The Harmonized Common Structural Rules (CSR-H) for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers has been issued on 1st Jan 2014, and will enter into force on 1st July 2015 to supersede the current two separate CSR versions, namely CSR-OT for Oil tankers and CSR-BC for bulk carriers. CSR-H aims at a consistent methodology harmonizing CSR-OT and CSR-BC, and establishes new criteria and requirements with the further aim of compliance with the IMO Goal Based Standard (GBS) where GBS functional requirements fall within Classification Rule scope. To maintain equivalent or higher safety level than current CSR, the rule developments within CSR-H are as a guideline aimed at scantling requirements that will be the same or higher for a given CSR vessel given the same ship design parameters and structural arrangement both globally and locally. The purpose of this study is to introduce the main changes from CSR to CSR-H, the new criteria set up for GBS compliance, and evaluate their impact on the structural design, especially on the scantlings. A carefully selected set of ten bulk carriers and eight oil tankers are investigated with the focus not only on the midship area but also on the foremost and aftmost cargo block areas as well. The typical critical areas affected by CSR-H due to fatigue or buckling criteria are identified, discussed and analyzed in detail. The impacts on scantlings and improvement suggestions for structural design based on CSR-H are further summarized and conclusions made.

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