Cargo Ship Safety Certificates- A Really Handy Guide

And now this blog moves on to some of the certificates covering vessel safety. 

Keeping the vessel safe

These certificates cover the most important elements of Cargo vessel safety. Cargo ships have two methods of achieving this certification, each method having different certificates.

What are the two options of cargo ship safety certification?

1. Separate certificates covering:

2. A combined Cargo Ship Safety Certificate covering all three areas

Passenger ships certification will be covered in a later post.

Why are these required?

They are required by SOLAS chapters II-1, II-2, III, IV and V

The Cargo ship safety construction certificate

What does the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate cover?

The structure, machinery and equipment of the ship , other than items included in the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate and a Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate.

Why is it required?

SOLAS chapter 1 regulation 10 and 12solas

Which ships require the certificate?

Cargo ships of 500 gross tons or more on international voyages.

What does the certificate signify?

That the ship has been surveyed in accordance with the requirements of regulation I/10 of SOLAS.

That the survey showed that the condition of the structure, machinery and equipment as defined in the regulation was satisfactory and the ship complied with the relevant requirements of chapters II-1 and II-2 of the Convention, other than those relating to fire safety systems and appliances and fire control plans.

What details are found on the certificate?

Particulars of the ship

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Gross tonnage
  • Deadweight of ship (metric tons)
  • IMO Number

Type of ship

  • Bulk carrier
  • Oil tanker
  • Chemical tanker
  • Gas carrier
  • Cargo ship other than any of the above

Build details

  • Date of building contract
  • Date on which keel was laid or ship was at similar stage of construction
  • Date of delivery
  • Date on which work for a conversion or an alteration or modification of a major character
  • was commenced (where applicable)

Dates of inspections and survey

  • Date of survey
  • Dates of last two inspections of the outside of the ship’s bottom
  • Endorsement for annual and intermediate surveys
  • Endorsement for inspections of the outside of the ship’s bottom

See UK The Merchant Shipping (Survey and Certification) Regulations 2015

What surveys are required to maintain the certificate?

  • An initial survey before the ship is put into service
  • A renewal survey-Maximum of 5 years
  • An intermediate survey- within three months before or after the second or third anniversary date of a Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate
  • An annual survey- within three months before or after each anniversary date of the ship’s Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate
  • Inspections of the ship’s bottom- two inspections of the ship’s bottom to take place out of the water within any five year period, and at intervals not exceeding 36 months.

A good reference is the UK’s MSN 1751 Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC)

What is covered in a renewal survey?

  • Structure
  • Boilers
  • Other pressure vessels
  • Main and auxiliary machinery including steering gear and associated control systems, electrical installation and other equipment
  • In the case of tankers, the pump-rooms, cargo, bunker and ventilation piping systems and associated safety devices
  • Required stability information is provided

The survey confirms that all of these are in as satisfactory condition and are fit for the service for which the ship is intended.

What do the intermediate and annual survey consist of?

An intermediate survey includes an inspection of the above to ensure that they remain satisfactory for the service for which the ship is intended.

An annual survey will include a general inspection of the above to ensure that they have been maintained to conform with the provisions of the relevant regulations to ensure that the ship in all respects will remain fit to proceed to sea without danger to the ship or persons on board, and that they remain satisfactory for the service for which the ship is intended.

Must the bottom inspection be conducted in a dry dock?

Consideration may be given to alternate inspections being carried out with the ship afloat using alternative methods.

The next post will cover the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate.


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3 thoughts on “Cargo Ship Safety Certificates- A Really Handy Guide

  1. […] Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate -SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12 […]

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  2. […] Cargo ship: Not more than 5 years and should not be extended beyond the expiry date of the valid Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate. […]

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