DE 51 - Implementation of MSC.1/Circ.1206 on lifeboat inspection/maintenance

Although there was some progress at DE 51 on Life Saving Appliances (LSA), due to time constraints a number of important issues were not discussed, such as design problems with on-load release hooks. This issue was instead referred to an inter-sessional correspondence group, which will report to DE 52 in 2009.


With regard to the maintenance and servicing of lifeboats and their associated equipment, the Sub-committee developed and agreed on draft guidelines to be used by Administrations when authorising service providers to carry out maintenance and service work on lifeboats and their associated equipment, as recommended by MSC.1/Circ.1206.


The draft guidelines were forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 84) for further consideration and approval. At the request of INTERTANKO - together with Panama, and with the support of Bahamas, Dominica, Liberia, Malta and Marshall Islands, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Oil Companies' International Marine Forum (OCIMF) - the guidelines were amended at the last minute to include a paragraph requiring manufacturers to ensure that the necessary information, spare parts and tools are made available to service providers carrying out the work, even when the service provider has not been certified by the manufacturer.


MSC.1/Circ.1206 will itself be reviewed by a correspondence group, established by DE 51, as it has become apparent that it needs to be amended to give Administrations the authority to authorise service providers regardless of whether or not they are the original manufacturer or have been certified by the original manufacturer.


Members are advised that the MSC.1/Circ.1206 is an IMO recommendation only, and it is not mandatory under the SOLAS Convention, as some ship owners have been led to believe. However, Administrations can make it mandatory (and some already have) in their national legislation. 

Contact: Fredrik Larsson