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IMO HIGHLIGHTS LATEST SOLAS AMENDMENTS

Friday, December 20, 2019 

The International Maritime Organization, in its latest briefing, notes that a set of important amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and various codes mandatory under the Convention are due to enter into force on 1 January 2020.

Amendments to SOLAS regulations III/3 and III/20 make mandatory the requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear. 

Amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 relating to subdivision and  stability enter into force, amending, among other things, the regulations on the required subdivision of passenger ships to increase their safety, as well as regulations related to the stability information to be provided to a ship's master.

Requirements for all new passenger ships carrying more than 36 passengers to be built with evacuation analysis early in the design process come into force. The amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/13 extend the requirements for evacuation analysis to all passenger ships, not just ro-ro passenger ships.

Amendments to chapter IV of SOLAS and some codes provide for a "recognized mobile satellite service" to be installed for maritime distress and safety communications. Previously, the regulations specified an Inmarsat device.

In addition to these important updates, various other amendments, agreed by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its MSC96, MSC97, MSC98 and MSC99 will also become mandatory as from 1 January.

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