The Maritime Safety Committee, at its 107th session (31 May to 9 June 2023), having considered a proposal by the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers, at its eighth session, recognizing the importance of providing criteria for the use of LPG fuels on board ships so as to provide at least the same level of safety and reliability as new and comparable conventional oil-fuelled main and auxiliary machinery installations, approved the Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using LPG fuels, as set out in the annex.
Member States are invited to bring the Interim Guidelines to the attention of shipbuilders, manufacturers, shipowners, ship managers, masters and ship crews, bareboat charterers and all other parties concerned.
Member States are also invited to recount their experience gained through the use of these Interim Guidelines to the Organization, for the Committee to keep them under review.
The purpose of these Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using LPG fuels (Interim Guidelines) is to provide an international standard for ships using LPG as fuel.
The basic philosophy of these Interim Guidelines is to provide provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using LPG as fuel to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment, having regard to the nature of the fuels involved.
Throughout the development of these Interim Guidelines, it was recognized that the provisions therein must be based on sound naval architectural and engineering principles and the best understanding available of current operational experience, field data and research and development.
These Interim Guidelines address all areas that need special consideration for the use of LPG as fuel.
These Interim Guidelines follow the Generic guidelines for developing IMO goal-based standards (MSC.1/Circ.1394/Rev.2) by specifying goals and functional requirements for each section forming the basis for the design, construction and operation of ships using LPG as fuel.
The current version of these Interim Guidelines includes provisions to meet the functional requirements for LPG as fuel.
These Interim Guidelines have been closely aligned with the International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), adopted by resolution MSC.391(95), as amended, in particular section 3 which is mainly text taken from chapter 3 of the IGF Code, albeit modified to reflect the recommendatory nature of these Interim Guidelines.
Wherever in these Interim Guidelines reference is made to "gas supply" as contained in the IGF Code, it should be read as "LPG supply".
Unless expressly provided otherwise, these Interim Guidelines apply to ships using LPG as fuel to which part G of SOLAS chapter II-1 applies.
These Interim Guidelines contain functional requirements for all appliances and arrangements related to the usage of LPG fuels.
Appliances and arrangements of LPG fuel systems may deviate from those set out in these Interim Guidelines, provided such appliances and arrangements meet the intent of the goal and functional requirements concerned and provide an equivalent level of safety to the relevant sections.
The equivalence of the alternative design should be demonstrated as specified in SOLAS regulation II-1/55 and approved by the Administration.
However, the Administration should not allow operational methods or procedures to be applied as an alternative to a particular fitting, material, appliance, apparatus, item of equipment or type thereof which is prescribed by these Interim Guidelines.
The goal of these Interim Guidelines is to provide for safe and environmentally friendly design, construction and operation of ships and in particular their installations of systems for propulsion machinery, auxiliary power generation machinery and/or other purpose machinery using LPG as fuel.