At the 107th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 107), held in London, from 31st May to 9th June, 2023, the threat of fires on board ro-ros and ropax was addressed.
The number of fire incidents on ropaxes has grown over the past decade. The extent of a ropax’s vehicle decks could potentially allow a fire to spread over the full length of a ship.
MSC 107 approved draft amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-2, the FSS Code and MSC.1/Circ.1430 to reduce the risk of fire in ro-ros and special category spaces on new and existing ropaxes.
- arrangement of ro-ro spaces for new ships
- arrangement of weather decks for new ships
- water monitors on weather decks of existing ships.
In addition, MSC 107 approved draft amendments to the FSS Code regarding specifications for linear heat detection systems, as well as a clarification of the term ‘free height’ of a protected space in the revised guidelines for the design and approval of fixed water-based firefighting systems for ro-ro spaces and special category spaces.
The draft amendments are expected to enter in to force on 1st January, 2026, subject to adoption by MSC 108 (May, 2024).