The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 107th session from May 31 to June 9, 2023, and the meeting adopted revisions of the 1979, 1989 and 2009 MODU Codes to Prohibit Use of Materials Containing Asbestos.
ABS reports that the Committee adopted Resolutions MSC.543(107), MSC.544(107) & MSC.545(107) establishing a prohibition on new installation of asbestos-containing materials onboard offshore units. The amendments will enter into force on January 1, 2024 and apply to all MODUs, new and existing.
Any repairs, replacements, maintenance, or additions to working parts of a MODU should be documented with a declaration of asbestos-free materials. Existing materials on board before January 1, 2024, can be retained, but they should not be installed unless they are documented as asbestos-free. Audits of asbestos-free declarations for newly installed materials will be conducted during MODU surveys.
MSC.1/Circ.1671 was agreed on the Unified interpretation on implementation of regulation 2.10.3 of the 2009 MODU Code, regulation 2.8.2 of the 1989 MODU Code and regulation 2.7.2 of the 1979 MODU Code, to clarify:
1. “New installation” of asbestos-containing materials means any new physical installation onboard (i.e. repaired, replaced, maintained or added);
2. Documentation practices associated with confirming the absence of asbestos in newly installed materials are subject to audit as per the Safety Management System of the unit; and
3. During surveys required by the MODU Codes, administrations or recognized organizations acting on their behalf should verify that asbestos-containing materials are not installed on MODUs by reviewing asbestos- free declarations and supporting documentation.
The Committee also approved the associated Guidelines for Maintenance and Monitoring of Materials Containing Asbestos on Board MODUs (MSC.1/Circ.1672).