The IMO has, for several years, been developing a new mandatory instrument addressing safety standards for the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages (known as the Industrial Personnel (IP) Code). This new mandatory code will directly affect the offshore sector and IMCA’s MPRA Committee has been actively engaging in the development of the Code to ensure that members views are taken into consideration.
In the absence of a formal Sub-Committee meeting this year, IMO convened an Intersessional Working Group on Industrial Personnel (ISWG-IP) in which the MPRA Chair and Vice Chair, Peter McCombie and Dennis Janssen respectively, participated on behalf of MPRA, together with the Secretary, Margaret Fitzgerald, who is IMCA’s accredited representative to IMO.
MPRA submitted a proposal to the Intersessional Working Group, to:
- highlight the ambiguity which members foresaw in the application of the new IP Code, as drafted; and
- develop an amended text to avert any difficulties before the final text of the IP Code is adopted.
The proposal was well received and generated fruitful discussions. However, some of the agreed points of principle were not reflected in the final report of the session and the MPRA Committee was concerned that, if these were not captured in the draft texts, this could lead to future ambiguity and differences in interpretation by Member States and Recognized Organizations. For that reason, the MPRA Committee has submitted proposals to the upcoming Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) to include clarifying text in respect of the following key issues:
2. Categories of persons on board
3. Applicability of the IP Code
4. Passenger ships
5. Compliance with the SPS Code
6. Survey and certification with regard to failure of the transfer arrangement; and
7. Carriage of Dangerous goods.
IMCA’s proposals SDC-8-4-7- and SDC-8-4-3- will be considered by the SDC Sub-Committee when it meets in January 2022 to approve the new draft Code. In the meantime, Margaret Fitzgerald will liaise with key IMO Member States to garner support for IMCA’s proposals to facilitate a smooth passage through the Sub-Committee meeting. A further update will be provided following that meeting.