Safety in ports

 “Safety and health in ports”, International Labour Office: Code of Practice, Geneva, 2005
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Source HSE:  A quick guide to health and safety in ports
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Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules.

Many of IMO's most important technical conventions contain provisions for ships to be inspected when they visit foreign ports to ensure that they meet IMO requirements.
These inspections were originally intended to be a back up to flag State implementation, but experience has shown that they can be extremely effective, especially if organized on a regional basis. A ship going to a port in one country will normally visit other countries in the region before embarking on its return voyage and it is to everybody's advantage if inspections can be closely co-ordinated.

This ensures that as many ships as possible are inspected but at the same time prevents ships being delayed by unnecessary inspections. The primary responsibility for ships' standards rests with the flag State - but port State control provides a "safety net" to catch substandard ships.

IMO has encouraged the establishment of regional port State control organizations and agreements on port State control - Memoranda of Understanding or MoUs - have been signed covering all of the world's oceans: Europe and the north Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); the Black Sea region (Black Sea MoU); the Mediterranean (Mediterranean MoU); the Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and the Riyadh MoU.

IMO hosted the Fifth IMO Workshop for PSC MoU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers from 14 to 16 June 2011. The Workshops are funded by the IMO Technical Co-operation Fund and aim to provide support to regional port State control regimes by establishing a platform for co-operation and also providing a forum for the people involved to meet and exchange ideas and experiences; they also aim to encourage harmonization and co-ordination of PSC activities and the development of practical recommendations which can be forwarded to IMO for further examination by the Organization's relevant Committees and Sub-Committees. The Sixth Workshop is scheduled to take place in 2013.

The reports of the Fourth and Fifth Workshops are available on IMODOCS under "meeting documents/others/PSCWS".

Improving the safety of bulk carriers
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Ship recycling

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmental Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC) was adopted on 15 May 2009 by an IMO Diplomatic Conference.

Key requirements of the HKC are:
• provision of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) for ships
• compliance of ship recycling facilities to the Convention's safety, health and environmental standards
• preparation of a Ship Recycling Plan for ships destined for recycling
• authorization of Ship Recycling facilities by the relevant Competent Authority
• reporting requirements for shipowners and recycling facilities

The convention shall enter into force 24 months after the following conditions are met:
• not less than 15 States have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval, or have deposited the requisite instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
• the combined merchant fleet of these States constitute not less than 40 % of the GT of the world's merchant fleet
• the combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of these States during the preceding 10 years constitutes not less than 3% of the GT of the combined merchant shipping of these States
It is difficult to predict its entry into force, but it is unlikely that the HKC will enter into force before 2015.

The following Guidelines have been developed and adopted at the IMO to assist the State Parties in the early implementation of the Convention’s technical standards:
• 2011 Guidelines for the Development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, adopted by resolution MEPC.197(62);
• 2011 Guidelines for the Development of the Ship Recycling Plan, adopted by resolution MEPC.196(62);
• 2012 Guidelines for Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling, adopted by resolution MEPC.210(63);
• 2012 Guidelines for the Authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities, adopted by resolution MEPC.211(63).
Following Guidelines have been developed and adopted at IMO to assist State Parties in the implementation of the Convention after it enters into force:
• 2012 Guidelines for the survey and certification of ships under the Hong Kong Convention, adopted by resolution MEPC.222(64);
• 2012 Guidelines for the inspection of ships under the Hong Kong Convention, adopted by resolution MEPC.223(64).


Reception facilities

The IMO has for many years addressed the delivery of ship-generated waste and cargo residues, mainly by aiming at improving the availability and adequacy of port reception facilities. Relevant requirements thereto have been adopted in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). In general, MARPOL contains regulations and requirements defining which wastes can be discharged into the marine environment. MARPOL also imposes an obligation on the State Parties to provide facilities for the reception of ship-generated residues and garbage (that cannot be discharged into the sea). These reception facilities must be adequate to meet the needs of ships using the port, without causing undue delay for ships. The relevant MARPOL regulations on port reception facilities are:
Annex I: regulation 38; Annex II: regulation 18; Annex IV: regulation 12 (12bis); Annex V: regulation 8; and Annex VI: regulation 17.

The 42nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in November 1998 agreed that to achieve "adequate" reception facilities the port should have regard to the operational need of users and provide reception facilities for the type and quantities of waste from ships normally using the port, without causing undue delay for the ships.

Resolution MEPC.83(44) further stated that facilities provided by the port must meet the needs of the ships normally using the port, and allow for the ultimate disposal of ships' wastes to take place in an environmentally appropriate way.

With the aim of promoting the effective implementation of MARPOL, IMO has developed a port reception facilities module in the GISIS-database, including a list of available PRF in ports and the possibility to report cases of alleged inadequacies.

In 2006, IMO launched its "Action Plan on tackling the inadequacy of port reception facilities". The plan was developed by IMO's Flag State Implementation (FSI) Sub-Committee, on the basis of input from the Industry Port Reception Facilities Forum.

The plan specifically focussed on six key areas: reporting; information on port reception facilities; equipment and technology; types and amount of wastes; regulatory matters; and, technical cooperation and assistance.
FSI completed its work on this agenda item in 2010.

Greenhouse gases

In December 2003, the IMO Assembly adopted resolution A.963(23) on policies and practices related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, which urged the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to identify and develop the mechanism or mechanisms needed to achieve the limitation or reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping.

In July 2009 MEPC agreed to disseminate a package of interim and voluntary technical and operational measures to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and adopted a work plan to explore further the opportunity of market-based instruments to provide incentives for the shipping industry.

On this basis, a package of technical/operational measures has been put forward to address GHG emissions from ships. The key instruments in this package are the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). More recently, amendments to MARPOL Annex VI were adopted in 2011 by IMO Resolution MEPC.203(62), including specific regulations on energy efficiency for ships i.e. making the EEDI and SEEMP mandatory requirements. Related Guidelines to both EEDI and SEEMP were finalised during MEPC 63. The EEOI Guidelines were also finalised but only as voluntary.

Discussions are being held on the text of the IMO draft Resolution on Promotion of Technical Co-operation and Transfer of Technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships, with the aim to provide technical support to developing countries. Significant progress has been achieved during MEPC 64 and the finalisation is expected at MEPC 65.

The multi-solution approach of IMO also includes marked-based instruments (MBI). Discussions are slowly progressing both at IMO level and EU level in application of the CBDR principle ("common but differentiated responsibility"), although a variety of systems have already been identified. The two main systems favoured by EU Member States are: an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and an International Fund for GHG emissions reductions from shipping based on a levy on bunker fuel.


Sources: European Commission, ILO, IMO, HSE, EMSA

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