PSC Inspections for Asbestos in Dutch ports

The Shipping Department of the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT/Scheepvaart) will be carrying out on-board checks for compliance with the international SOLAS requirement regarding asbestos. Checks will take place during regular PSC inspections of foreign ships in Dutch ports. These inspections will commence in the 3rd/4th quarter of 2012.


The PSC inspector will be accompanied by an expert from an asbestos company who will take samples where necessary. These samples will be analysed and, if asbestos is found, the ship must immediately contact its own Flag State to request an exemption certificate in accordance with MSC.1/circ. 1374.If the ship departs before the results of the analysis are known, a report will be made in Thetis, the PMoU database, if the analysis showed asbestos to be present. If the ship visits a port within the PMoU region, a check will be made to see if the exemption certificate has been issued by the relevant Flag State.

Since the 1st of July 2002 the new installation or use of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) on board sea-going vessels has been prohibited under SOLAS regulations II-1/3-5, except for use in some systems involving high temperatures and high pressure as specified in the aforementioned legislation.

From 1 January 2011, new installation of ACMs is prohibited without exception for all sea-going vessels, pursuant to the SOLAS regulations.

Despite this clear and unambiguous prohibition of ACMs, asbestos is still regularly encountered in various locations on board ships. During inspections asbestos has been found in such places as fire blankets, insulation materials, types of sealants, friction material for brakes, wall and ceiling coverings, cables, cords, electric fuses etc. Moreover, ships that were originally free of asbestos appear to have ACMs on board as a result of repairs at shipyards and/or the purchase of spare parts at a later stage.

Source: SAFETY4SEA

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