Rules governing the safety of some of the biggest vessels on the sea are set to be put into UK law.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency begins a consultation today on proposals that would put updates made to SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974) into UK law.
Bulk carriers carry cargo such as grain, coal, iron ore and cement, proving a crucial service to world commodities trading.
Updates include tighter rules on damage stability and structural requirements.
A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said,
“We are committed to the safety of life at sea, and by updating the legislation relating to the safety requirements for bulk carriers we are improving the safety not only of those operating under the UK flag but also for any that are operating in UK waters.
This is an international standard to which bulk carriers should be operating in any event, but this simplified and updated UK legislation will make it absolutely clear what is expected. UK requirements will now clearly demonstrate the standards required both by us, and internationally.”
It is hoped to bring the rules into UK law later this year (2021) and for them to come into force early next year.
There are currently 29 bulk carriers registered on the UK Flag.
The consultation is due to last eight weeks.