Mandatory Means of Access - reminder

As previously reported, in December 2002 IMO adopted a set of significant amendments to the SOLAS Convention (SOLAS II-1/3-6) mandating Permanent Means of Access in new tankers and new bulk carriers (built as from 1 January 2005). The development of this quite complex regulation was rapid and the results were not entirely practical. These shortcomings prompted a strong and coordinated industry campaign for a revision of the provisions - and the IMO and Flag Administrations subsequently agreed to revise the regulation.  

The process of revision was concluded in May 2004 at the 78th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 78). The sequence of the implementation of this rule and of the subsequent amendments - which was somewhat unusual - was as follows: 

1.       SOLAS II-1/3-6 (the regulation), as adopted in December 2002, entered into force on 1 July 2004 and became operative on 1 January 2005.

2.       The Technical Provisions, as initially adopted with SOLAS II-1/3-6 in December 2002, applied from 1 January 2005.

3.       The amendments to SOLAS II-1/3-6 came into force on 1 July 2005 and will become operative from 1 January 2006.

4.       The amended Technical Provisions will also become operative from 1 January 2006.

5.       MSC 78 had issued a Circular encouraging Flag Administrations to accept that, instead of the original SOLAS II-1/3-6 and the original Technical Provisions, ships built before 1 January 2006 could use the amended versions even though these have not yet come into force or become operative.

6.       However, 1 January 2006 is the official date when the amended version of the SOLAS regulation and the amended version of the Technical Provisions becomes mandatory for ships with building contracts as from early January 2006. 

The following documents can be downloaded from the INTERTANKO web site: 

Contact: Dragos Rauta