non-exhaustive list of obligations;
- Concurred with the recommendation that the CG on the review of Survey guidelines under the HSSC and the Non-exhaustive List of Obligations relevant to the III Code be re-established under the proposed terms of reference; and,
- Concurred that the Working Group on the Survey Guidelines, if re-established at III 7, should begin work early on the morning of the first day.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The seventh session of the Sub-Committee (III 7) has been tentatively scheduled to take place from 20 to 24 July 2020.