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Web alert: new regulations affecting container cargo securing

15 October 2014

Flag states have been issuing guidance on the recent changes to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS) and the Cargo Securing Manual (CSM).  The changes take the form of a new Annex 14 for CSS and revised guidelines for the preparation of the CSM. These changes are detailed in MSC circulars MSC.1/Circ 1352 and MSC.1/Circ 1353 respectively.

Annex 14
The new Annex 14 is designed to enhance the safety of working conditions for those crew members engaged in container securing operations, with particular reference to:

  1. safe access
  2. appropriate securing equipment 
  3. safe place of work

The guidelines focus on the respective design phases of securing systems and vessels. The Annex provides stakeholders such as the shipowner, builder, Flag and Class with guidance on producing or authorising a Cargo Safe Access Plan (CSAP).

MSC.1/Circ 1352 invites member governments to bring the amendments to the attention of those parties involved, including:

  1. shipowners
  2. ship operators
  3. ship masters
  4. crews

Application
The new Annex 14 will apply as follows:

  • new ships, the keels of which are laid on or after 1 January 2015, are required to fully  comply with the revised CSS Code;
  • existing ships,  the keels of which were laid or which are a at a similar stage of construction before 1 January 2015, shall be required to comply with the following:

Section 4.4 Training and familiarisation
Section 7.1 Introduction
Section 7.3 Maintenance
Section 8 of Annex 14 of the CSS Code

  • existing ships must apply the principles of the guidance contained in section 6  and 7.2 as far as is practical, taking in to account that existing ships would not be required ‘to be enlarged or undergo other major structural modifications’. Existing ships will be required to comply by 1 January 2015. 
     

Cargo Securing Manuals (CSM)

  • new vessels must apply the revised guidelines found in MSC.1/Circ.1353 and the revised CSS Code in their entirety and will be approved by the respective administration;
  • existing containerships' CSM should be revised to apply the guidelines contained in chapters 1 to 4 of MSC/1/Circ 1353 and applicable sections of Annex 14;
  • CSM which have been revised shall be approved by the administration by 1 January 2015.

Members who operate container vessels which are affected by this legislation should take action to ensure that their vessels comply with the above requirements before 1 January 2015.