Latest amendments on SOLAS

1. SOLAS Chapter II-1

This regulation provides technical standards for protective coating in dedicated seawater ballast tanks of all type of ships of not less than 500 gross tonnage and double –side skin spaces arranged in bulk carriers of 150m in length .This regulation will enter into force on 1 July 2008.

2. SOLAS Chapter II-2

-The fire protection arrangements in relation to cabin balconies on passenger ships will enter into force 1 July 2008.

-New fire hoses fitted after 1 July 2008 shall comply with the following requirement:

The arrangements should be such that at least two jets of water can reach any part of the deck in the cargo area and those portions of the cargo containment system and tanks covers above the deck. The necessary number of fire hydrants should be located to satisfy the above arrangements and to comply with the requirements of SOLAS regulation II-2/ and II-2/, with hose lengths as specified in regulation II-2/

3. SOLAS Chapter III

-Free-fall lifeboats on load release systems and rescue boats on load release gear are subject to annual and 5 yearly inspection and tests by the manufacturer or person agreed by properly trained personnel;however,according to MSC Circ 1206, properly trained personnel means the manufacturer's representative or a person appropriately trained and certified by the manufacturer for the work to be done.A report of the test shall be made available to the Surveyor by the party performing the test. The overload tests in five year intervals shall be done in the presence of the Society's surveyor.

-Liferafts provided for easy side-to side transfer shall have a mass of less than 185 kg

- The training manual shall be written in the working language of the ship

-The general emergency alarm system shall be audible throughout all the accommodation and normal crew working spaces. On passenger ships, the system shall also be audible on all open decks.

-New condition for accepting a lifeboat as a rescue boat (its launching and recovery arrangements shall also comply with the requirements for a rescue boat).MSC216(82)

-Rescue boats shall be stowed in a fully inflated condition at all times if of the inflated type.

Date of entry:1 July 2008
The area where the remotely located survival craft, required by regulation 31.1.4 of SOLAS III, are stowed should be provided with embarkation ladder or other means of embarkation enabling descent to the water in a controlled manner in accordance with 11.7 of SOLAS III according to the interpretation circulated in IMO circular MSC.1/Circ. 1243.
Regarding this, a knotted rope is not acceptable as "other means of embarkation".

Above requirements should be applied to all cargo ships regardless of date of construction.
And the compliance with this regulation is confirmed at the next annual survey after 1 October 2008 in respect of the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate.


To ensure the maintenance of adequate strength and watertightness of seams and closures of immersion suits and anti-exposure suits with age, each suit should be subjected to an air pressure test at intervals not exceeding three years, or more frequently for suits over ten years of age in accordance with the guidelines set out in IMO Circular MSC/Circ.1114 dated 25 May 2004 as part of the maintenance required to be carried out by SOLAS Reg III/20.3.1

Amendments to SOLAS Chapter III - Life-saving appliances and arrangements

In Regulation 7 - Personal life-saving appliances, the amendments add a new requirement for infant lifejackets. For passenger ships on voyages of less than 24 hours, a number of infant lifejackets equal to at least 2.5% of the number of passengers on board is to be provided; and for passenger ships on voyages of 24 hours or greater, infant lifejackets are to be provided for each infant on board. A further amendment relates to the provision of lifejackets for larger passengers and states that, if the adult lifejackets provided are not designed to fit persons with a chest girth of up to 1,750 mm, a sufficient number of suitable accessories are to be available on board to allow them to be secured to such persons.
Date of entry:1 july 2010

Amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance Code (LSA Code)

The amendments include the requirement that all life saving appliances should withstand in stowage an air temperature range of 30°C to +65°C and personal life-saving appliances should remain operational throughout an air temperature range of -15°C to +40°C. The colour of life-saving appliances is now specified to be "of international or vivid reddish orange, or a comparably highly visible colour on all parts where this will assist detection at sea". The existing section 2.2 on General requirements for lifejackets is revised and replaced. Further amendments relate to specifications for immersion suits and anti-exposure suits.

4. SOLAS Chapter V

Regulation 20:

-All ships of 20 000 gross tonnage and upwards and constructed on or after 1 July 2006;but not later than 1 July 2009 being fitted with a VDR.
- All ships of 3000 gross tonnage and upwards,but not less than 20000 gross tonnage and constructed before 1 July 2002;but not later than 1 July 2010 being fitted with a VDR.
Res A 861(20): The VDR should provide an interface for downloading the stored data and playback the information to an external computer. The interface should be compatible with an internationally recognized format, such as Ethernet, USB, FireWire, or equivalent.

Regulation 19.2.4:

IMO has developed guidelines on annual testing of AIS set out in the annex of an MSC circular, MSC.1/Circ.1252 (Guidelines On Annual Testing Of The Automatic Identification System (AIS)) dated 22 October 2007 to achieve a uniform and standard method of testing, including a standard format of a test report.
The annual inspection and testing of the AIS is part of the survey in respect of the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate, paragraph 1 of MSC.1/Circ.1252 states that "the annual testing of the AIS should be carried out by a qualified radio inspector".

5. Latest Amendments of Solas is to be Effective on 1 January 2009

1-The amendments primarily revise Parts A, B and B-1 of Chapter II-1 dealing with subdivision and stability of ships resulting in the re-structuring and re-organising of those parts. The amendments also bring about the change of prescribed subdivision and damaged stability criteria for passenger ships from deterministic criteria to probabilistic criteria. This is to harmonise with the prescribed probabilistic criteria for subdivision and damaged stability for cargo ships.
2 The re-structuring and re-organising of those parts in Chapter II-1 leads to consequential editorial change in references to regulation numbers in some regulations in Chapters II-2, VI, IX, XI-1, XI-2 and XII.
4 The significant changes brought about by the amendments are the following new requirements :
(a) Passenger ships of 120 metres and upwards in length as defined in the International Convention on Load Lines or having 3 or more main vertical zones constructed on or after 1 July 2010 are required to be designed so that essential shipboard systems remain operational when any single watertight compartment is flooded. (Reg II-1/8-1).
(b) Passenger ships constructed on or after 1 July 2010 are required to be fitted with a flooding detection system for watertight spaces below the bulkhead deck (Reg II-1/22-1).
(c) Company as defined in Regulation IX/1 and registered owners of ships are required to be provided with an identification number conforming to the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme adopted by Resolution MSC.160(78). This identification number is to be inserted on the Document of Compliance (DOC) and the Safety Management Certificate (SMC) required by the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, the Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) required by Regulation XI-1/5 and the International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) required by the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. (Reg XI-1/3-1).
(d) The Continuous Synopsis Record issued or updated on or after 1 January 2009 will contain the registered owner identification number and the Company identification number. (Reg XI-1/5.3).

6. Latest Amendments of Solas is to be Effective on 1 July 2009

20 Jan 2009
  • Amendment to SOLAS chapter IV, to add a new regulation 4-1 on GMDSS satellite providers. The new regulation provides for the MSC to determine the criteria, procedures and arrangements for the evaluation, recognition, review and oversight of the provision of mobile satellite communication services in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). See also resolution A.1001(25) Criteria for the provision of mobile-satellite communication systems in the GMDSS adopted by the IMO Assembly at its 25th session in November 2007.
  • Amendment to SOLAS chapter VI, to add a new regulation 5-1 on material safety data sheets (MSDS), to require ships carrying MARPOL Annex I cargoes (oil) and marine fuel oils to be provided with a material safety data sheet prior to loading such cargoes. The regulation refers to the Recommendation for material safety data sheets (MSDS) for MARPOL Annex I cargoes and marine fuel oils, adopted by the Organization through resolution MSC.150(77).
  • Amendment to the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships (INF Code), specifically, to Chapter 2, on Damage Stability, to bring it into line with updates to SOLAS.
  • Amendments to forms contained in the appendix to the Annex to the 1988 SOLAS Protocol to add a section to cover alternative design and arrangements (Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, Cargo Ship Safety Certificate, Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate and Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate). Also, similar amendments to the forms for the Nuclear Passenger Safety Certificate and the Nuclear Cargo Ship Safety Certificate contained in the appendix to the Annex to the 1974 SOLAS Convention.


MSDS requirement for fuel deliveries from 1st July 2009
With effect from 1st July 2009, SOLAS REG VI/5-1 will require marine fuel suppliers to provide the ship's crew , prior to delivery, with a material safety data sheet for each type of oil fuel to be loaded to the ship.


As of 1 July 2009, within a 24 mile limit off the coast of California, ships must use
DMA and DMB fuels exclusively.
The following limits are applicable to sulphur content:
Marine gas oil (DMA) => 1.5%
Marine diesel oil (DMB) => 0.5%

These limits apply to main engines, auxiliary engines and boilers alike.
From 1 January 2012 a limit of 0.1% sulphur content will apply to both DMA and DMB, unless otherwise advised by Californian authorities


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