- Unit: Maritime Training
This marks a significant new development in how international standards for ship construction are determined and implemented. For the first time, IMO has been given a role in auditing and verifying the structural rules developed by the classification societies for new-build oil tankers and bulk carriers.
The philosophy behind goal-based standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers is that ships should be designed and constructed for a specified design life and that, if properly operated and maintained, they should remain safe and environmentally friendly throughout their service life.
Regulation II-1/3-10 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) applies the above philosophy to new oil tankers and bulk carriers over 150 metres in length. Under the regulation, such ships must 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.
The MSC reviewed goal-based standards verification audit reports on 12 Recognized Organizations (ROs) which are members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). The audits were carried out by teams of experts nominated by IMO Member States.
The Committee confirmed that the 12 ROs’ ship construction rules were in conformity with the goals and functional requirements set out in the International goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers. The MSC also confirmed that ships contracted under the current verified rules are deemed to meet the GBS Standards.
The goal-based standards amendments in SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 were adopted in 2010 and entered into force in 2012, with a date of 1 July 2016 set for application to new oil tankers and bulk carriers.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the verification process which had now been completed was a significant step for IMO, since until now, there had been no direct oversight by IMO of the classification societies’ structural rules.
While there has not been any doubt that classification societies have for many years ensured the full implementation of all applicable IMO standards, including those in SOLAS and MARPOL, the detail of ship construction has been the remit of classification societies. The goal-based standards verification audit process means that all aspects of ship construction for oil tankers and bulk carriers now have to be verified and audited as meeting the established goals.
“The completion of this process of developing goal-based standards for oil tankers and bulk carriers, followed by the detailed verification audit process, means that we now have a much closer alignment between the classification societies’ rules and the IMO regulatory process. This marks a very significant development in the IMO rule making process,” Mr Lim said.
Read more about the “Goal-based standards” here.
Source: IMO, Website: www.imo.org