Communications between maritime administrations and port authorities Safety of Ships Carrying Solid Bulk Cargoes
( SOLAS Ch VII )1
At its sixty-sixth session (28 May to 6 June 1996), the Maritime Safety Committee,
considering the safety of ships carrying solid bulk cargoes, recalled its decision, at its
sixty-fifth session, that communications between maritime administrations and port
authorities should be improved.
The Committee recalled that, when adopting resolution A.713(17), the Assembly
recognized that the nature of cargo and ballast operations can subject the ships which carry
solid bulk cargoes to more severe bending and shear forces; that the speed and methods of
loading and the equipment employed in unloading operations at solid bulk cargoes
terminals may contribute towards local structural overstressing and damage; that some solid
bulk cargoes can, through their high density and propensity to shift, pose dangers; and that
there was a need for continued and effective maintenance of the ships concerned.
The Committee further recalled that resolution A.797(19) requires the development of
requirements and recommendations covering the ship/port interface aspects of the loading or
unloading of solid bulk cargoes and management and training.
In view of the above resolutions, the Committee agreed that a further resolution should
be prepared, for adoption by the twentieth Assembly, to address the improvement of safety
of ships carrying solid bulk cargoes at the ship/port interface; however, considering its
urgency, the Committee agreed that the matter should be brought to the attention of
Governments by means of a circular.
Accordingly, the Maritime Safety Committee invites Governments, in whose territories
solid bulk cargo loading and unloading terminals are situated, to require, in addition to the
measures stipulated in points 1.1 to 1.8 of the Annex to resolution A.797(19), the
introduction of port by-laws to the effect that:
- terminal operators are required to comply with the relevant IMO codes and
recommendations on ship/port co- operation;
- terminal operators are required to appoint a "terminal representative" as stipulated
in section 1.6 of the Annex to resolution A.797(19);
- the master is responsible at all times for the safe loading and unloading of the
ship, the details of which should be confirmed with the terminal operator in the
form of an agreed loading or unloading plan;
- in case of non-compliance with the agreed loading or unloading plan or any other
situation which endangers the safety of the ship, the master has the right to stop
the loading or unloading; and
- port authorities have the right to stop the loading or unloading of solid bulk
cargoes when the safety of the ship carrying such cargoes is endangered.