New requirements on safer mooring

The IMO has expanded its safer mooring guidelines Photo: DNV GLThe IMO has expanded its safer mooring guidelines Photo: DNV GL

The IMO has issued draft requirements intended to improve mooring safety by the introduction of additional measures around selection, arrangement, inspection and maintenance and replacement of mooring equipment including lines.

The requirements, which will come into effect on 1 January 2024, were approved by the Maritime Safety Committee in 2019 and follow the many serious, some fatal, accidents linked to mooring and typically caused by manual handling of equipment or line breakage, known as dynamic snap-back. The requirements will be formally adopted once IMO meetings reconvene when the Covid-19 pandemic abates.

The changes have been incorporated into the draft amendments to SOLAS regulation 11-1/3-8 on towing and mooring equipment and apply to all new cargo and passengers ships constructed on or after 1 January 2024. Maintenance and inspection requirements will be given retroactive application for all ships.

Implementation of the new requirements will require efforts for both new builds and existing ships. For new builds, mooring equipment must be arranged to minimise obstructions to both the operation of the equipment and working space. Care must be taken to avoid complex mooring line configurations and equipment selected and arranged such that manual handling of mooring lines under load is reduced. For ships already in operation a regime for inspection, maintenance and replacement of mooring equipment is being introduced.

DNV GL has recommended that customers monitor the outcome of the MSC 102 when IMO meetings resume and is also urging owners, operators and builders to start preparing for the new requirements.

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