Cargo ship safety equipment certificate- A handy guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate

The SEC, ensuring a ship has the correct safety equipment

What does the Cargo Ship Safety equipment Certificate cover?

  • Fire safety systems
  • Life saving appliances
  • Navigational equipment
  • Pilot embarkation arrangements
  • Nautical publications
  • Lights and shapes
  • Sound signals
  • Distress signals

Why is it required?

SOLAS chapter Regulation 8 – Surveys of Life-Saving Appliances and other Equipment of Cargo Ships.
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/8  of  SOLAS
  •  The  ship  complied  with  the  requirements  of  the  Convention  as  regards  fire  safety  systems and appliances and fire control plans
  •  The  life-saving  appliances  and  the  equipment  of  the  lifeboats,  liferafts  and  rescue boats were provided in accordance with the requirements of the Convention
  • The  ship  was  provided  with  a  line-throwing  appliance  and  radio  installations  used  in  lifesaving appliances in accordance with the requirements of the Convention
  • The  ship  complied  with  the  requirements  of  the  Convention  as  regards  shipborne navigational equipment, means of embarkation for pilots and nautical publications
  • The  ship  was  provided  with  lights,  shapes  and  means  of  making  sound  signals  and  distress signals  in  accordance  with  the  requirements  of  the  Convention  and  the  International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea in force
  • The ship complied  in all other respects the ship complied with the relevant requirements of the Convention


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)
  • Length of ship
  • 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



What additional document is held with the certificate?

A record of equipment. This lists the number of LSA items carried, and is a useful document for preparing for survey.

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 equipment is covered in a survey?


  • Lifeboats, davits and winches
  • Inflatable boats
  • Rescue boats
  • Liferafts
  • Lifejackets
  • Immersion suits and TPAs

Distress signals

  • Rockets and signals
  • Hand held VHFs
  • SARTs
  • Signal lantern

Navigational equipment

  • Echo sounder
  • Gyro compass
  • Magnetic compass
  • Sound signals
  • Shapes
  • Navigational lights

Fire fighting

  • Fire control plans
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fixed fire systems
  • IG systems
  • Fireman’s outfits
  • Fire detection and alarm system


  • Emergency controls
  • Emergency power supply


  • Stability data
  • Pilot ladder


For information about the Really Handy Book range of revision aids, click here>


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5 thoughts on “Cargo ship safety equipment certificate- A handy guide

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