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The Maritime Conventions

dscf3338SOLAS, MARPOL and beyond

A Handy Revision Guide to the Conventions

Throughout this series of posts on Ship Certification various International Conventions have often been referred to. Therefore this is good time to create a summary of the the Key conventions.  To keep things simple, I have ordered and categorised them in the same manner as the certification posts.

The IMO conventions

The majority of the conventions, but not all, are produced by the IMO.

Identifying the ship

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United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)     

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982

“The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world’s oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. It enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole.”

The issues covered by the Convention include:

  • Territorial seas
  • Innocent passage
  • Transit passage through straits
  • Exclusive economic zones  (EEZ)
  • Continental shelf exploitation
  • Freedoms of the high sea
  • Marine pollution responsibilities
  • Disputes

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.

Defining the shipwpid-wp-1437630402998.jpeg

International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Tonnage Convention)

This Convention introduced an universal tonnage measurement system. The Convention provides for gross and net tonnages, both of which are calculated independently.

Gross tonnage and net tonnage

The Convention meant a transition from the traditionally used terms gross register tons (grt) and net register tons (nrt) to gross tonnage(GT) and net tonnage (NT).

Some definitions from the Convention

“(4) “gross tonnage” means the measure of the overall size of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;

(5) “net tonnage” means the measure of the useful capacity of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;”

International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as Loadlinesmodified by the 1988 Protocol relating thereto, as amended (Load Lines Convention)

“It has long been recognized that limitations on the draught to which a ship may be loaded make a significant contribution to her safety. These limits are given in the form of freeboards, which constitute, besides external weathertight and watertight integrity, the main objective of the Convention.” IMO website

Contents of the convention

Annex I

  • Chapter I – General
  • Chapter II – Conditions of assignment of freeboard
  • Chapter III – Freeboards
  • Chapter IV – Special requirements for ships assigned timber freeboards

Annex II covers Zones, areas and seasonal periods

Annex III contains certificates, including the International Load Line Certificate

Managing the vessel

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certificationwpid-157765645208.jpg
and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978

International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers entered into force in 1984. The main purpose of the Convention is to promote safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment by establishing in common agreement international standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25 June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.

The STCW regulations are supported by sections by the STCW Code. The Convention contains basic requirements which are then enlarged upon and explained in the Code.

Part A of the Code is mandatory. The minimum standards of competence required for seagoing personnel are given in detail in a series of tables.

Part B of the Code contains recommended guidance which is intended to help implement the Convention.

ILO Maritime Labour Convention, (MLC 2006) – As amended by the 2014DSCF3260 Amendment (MLC)

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (“MLC, 2006”) establishes minimum working and living standards for all seafarers working on ships flying the flags of ratifying countries. It is widely known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights,”

The convention is an international labour Convention adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Keeping the ship safe

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974img_20151119_111728.jpg

“The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. The first version was adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, the second in 1929, the third in 1948, and the fourth in 1960. The 1974 version includes the tacit acceptance procedure – which provides that an amendment shall enter into force on a specified date unless, before that date, objections to the amendment are received from an agreed number of Parties.” IMO Website

The 1974 Convention has been updated and amended on numerous occasions. The Convention in force today is sometimes referred to as SOLAS, 1974, as amended.

Keeping the seas clean

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from wpid-10152154002370209.jpgShips, 1973 (MARPOL)

MARPOL is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO.  MARPOL has been updated by amendments over the years.

The convention currently includes six technical Annexes.

International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention)aquariamcircleedited

The Convention aims to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments. It enters into force on 8 September 2017.

Under the Convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate.

International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (AFS Convention)

The Convention prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems.

Annex I of the Convention states that all ships shall not apply or re-apply organotins compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling systems.

International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention)

The Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers

International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (CLC Convention)

The Convention covers those who suffer oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships. The Convention places the liability for such damage on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged.

The Convention applies to seagoing vessels carrying oil in bulk as cargo, but only ships carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil are required to maintain insurance in respect of oil pollution damage.

Other Conventions

Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGs)

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009caribillemillnarrow

The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

Its regulations cover:

  • The design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling
  • The operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner
  • The establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements

Ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, which will be specific to each ship.

International Convention on Salvage

The Convention replaced the 1910 convention on the law of salvage which incorporated the “‘no cure, no pay” principle. The 1989 Convention added a provision for an enhanced salvage award taking into account the skill and efforts of the salvors in preventing or minimizing damage to the environment.

International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR)

The 1979 Convention was aimed at developing an international SAR plan, so that, no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at sea will be co-ordinated by a SAR organization and, when necessary, by co-operation between neighbouring SAR organizations.

As this series on Certification  draws to a close this post will no doubt be ‘tweaked’ and expanded, and may form the basis of its own page on spawn more pots….maybe. Meanwhile the next certificate is awaiting exploring.


For Information about the Really Handy Range of Revision Books for Mariners, Click here>

 A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification (part 1) has just been added to the range. More to follow shortly in the series.

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​The Continuous Synopsis Record-A handy guide

A permanent record of a ship’s life

What is it?

The Continuous Synopsis Record is intended to provide an on-board record of the history of the ship

Which ships need to carry one?

Ships engaged on international voyages. The CSR shall be kept on board the ship and shall be available for inspection at all times.

Why is it needed?

It is required by SOLAS Chapter XI-1 – Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety, Regulation 5 – Continuous Synopsis Record

What does it contain?

Ship identification

Registration details

  • The name of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly
  • The date on which the ship was registered with that State
  • The port at which the ship is registered
  • The date on which the ship ceased to be registered with that State.

Ownership information:

  • The name of the registered owner(s) and their registered address(es)
  • The registered owner identification number;
  • The name of the registered bareboat charterer(s) and their registered address(es), if applicable
  • The name of the Company, as defined in regulation IX/1, its registered address and the address(es) from where it carries out the safety-management activities
  • The Company identification number

Certification

  • The name of all classification society(ies) with which the ship is classed
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized organization which has issued the Document of Compliance (or the Interim Document of Compliance)
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized organization that has issued the Safety Management Certificate (or the Interim Safety Management Certificate)
  • The name of the Administration or of the Contracting Government or of the recognized security organization that has issued the International Ship Security Certificate (or the Interim International Ship Security Certificate).

What form does it take?

It has three parts

  • Form 1 The CSR
  • Form 2 Amendment form
  • Form 3 Index of amendments

How is it amended

On each change a form CSR 2 is completed showing the new details. The original is kept with the CSR 1 on the ship and a copy sent to the flag state administration.

The Flag state issue a revised CSR 1 to the ship, which is given a sequential number, the initial one issued on build being 1

All the CSR1s have to be retained on board.

The CSR3 is a is updated with a summary of the amendments.

The Administration needs to keep a copy (which may be an electroniccopy) of each CSR document issued to the ship.

Reference: 
IMO Resolution A.959(23) , FORMAT AND GUIDELINES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE CONTINUOUS SYNOPSIS RECORD.

 

Summary

The CSR is required by SOLAS Chapter XI-1 – S

It contains a history of the ship’s life from build to scrapping

It is made up of three forms.

  • Form 1 The CSR
  • Form 2 Amendment form
  • Form 3 Index of amendments

To learn more about ‘The Really Handy’ range of study aids for OOW examinations- click here>

 

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The Ship’s Certificate of Registry-A Handy Guide

 

This series of posts will now delve into some of the ship’s certification in a series of posts about the individual documents. The posts are not intended as definitive sources of information, but as handy revision guides for those studying for Master’s, Chief Mates and Officer if the watch examinations.

DSCF3260The Certificate of Registry-The ship’s passport

What is it?-

A certificate that proves a ship’s nationality, It is probably the most important document on a ship.

Why is it needed?

It will be required when obtaining clearance in a foreign port and when boarded by officials in a war zone or embargoed area. It also of use when selling a vessel, arranging finance, or obtaining protection from a warship.

Which ships need it?

Any ship on international voyages, apart from Government owned vessels and very small vessels.

In UK law, commercial vessels under 100 GT and pleasure vessels less than 24 metres are listed on different registers. They need to be registered if sailing on the ‘high seas’ or visiting foreign ports in order to remain under flag state law.

How long is it valid?

5 years, or on change of ownership

What information can be found on the certificate?wp-1456347039822.jpg

Identity details:

Name, Official number, Call sign, IMO number

Ship description:

Port, Type of ship, Method of propulsion, Engine make and model, Total engine power

Tonnages:

Gross tonnage, Net tonnage, Registered tonnage

Dimensions:

Length, Breadth, Depth

Build details:

Year of build, Name of builder, Country of build

Ownership:

Name and address of owners

Validity

Issue and expiry dates, Signature

Some Useful information

  • The certificate of registry does not prove ownership or show mortgages.
  • It cannot be subject to detention and must remain on the vessel unless required to obtain custom clearance.
  • Many countries require the certificate to be produced on entering or leaving a port.

Where are the references?

International

UNCLOS Article 91 Nationality of ships

” Every State shall fix the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory, and for the right to fly its flag. Ships have the nationality of the State whose flag they are entitled to fly. There must exist a genuine link between the State and the ship.”

“Every State shall issue to ships to which it has granted the right to fly its flag documents to that effect.”

United Kingdom

Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (Chapter 21)

1993 No. 3138 The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 1993

“Certificate of registry” means a certificate of registration which is issued to a ship which is registered under the Act and includes a certificate of bareboat charter unless the context otherwise requires”

Other useful Links

The UK RYAs advice on registration

UK Shipping Register 


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COSWOP 2015- The contents

The 2015 UK Code of Safe Working Practice for Merchant Seafarers is here (COSWOP); it is a new shiny edition, witimg_20160303_0950130_rewind.jpgh a new layout and new contents. This post contains gives an overview of its contents of the  Code as a handy guide to where to look for safety information.

This  new code of safe working practices is  published by the UK Maritime and coastguard agency   is in a completely new format from the 2010 edition.  The biggest change is the expansion of  the topic o safety culture to include leadership and ‘just culture’.


CONTENTS

About this Code

Chapter 1 MANAGING OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

Chapter 2 SAFETY INDUCTION

Chapter 3 LIVING ON BOARD

Chapter 5 FIRE PRECAUTIONS

Chapter 6 SECURITY ON BOARD

Chapter 7 HEALTH SURVEILLANCE

Chapter 8 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Chapter 9 SAFETY SIGNS AND THEIR USE

Chapter 10 MANUAL HANDLING

Chapter 11 SAFE MOVEMENT ON BOARD SHIP

Chapter 12 NOISE, VIBRATION AND OTHER PHYSICAL AGENTS

Chapter 13 SAFETY OFFICIALS

Chapter 14 PERMIT TO WORK SYSTEMS

Chapter 15 ENTERING DANGEROUS (ENCLOSED) SPACES

Chapter 16 HATCH COVERS AND ACCESS LIDS

Chapter 17 WORK AT HEIGHT

Chapter 18 PROVISION, CARE AND USE OF WORK EQUIPMENT

Chapter 21 HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND MIXTURES

Chapter 22 BOARDING ARRANGEMENTS

Chapter 23 FOOD PREPARATION AND HANDLING IN THE CATERING

Chapter 24 HOT WORK

Chapter 25 PAINTING

Chapter 26 ANCHORING, MOORING AND TOWING OPERATIONS

Chapter 27 ROLL-ON/ROLL-OFF FERRIES

Chapter 28 DRY CARGO

Chapter 29 TANKERS AND OTHER SHIPS CARRYING BULK LIQUID CARGOES

Chapter 30 PORT TOWAGE INDUSTRY

Chapter 31 SHIPS SERVING OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS INSTALLATIONS

Chapter 32 SHIPS SERVING OFFSHORE RENEWABLES – to follow in 2016

Chapter 33 ERGONOMICS

 

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Hoegh Osaka – A handy revision summary for mariners based the MAIB safety flyer

For those about to hOEGHsit deck officer  examinations, or for those serving on Ro-Ros the topic of Ro-Ro stability is definitely one to have a good knowledge of. The UK MAIB have published a safety flyer  on the Hoegh Osaka grounding that is well worth a read.

 

Click here for the flyer from the MAIB.

A really hand revision list of the Safety Lessons from the report

 Assessing a ship has adequate stability for its intended voyage on completion of cargo operations and before it sails must not be neglected.

Sufficient time must be made before departure for an accurate stability calculation to be completed.

 A loading computer’s output can only be as accurate as the information entered into it.

 The master has ultimate responsibility for the safety of his/her ship.  This responsibility cannot be delegated to shore-based managers or charterers’ representatives.


 

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A new MGN 552 on RoRo cargoes- a really handy summary

The UK M Notice MGN 552 (M) has been issued by the MCA on the safe Stowage and Securing of Specialised Vehicles. It is a useful source of advise for any seafarer involved in loading Ro Ro Cargoes. This post contains a summary of that notice for those revising for examinations. If you are involved in Ro Ro operations then follow the link to read the full notice.

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The purpose of the Marine Guidance Note is to draw to the attention of industry, the potential hazards when carrying Specialised Vehicles.

Click here for the the Mnotice

Summary

Ships should ensure that cargo is stowed and secured in accordance with the approved Cargo securing manual  before the ship leaves a berth.

During the voyage, lashings should be inspected at intervals appropriate to the length of voyage and weather conditions expected to ensure that vehicles remain safely secured.

Lashings should not be released for unloading before the ship is secured at the berth, without the Master’s express permission.

Cargo should be so distributed that the ship has a metacentric height in excess of the required minimum and, whenever practicable, within an acceptable upper limit to minimise the forces acting on the cargo keeping in mind that large metacentric height could cause the ship to roll violently in adverse sea conditions.

Sudden change of course and or speed may create adverse forces acting on the ship and the cargo. This is especially relevant for vessels fitted with high lift rudders, where moderate to high rudder angles may result in high forces being generated.

The crew should be familiar with the requirements contained within the approved CSM.

Ships’ officers and managers should carry out checks on lashings during audits and inspections to ensure that bad practices are not taking place, especially where operations are rapid and very repetitive.

The condition of lashing systems should be monitored closely.

There should be an effective maintenance programme for all the portable and fixed securing devices. Web lashings are to be marked and limited to a maximum working
life.


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Top 10 MGNs Cargo work

UK M notices with a cargo work theme.

UK Marine Notices  (MGNs and MSNs) are excellent sources of information for anyone studying for Officer of Watch, Chief Mate and Master’s examinations, even for those not sailing under the British flag. Here are the top ten of the Notices with a cargo work theme.

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1. MGN 107 (M) – The Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Cargoes) Regulations 1999.

The new Regulations introduce additional requirements with respect to the loading and unloading of bulk cargoes.

2. MGN 146 (M) – The Carriage of Packaged Cargo and Cargo Units. Requirement for cargo securing manual.

3. MGN 198 (M) – Safety at Solid Bulk Cargo Terminals

4.   MGN 418 Roll-on/roll-off ships stowage and securing of vehicles.

5. MGN 60 (M) – Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code): 1996 Amendment – Carriage of Coal Cargoes.

6. MGN 157 (M) -Safety of Personnel During Container Securing Operations and while Working at Corrugated Bulkheads in General Cargo Ships.

7. MGN 282 (M) – Dangerous Goods: Guidance in the Carriage of Packaged Dangerous Goods on Offshore Supply Vessels.

8. MGN 531 (M) – Cargo Stowage and Securing: Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) – Guidance on Application of Section 6 of Annex 14 for Existing Containerships.

9. MSN 1231 (M) – Safe Cargo-Handling Operations on Offshore Supply Vessels.

10    MSN 1167 (M+F) – Carriage of Containers and Flats in Ships not Designed or Modified for the Purpose.

To learn more about ‘The Really Handy’ range of study aids for OOW examinations- click here>
 

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A Really Handy Guide to the ISM Code-A new revision aid for Kindle

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I have just published the next book in the Really Handy Range. This one is a move a way from the looking out of the bridge windows towards wider shipboard operations.

The ISM code is deceptive; as a piece of international shipping legislation it appears small and vague, and yet, it has huge power to determine how ships are operated. Its relatively few words influence every aspect of vessel operations, both afloat and ashore. Sitting at the centre ofship’s safety, ISM  links all maritime safety laws, guidance and procedures together.

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A good understanding of the ISM code is therefore required by all personnel involved in ship operations, and this book will assist in achieving that understanding. This Really Handy Book is aimed primarily at those studying for Officer of the Watch, Chief Mate’s, Second Engineer’s, Master’s, and Chief Engineer’s qualifications. It will also be of use as a reference source or refresher for qualified personnel. It is not a legal textbook though, so for legal advice refer to the source documents, or appropriate books. This Really Handy Book contains a description of the code, a revision aid.

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Click here for the book’s Amazon page>

If you download the new book I recommend following this blog. Over the next few posts I will be exploring a wide range of topics with connections to the code. However, I cannot promise that I will resist the temptation to entirely stay clear of my favourite topic-the collision regulations.

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OOW Question- Who can be the officer of a watch?

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These series of questions now move on to the subject of fitness for duty as officer of the watch.

Question: Who can be an officer of the watch (OOW)?

A bit of Revision

Rule 7 Risk of Collision
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.

 

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COLREG weekly question- Sole lookout-The Answer

Question: What is the UK’s MCA’s view on the use of the OOW as sole lookout?

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Answer: The MCA considers it dangerous and irresponsible for the OOW to act as sole look-out during periods of darkness or restricted visibility.

Note-The UK M Notice MGN 137 covers the subject of Look-out during periods of darkness and restricted visibility. Some of the key points from this notice are:

Ships are not operate with the OOW as the sole lookout during periods of Darkness

An additional lookout should be posted at any other times during restricted visibility or when the prevailing circumstances require.

All ships must maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions, so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

Failure to maintain proper look can result in prosecution, including custodial sentence.

Watchkeeping arrangements for the ship are at all times adequate for maintaining safe navigational watches, having regard to the STCW Code.

For some Really Handy Kindle Books to learn and revise the Collision Regulations click here.

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