M.S. Notice 6 of 1999
Subject : Year 2000 Syndrome resulting from change of millenium knows as "Y2K Problem"
In connection with the subject under reference we need to inform you that, prompted by its concern to avoid the repercussions of the “Year 2000 Syndrome” as a result of the change of the Millenium, and with the aim of preventing the probable occurrence of faults, of ensuring safer ships and cleaner oceans, the Directorate hereby notifies to all Ship-Owners and ships Agents operating Indian ships that they should ensure that all equipment and systems for the various operation on board ships, as relevant, are Y2K compliant. For this purpose Ship Owners should ensure that the concerned equipment suppliers issue a statement concerning the type of equipments and systems that may be effected and propose alternative measures that can be taken. They will also have to certify the type of equipment and systems that will not present any problem as a result of the Millenium change. This information will be required to be supplied to this Directorate with regard to all Indian Flag ships w.e.f. 1st August 1999. For the same purpose, agents of foreign flag ships may be advised to consider taking similar measures with regard to such ships that call at Indian ports and/or sail in Indian territorial waters. The respective Classification Societies have been issuing detailed guidelines for Y2K compliance which may be adopted by the ships. IMO circular letter No. 221 dated 5th March 1999 is enclosed herewith for your information and necessary action. Subject :Meeting on year 2000 (Y2K) problems Upon the initiative of the United States Coast Guard and the United Kingdom Maritime and Coast Guard Agency ,a meeting was held at the Headquarters of the Organization on 3 and 4 March 1999 to consider issues relating to the year 2000 (Y2K) problem* , promote international awareness and knowledge sharing, identify and refine preparedness actions and promote contingency planning . Invited to the meeting were representatives of non-governmental industry organization s. Their selections was based upon their particular awareness of the critical Y2K challenges facing the maritime community and also because of their special ability to effectively communicate, through their membership, with ship sand ports around the world. As a result of its deliberation, the meet ingunanimously agreed to : 1The Year 2000 Code of Good Practice (annex 1); and 2Key elements of Y2K contingency plans for ships, ports and terminals (annex 2).Member of Governments are invited to bring the contents of this circular to the attention of shipowners, ship operators, shipping companies, seafarers, customs, port and offshore terminals, vessels traffic service operators, maritime pilots, hydrographers, classifications societies, maritime communication authorities, shippers, charters, insurance organization and all other parties concerned, for information and action as appropriate
Circular letter No. 2121 ANNEXURE 1 THE YEAR 2000 CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE
Introduction The Year 2000 problem, sometimes referred to simply as Y2K, is the term used to describe the potential electronic date recognition (EDR) failure of information technology systems prior to, on or after 1 January 2000. The potential exists because of the widespread practice of using two digits, not four, to represent the year in computer databases, software applications and hardware chips. For example, difficulty will arise in the year 2000 when machines may be unable to differentiate it from the year 1900. As a result, microchip-based systems may function incorrectly, or not at all. The equipment involved may be as simple as a clock as sophisticated as the monitoring and control systems for the main engine plant; or as complex as a port’s vessel traffic system. All affected parties must assess the extent of the problem in their operations, prioritize potentially non-complaint units/ systems and decide on the correct action. Depending on the system, equipment or software involved the correct action may be to repair it, replace it, or use alternative systems or manual operations. Awareness of the nature and extent of the problem is critical in correcting it. The problem does not reside merely in mainframe or personal computer systems. It also affects programmes embedded in any microchip based system. One of the first steps in addressing the problem is to conduct an inventory of equipment that may be affected in order to establish whether or not software and hardware are Year 2000 compliant. Failure to identify and correct systems that could be affected by the Year 2000 problem could result in serious safety problems, such as unexpected shutdown of the main engines and ships’ navigation systems or a breakdown in communications, or loss of shore utility services. 74 This Code of Good Practice recognises that the risk of unforeseen Year 2000-related failures cannot be totally discounted, not withstanding that all proper steps to rectify possible Year 2000 problems may have been taken. It is vital, therefore, that ship operators, port authority and terminal operators identify and put in place operational contingency plans to ensure that safety is not compromised in the event of an unforeseen Year 2000 equipment or system malfunction. The Code acknowledges the need to exchange information and assurances relating to the measures and precautions taken by shipping companies and ports, respectively, if navigation and port operations are to continue during Year 2000 critical periods. Elements of the Code of Good Practice 5The Code recommends measures whereby those responsible for ship, port and terminal operations can reduce the risks associated with the possible malfunction of equipment incorporating “embedded systems”, as well as computer equipment, which may be dependent on electronic date recognition. It stresses the importance of : the shipmaster’s freedom to use his professional judgement in accordance with SOLAS regulation V/10-1the shipowner’s master’s, port authority’s and terminal operator’s respective responsibilities for safety and the environment; compliance with rules and recommendations covering such matters as passage planning maintaining appropriate margins of safety in case of breakdown, and prompt reporting when so required; the exchange of information between involved parties so as to ensure that all concerned are fully informed and that the measures that have been taken are appropriate to the circumstances; and the provision of suitable additional training, where appropriate. The Code is not intended to preclude the adoption of other measures by individual shipping companies, port authorities and terminal operators, nor does it relieve those responsible of their duty to use their discretion in light of the many factors which contribute to safety and pollution prevention. It is recommended that, for the duration of any period when there may be date induced uncertainty as to the performance or functionality of computer systems, electronic and electro-mechanical or similar equipment, the following precautions should be adopted :
1. Sufficient competent personnel should be available on ships and within ports and terminals to monitor and maintain extra vigilance on critical systems and operations, and respond immediately to equipment failures during the Year 2000 critical periods. Further more, if it is planned to introduce operational contingency plans in excess of normal practice, it is important that staff are fully trainedand exercised in the implementation of such plans.
2. Prior to entering confined or congested waters and areas where hazards to navigation exist, the master, taking into account the prevailing circumstances and any advice or instructions received, should decide on the appropriate action to be taken to ensure the continued safety of his ship, crew, passengers and cargo, bearing in mind that not only the ship, but other ships in the vicinity, could lose power, steering or the use of electronic navigation equipment. If the master deems that the safety of the ship is at risk, the master should consider measures to minimize the risk by such means as reducing speed, delaying entry to the port or steering an alternative course.
3. The port or terminal may obtain information in advance from ship operators in accordance with the questionnaire in Appendix 1. Prior to arrival in or departure from a port or terminal, or before entering port limits, information from authorized personnel should be exchanged by appropriate means between the ship and the port or terminal, as provided for in the questionnaires in Appendices 2 and 3.
4. Prior to a ship entering or navigating within a port, the port authority or terminal operator should advise the ship of any additional conditions or constraints on navigation or cargo handling that the port authority or terminal operator has decided are necessary in order to minimize the risks associated with any Year 2000 equipment malfunction. Such measures might include minimum, separation between ships, speed constraints, the use of tugs, loading/ discharge restrictions, etc.
5. If, after exchanging information, and prior to commencing cargo handling or bunkering operations, there is doubt whether the planned operation can be conducted safely, and without hazard to the environment, property, personnel, the master, port authority or terminal operator should within their respective scope of responsibility, postpone or suspend the operation until the risk of Year 2000 equipment malfunction has passed.
6. Following a Year 2000 critical period, all equipment not used during that period, and potentially affected by electronic date recognition problems, should be tested to ensure that its performance has not been adversely affected. Of relevance are : MSC/Circ.804, of 9 June 1997, on Impact of the Year 2000 on software systems; -MSC/Circ.868, of 27 May 1998, on Addressing the Year 2000 problem; -MSC/Circ.894, of 17 December 1998, on addressing the Year 2000 problem; Co-operation with mandatory ship reporting system; MSC/Circ.891, of 21 December 1998, on Guidelines for the on-board use and application of computers; and resolution A.853(20) on Guidelines for a structure of an integrated system of contingency planning for shipboard emergencies. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SOLAS Chapter V (Safety of Navigation), regulation 10-1: Masters discretion of safe navigation The master shall not be constrained by the shipowner, charterer or any other person from taking any decision which, in the professional judgement of the master, is necessary for safe navigation, in particular in severe weather and in heavy seas.
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