The latest International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) legislation, as reported by Lloyd's Register Class News

Statutory alert: New SOLAS requirements for additional means of escape from machinery spaces on new passenger and cargo ships

Class News No. 26/2015 | 1st December 2015

Applicability: All new passenger and cargo ships constructed (keel laid) on or after 1st January 2016

The IMO has amended SOLAS Regulation II-2/13.4* to improve means of escape in the machinery spaces on cargo ships, bringing them into line with existing arrangements for passenger ships. The amendments will require two means of escape from a machinery control room for new passenger and cargo ships constructed (keel laid) on or after 1st January 2016.

Engine and cambelt machinery aboard superyacht

The following additional requirements have also been included for new passenger and cargo ships:

  • Two means of escape will be required from main workshops within the machinery space, with at least one of these escape routes providing a continuous fire shelter to a safe position outside the machinery space
  • All inclined ladders and stairways fitted with open treads in machinery spaces being part of or providing access to escape routes, but not located within a protected enclosure, will have to be fitted with steel shields attached to their undersides

The meaning of the terms ‘main workshop’, ‘machinery control room’, ‘continuous fire shelter’ and ‘safe position’ is clarified in IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1511.

For more information, visit Lloyds Register.

* The amendments to SOLAS Regulation II-2/13.4 are contained in IMO Resolution MSC.365(93).

Statutory alert: Guidance for good practice

Class News No. 21/2015 | 20th October 2015

Applicability: All builders, owners and operators

The IMO has consolidated previously issued guidance relating to Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) into one guidance document, published as Circular MSC.1/Circ.1503.

Cockpit aboard a small boat

This circular gave advice on:

  • SOLAS chart carriage requirements
  • ECDIS software maintenance
  • Operating anomalies identified within ECDIS
  • Differences between raster chart display system (RCDS) mode and ECDIS mode
  • ECDIS training
  • Transitioning from paper charts to ECDIS navigation
  • Guidance on training and assessment in the operational use of ECDIS simulators

It also includes a list of ECDIS apparent operating and display anomalies, and referenced to IMO performance standards for ECDIS and other circulars related to ECDIS.

Ship operators, masters and deck officers on ECDIS-fitted ships are encouraged to use this guidance to improve their understanding and facilitate safe and effective use of ECDIS.

For more information, visit Lloyd’s Register.

Statutory alert: Early implementation of requirements for portable atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed spaces – Singapore and Vanuatu

Class News 10/2015 | 16th June 2015

Applicability: Owners and managers of vessels registered in Singapore and Vanuatu.

The Singapore flag administration has issued Shipping Circular No.8 of 2015, and the Republic of Vanuatu has issued Fleet/Safety Letter 170415, regarding the early implementation of future amendments to SOLAS Regulation XI-1/7.

The Circular and Letter require a portable atmosphere testing instrument (or instruments) to be provided as soon as possible, but no later than 1st July 2015.

Photograph taken from the side of an anchored yacht

This requirement applies to all Vanuatu-registered vessels to which SOLAS Regulations apply, and to all Singapore-registered vessels to which Chapter I of the Singapore Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Regulations apply.

Under Singapore, the application is extended to drilling/non-drilling units certified to the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU Code).

In accordance with the amendments to SOLAS regulation XI-1/7 contained in IMO Resolution MSC.380(94):

  • Portable atmosphere testing instruments shall be capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide prior to entry into enclosed spaces
  • Instruments carried under other requirements may satisfy this regulation
  • Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of all such instruments

Ship owners should take into consideration MSC.1/Circ.1477 – Guidelines to Facilitate the Selection of Portable Atmosphere Testing Instruments for Enclosed Spaces as Required by SOLAS Regulation XI-1/7.

For more information, visit Lloyd’s Register.