Oct 6, 2023 | Maritime regulatory news

The IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers made significant progress on the development of draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using hydrogen and ammonia as fuel when it met for its ninth session (CCC 9).

Taking into account the urgency of providing guidance to administrations, shipowners and the industry at large on the safe use of hydrogen and ammonia as fuel, and in support of IMO’s emission targets, CCC 9 agreed to convene an intersessional working group in September 2024, immediately prior to CCC 10 (subject to approval by MSC 108 and endorsement by the Council), to finalise the guidelines.

Time permitting, the working group will be invited to further develop the draft interim guidelines for ships using low-flashpoint oil fuels. CCC 9 agreed to a draft MSC circular on Interim guidelines for use of LPG cargo as fuel, for approval by MSC 108, which provides additional coverage for ships under the IGC Code and complements the Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using LPG fuels. Meanwhile, the CCC 9 initiated the development of draft amendments to the IGC Code with respect to the safe use of LPG as fuel, based on the Interim Guidelines, as well as provisions for the safe use of LPG as fuel for gas carriers carrying cargoes other than LPG listed in chapter 19 of the IGC Code.

Guidelines already developed include: 

  • Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel (MSC.1/Circ.1621);
  • Interim guidelines for ships using fuel cells (MSC.1/Circ.1647); and 
  • Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using LPG fuels (MSC.1/Circ.1666).

The work plan, updated at CCC 9, foresees the further development of guidelines through 2024 and 2025 with finalisation of mandatory provisions for methyl/ethyl alcohols and further development of mandatory provisions for fuel cells at CCC 12 in September 2026. 

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