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Outcomes of the fourth session of the Sub-Committee on ship system and equipment - SSE 4 /20-24 March 2017

04.20.17

Outcomes of the fourth session of the Sub-Committee on ship system and equipment - SSE 4 /20-24 March 2017

Convention : IACS UR, IACS UI, MODU Code, POLAR Code International code of safety for ships operating in polar waters , SOLAS CH II-1 Machinery, Electricity, Stability, SOLAS CH II-2 Fire, SOLAS CH III Life-Saving Appliances

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Ship type :ALL TYPES

SSE 4 – 20/24 march 2017 
insight of the major outcomes of the fourth session of the Sub-Committee on ship system and equipment

Summary

SSE 4 has agreed to the draft amendments or guidelines quoted below, with a view to submission to MSC 98 :

· draft functional requirements and the expected performance for SOLAS chapter III ; 
· draft Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats and the associated MSC circular ; 
· draft amendments to the Guidelines for developing operation and maintenance manuals for lifeboat systems (MSC.1/Circ.1205) and the associated draft MSC circular ; 
· draft amendments to paragraph 6.1.1.3 of the LSA Code ; 
· draft amendments to chapters 1, 6, 9, 10 and 14 of the 2009 MODU Code, with the corresponding draft MSC resolution ; 
· draft amendments to the Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems (MSC/Circ.645) ; 
· draft Assembly resolution on Escape route signs and equipment location markings ; 
· draft amendments to the Guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval systems (MSC.1/Circ.1392).


SSE 4 agreed to the following unified interpretations and the associated draft MSC circulars for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval:

· draft unified interpretation on single fall and hook system used for launching a lifeboat or rescue boat, 
· draft unified interpretation of chapter 15 of the FSS Code relating to inert gas systems on tankers ; 
· draft unified interpretation of SOLAS regulations II-2/9.2.2.4.2, II-2/9.2.3.3.2 and II-2/9.2.4.2.2 on the fire integrity of the bulkheads between the wheelhouse and the navigation lockers inside the wheelhouse ;
· draft unified interpretation on suitable means for the calibration of portable atmosphere testing instruments as referred to in SOLAS regulation II-2/4.5.7.1 ; 
· draft unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-2/9.2.4.2 on the application of SOLAS regulation II-2/9 to the spaces in the cargo area of tankers ; 
· Draft amendments to the Unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-1/29 (MSC.1/Circ.1398) on mechanical, hydraulic and electrical independency of steering gear control systems.


SSE 4 has decided to re-establish Correspondence groups on the following issues :

· onboard lifting appliances and winches ; 
· life saving appliances.


Agenda item 3 - Safety objectives and functional requirements of the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for SOLAS chapters II-1 and III 

MSC 95 had agreed, as part of a work plan on the development of functional requirements for SOLAS chapter III, that SSE 4 would finalize the functional requirements for submission to MSC 98 for approval. 

SSE 3 had established the Correspondence group on the development of functional requirements for SOLAS chapter III to further consider the structure of functional requirements with respect to completeness, hierarchy, categorization and ordering and to develop the expected performance for each functional requirement. 

SSE 4, having approved the report of the Correspondence group in general, considered that further work on the review of the draft functional requirements is necessary in order to fully consider the provisions of theGeneric guidelines for developing IMO goal-based standards (MSC.1/Circ.1394/Rev.1). Complete linkage between regulations and functional requirements, should be one of the priorities. 

SSE 4 tasked the Working group on Life-Saving Appliances (WG on LSA) to further consider the above matters. 

An introductory section containing general conditions ahead of the functional requirements would be necessary at a future stage. Definitions and technical background for functional requirements and associated expected performance need to be developed as part of future activities. 

WG noted that a move to a more quantifiable set of associated expected performances is necessary. The expected performance should be a supporting description of the functional requirements in quantitative terms and should cover the aspects necessary for verifying compliance. 

Some of the functional requirements or associated expected performance could be related to other IMO instruments, e.g. functional requirement 5 on communications could also be related to elements of SOLAS chapter IV. WG noted, taking into account the effect that functional requirements and expected performance sometimes are difficult to limit to one specific chapter of an instrument, that a high-level coordination approach might be necessary within the Organization with regard to the development of comprehensive goal-based standards. 

WG on LSA considered the draft functional requirements and the expected performance for SOLAS chapter III one by one and amended the text as necessary and appropriate. Based on the above-mentioned review of the functional requirements and associated expected performance and taking into account the additional considerations. 

SSE 4 finally agreed to the draft functional requirements and the expected performance for SOLAS chapter III, with a view to submission to MSC 98 for its consideration. 

Agenda item 4 - Making the provisions of MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 mandatory 

MSC 96 had adopted the Requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear (resolution MSC.402(96)) and amendments to SOLAS regulations III/3 and III/20. The requirements and the amendments should enter into force on 1 January 2020. 

SSE 4 was instructed by MSC 96 to capture possible inconsistencies between resolution MSC.402(96) and theGuidelines for developing operation and maintenance manuals for lifeboat systems (MSC.1/Circ.1205) or the draft MSC circular on Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats

SSE 4 reviewed and finalized :

· the draft MSC circular on Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats ; 
· any necessary draft amendments to the Guidelines for developing operation and maintenance manuals for lifeboat systems (MSC.1/Circ.1205)


Draft MSC circular on Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats 

The purpose of the revised guidelines is to ensure safe conducting of drills and that testing of lifeboats is dealt with in other instruments. Subsequently, references to testing should be deleted in the draft guidelines. Further development of the guidelines for simulated launching for the purpose of testing should be prepared at a future stage. 

SSE 4 agreed to the draft Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats and the associated MSC circular, with a view to submitting to MSC 98 for approval. 

Draft amendments to the MSC.1/Circ.1205 

SSE 4, taking into account some minor editorial modifications, agreed to the draft amendments to theGuidelines for developing operation and maintenance manuals for lifeboat systems (MSC.1/Circ.1205) and the associated draft MSC circular with a view to submitting to MSC 98 for approval. 

Agenda item 5 - Uniform implementation of paragraph 6.1.1.3 of the LSA Code 

Paragraph 6.1.1.3 of the LSA Code says that a launching appliance shall not depend on any means other than gravity or stored mechanical power which is independent of the ship's power supplies to launch the survival craft or rescue boat.

"A launching appliance shall not depend on any means other than gravity or stored mechanical power which is independent of the ship's power supplies to launch the survival craft or rescue boat it serves in the fully loaded and equipped condition and also in the light condition."


SSE 4 considered a proposal to amend paragraph 6.1.1.3 of the LSA Code in order to allow hand-operated mechanisms for launching rescue boats. Some Contracting Governments have already accepted the hand-operated mechanism as an equivalent to the stored mechanical power mechanism by issuing SLS.14 circulars in accordance with SOLAS regulation I/5 (Equivalents) based on the advantages of the hand-operated mechanisms, which simplifies davit construction and substantially improves reliability. 

But some Member States raised the following concern at MSC 96: while a rescue boat shall be in a state of continuous readiness for instant launching and be actuated by minimal operating crew in case of emergency such as abandon ship, this may be infringed by the use of a hand-operated mechanism for a rescue boat. 

WG on LSA prepared the following draft amendments to paragraph 6.1.1.3 of the LSA Code :

“On cargo ships equipped with a rescue boat which is not one of the ship's survival craft, having a mass not more than 700 kg in fully equipped condition, with engine, but without the crew, the launching appliance of the boat does not need to be fitted with stored mechanical power. Manual hoisting from the stowed position and turning out to the embarkation position shall be possible by one person. The force on the crank handle shall not exceed 160 N at the maximum crank radius of 350 mm.”


SSE 4 agreed with these amendments which would apply only to cargo ships. They will go to MSC 98 for approval. 

Agenda item 6 - Review the MODU Code, LSA Code and MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 

SSE 4 had for its consideration consolidated draft amendments to chapters 1, 6, 9, 10 and 14 of the 2009 MODU Code, with the corresponding draft MSC resolution. 

SSE 4 endorsed them for submission to MSC 98 in view of their adoption. 

Agenda item 7 - Amendments to the FSS Code for CO2 pipelines in under-deck passageways 

The "under-deck passageway" is a specific enclosed passageway with CO2 pipes passing through, which is frequently used by crews. Owing to the lack of openings and the low air exchange rate, the CO2 released for fire-extinguishing purposes may leak from defective pipes and concentrate inside the under-deck passageways. 

The FSS Code expressly provides in paragraph 2.1.3.1 of chapter 5 that

"pipes passing through accommodation areas shall be joined only by welding and shall not be fitted with drains or other openings within such spaces".


However, these requirements have not been extended to the pipes passing through under-deck passageways. 

Some delegations considered in particular, in the Plenary discussion, amendments to existing requirements are not adequately justified, as safety related incidents concerning flange gasketed joints of CO2 pipes in under-deck passageways have not been reported. 

The Working Group on Fire Protection, asked to handle these draft amendments, considered that, noting the absence of any submitted information about incidents, no further action should be envisaged about this issue for time being. 

SSE 4 endorsed this point of view. 

Agenda item 8 - Requirements for onboard lifting appliances and winches 

Following an increase in incidents with lifting appliances or their fittings failing, IMO developed amendments to SOLAS and associated guidelines to address the concern of casualty related to onboard lifting appliances and winches (OLAW). These amendments rely on a goal based approach. 

At SSE 3, a working group discussed the best way to approach the development of functional requirements, taking into account Generic Guidelines for developing IMO goal-based standards (MSC.1/Circ.1394/Rev.1). Then, a Correspondence group was instructed to further develop goals and functional requirements to cover the design, fabrication and construction for new installations, onboard procedures for routine inspection, maintenance and operation of OLAW. 

Having for its consideration the report of the Correspondence group, SSE 4 agreed that :

· the draft requirements were intended to apply to anchor handling winches used to deploy or recover anchors and moorings of ships and units other than those of the ship on which the anchor handling winch was installed ; 
· the new provisions for OLAW should be included in SOLAS chapter II-1 ; 
· the scope of application should be based on the installation date of the equipment ; 
· existing OLAW should be in conformity with functional requirements for matters such as operation and maintenance ; 
· the Safe Working Load (SWL) should be the basis to establish the boundaries for the application of the new provisions for OLAW ; 
· relevant definitions should be included in the new SOLAS regulation with the exception of manually operated and temporary appliances.


SSE 4 established the Working group on onboard lifting appliances and winches (WG on OLAW) and instructed it to finalize the draft SOLAS regulations for OLAW, and if possible, draft Guidelines for the safety of OLAW. 

SSE 4 endorsed in principle the definitions set up by the WG for “on board lifting appliances”, “anchor handling winch” and “loose gear” as well as the goal of draft SOLAS regulation II-1/3-13. WG did not have sufficient time to address the draft Guidelines. 

As there is still a huge amount of work to be done, a Correspondence group on OLAW has been re-established in the view to further develop the draft goal- and function-based SOLAS regulations and the draft guidelines supporting the goals and functional requirements. 

This Correspondence group will submit its report to SSE 5. 

Agenda item 9 - Amendments to the Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning (DP) systems (MSC/Circ.645) () 

SSE 3 had re-established the Correspondence group on amendments to the Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems (MSC/Circ.645). HTW 4 had concurred with the decision of SSE 3 to include a section on training in the draft Guidelines, proposing amendments to MSC.1/Circ.738/Rev.1. 

SSE 4 approved in general the report of the Correspondence group. It endorsed the draft Guidelines for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval, with the recommendation to apply the operational part of the Guidelines to all vessels and units. 

The Guidelines should be issued as a new set of guidelines and not as amendments to MSC/Circ.645, whereas the Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems (MSC/Circ.645) should still be in effect for existing vessels and units to which they apply. 

Agenda item 10 - Revision of requirements for escape route signs and equipment location markings in SOLAS and related instruments 

MSC 97 had approved the Shipboard escape route signs and emergency equipment location markings(MSC.1/Circ.1553), as an interim measure. 

SSE 4 had for its consideration a draft Assembly resolution on Escape route signs and equipment location markings, containing the graphical symbols from standard ISO 24409-2:2014. 

SSE 4 noted that some of the symbols in the Graphical symbols for shipboard fire control plans (resolution A.952(23)) were missing in standard ISO 24409-2. Therefore, SSE 4 agreed that resolution A.952(23) should continue to be used in combination with the new Assembly resolution, once adopted, for the preparation of the shipboard fire control plans required by SOLAS regulation II-2/15.2.4. 

This new Assembly resolution should apply to ships constructed on or after 1 January 2018 or ships which undergo repairs, alterations, modifications and outfitting within the scope of SOLAS chapters II-2 and/or III. 

It will be submitted to MSC 98 for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption by A 30. 

Agenda item 11 - Revised SOLAS regulations II-1/13 and II-1/13-1 and other related regulations for new ships 

SSE 3 had established the Correspondence group on anti-crushing protection (ACP) to watertight doors. The Correspondence group was divided on whether ACP should be optional or mandatory. Views were expressed in the Correspondence group and confirmed during the Plenary discussion that ACP may compromise the safety of the whole ship if implemented inappropriately, and that the application of ACP had the potential to be counterproductive by encouraging alternative risky behaviours. 

Some delegations asked in Plenary for further evidence and suggest that an FSA should be carried out before considering any amendments. But others, basing on the sensitivity of this issue (injuries, fatalities), requested to go forward henceforth, without conducting any FSA. 

SSE 4 agreed to :

  • · extend the completion item to the next-biennium (2019) ; 
    · invites Members States for technical proposals results of risk assessment and technical safety issues that could be discussed at next SSE 5.


Agenda item 12 – Unified interpretation of provisions of IMO safety, security, and environment related conventions 

Draft unified interpretation on single fall and hook system used for launching a lifeboat or rescue boat 

SSE 4 agreed that the release mechanism test in paragraphs 6.9.3 and 6.9.4.3 of part 1 of the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), need to be applied for off-load type release mechanisms only on the basis of the exemption provided in paragraph 4.4.7.6.17 of the LSA Code, as amended by resolution MSC.320(89). 

SSE 4 agreed to the draft Unified interpretation and the associated draft MSC circular with a view to submission to MSC 98 for approval. 

Draft unified interpretations of provisions relating to inert gas systems on tankers 

The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft unified interpretation of chapter 15 of the FSS Code, for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval. 

SSE 4 agreed on the interpretations on the following items :

· automatic shutdown of the inert gas system and its component parts ; 
· operational status of valves for inert gas to cargo tanks ; 
· indication of the operational status of the inert gas system ; 
· meaning of the term "independent alarm system".


Draft unified interpretation on the minimum width of external escape routes on cargo ships 

SSE 4 considered that the minimum width of external escape routes on cargo ships should be determined by flag Administrations at their discretion and that, consequently, this issue falls into the remit of III sub-committee. 

Draft unified interpretation on the fire integrity of the bulkheads between the wheelhouse and the navigation lockers inside the wheelhouse 

SSE 4 endorsed the draft unified interpretation of SOLAS regulations II-2/9.2.2.4.2, II-2/9.2.3.3.2 and II-2/9.2.4.2.2 and the associated draft MSC circular, for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval. 

Draft unified interpretation on suitable means for the calibration of portable atmosphere testing instruments as referred to in SOLAS regulation II-2/4.5.7.1 

SSE 4 endorsed the draft unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-2/4.5.7.1 and the associated draft MSC circular, for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval. 

Draft unified interpretations on the fire test requirements for damping materials for reducing noise and vibration level 

As the proposed unified interpretations seem to deviate from the current provisions in SOLAS chapter II-2 and the 2010 FTP Code, SSE 4 did not endorse them. 

Draft unified interpretation on the application of SOLAS regulation II-2/9 to the spaces in the cargo area of tankers 

SSE 4 endorsed a draft unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-2/9.2.4.2 for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval. 

Individual compartments of tankers, including those permitted to be located in the cargo area, should be categorized as per regulation 9.2.4, and thus the fire integrity standards stipulated in the relevant regulations should be applied to the boundaries of each space. 

SSE 4 could not agree on the proposed classification of spaces in paragraph 2 (ballast water treatment system room) of this unified interpretation and this paragraph was deleted. 

Installation of manually operated call points (MOCPs) on cargo ships 

Noting that some understanding proposed by IACS would deviate from SOLAS regulation II-2/7.7, SSE 4 invited the observer from IACS to submit a proposal to a future session. 

In the meantime, IACS members would continue to apply the existing IACS unified interpretation SC 241. 

Application of SOLAS regulation II-2/20.6.2 and MSC.1/Circ.1275 regarding the arrangement of portable fire extinguishers for ro-ro spaces and vehicle spaces 

SSE 4 endorsed the draft corrigendum to the Unified interpretation of SOLAS chapter II-2 (MSC.1/Circ.1275) and authorize the Secretariat to issue it as MSC.1/Circ.1275/Corr.1. 

Draft amendments to the Unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-1/29 (MSC.1/Circ.1398) on mechanical, hydraulic and electrical independency of steering gear control systems 

SSE 4 agreed to delete the reference to the IEC Publication 60092-204 – Electrical installations in ships. Part 204: System design – Electric and electrohydraulic steering gear, due to its withdrawal by the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2013, and endorsed the draft amendment to MSC.1/Circ.1398, and the associated draft MSC circular, for submission to MSC 98 with a view to approval. 

Others 

SSE 4 did not agree to the following Unified interpretations :

· draft unified interpretation of the LSA Code with regard to the specification of hardwood for steps of embarkation ladders ; 
· draft unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation II-2/13.4.2 relating to the means of escape from the steering gear space on cargo ships ; 
· draft amendments to the Unified interpretation of SOLAS regulations II-1/28 and II-1/29 (MSC.1/Circ.1416) on arrangements for steering capability and function on ships fitted with propulsion and steering systems other than traditional arrangements for a ship's directional control.


Agenda item 13 - Review SOLAS chapter II-2 and associated codes to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on ro-ro spaces and special category spaces of new and existing ro-ro passenger ships 

MSC 97 had agreed to include a new output in the 2016-2017 biennial agenda on "Review SOLAS chapter II-2 and associated codes to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on ro-ro spaces and special category spaces of new and existing ro-ro passenger ships", with a target completion year of 2019. MSC 97 instructed SSE 4 to consider the scope and the work plan, and to advise MSC 98 accordingly. 

SSE 4 had for its consideration the FIRESAFE study, commissioned by EMSA, on fires on ro-ro spaces and special category spaces of ro-ro passenger ships. 

The Working group on Fire safety agreed that a two-step approach should be followed:

  1. development of the Interim Guidelines ; 
  2. development of amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2 and the associated codes.


The latter part of the approach could potentially lead to the development of amendments to SOLAS chapters II-2 and III, the FSS and 2010 FTP Codes, the STCW Convention and Code, and relevant guidelines. The Working group agreed this workplan, following risk-based methodology (FSA) or equivalent techniques, should address the following five main tasks:

  1. Prevention/Ignition ; 
  2. Detection and Decision ; 
  3. Extinguishment ; 
  4. Containment ; 
  5. Integrity of LSA and Evacuation.


SSE 4 agreed to the scope and workplan for the review of SOLAS chapter II-2 and associated codes. MSC 98 will be invited to approve the plan, which would see the development of draft Interim Guidelines alongside draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2 and associated codes, which could be adopted in 2020. 

Agenda item 14 - Develop new requirements for ventilation of survival crafts 

MSC 97 had agreed to include a new output in the 2016-2017 biennial agenda and the provisional agenda for SSE 4 on "Develop new requirements for ventilation of survival crafts", with a target completion year of 2018. 

SSE 4 had for its consideration draft amendments to the LSA Code and the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), regarding the ventilation of totally enclosed lifeboats and focusing on power ventilation systems for improving the microclimate inside totally enclosed lifeboats. SSE 4 decided not to exclude passive ventilation, provided that such passive ventilation will provide the required performance. 

Some delegations raised concerns that the data and information available are insufficient to substantiate a conclusion at this stage. 

SSE 4 considered that it is not feasible to reach a conclusion at this session, and agreed to establish a Correspondence group to further progress on this issue. 

Agenda item 15 – Consequential work related to the new Polar Code 

MSC 97 had decided that additional performance and test standards for the equipment and systems on board ships operating in polar waters should be developed in order to support the implementation of the Polar Code. MSC 97 had instructed in particular SSE 4 to review the LSA Code and the relevant IMO resolutions to adapt current testing and performance standards to the Polar Code provisions or develop additional requirements, if necessary, with the flexibility to determine if any additional tests or performance standards should be developed as "add-on" parts to the relevant instruments. 

The following workplan has been prepared to address any additional testing and performance standards related to life-saving appliances and arrangements on board ships operating in polar waters, taking into account how they should be added to the existing instruments :

· SSE 4 establish a Correspondence Group and prepare terms of reference ; 
· SSE 5 further develop, with a view towards finalization of draft solutions ; 
· Correspondence Group prepare draft standards and resolution ; 
· SSE 6 finalize draft texts and prepare a draft MSC circular for an interim solution.


SSE 4 agreed to establish the Correspondence Group. 

Agenda item 18 - Any Other Business 

Replacement of non-corrosion resistant components fitted outside a lifeboat 

SSE 4 endorsed the draft amendments to the Guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval systems (MSC.1/Circ.1392) and the associated draft MSC circular, for submission to MSC 98 for approval. 

The proposed amendments are aimed to avoid unnecessary replacements of backing plates and bolts installed outside the lifeboat when they are in good condition, taking into account that the LSA Code does not contain provisions in this regard. 

Proposal to review the liferaft requirements of SOLAS chapter III 

Paragraph 2.4 of SOLAS regulation III/26 provides:

"Every liferaft on ro-ro passenger ships shall either be automatically self-righting or be a canopied reversible liferaft which is stable in a seaway and is capable of operating safely whichever way up it is floating”.


SSE 4 discussed the review of the liferaft requirements of SOLAS chapter III in order to require that all passenger and cargo ships be equipped with automatically self-righting or canopied reversible liferafts with a capacity of more than 6 persons, whereas such a requirement only applies to ro-ro passenger ships (SOLAS regulation III/26). 

SSE 4 invited the delegation of China and interested delegations to consider the discussion if submitting a proposal for a new output to the MSC. 

Minor corrections to the Requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear (resolution MSC.402(96)) 

International Life-saving Appliance Manufacturers' Association (ILAMA) proposed minor corrections to resolution MSC.402(96) intended to adequately place and address the precautions included in the existing footnote related to the five-year operational test of the winches of launching appliances. 

SSE 4 requested the Secretariat to prepare the corresponding corrigendum and invited the Committee to note that it will be issued as document MSC 96/25/Add.1/Corr.1. 

This corrigendum amends the location of the footnote in paragraphs 6.2.10 and 6.3.2 which is deleted and reinserted at the end of paragraph 6.3.1 and 6.3.3.4. 

Publication of standard ISO 15364:2016 (third edition), Ships and marine technology – Pressure/Vacuum valves for cargo tanks 

ISO, providing information about the finalization of the 2016 revision of standard ISO 15364 for ship pressure-vacuum relief valve design and test requirements, suggested that this standard should be referenced in the Revised standards for the design, testing and locating of devices to prevent the passage of flame into cargo tanks in tankers (MSC/Circ.677) 

ISO indicated that this standard will be shortly reviewed. 

As this work is still ongoing, ISO will resubmit the information to the next SSE meeting.