Key IMO Conventions SOLAS Convention.

International convention for the safety of life at sea, 1974 and subsequent amendments. International Maritime Organization. This international convention is the most important instrument governing ship safety. Its scope is broad, including: - construction & strength, - subdivision and floodable lengths, - intact & damaged stability of ships, - fire protection, - machinery & fire protection, - safe navigation, - communications and - a range of similar matters that relate to the safety of shipping. It refers to several important IMO Codes, including: - the Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code and - the International Ship Management (ISM) Code. MARPOL Convention. International convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, 1973/87 and subsequent amendments. International Maritime Organization. This is the most important instrument governing pollution prevention from ships. MARPOL addresses: - discharges of oil (engine room waste oil, cargo tank oil residue in oil tankers), - noxious liquids and chemicals, - harmful substances in packaged form, - sewage - garbage - air pollution - ballast water Some elaboration: - Oil (and chemical) tankers must have double bottoms and sides to prevent pollution due to grounding or collision. - oil tankers must have segregated ballast tanks to avoid mixing ballast and oil in their cargo tanks - segregated ballast tanks are typically arranged as side wing tanks and in the double bottom – the double hull. MARPOL sets minimum dimensions for wing tank width and double bottom height.
Brian Veitch, EN4042, Tel: 864-8970, e-mail: bveitch@mun.ca, website: http://www.engr.mun.ca/~bveitch/

the by products of burning heavy fuel oil. the most important convention concerning internationally agreed matters of ship safety. . . discharge into the sea close to land is prohibited.limit deck wetness. are significant air pollutants. they applied to new ships (and not to very small tankers). As ships have a long life. . Its fundamental philosophy is to provide protection against the sea and so is concerned with a complete evaluation of seaworthiness of a vessel. other garbage can be discharged far from shore or can be incinerated. . raw sewage can be discharged farther from land. Single hulled oil and products tankers (w/o segregated ballast) had to be phased out over a period of years. The 1966 International Load Line Convention is. The distance between the load line and the uppermost continuous deck is the freeboard of the vessel.. Restrictions on emissions can have an impact on fuel type and exhaust gas treatment. The load line assigned to a vessel is a measure of the maximum draft to which the vessel can be loaded and operated safely.possess enough reserve buoyancy (watertight volume above the waterline) to prevent foundering or plunging in heavy seas. . . International Maritime Organization.g.Garbage: no plastics are to be discharged.provide protection to the deck crew (ensure working decks are high enough above the water surface to allow safe personnel movement in heavy seas). and therefore governing load line assignment.possess adequate stability for the intended service. 2 . . can be summarized as: .Sewage: limits discharge of sewage (e. The basic criteria by which seaworthiness is measured. ILLC Convention.Air pollution: NOx & SOx.prevent entry of water into the hull (ensure that the hull is watertight from the keel to freeboard deck and weathertight above the freeboard deck).possess adequate structural strength for the intended service. International Convention on Load Lines. discharges of treated sewage is allowed away from land. together with the SOLAS. this grandfathering clause had the effect of pushing the complete phase out of single hulled tankers out to 2015. 1966. Note that when the regulations on double hulls were adopted in 1992.

The Tonnage convention applies to ocean-going (international voyages) ships (25m length and larger). Tonnage Convention. the inherent weaknesses of the ILLC 66 have been recognized. Gross Tonnage. 3 .The rules used to determine freeboard are empirical and have evolved over the past century. such as safe manning requirements. International Maritime Organization. certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. These changes point to a need to establish a new convention for seaworthiness. International convention on tonnage measurement of ships.2+0. The SAR Convention provides a framework for SAR operations. A ship’s ‘tonnage’ is a measure of the volume of all enclosed spaces on the ship. The SAR Convention deals with requirements of signatory nations for the provision of search and rescue response to people in distress at sea. The STCW Convention sets the basic international benchmarks for competence of seafarers. International Maritime Organization. It covers a range of required competences. or to ships beyond the then current size range. must be questioned.02logV Net Tonnage is a function of the cargo volume and the number of passengers. Note that the Panama and Suez Canal authorities both assess fees based on tonnage. STCW Convention. It is used in various regulations. Besides the introduction and development of new ship types and technology in the last 4+ decades. IMO SAR Convention. their applicability to new ship types. International Maritime Organization. but they use their own methods of measuring it. As these rules are based on experience with ship types and ship sizes existing in 1966. wherever they might be. first (medical) aid and firefighting. operation of rescue craft and lifeboats. International convention on standards of training. It is also the basis of registration fees and port fees. including for safe navigation. International convention on maritime search and rescue. GT = KV where V= volume of all enclosed spaces (in m3) & K =0.

M. Alman. T. Lamb. International Maritime Organization. Lewis. International safety management code (ISM Code).) 1988. Boisson. 3 Volumes. Editions Bureau Veritas. van. Load line assignment.V. E. Ship knowledge – a modern encyclopedia. It covers survival craft. Dokkum. SNAME.P. Policies.Examples of IMO Codes LSA Code. D. W. It also specifies requirements for personal life-saving appliances. Cleary.. Paullin. (ed. A. 1999. Marine Technology. and Salvensen.A. The maritime engineering reference book: A guide to ship design. 1980.A. Formulation of the ISM Code was catalyzed by shipping accidents (in particular the Herald of Free Enterprise) and subsequent inquiries that identified the need to ensure shipping companies take responsibility for managing the safety of their ships.29. The International Load Line Convention: crossroad to the future. The IMO’s LSA Code specifies detailed technical requirements for the provision of lifesaving appliances as required by the SOLAS Convention.4. 2003.. rescue craft. Butterworth-Heinemann. including taking measures to meet all relevant regulatory requirements. Dyer. ISM Code.G. K. J. M. N. 4 . No. Cleary. pp. Jr. P.G. construction and operation. P. liferafts. including lifeboats.) 2003.F. The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.R. SNAME. Taggart. 2 Vols. Practical ship design. W. Vol. and Ritola.. Principles of naval architecture. In Ship Design and Construction.). International life-saving appliance code (LSA Code). Innovative Marine Product Development LLC.233-249. Molland. alarms. 1998. 2008. 550 pp.. (ed. and visual aids related to emergencies. and their associated launching devices. 1992. Ship design and construction. Reference material Watson. Safety at Sea. R. A. International Maritime Organization. Jr. (ed. Regulations & International Law. Elsevier Ocean Engineering Book Series.

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