Lars Lange, IUMI Secretary General has reported in the latest IUMI Eye that a number of container ship fires happened early in 2019 (the Yantian Express, APL Vancouver, Grande America, E.R. Kobe and KMTC Hong Kong). He said that all of these incidents “confirmed IUMI’s intention to actively address the avoidance of container ship fires”.
As had been highlighted in IUMI’s 2017 Position Paper a number of issues needed to be tackled:
- the misdeclaration or non-declaration of dangerous goods leads to mistreatment of inflammable goods on board; detection of fires on-board as well as under deck has to be improved;
- CO2 fire extinguishing in the holds has proven ineffective;
- fire-fighting equipment on deck is, even after the 2016 SOLAS amendment, far from being sufficient.
At the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 101 meeting in June 2019 IUMI raised its concerns and ideas in a presentation to the attendees. IUMI received confirmation from the Council of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) that IACS supported IUMI’s initiative with its technical expertise.
Lange said that throughout 2019 IUMI had has been in constant dialogue with various flag states, with the aim to introduce this topic to the IMO in 2020. He revealed that a proposal for a “new output” on the agenda of the MSC 102 was in the drafting process in cooperation with the German IUMI member association GDV.
IUMI will be involved in a two-day workshop, organised by Gard AS in Norway, with key stakeholders in October 2019. IUMI also intends to introduce the topic during this year’s tripartite meeting of top-level representatives of shipowners, shipbuilders and class in October 2019 in Tokyo.
IUMI has started, and will continue, to talk bilaterally to other maritime stakeholders and associations in order to achieve understanding and support, Lange said.
He concluded that “IUMI views the improvement of fire-prevention on container vessels as a topic of common interest in the maritime industry. Legislation and objectives to achieve a broad consensus for measures to be taken to improve the situation should proceed as quickly as possible”.https://iumi.com/news/iumi-eye-newsletter-september-2019/iumi-acts-on-preventing-fires-on-container-vessels