One of the objectives of the work conducted at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is safe vessel operations, whether to protect human life, the marine environment, or vessels themselves. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry aligns with the IMO’s objectives and to that end, Mr. Thanos Theocharis, Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, based in the Registry’s Piraeus office, has been invited to chair the Working Group (WG) on the revision of the performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers at the forthcoming session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Design and Construction (SDC), scheduled to be held remotely in January 2022.
“Performance standards are important to raising the bar when it comes to safe vessel operation, but they must be revised with care and concern for the technical implications,” commented Mr. Theocharis. “For many years, the RMI Registry has invested in expert technical resources and collaborated with stakeholders worldwide to review, assess, and where necessary, revise various safety standards. I am honored to be invited to chair this working group to assist in that process.”
The need to revise the performance standards for water level detectors on bulk carriers and single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers (Resolution MSC.188(79)) is a result of the new International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation II-1/25-1, with an entry into force date of 1 January 2024. This new regulation extends the requirement for water level detectors to be fitted on cargo ships with multiple cargo holds, other than bulk carriers and tankers.
When the new SOLAS regulation II-1/25-1 was adopted at the 103rd session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, SDC 8 was instructed to review provisions in the current performance standards to ensure that water level detectors for cargo ships with multiple cargo holds are appropriately addressed. The WG is expected to undertake this work and will also evaluate the equivalency between bilge alarm detection systems and water level detectors required for the cargo holds.
The RMI’s permanent representative to the IMO is Captain David Bruce. Both Charles McHardy and MaryAnne Adams are also based in the United Kingdom to support the RMI’s delegation at the IMO. Together with other technical and operational experts like Mr. Theocharis, the RMI delegation is well-represented and fully engaged at all of the IMO committee and sub-committee meetings.
The most recent Performance Standards are available here: https://wwwcdn.imo.org/localresources/en/KnowledgeCentre/IndexofIMOResolutions/MSCResolutions/MSC.188(79).pdf.