1. Indian Administration issued MSN No. 01 of 2020 specifying requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repairs of launching appliances and release gear for lifeboats, rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit launched life rafts.
2. The said MSN provides that service personnel carrying out maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repairs of lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats and fast rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear mechanisms for lifeboats, rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit launched liferafts are to be certified by the manufacturer or authorized service provider for each make and type of equipment in accordance with manufacturers established certification programme and Section 8 of IMO Resolution MSC. 402 (96).
3. Further, Resolution MSC.402 (96) states that where a manufacturer is no longer in business or no longer provides technical support, the Administration may authorize service providers for the equipment on the basis of prior authorization for the equipment and/or long-term experience and demonstrated expertise as an authorized service provider.
4. In this respect, in exceptional cases where maintenance / servicing of safety equipment as above is to be undertaken by service providers who do not possess authorization from the specific original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or service personnel certified by them, Indian Administration has established following Standard Operating Procedure (SOP):
a. Ship-owners/managers to make every effort to utilise DGS-authorized stations with due authorization from the original equipment and engage manufacturer-trained personnel for the service of onboard safety equipment.
b. Only under the circumstances of contingencies as specified in Para ‘F’ of MSN 01 of 2020, as amended, whereby a manufacturer is no longer in business or no longer provides technical support, the shipowners/ managers may consider servicing of such safety equipment through service providers who do not possess authorizations from specific original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or service personnel certified by them.
c. In general, the service stations offering such service activities of equipment for which they do not possess explicit authorization from specific original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or do not have service personnel trained and certified by them, shall ensure the following: -
i. The service provider is in possession of valid approval from the Directorate General of Shipping with the scope of the activities concerned and must have a minimum service experience of five years as a DGS approved service station for the purpose.
ii. The Service provider to ensure that it is in possession of required tools including specialized tools, work procedures and new equivalent spares as specified in MSN-01 of 2020 Para-D 8 (b, c, d, e) from the reputed manufacturer for the intended service.
iii. The maintenance or service must be performed in presence of surveyors from the Administration or from a Recognised Organization (RO) authorized by the Government of India, and every certificate/report issued thereby must have the surveyors' signatures who has witnessed the service.
iv. Surveyors witnessing servicing of such safety equipment from Non-OEM approved service station / personnel are to verify that requirement of above para 3 is complied with.
v. The authorised service provider is to ensure that the jobs undertaken are incorporated into the six monthly submissions to the DGS with the details in the remark column specifying that the service was carried out under DGS authorisation due to the non-availability of certified OEM personnel.
d. For Indian-flagged vessels in foreign ports, ship owners/managers may employ a service provider authorized by the Maritime Administration of that foreign port or by their Recognized Organizations as provided in Para-F (2) of MSN-01 of 2020.
5. Ship Owners/ operators and masters of Indian flagged ships are advised to be guided by above and ensure compliance.
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.