1. Indian Administration has issued DGS Order No. 20 of 2022, dated 20 October 2022 providing guidelines in respect of certification and documentation requirement for vessels (Indian and foreign) operating in Indian waters and certified under SPS Code or MODU Code 1989 or 2009, carrying more than 12 persons other than Master and crew of the vessel.
2. The above DGS Order comes in to force with immediate effect and supersedes M.S. Notice No. 22 of 2013.
3. The requirements provided in DGS Order 20 of 2022 are applicable to self-propelled as well as non-self-propelled vessels, irrespective of their size (GT) or the propulsion power (KW) and are provided as follows:
A. Requirements for Self-propelled vessels:
a. Self-propelled vessels are to be in possession of relevant Convention certificates with all annual/periodical/intermediate endorsements, class certificate indicating specific notations, as well as insurance certificates, MLC certificate, Safety Management certificates, ISPS certificate and updated class survey status.
b. Self-propelled vessels carrying more than 12 persons other than Master and crew, are to be certified either as a passenger vessel or as a Special Purpose Ship (SPS).
c. A 'Special Purpose Ship' is to comply with the requirements given below:
i. Vessels constructed on or after 13th May, 2008 to fully comply with SPS Code, 2008 (MSC Resolution 266 (84)).
ii. Vessels constructed before 13th May, 2008, to fully comply with SPS Code (IMO Res. A. 534(13)).
d. Vessels which undergo a major modification, as defined in SOLAS II-1/1.3 will be considered as a new vessel and will be required to comply with the provisions of SPS Code 2008.
e. All vessels, irrespective of its type / GT, are required to implement and maintain an effective Safety Management System (SMS) covering both the Company operations and operations on board all ships, subject to the ISM Code. These vessels are required to possess a valid Document of Compliance (DOC) and Safety Management Certificate (SMC) or Statement of Compliance (SoC) for both, in accordance with the ISM Code, issued by an RO authorised by the Government of India.
2) Requirements for Crew Boat:
Vessels such as Crew Boat/utility boat/work boat/etc., engaged in transferring personnel to offshore vessels/facilities are required to comply with following:
a. High Speed Crafts (HSC) carrying more than 12 persons other than Master and crew (acquired for registration as an Indian vessel or foreign vessel seeking license for operation in Indian waters, subsequent to the issue of this order (20 October 2022)) are to be certified as HSC Passenger Ships under HSC Code.
b. The existing Indian high speed crafts certified under SPS Code as per MSN 22 of 2013 are to additionally meet the Intact & Damage Stability, Structural fire protection and additional safety requirements with respect to speed and acceleration as required for an HSC passenger craft. This is to be complied by next scheduled dry docking.
c. Such existing Indian vessels (except those falling under high speed craft definition) certified under SPS Code, as per MSN 22 of 2013 may continue to operate under the old regime.
d. All such crew boats and companies operating such vessels are required to possess certificates under ISM Code irrespective of tonnage, The SAR plan and arrangements to be made available and verified by RO and must demonstrate search and rescue support from shore, within 3 months from the issuance of this Order.
3) Requirements for 'Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit':
Existing 'Mobile Offshore Drilling Units' (propelled/non-propelled) under Indian registry, are required to comply with the requirements of MODU Code, 1979, 1989 or 2009, depending on the year of construction/modification. Such MODUs certified as per the 1979 MODU Code are to be upgraded and obtain certification under the MODU Code 1989 within 2 years from the date of issuance of this Order.
Foreign flag Mobile offshore drilling units certified as per the 1979 MODU Code, working in Indian waters on the date of issuance of this Order, are required to upgrade and obtain certification under the MODU Code 1989 within 2 years from the date of issuance of this Order.
Any 'Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit' (propelled/non-propelled) participating in a tender, after the issuance of this Order (i.e. Indian or Foreign), are to comply with the requirements of MODU Code, 1989 or 2009, depending on the year of construction/ modification.
B. Requirements for Non-Self-propelled accommodation barge :
1) The non-self-propelled accommodation vessels (i.e. Indian or Foreign) in addition to meeting the requirements of MODU Code 1989 or 2009 depending on the year of Construction /modification are to comply with the following in addition to possessing a MODU Safety Certificate (or an equivalent Safety certificate as a non-drilling surface unit with accommodation as per MODU Code 1989/2009). Such non-propelled vessels operating in Indian waters are required to be accompanied by the certificates & documents mentioned below.
a. Shall be in possession of;
i. All ships to carry on board certificates in accordance with provisions of the MLC Convention confirming that financial security is in place for:
a) Ship-owner’s liabilities for repatriation of crew, essential needs such as food, accommodation and medical care and up to four months outstanding contractual wages and entitlements in the event of abandonment.
b) Compensation for death or long-term disability due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard set out in the employment agreement or collective agreement.
ii. Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in Respect of Liability for the Removal of Wrecks (WRLC).
iii. Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in Respect of Liability for the Bunker pollution. iv. Certificate of Class for hull, machinery and anchor & mooring arrangements. The certificate of Class is to clearly indicate relevant class notations towards certification with respect to vessel type, purpose, hull, all machinery and equipment fitted on board.
v. Load Line certificate.
vi. MARPOL certificates and its supplements (requirements under Annex-1, IV, V and VI).
vii. ISPS certificate (or a SOC for foreign flag ships from an RO authorised by Government of India),
viii. MLC certificate (or a SOC for foreign flag ships from an RO authorised by Government of India),
ix. Company DOC under ISM Code with endorsement for annual surveillance (or a SOC for foreign flag ships from an RO authorised by Government of India), x. Safety Management Certificate under ISM Code (or a SOC for foreign flag ships from an RO authorised by Government of India),
xi. International Anti-Fouling System Certificate. xii. GMDSS and radio communication equipment on board, in compliance with MODU Code, as applicable, for the GMDSS sea area A3 along with ship station license.
xiii. Maritime mobile V-Sat terminal used on board the vessel while operating in Indian waters need to comply with the requirements specified in the "Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018 of the Ministry of Communication notified on 14.12.2018, as may be amended from time to time.
xiv. "Ship's Register of Lifting Appliances and Cargo handling gear" and certificates of all gear on the vessel including cranes.
b. All offshore vessels, irrespective of its type / GT, are required to implement and maintain an effective Safety Management System (SMS) covering both the Company operations and operations on board all ships, subject to the ISM Code. These vessels are required to possess a valid DOC and SMC or SOC for both, in accordance with the ISM Code, issued by an RO authorised by Government of India.
c. There shall be a Designated Person (DP) assigned in India with direct access to top management to provide and implement risk mitigation measures and emergency preparedness on the vessel and assistance, in case required by the vessel from shore in all cases. If the DP is stationed outside India for foreign flag vessels, then a dedicated person to be stationed in India having experience of ISM, as a minimum qualification as Master (FG) or Chief Engineer officer (Class 1-) or Naval Architect having minimum five years of relevant experience as ISM Lead Auditor with a Classification Society or Maritime Administration and holding a responsible position in the organization or Graduate Mechanical / Electrical / Marine or Petroleum Engineer having experience of at least 05 years in the relevant field and holding a senior management position. Further, the risk assessment as required under Clause 18.104.22.168 of the ISM Code to additionally address the following: i. Detailed risk analysis reviewed by RO authorised by Government of India identifying the various risks involved to the vessel, crew, special personnel and marine environment and based on crew manning being placed for non-propelled vessels and identification of risk mitigation measures with regard to specific operations carried out by the vessel on the Indian waters, transfer of personnel to other vessels or structures and keeping track of their movements, towing (manned/unmanned scenarios involving weather exceeding limiting parameters), damage, fire, mooring line failure, collision, man overboard, etc.
ii. All mitigation measures such as procedures, training, manning, emergency preparedness drill etc. to be identified and implemented.
iii. The vessel to be additionally manned with the required certified seafarers as identified in RO reviewed Risk Assessment.
d. Availability of Minimum Safe Manning by the STCW certified officers and ratings. As a minimum, the following manning is prescribed for vessels operating in Indian waters.
|Nautical Grade Manning:|
|Sr.No.||Rank||Qualification as per STCW Convention (Regulation )||Numbers||Remarks|
|01||Master (FG /NCV)||II/2 & V/2||01||
Additional manning based
|02||Mate (FG) /NCV (Mate)||II/2 & V/2 (NCV mate may be employed on vessels less than 6000 GT)||01|
|Officer ln charge of Navigational watch (FG) or (NCV) with one year rank experience||II/1 & V/2||02|
|GMDSS Operator||IV/1 (GMDSS COC) &V/2||01|
|Able seafarers Deck||II/5 & V/2||03|
|Ratings||With basic STCW Courses & V/2||03|
|01||Chief Engineer||III/2 read with I/3, V/2||01||
Additional manning based
|02||Second Engineer||III/2 read with I/3, V/2||01|
|03||Officer ln charge of Engineering watch (FG),(NCV) with one year rank experience||III/1 read with I/3, V/2||01|
|04||AB Engine||III/4 or III/5, V/2||03|
Note - Sea service of seafarers working on such vessels will be recognized for purpose of their certificate of proficiency or for revalidation of Certificate of Competencies.
e. Such vessels are to be equipped to be secured safely at its location while carrying special personnel or passengers on board, a mooring analysis assessment report approved by a Recognized Organization of the Government of India indicating the limiting Operational parameters and Limiting Environmental conditions for the vessel to be placed on board. The vessels must move to safe waters if the limiting parameters are exceeded.
f. Approved towing plan in fair and foul weather (manned or unmanned) as per MS Notice 08 of 2013 to be placed on board. The approved towing plan must indicate the limiting weather parameters for fair and foul weather conditions.
g. "All crew accommodation area to be in compliance with the requirements specified in MLC 2006, MS (Crew accommodation) Rules 1960 as amended or crew accommodation certificate for compliance with ILO 92 or ILO 133, depending on the year of built". The accommodation facilities used, or appropriated for use, by personnel other than Master and crew to be in compliance with the relevant requirements specified in MLC 2006, as applicable for such personnel.
2) Non propelled accommodation barges which are issued with SPS certificate in accordance with MS Notice 22 of 201-3 dated 05.09.2013 are required to obtain MODU Code certificate by next scheduled dry dock. For existing vessels which are already certified under MODU Code and presently holding a dispensation from the requirement of lifeboat, are required to provide life boats as per MODU Code within 6 months from the date of issuance of this Order.
3) All non-self-propelled barges are required to maintain immersion suits for all personnel on board and additional immersion suits as appropriate for the number of personnel at bridge, machinery control room.
4) When a unit undergoes a conversion, modification, or change of use which substantially alters its service, dimensions, or capacity, it is to be subject to the provisions of the 2009 MODU Code.
C. General Requirements for both Self-propelled and Non Self-propelled vessels:
a. Vessels granted exemptions by their flag which is not permitted under Convention/Code or otherwise, and also if such exemptions have not been granted to Indian vessels by the Directorate will generally not be considered by the Indian Administration.
b. Maximum age of Life rafts used on board the accommodation barges not to be more than 10 years.
c. Insurance certificates required for non-marine personnel not to be less than INR 22 Lakhs or as provided in contract, whichever is higher.
d. Vessels while transferring the persons from their vessel to offshore platforms or accommodation barges or offshore ships are to be guided by IMO guidelines issued vide IMO Circular “MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.10 dated 14.07.2014 and International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) guidance on the transfer of personnel to and from offshore vessels.
e. All vessels to possess a SPS Safety certificate or a MODU Safety Certificate as applicable (in the format given in the SPS/MODU Code), issued by one of the GOI RO.
f. An approved SAR plan for coordination with appropriate Indian search and rescue services (i.e. MRCC) in the event of an emergency is to be available. The plan is to be developed in co-operation between the ship, company and Indian search & rescue services. The plan is to include provisions for periodic exercises to be undertaken to test its effectiveness.
g. An emergency evacuation plan and plan for emergency demobilization and proceeding to an assigned safe location is to be available. Whilst the utmost care has been taken in the compilation of the Technical Information, neither Indian Register of Shipping, its affiliates and subsidiaries if any, nor any of its directors, officers, employees or agents assume any responsibility and shall not be liable to any person for any loss, damage or expense caused in any manner whatsoever by reliance on the information in this document.
h. Aero VHF for two-way on scene radio communications for search and rescue purposes using the aeronautical frequencies 121.5 MHz and 123.1 MHz to be available along with suitable periodic maintenance records from the vessel ROs.
i. All foreign flag vessels including accommodation barges are to be made available for Port State Control inspection as and when required.
j. All Indian accommodation barges are to be made available for the flag state inspection (FSI) annually.
k. All Indian Flag Accommodation barges to obtain trading license to operate in Indian waters.
l. The entity who has engaged the vessel in Indian waters is to ensure compliance of the vessels with the relevant requirement under this DGS order.
m. With respect to insurance referred in this order, the vessel's third party liabilities (MLC, Wreck removal, Bunker pollution, CLC, etc) and for its crew (medical, injury, death, etc) to be covered by the P&I Club of the ship-owner which must be an International Group (IG) P&I Club or Govt. of India approved Club.
n. With respect to insurance of non-marine personnel referred in this order (at least 22 Lakhs INR or as per the contract, whichever is higher), the insurance is to be provided by the P&I Club mentioned in above paragraph. However, insurance from Indian insurance companies may also be considered by the Administration provided that Indian insurance company is able to cover such liability i.e. for person(s) while working at sea on barges and/or platforms.
4. Ship Owners/ operators and masters of vessels operating in Indian waters and certified under SPS Code, HSC Code or MODU Code carrying more than 12 persons other than Master and crew of the vessel are advised to be guided by above and ensure compliance.
5. Noting that the DGS Order 20 of 2022 comes into force with immediate effect, owners/ managers of applicable vessels needs to plan for compliance to the requirements immediately.
6. IRS HO may be contacted for necessary guidance in this regard.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.