What are the major amendments to SOLAS which have entered into force in 2015?

1 January 2015: Code for Recognized Organizations:- Code for recognised organisations (RO Code) becomes mandatory under SOLAS, MARPOL and Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966.
1 January 2015: Entry into force of 2013 May SOLAS amendments to the following:

  • SOLAS regulation III/19 to require musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure;
  • SOLAS regulation III/19, on emergency training and drills, to mandate enclosed-space entry and rescue drills, which will require crew members with enclosed-space entry or  rescue responsibilities to participate in an enclosed-space entry and rescue drill at least once every two months.
  • Related amendments also to the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft (HSC Code),
  • the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code) and
  • the Code of Safety for Dynamically Supported Craft (DSC Code).
  • Amendment to ISM code
  • SOLAS CH V Reg 19, para 2.10   entry into force :-01/07/2015 ,ship type  Tankers ≥3,000 gt
  1. Code for Recognised Organizations (RO Code)(entering into force on01.01.2015)

SOLAS Chapter XI-1 has been updated to make the newly adopted Code for Recognised Organisations mandatory.  All amendments adopted to the RO Code will also be deemed mandatory.

“The Code serves as the international standard and consolidated instrument containing minimum criteria against which organisations are assessed towards recognition and authorisation and the guidelines for the oversight by flag States.”

It comprised three parts:

  1. General – including communication of information, scope of the code and delegation of authority.
  2. Recognition and authorisation requirements for organisations – including management, resources, performance measurement and quality management systems.
  3. Oversight of recognised organisations – including principles of auditing and how to  establish and manage an oversight programme.
  1. Safety instructions for passengers(entering into force on01.01.2015)(SOLAS Ch III Regulation 19 – Emergency training and drills )

The time when muster of passengers according to SOLAS III, Reg. 19.2.2 shall be carried out will be harmonised with the time of passengers safety briefing according to SOLAS III, Reg. 19.2.3. Musters shall be carried out before departure or immediately after departure. require musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure; Ships carrying passengers that are to be on board for more than 24 hours must take musters of newly-embarked passengers ‘prior to or immediately upon departure’. Passengers must be instructed in the use of life-jackets and on what action to take in the event of an emergency. Passenger safety briefings must also be given prior to or immediately after departure. This must be made by announcement on the ship’s public address system or equivalent means and may be supplemented by information cards, posters or video programmes.

  1. Enclosed space entry and rescue drills (SOLAS Ch III Regulation 19 – Emergency training and drills )

According to SOLAS III, Reg. 19.3.3  ‘crew members with enclosed space entry and rescue responsibilities shall participate in corresponding safety drills at least once every two months’. Enclosed space entry and rescue drills should be planned and conducted considering the recommendations provided by the IMO (Resolution A.1050(27) Revised Recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships).

These must include the following:

  1. checking and use of personal protective equipment required for entry;
  2. checking and use of communication equipment and procedures;
  3. checking and use of instruments for measuring the atmosphere in enclosed spaces;
  4. checking and use of rescue equipment and procedures; and
  5. instructions in first aid and resuscitation techniques.

Every crew member shall be instructed about risks associated with entering enclosed spaces and applicable procedures on board. The instruction shall be given within the regular intervals of instructions in the use of the ship’s life-saving and fire extinguishing appliances every two months (SOLAS III, Reg. 19.4.2.5 in conjunction with Reg. 19.4.1). Drills shall be recorded in the ship’s log-book.

Note :- Related amendments also to the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft (HSC Code), the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code) and the Code of Safety for Dynamically Supported Craft (DSC Code).

  1. Amendments to the ISM-Code
  • According to paragraph 6.2 of the ISM-Code the company is required to ensure that the ship is appropriately manned in all situations of ship operation (cf. Principles of minimum safe manning, Resolution A.1047(27)):
     “6.2 The Company should ensure that each ship is:

    1. manned with qualified, certificated and medically fit seafarers in accordance with national and international requirements; and
    2. appropriately manned in order to encompass all aspects of maintaining safe operations on board.”
  • According to new paragraph 12.2 the responsible company is obliged to verify in regular intervals whether third parties which undertake ISM-related tasks act in conformity with the company’s safety management system:

“12.2 The Company should periodically verify whether all those undertaking delegated ISM-related tasks are acting in conformity with the Company’s responsibilities under the Code.”

In the ISM-Code, reference to guidelines and recommendations developed by the IMO will be added in footnotes

  1. SOLAS CH V Reg 19, para 2.10   entry into force :-01/07/2015  ship type  Tankers ≥3,000 gt

This resolution requires that “tankers of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2012, not later than the first survey* on or after 1 July 2015” must be fitted with  ECDIS  if they are engaged on international voyages.

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