RS Reports on IMO Human Element Meeting

By MarEx 2014-02-28 18:03:00

The first session of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 1) took place at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London between 17 and 22 February. The representative of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping participated in the session as a member of the RF delegation.

As the name implies, one of the most significant trends in the HTW Sub-Committee work is the development, elaboration and approval of the requirements and methodological materials for seafarer training, IMO model courses included. 

During the session, the Sub-Committee revised and approved the following courses:
‘Basic Training in Oil and Chemical Tanker Cargo Operations’,
‘Basic Training in Liquefied Gas Tanker Cargo Operations’,
‘General Operator’s Certificate for GMDSS’,
‘Restricted Operator’s Certificate for GMDSS’ 
and prepared Guidance for Model Course Development, Updating and Validation Processes in order to form a standardized approach to these processes.

At present, much attention is given to ecological aspects. However, environment protection cannot be practiced at the expense of safety. The Sub-Committee has developed draft amendments to Chapter V of STCW Convention and Code relating to training and certification requirements for seafarers on board ships using gases or other low flashpoint fuels as well as interim guidance on training for seafarers serving on ships using gases or other low flashpoint fuels.

Security issues in relation to transport facilities were also considered during the Sub-Committee work, which prepared the following draft circulars: 

‘Advice for port state control officers, recognized organizations and recognized security organizations on action to be taken on cases where seafarers do not carry certification required in accordance with regulation VI/6 of the STCW Convention and section A-VI/6, paragraphs 4 and 6 of the STCW Code after 1 January 2014’;
‘Advice for port state control officers, recognised organisations and recognised security organisations clarifying training and certification requirements for ship security officers and seafarers with designated security duties’.

In 2014, it is planned to complete the work on the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) containing requirements for ships and seafarers, which reflects the challenges of such operation. The Sub-Committee has developed the draft of Chapter 13 ‘Manning, Qualification and Training’ of the Polar Code by which functional requirements for the crew of these ships are established, the type of training (basic or advanced) for navigators is determined proceeding from ship type and the ice conditions in the area of navigation, and the necessity of familiarization procedures for all the crew members is indicated in accordance with assigned duties.

In conformity with IMO procedures, the documents prepared by the HTW Sub-Committee will be forwarded for the approval of 93-rd session of the Maritime Safety Committee (14-23 May 2014).

The next session of the HTW Committee will take place on 2-6 February 2015.

Additional information:
HTW Sub-Committee is one of 7 Sub-Committees of a new framing adopted by IMO since January 2014. To reduce expenses and optimize the workload of IMO working bodies, the 9 previous Sub-Committees have been reorganized into 7 new ones, with relevant reassignment of the terms of reference of each Sub-Committee.

The denomination of each of the newly formed Sub-Committees basically reflects the trends of its activities. At present, the list of IMO Sub-Committees looks as follows:
Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC);
Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR);
Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW);
Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE);
Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications, Search and Rescue (NCSR);
Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III);
Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC).