IMCA proposal to IMO leads to revision of Diving Code

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 12 March 2020


IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association) has announced that IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) at its 7th session has endorsed the establishment of an intersessional Correspondence Group to progress the revision and update of the IMO Code of Safety for Diving Systems (resolution A.831 (19) and the Guidelines and Specifications for Hyperbaric Evacuation Systems (resolution A.692 (17)).

The Correspondence Group is tasked to:

  • Consider key areas to be addressed for revising the Code of Safety for Diving Systems (resolution A.831(19)), based on document SSE 7/14, in particular, paragraph 6 of the document;
  • Develop a draft new Code in the Goal Based Standard (GBS format), by incorporating the relevant parts of the Guidelines and Specifications for Hyperbaric Evacuation Systems (resolution A.692(17)); and
  • Submit a report to SSE 8 in March 2021. [The actual deadline for submission of the first draft of the revised IMO Diving Code will be by the end of November 2020].

The decision to proceed with the update was reached following a review by the SSE Sub-Committee of two proposals prepared and submitted by IMCA and its co-sponsors, the Bahamas and the Marshall Islands.


To support the papers and increase awareness amongst Member States of the need to update the IMO Diving Instruments, three diving industry experts delivered a lunchtime presentation to a busy plenary session. In addition, an informative display, comprising a diving mannequin, video footage and graphic panels, was exhibited throughout the meeting.

Margaret Fitzgerald, IMCA’s Head of Marine Policy & Regulatory Affairs stated, “We are delighted to have had the support of several IMO Member States in taking forward our proposals at SSE 7, in particular, the Bahamas and the Marshall Islands. During the plenary session, all Member States who spoke, fully recognised that the work on the revision of IMO’s Diving Instruments was necessary and expressed overwhelming support for the establishment of a Correspondence Group to work intersessionally on preparing a new draft text for consideration at the 8th session of the SSE Sub-Committee in Q1 2021. We look forward to continuing our close co-operation with all those IMO Member States and Industry Groups who elect to participate in this Group and will work diligently to ensure that the Group delivers a comprehensive new text to IMO.

“The informative presentation given by Anthony Greenwood of ExxonMobil, Rob Rostron of DNVGL and IMCA’s Diving Manager, Bryan McGlinchy, which provided background information and context for the proposals was very well received and undoubtedly helped to garner support. The display in the Delegates’ Lounge provided an opportunity for IMCA to raise awareness and interest among a wide group of Member States. We would like to thank Subsea 7 for kindly letting us use their diving mannequin as part of our display.”

Bryan McGlinchy, IMCA’s Diving Manager said, “We are delighted that the SSE Sub-Committee has taken the decision to form a Correspondence Group to undertake the revision and updating of IMO’s Diving Instruments. The IMO Code of Safety for Diving Systems is the only international regulatory instrument that aims to set a minimum standard of safety for working divers. I have no doubt that a well-considered revision of the Code will greatly benefit commercial diving safety right across the marine contracting sector.”

The Journal

Published every February the journal is now recognised as the highest quality publication that covers all aspects of maritime technology and regulation and a must read for the industry.

More Details