1. IMO vide Circular –MSC.1/Circ. 1318/Rev.1 has approved revised Guidelines for the maintenance and inspections of fixed carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing system.
2. The amendments represent a significant increase in the hydrostatic test regime for CO2 cylinders. While the ten percent (10%) of the total number of CO2 cylinders shall still be hydrostatically tested at the 10-year inspection, the MSC.1/Circ. 1318/ Rev.1 requires that all cylinders to be tested before the 20-year anniversary. Further, all cylinders (100%) to be tested at every 10-year anniversary thereafter.
3. The revised requirements states that -
“The hydrostatic test date of all storage containers should be checked. High-pressure cylinders should be subjected to periodical tests at intervals not exceeding 10 years. At the 10-year inspection, at least 10% of the total number provided should be subjected to an internal inspection and hydrostatic test. If one or more cylinders fail, a total of 50% of the onboard cylinders should be tested. If further cylinders fail, all cylinders should be tested. Before the 20-year anniversary and every 10-year anniversary thereafter, all cylinders should be subjected to a hydrostatic test”.
4. When the CO2 cylinders are removed for hydrostatic test, they should be replaced such that the quantity of fire-extinguishing medium continues to satisfy the requirements of 2.2.1 of chapter 5 of the FSS Code, subject to SOLAS regulation II-2/14.2.
5. Further, at least once every five years, internal inspection of all control valves to be performed (aligned with the requirements of MSC.1/Circ.1432).
6. Copy of MSC.1/Circ.1318/Rev.1 is attached. Ship owners/ managers and masters are advised to take note of the revised requirements and ensure compliance.
7. This Technical Circular supersedes and revokes earlier Technical Circular No. 062/2021, dated 28 December 2021.
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.