Changes to SOLAS lifeboat and immersion suit requirements mandatory by 1 July, 2006.

INTERTANKO reminds members of the new amendments to SOLAS Chapter III which enter into force July 1, 2006, as published in Weekly News, July 2003

1. Changes to Lifeboat inspection and servicing requirements
At its 77th session May-June 2003, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee approved the guidelines for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear. MSC Circ.1093 outlines the requirements which will become mandatory on 1 July, 2006 under SOLAS Regulation III/20.

One of the main changes is a requirement for periodic servicing by ship staff, which should be conducted under the direct supervision of a senior ship officer in accordance with instructions provided by the manufacturer. However annual and five-yearly inspections should be conducted by personnel trained and authorised by the manufacturer.

All other inspections, servicing and repair should be conducted by the manufacturer’s representative or a person appropriately trained and certified by the manufacturer for the work to be done.

New Regulation 32, SOLAS chapter III, enters into force 1 July, 2006.

2. Immersion suits for all ships crew  SOLAS Regulation 32
These changes on immersion suits will apply to all cargo ships. However for cargo ships built before 1 July 2006, compliance with the following paragraphs 3.2 to 3.5 shall be obtained not later than the first safety equipment survey on or after 1 July 2006.

3.2    An immersion suit complying with the requirements of section 2.3 of the Code shall be provided for every person on board the ship. However, for ships other than bulk carriers, as defined in regulation IX/1, these immersion suits need not be required if the ship is constantly engaged on voyages in warm climates** where, in the opinion of the Administration, immersion suits are unnecessary.

3.3    If a ship has any watch or work stations which are located remotely from the place or places where immersion suits are normally stowed, additional immersion suits shall be provided at these locations for the number of persons normally on watch or working at those locations at any time.

3.4    Immersion suits shall be so placed as to be readily accessible and their position shall be plainly indicated.

3.5    The immersion suits required by this regulation may be used to comply with the requirements of regulation 7.3.

** Refer to the Guidelines for assessment of thermal protection (MSC/Circ.1046).