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Red Sea & further developments on IP Code at IMO

Published on 6 February 2024

We report from the 10th meeting of the IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 10), attended by IMCA, where some of the key discussions focused on the Red Sea, developments on the IP Code, and on Underwater Radiated Noise.

Red Sea

There was general condemnation of the attacks by Houthi rebels on commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Concern was expressed for the safety of ships and their crew. The plight of those on board the
MV Galaxy Leader, whose crew is still being held hostage was highlighted with several Flag States calling for an immediate release of the ship and her crew.

It was noted that the IMO Secretary General had brought this situation to the attention of the United Nations Security Council at its special session on 3 January 2024.

Separately, IMCA has prepared a Security Briefing for Members with Industry advice on Transiting the region. Login/register with your work email to download it now.

IMCA Contact

Margaret Fitzgerald
Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs

Ahead of July implementation, further developments on IP Code

The International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel (IP Code) has been developed by IMO as a mandatory code that will enter into force on 1 July 2024.

The Code is intended to provide for the safe carriage of Industrial Personnel on ships and their safety during personnel transfer operations between the ship and offshore installations.

The IP Code is made mandatory through a new Chapter XV in the SOLAS Convention. Industrial Personnel are defined as, ʺpersons who are transported or accommodated on board for the purpose of offshore industrial activities performed on board other ships and/or offshore facilities.ʺ

At the latest meeting, the point was made that other than IMCA’s paper (SDC 10/INF.3), no additional submissions had been made for the past two years. Based on IMO procedure, the Sub-Committee discussed the possibility of removing this Agenda item from the IMO work programme as it could be considered complete.

IMCA argued that, since the IP Code will only enter into force on 1July 2024, we are still in the experience building phase, so the item should be retained until the next session. This will provide a six-month window within which to gain experience of any issues which could be addressed at the next session (SDC 11). This position was supported by Liberia, the Marshall Islands, and the USA.

Commenting on the development, Margaret Fitzgerald, Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, IMCA said: “The MPRA Committee at IMCA will be monitoring this issue but if any member has any questions regarding the applicability of the IP Code or any issue of interpretation, please get in touch.

“If any NGO/Flag State wishes to raise any issue they must do so at the Sub-Committee’s next session otherwise the work item will be removed from the Agenda.”

IMCA Members’ attention is drawn to Information Note 1655 on Preparing for the implementation of the International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel (IP Code) which becomes mandatory on 1 July 2024. Guidance on the industrial personnel (IP) code (IMCA REG005) is also available and provides further information.

In addition to covering IP Code and the situation in the Red Sea, the IMO Sub-Committee also discussed Underwater Radiated Noise.