Technical Circular No. 011 | 2017

Subject: The Bahamas National Requirements, Revision 08.

                      PDF file Download PDF

  • The Bahamas Maritime Authority has issued Revised National Requirements, Rev 08 (copy attached) providing technical requirements applicable to Bahamian ships.
  • The Revised National Requirements also contains few interpretations and clarifications on the technical standards. Some points of use to ship owners/ operators and masters are listed below.
  • Atmosphere Testing Instruments – Calibration

The new SOLAS Regulation XI-1/7 requires “Every ship to which chapter I applies shall carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments. As a minimum, these shall be capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide prior to entry into enclosed spaces. Instruments carried under other requirements may satisfy this regulation. Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of all such instruments”.

IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1477 provides the guidelines to facilitate the selection of portable Atmosphere Testing Instruments.

The Bahamas Maritime Authority has clarified that “suitable means of calibration” referred to in Regulation 7, may include on board calibration using the instrument manufacturer’s instructions (and calibration equipment if provided) or calibration ashore.

Where the instrument is calibrated ashore, the Company must ensure that an alternative atmosphere-testing instrument is available on the ship whilst the first instrument is ashore for calibration. A valid calibration certificate should accompany the “in-use” instrument at all times.

The Bahamas Maritime Authority also requires that where the instrument manufacturer recommends carriage of span gas containing the correct gas mix for the instrument(s), same is to be carried on board for the purpose of “bump testing” of the instrument before use.

  • Atmosphere Testing Instruments – Colorimetric Tubes

The BMA considers colorimetric tubes (commonly known by the brand names Drager and Gastec) acceptable for the detection of one or more of the gases specified in MSC.1/Circ.1477 prior to entry to an enclosed space, if the tubes are within their expiry dates and have been stored in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

  • With reference to paragraph 8.2 and 9.3 of Resolution A.1050(27) which requires “Persons entering enclosed spaces should be provided with calibrated and tested

multi-gas detectors that monitor the levels of oxygen, carbon monoxide and other gases as appropriate”, the MBA has clarified that;

“These may be the same instrument(s) as required by SOLAS XI-1/Regulation 7 (other than Colorimetric tubes) or may be additional instrument”.

  • Polar Waters Operational Manual (PWOM)

PWOMs approved by any Recognised Organisation on behalf of other Administrations, or approved directly by other Administrations, are not acceptable. Accordingly, the PWOM is to be approved on behalf of The Bahamas by a Bahamas Recognised Organisation when the vessel joins the Registry.

  • Ballast Water Management Convention – Implementation dates

Regulation B-3 of the Ballast Water Management Convention specifies implementation dates for compliance with Regulations D-1 and D-2 of the Convention.

Regulation D-1 (ballast water exchange) applies to all ships to which the Convention applies from 08 September 2017.

Ships to which the Convention applies, with a keel laying date on or after 08 September 2017, are required to comply with the discharge standard specified in Regulation D-2 of the Convention on delivery.

Ships to which the Convention applies, with a keel laying date before 08 September 2017, are required to comply with the discharge standard specified in Regulation D-2 of the Convention by the first IOPP renewal survey after 08 September 2017.

The BMA has informed that ship owners and managers may seek to de-harmonize the IOPP certificate due dates from the HSSC system of the statutory certificates for their vessels to allow the renewal of IOPP survey before the implementation date of BWMC (due 8th Sept 2017) in order to postpone the installation of a Ballast Water Management System.

The BMA has further clarified that where the IOPP renewal survey is completed early and de-harmonised with the remaining renewal surveys, it is recommended that the IOPP renewal be re-harmonised with the remaining renewal surveys at the earliest possible date.

In all cases where the owner wishes to complete the IOPP renewal survey early, the Recognised Organisation (Class) shall advise the BMA.

  • Ballast water treatment system alarms

MEPC.174 (58) Guidelines for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8 guidelines) requires that “…audible and visual alarm signals should be given in all stations from which ballast water operations are controlled.” 

In order to minimise any impact on navigational safety as a result of alarms sounding on the bridge, the BMA accepts the following arrangements as meeting the intent of the G8 guidelines:

  • There is a visual and audible alarm in the engine control room;
  • The engine control room is manned at all times;
  • There is a visual alarm on the bridge.
  • Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above and the attached Bahamas National Requirements, Revision 08.


  1. The Bahamas National Requirements, Revision 08, issued December 2016. 


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.


 PDF file Download PDF


All Technical Circulars