- Republic of Marshall Islands has issued revised marine notice no.2-011-5, Rev.01/2017 (copy attached) providing interpretation and clarification on Administration’s policy towards life saving appliances and equipment.
- The notice supersedes earlier notice, Rev.07/14 and is applicable to all ships and MOUs that are subject to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
- Salient points of the notice are as follows:
- Approval of Equipment:
- The Administration recognizes equipment approvals granted by another State that is a Party to the SOLAS Convention, or a Recognized Organization on behalf of the Administration or other Party to the SOLAS Convention; provided, the approvals are fully in accordance with Convention requirements, other IMO guidelines, and/or European Union Council Directive 96/98/EC on Marine Equipment Directive (MED), as amended.
- All newly installed lifesaving equipment must comply with SOLAS, the LSA code, and IMO Resolution MSC.81 (70) on “Revised Recommendation for Testing of Life-Saving Appliances”.
- Existing equipment, which was manufactured, tested and installed in accordance with previous SOLAS Convention requirements, may continue to be used as long as it remains in serviceable condition.
- However, wrt equipment approval procedure for EPIRB and satellite terminals, the administration requires EPIRBs must be COSPAS SARSAT approved and satellite terminals must be approved by INMARSAT. These endorsements, by themselves, are sufficient to demonstrate that the equipments are acceptable to the Administration.
- Approval of Service Providers:
- The Administration recognizes servicing facilities that are approved by a State which is a Party to the SOLAS Convention, or a Recognized Organization on behalf of the Administration or other Party to the SOLAS Convention; provided the approvals are in compliance with IMO Resolution A.761 (18), as amended by IMO Resolution MSC.55 (66) – “Recommendation on conditions for the approval of servicing stations for inflatable liferafts”. The service station recommended by the RO will be acceptable to the Administration.
- With regard to the servicing and maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear, in cases where manufacturer certified facilities are not available, a non manufacturer certified facility or properly trained personnel selected by the Company may be utilized to perform those relevant servicing and maintenance functions, provided the servicing facility is approved by RO.
- Equipment Servicing:
- Vessels that have implemented the HSSC inspection scheme, the inflatable life rafts, any inflatable life jackets and any installed evacuation systems must be examined and certification of last servicing is to be verified during the annual, periodical and renewal surveys as stipulated in the 1988 SOLAS protocol. On other vessels, these equipment are to be serviced just prior to, or during, the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate periodical and renewal surveys.
- On passenger ships the Administration accepts the servicing of life rafts in smaller groups throughout the certification year. However, each life raft must be serviced at intervals not exceeding 12 months.
- Periodic testing of immersion suits to be conducted according to “Guidelines for Periodic testing of Immersion suit and Anti-exposure Suit Seams and Closures” (MSC/Circ.1114). Immersion suits less than 10 years old are required to be tested at intervals not exceeding three (3) years; suits older than 10 years, or suits which have seams or closures that are in questionable condition may be required to be tested more frequently.
- Immersion suit air tests may be conducted on board ship if suitable equipment is available. However, any repairs are to be conducted by an approved service provider in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Life Rafts:
- Remotely located life rafts required under SOLAS Regulation III/31.1.4, are to be stowed in protected position, readily available at all times with care taken to ensure their accessibility when deck cargoes are carried and facilitation of launching.
- In cases where it is necessary to temporarily carry persons on board in excess of the number currently authorized, specific approval from the administration will be required. When physically possible, the installed lifeboats should be recertified to provide the necessary capacity. However, if the existing lifeboats are already certified to their maximum capacity, the Administrator may allow the substitution of inflatable life raft capacity appropriately installed in accordance with regulatory requirements to augment the required lifeboat complement as a temporary measure of equivalency. These temporary measures to be limited to the minimum period of time required for the additional persons to be onboard and in general, not to exceed two months.
- Immersion Suits and Thermal Protective Aids:
- Administration requires a minimum of 2 immersion suits and 2 lifejackets to be provided at locations where remotely located survival crafts are stowed in accordance with SOLAS Regulation III/31.1.4.
- Vessels (except bulk carriers) that are constantly engaged on voyages in warm climates (within zone between 300 North and 300 South latitudes) are not required to carry immersion suits and/or thermal protective aids.
- However, TPA which are an integral part of survival craft and rescue boat equipment as per LSA Code must be provided regardless of vessel route.
- Considering that totally enclosed lifeboats provide adequate protection from hypothermia without the need for the occupants to wear immersion suits, the Administration strongly recommends that immersion suits should not be worn when boarding totally enclosed lifeboats.
- Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.
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.