Development of Amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-2 and the FSS Code concerning detection and control of fires in Cargo Holds and on the Cargo Decks of Containerships
Jan 18, 2022
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On the 7th of January, IMO's Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment published comments on document SSE 8/10. The document proposes the establishment of a Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) Experts Group to review the outcomes of a study by The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as well as any other feedback submitted to the Group which concerns detection and control of fires in cargo holds and on the cargo deck of containerships.
Development of Amendments
Sub-Committee's comments focus strongly on the need for a formal safety assessment in order to identify possible areas of enhancement of risk mitigation. In conjunction with an assessment of risk prevention and mitigation, a regulatory review is a must in order to reduce the magnitude and frequency of containership fires:
"Based on a long list of cargo fire incidents and lessons learned on board containerships, it is recognized that the efficiency of fire detection and control is dependent on a number of factors. These include the chemical nature, stowage location, accessibility, packaging of the cargo from which the fire originates, nature of, and knowledge of the nature of, surrounding cargo, and – importantly – the accuracy of the information provided to the carrier used for its stowage and handling decisions. Such factors and variables need to be considered carefully in the review process".
The comments further note that EMSA is currently finalizing arrangements to commence a safety risk study on containerized cargo fires, following the structure of an FSA, as described in the Revised Guidelines (MSC-MEPC.2/Circ.12/Rev.2). The duration of the study is one year and the final report is expected at the end of 2022.