SOLAS Amendments Came into Force on July 1st 2012

The following amendments to the regulations annexed to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS 74) adopted by Resolutions MSC.308(88) and MSC.309(88) came into force a few days ago: Regulation 41 of Chapter II-1, Regulations 1 and 3 of Chapter II-2, Regulation 7 of Chapter II-2, Regulation 18 of Chapter V, Regulation 23 of Chapter V.

  1. Regulation 41 of Chapter II-1: Application date. The present regulation (Main source of electrical power and lighting systems) is amended to include the date of application (1 July 2010).
  2. Regulations 1 and 3 of Chapter II-2: International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures, 2010 (2010 FTP Code). The amended SOLAS Regulation 3 gives mandatory effect to the International Code for the Application of Fire Test Procedures, 2010 (2010 FTP Code). The 2010 FTP Code provides the international requirements for laboratory testing, type-approval and fire test procedures for products referenced under SOLAS chapter II-2. It comprehensively revised the existing Code adopted by the MSC in 1996, and enhanced its uniform application. Consequential amendments are made to application dates in Regulation 1.
  3. Regulation 7 of Chapter II-2: Fire detection and alarm for Incinerator rooms. Resolution MEPC.76(40), Standard Specifications for Shipboard Incinerators, adopted by the MEPC in 1997, has a requirement that an enclosed space containing an incinerator should be fitted with a fire detection and alarm system. For consistency, the present amendment to SOLAS regulation II-2/7.4.1 requires a fixed fire detection and fire alarm system for the protection of enclosed incinerator spaces.
  4. Regulation 18 of Chapter V: Annual Test of AIS. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is categorized as a shipborne navigational safety equipment, but it is in fact also an electronic VHF transceiver. Thus, during the annual survey of the safety equipment on board, the attending surveyor may fail to detect electronic faults in the AIS equipment, unless he is trained in the field of electronics and uses an appropriate measuring instrument. The new regulation specifically requires the AIS to be tested annually (in addition to survey) by a competent person, e.g. a radio surveyor.
  5. Regulation 23 of Chapter V: Pilot Transfer Arrangements. Arising from concerns over pilots’ loss of life or serious injury suffered by pilots in the course of transferring to ships, the IMO has adopted amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23 and resolution A.889(21) on Pilot transfer arrangements to improve the safety of pilot transfer operation using ladders and puts a ban on the use of equipment such as mechanical hoists. The related Assembly resolution A.889(21) on performance standards has been superseded by a new resolution A.1045(27).

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