Category Archives: Certification

Is Ice Class the same as Ice Category?

As a follow on from the posts on the Polar Code here is a quick guide to Ice Class and Category.Sea ice

Polar Class and Ice Category Compared

Polar class, sometimes referred to as ‘Ice class’ is a Classification Society designation, whilst Ice Category is a IMO Polar Code designation.

What is Polar Class?

The Unified Requirements for Polar Class ships apply to ships constructed of steel and intended for independent navigation in ice-infested polar waters

Click here for IACS unified requirements>

What are the Polar Class descriptions?

These are based on WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature.

  • 1: Year-round operation in all polar waters
  • 2: Year-round operation in moderate multi-year ice conditions
  • 3:Year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multiyear ice inclusions
  • 4: Year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
  • 5: Year-round operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
  • 6: Summer/Autumn operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
  • 7: Summer/Autumn operation in thin first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions

What are the Ice Categories?

  • Category A ship: A ship designed for operation in polar waters in at least medium first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions
  • Category B ship: A ship not included in category A, designed for operation in polar waters in at least thin first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions.
  • Category C ship: A ship designed to operate in open water or in ice conditions less severe than those included in categories A and B.

Some Ice Definitions

Ice free watersSea Ice pattern

This means that no ice is present. If ice of any kind is present this term will not be used.

Open water

A large area of freely navigable water in which sea ice is present in concentrations less than 1/10. No ice of land origin is present.

Ice of land origin

means ice formed on land or in an ice shelf, found floating in water.

Sea ice

Any form of ice found at sea which has originated from the freezing of sea water.

First-year ice

Sea ice of not more than one winter growth developing from young ice. It has  a thickness from 0.3 m to 2.0 m.

Medium first-year ice

First-year ice of 70 cm to 120 cm thickness.

Old ice

Sea ice which has survived at least one summer’s melt; typical thickness up to 3 m or more. It is subdivided into residual first-year ice, second-year ice and multi-year ice.

A Really Handy Range of Revision aids for Kindle


The Really Handy Range of books have been written for the Kindle format. They cover vessel certification, seamanship, ISM , IALA and the COLREGS.

Click here to learn more about the books>

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What is contained on the Polar Ship Certificate?


Navsregs>Ship Certification>

Certifying that a vessel is safe for Polar Waters

This new series of posts on the Polar Code continues with a look at the contents of the Polar Ship Certificate. A look that also gives me an excuse to enjoy using some of my favourite photographs. 

Which ships have to carry a valid Polar Ship Certificate?

Every ship to which the Code applies

Click here for information on which ships these are>

When is a Polar Ship Certificate issued?

After an initial or renewal survey.

For category C cargo ships however, if the result of and assessment is that no additional equipment or structural modification is required to comply with the Code, the Certificate may be issued based upon documented verification that the ship complies with all relevant requirements. An on board survey will be undertaken at the next scheduled survey.

Polar Ship Certificate validity, survey dates and endorsements shall be harmonized
with the relevant SOLAS certificates as  required by HSSC.

What should accompany the certificate?

A Record of Equipment for the Polar Ship Certificate.

What does the Polar Ship Certificate Certify?

  • That the ship has been surveyed in accordance with the applicable safety-relatedSea beginning to freeze
    provisions of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters.
  • That the survey showed that the structure, equipment, fittings, radio station arrangements, and materials of the ship and the condition thereof are in all respects satisfactory and that the ship complies with the relevant provisions of the Code

What is contained on the Polar Ship Certificate?

  • Particulars of ship
    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • Port of registry
    • Gross tonnage
    • IMO number
  • Category A/B/C (see below)
  • Table of ice class against drafts fore and aft (maximum and minimum)
  • Ship type: tanker/passenger ship/other
  • Ship restricted to operate in ice free waters/open waters/other ice conditions
  • Ship intended to operate in low air temperature: Yes/No
  • Polar Service Temperature: ……..°C/not applicable
  • Maximum expected time of rescue


  • A statement that the ship was/was not subject to alternative design and arrangements.
  • A statement that a Document of approval of alternative design and arrangements for structure, machinery and electrical installations/fire protection/life-saving appliances and arrangements is/is not appended to this Certificate.
  • Operational limitations
    • Ice conditions
    • Temperature
    • High latitudesSmall iceberg

What is a polar code  Category A/B/C ship?

  • Category A ship means a ship designed for operation in polar waters in at least medium first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions
  • Category B ship means a ship not included in category A, designed for operation in
    polar waters in at least thin first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions
  • Category C ship means a ship designed to operate in open water or in ice conditions
    less severe than those included in categories A and B


HandyBooks Ship Certification Revision Aids

The Really Handy Range of Kindle publications contain a series of books on ship certification.

Click here for more information>

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Statement of Compliance-fuel oil consumption reporting


A Handy Guide to the new MARPOL documentation

The 2018 amendments to MARPOL have brought with it a new piece of documentation for Ship's funnelship’s to carry- The statement of compliance for fuel oil consumption reporting. This post gives a quick look at the requirements surrounding that statement.

Why does a statement of compliance for fuel oil consumption reporting require to be submitted?

It is required under MARPOL Regulation 22A – Collection and Reporting of Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Data.

Which ships have to hold a statement?

Ship of 5,000 gross tonnage and above.

What does the statement declare?

  • That the ship has submitted to this Administration the data required by regulation 22A of Annex VI of MARPOL
  • The data was collected and reported in accordance with the methodology and processes set out in the ship’s SEEMP

 Click to search for MARPOL on AMAZON>

What information is shown on the statement?

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • IMO Number
  • Port of registry
  • Gross tonnage
  • Validity date
  • Period for which data was submitted

What is the validity of the Statement?

Normally for the calendar year in which it is issued and for the first five months of the following calendar year.

What does MARPOL Regulation 22A require?Supply boat funnels at Dubai

  • That from the calendar year 2019, each ship of 5,000 gross tonnage and above shall collect the data on fuel consumption
  • At the end of each calendar year, the ship shall aggregate the data collected in that calendar year or portion thereof, as appropriate.
  • Within three months after the end of each calendar year, the ship shall report to its Administration or any organization duly authorized by it, the aggregated data via electronic communication and using a standardized format required by the IMO

What information is required to be submitted?

  • Identity of the ship
  • IMO number
  • Period of calendar year for which the data is submitted
  • Ship type
  • Gross tonnage
  • Net tonnage
  • Deadweight tonnage
  • Power output of main and auxiliary reciprocating internal combustion engines over 130 kW
  • EEDI (if applicable)
  • Ice class
  • Fuel oil consumption, by fuel oil type in metric tonnes
  • Methods used for collecting fuel oil consumption data
  • Distance travelled
  • Hours underway

Where can more information on MARPOL 22A be found?


The Really Handy Guides to Ship CertificationCover of the Really handy Guide to Ship Certification, part 3.

Navsbooks publish three revision aids in the Kindle format on vessel certification, with another one about to go live.  Here are the titles available so far:


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The MARPOL 2018 amendments have arrived

Fish at Plymouth Aquarium

A quick summary of the March 2018 MARPOL changes

A pause in the SOLAS V posts to have a look at some important changes that have just occurred to MARPOL, including the introduction of a new certificate.

March 2018 as brought some changes to MARPOL, the most important of which is the requirement to start reporting fuel consumption. This post gives a quick summary of those changes.

What do the amended MARPOL Regulations cover?

  • Ship fuel consumption data reporting requirements
  • Cargo Residues Harmful to the marine environment
  • Changes to the garbage record book
  • Introduction of new category of ‘E’ Waste
  • Amendments to IOPP certificate to cover segregated ballast tanks

Click for the IMO page on the amendments>

What MARPOL Regulations are changed?

  • Regulation 1 – Application
  • Regulation 2 – Definitions
  • Regulation 3 – Exceptions and Exemptions
  • Regulation 5 – Surveys
  • Regulation 6 – Issue or Endorsement of Certificates
  • Regulation 8 – Form of Certificates
  • Regulation 9 – Duration and Validity of Certificates and Statements of Compliance related to Fuel Oil Consumption Reporting
  • Regulation 10-Port state control operational requirements
  • Regulation 22-Ship Energy Management Efficiency Plan
  • Regulation 22A – Collection and Reporting of Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Data
  • Appendix I – Criteria for the Classification of Solid Bulk Cargoes as Harmful to the Marine Environment
  • Appendix II- Form of Garbage record book
  • Appendix IX – Information to be Submitted to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database
  • Appendix X – Form of Statement of Compliance – Fuel Oil Consumption Reporting

Click to search for MARPOL on AMAZON>

What are the key requirements of MARPOL Regulation 22A?QE2 funnel

  • From the calendar year 2019 each ship of 5,000 GRT and above shall collect fuel consumption data
  • Within 3 months of the end of each calendar year the data shall be aggregated and reported to the ship’s flag state Administration
  • The IMO will include the information in a fuel consumption data base

What is ‘E’ Waste?

Electrical and electronic equipment  including all components with the presence of material potentially hazardous to human health and/or the environment.

What is the biggest change to the garbage record book?

The Record of Garbage Discharges is now divided into two parts. Part I for the use of all ships and Part II, required for ships that carry solid bulk cargoes

The next post will look at the new certificate introduced by these changes

wpid-wp-1413749817712.jpeg A Really Handy Guide to learn the Collision Regulations

This is one of the series of COLREG revision aids in the Kindle format. If you are revising for officer of the watch examinations then download a sample from Amazon to give it a try.

Click here to visit the book’s Amazon page>

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Oil Liability Certificates- A handy guide


This journey through vessel certification is nearing its final posts; a series of assorted guides to certificates missed on the first pass through the certificates. This revision guide covers two documents related to the IOPP certificate.

If things go wrong

MARPOL Annex I has the objectives of preventing oil reaching the sea, but these two certificates are associated with conventions whose objectives are to fund the cleaning up of pollution in the unfortunate event of a spill.

What are the two Oil Pollution Liability Conventions?

Two similar conventions exist, each with their own certificate.

  • The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution DamageDSCF3260
  • The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage

The first convention applies to all types of ships, and the latter to seagoing vessels carrying oil in bulk as a cargo.

Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of civil liability for bunker oil pollution damage

This certificate is Issued in accordance with the provisions of article 7 of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001. It certifies that there is in a policy of insurance or other financial security satisfying the requirements of article 7 of the International Convention.

What ships require the Certificate?

It is required by ships greater than 1000 GT.

What details are shown on the certificate?

  • Name of Ship
  • Distinctive Number or letters
  • IMO Ship Identification Number
  • Port of Registry
  • Name and full address of the principal place of business of the registered owner.
  • Type of Security
  • Duration of Security
  •  Name and address of the insurers and/or guarantors
  • Validity of certificate

What is the definition of pollution Damage?

A definition from the Convention
“‘ Pollution damage’ means: (a) (b) 10 loss or damage caused outside the ship by contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of bunker oil from the ship, wherever such escape or discharge may occur, provided that compensation for impairment of the environment other than loss of profit from such impairment shall be limited to costs of reasonable measures of reinstatement actually undertaken or to be undertaken; and the costs of preventive measures and further loss or damage caused by preventive measures.”

Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of civil liability for oil pollution damage

This is issued in compliance with the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil DSCF3305Pollution Damage (CLC) 1992. The Civil Liability Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate compensation is available to persons who suffer oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships. The Convention places the liability for such damage on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged.

What vessels require the Certificate?

The Convention applies to all seagoing vessels actually carrying oil in bulk as cargo, but only ships carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil are required to maintain insurance in respect of oil pollution damage.

The certificate states that there is in force a policy of insurance or other financial security satisfying the requirements of Article VII of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992.

What information contained on certificate

This is the same range of information as shown on the bunker liability certificate, except it refers to the damage caused by cargo spillage.

A new Revision Guide

A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification

Part 2- Managing the vesselCertmanCover

The second in Kindle format revision guides on ship Certification has just been published. ‘Managing the Vessel‘ covers ISM, safe manning and the Maritime Labour Certificate.

This Really Handy Guide mixes facts with questions, and a bit more, at a really handy price.


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The High Speed Craft Safety Certificate


This journey through ship certification is now exploring some of the more specialized certificates, that is that required by High speed Craft.

Two High Speed craft Codes

  • The International Code of safety for High speed Craft 1994
  • The International Code of safety for High speed Craft 2000

The 2000 Code applies to high speed craft of which the keels were laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 1 July 2002.

The High Speed Craft Safety Certificate

Why is the HSC safety certificate required?

It is required by the International Code of safety for High-speed craft 2000 ( the HSC CertHSCUKcode)

What does it certify?        

That the craft has been surveyed in accordance with the HSC code and in all respects the craft complies with the relevant provisions of the Code.

That the life‐saving appliances are provided for a stated number of persons

What is a high speed craft?

High-speed craft is a craft capable of a maximum speed, in metres per second (m/s), equal to or exceeding a value obtained from the formula

Cert HSC formula

Where Delta is the volume of displacement corresponding to the design waterline (m3),excluding craft the hull of which is supported completely clear above the water surface in non-displacement mode by aerodynamic forces generated by ground effect.

What vessels must comply with the High Speed craft code?

High speed craft that:

  • Are engaged in international voyages
  • Had keels of laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 1 July 2002.

And is either:

  • A passenger craft which does not proceed in the course of their voyage more than four hours at 90% of maximum speed from a place of refuge.or
  • A cargo craft of 500 gross tonnage and upwards which do not proceed in the course of their voyage more than 8 hours at 90% of maximum speed from a place of refuge when fully laden.

The code does not apply to:

  • Craft of war and troopcraft
  • Craft not propelled by mechanical means
  • Wooden craft of primitive build
  • Pleasure craft not engaged in trade
  • Fishing craft

What information is shown on the Certificate?

Particulars of craft

  • Name of craft
  • Manufacturer’ s model and hull number
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • IMO number
  • Port of registry
  • Gross tonnage
  • Sea areas in which the craft is certified to operate
  • Design waterline details, and corresponding draughts
  • Position of reference line
  • Category:
    • category A passenger craft
    • category B passenger craft
    • Cargo craft
  • Craft type:
    • air‐cushion vehicle
    • surface‐effect ship
    • hydrofoil
    • monohull
    • multihull
    • other
  • Date on which keel was laid or craft was at a similar stage of construction or on which a major conversion was conducted

The Certificate shall be supplemented by a Record of Equipment.

What Surveys are required to maintain the certificate?

The Harmonised System of Survey and Certification does not apply, the surveys required by the certificate are:

  • An Initial Survey before the craft is put in service or before the Certificate is issued for the first time
  • A Periodical Survey (which includes an inspection of the ship’s bottom), annually within 3 months, before or after, the anniversary date of the certificate
  • A Renewal Survey (which includes an inspection of the ship’s bottom) at intervals specified by the flag state, but must not exceeding 5 years
  • An Additional Survey as required

Permit to operate High speed craft

Another document required to be held by High Speed Craft is the Permit to operate. Th permit is more specific than the High Speed Craft safety Certificate; covering a specific craft trading on specific routes.

When must a Permit to operate High Speed Craft be held?

The permit must be held for shall not operate commercially unless a Permit to Operate CertHSCPermitHigh‐Speed Craft is issued and valid in addition to the High‐Speed Craft Safety Certificate. Transit voyage without passengers or cargo may be undertaken without the Permit to Operate High‐Speed Craft.

When is a Permit to operate High Speed Craft required?

The permit is required by high speed craft operating on a commercially with passengers or cargo onboard.

The Permit to Operate High‐Speed Craft shall be issued by the flag state to certify compliance with the code and state the conditions of the operation of the craft.

When may a voyage be conducted without a Permit to Operate?

On transit voyages provided the craft is not operating commercially with passengers or cargo onboard. These transit voyages include delivery voyages and repositioning voyages.  These voyages may be undertaken provided that:

  • The craft has a valid High‐Speed Craft Safety Certificate or similar before the start of such a voyage
  • The operator has developed a safety plan for the voyage including any temporary accommodation to ensure that the craft is capable of safely completing the transit voyage
  • The master of the craft is provided with the materials and information necessary to operate the craft safely during the transit voyage
  • The Administration is satisfied that arrangements have been made for the safe conduct of the voyage

What consultation will the flag state conduct before issuing the Permit to operate?

The Administration shall consult with each port State to obtain details of any operational conditions associated with operation of the craft in that State. Any such conditions  shall be shown on the Permit to Operate and be included in the route operational manual.

What must a flag state be assured of before issuing a Permit to operate?

  • The suitability of the craft for the service intended
  • The suitability of the operating conditions in the route operational manual
  • The arrangements for obtaining weather information
  • Provision in the area of operation of a base port
  • The designation of the person responsible for decisions to cancel or delay a
    particular voyage
  • Sufficient crew complement
  • Crew qualifications and training
  • Restrictions with regard to working hours, rostering of crews and any other
    arrangements to prevent fatigue
  • he training of crew in craft operation and emergency procedures
  • The maintenance of crew competence in regard to operation and emergency
  • Safety arrangements at terminals
  • Traffic control arrangements
  • Restrictions and/or provisions relating to position fixing and to operation by night or in restricted visibility
  • Additional equipment which may be required, due to the specific characteristics of
    the service intended
  • Communication arrangements
  • The keeping of records
  • Arrangements to ensure that equipment is maintained
  • The existence and use of adequate instructions regarding:
    Loading of the craft
    Provision of adequate fuel reserves
    Action in the event of reasonable foreseeable emergencies
    Provision of contingency plans

What information is contained on the permit to operate?

  • Name of craft
  • Manufacturer’ s model and hull number
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • IMO number
  • Port of registry
  • Category
    • Category A passenger craft
    • category B passenger craft
    • Cargo craft
  • Name of operator
  • Areas or routes of operation
  • Base port
  •  Maximum distance from place  of  refuge
  • Number of:
    • Passengers maximum permitted
    • Manning scale required
  • Worst intended conditions
  • Other operational restrictions

What is a Category A and Category B craft?

Category A craft is any high‐speed passenger craft:

Operating on a route where it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the flag and port States that there is a high probability that in the event of an evacuation at any point of the route, all passengers and crew can be rescued safely within the

least of:

  • the time to prevent persons in survival craft from exposure causing hypothermia in the worst intended conditions,
  • the time appropriate with respect to environmental conditions and geographical features of the route, or
  • 4 hours


  • Carrying not more than 450 passengers.

Category B craft is any high‐speed passenger craft other than a category A craft, with machinery and safety systems arranged such that, in the event of any essential machinery and safety systems in any one compartment being disabled, the craft retains the capability to navigate safely.

Further information on HSC Certification



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Vessel Classification- A quick revision guide


Some Handy Revision Notes on Classification Societies and Ship Classification

It feels like time for another pause in this blog in the stream of vessel Certification posts,  so I will dip my toe into a topic that pervades into most areas of a vessel’s documentation, ‘Class’. 

What is a classification Society?

A classification Society is a an organisation that published rules for the design, CertLRconstruction of ships. Compliance with these rules is required for obtaining insurance, P&I cover, assisting in vessel sales and obtaining finance.

That is a Commercial service and not a statutory one.

Requirements of a Classification Society

  • To Publish its own classification Rules in relation to the design
    construction and survey of ships
  • To apply, maintain and update those Rules and Regulations
  • To Verify compliance with these Rules during construction and periodically during CertBVa classed ship’s life
  • To publishes a register of classed ships
  • Is not controlled by, and does not have interests in, ship-owners, shipbuilders or others engaged commercially in the manufacture, equipping, repair or operation of ships
  • Is authorised by a Flag Administration as defined in SOLAS Chapter XI-1, Regulation 1

Who are the Classification Societies?

More than 90% of the world’s cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification of the twelve Member Societies of IACS,  The International Association of Classification CERTIACSSocieties.

Click here for the IACS website>

Members of the IACS

There are many other organisations offering classification services that are not part of IACS but not all of these meet all the requirements listed earlier in this post.

Listing of all classification Societies on the UK P &I club website>

What is the purpose of  ship classification?

  • To verify the structural strength and integrity of essential parts of the ship’s hull and its appendages
  • To verify the reliability and function of the propulsion and steering systems, power generation and auxiliary systems

A certificate of class states that a vessel is in compliance with the Rules of the CertABSclassification society and does not act as a warranty of safety, fitness for purpose or seaworthiness of the ship.

What are the Statutory activities of Classification Societies?

Classification Societies have moved beyond commercial assurance activity to becoming CertPolandan integral part of many flag state’s compliance with international shipping legislation. Many surveys required by SOLAS or other international conventions are now conducted by classification societies. The authority for this contained within the first chapter of SOLAS.

(a) The inspection and survey of ships, so far as regards the enforcement of the provisions of the present regulations and the granting of exemptions therefrom, shall be carried out by officers of the Administration. The Administration may, however, entrust the inspections and surveys either to surveyors nominated for the purpose or to organizations recognized by it. SOLAS Chapter 1 Regulation 6

The UK’s procedures for this delegation is referred to as Alternative Compliance Scheme (ACS). See MGN 568> 

IMO Resolution A.739(18) lays down mandatory minimum requirements for Recognized organisations (ROs). Click here to view the Resolution on the sjofartsverket website.

Guidelines for the authorization of organisations acting on behalf of the administration,

A quick history of Ship Classification

Lloyds coffee house was opened by Edward Lloyd in 1686. The shop became popular with seafarers, shipowners and merchants, and Edward Lloyd provided them with shipping news.

In 1691 the coffee shop was moved to Lombard street and the where it was continued to be used as a venue to discuss marine insurance,

The insurers developed a system for the independent technical assessment of the ships presented to them for insurance cover. This system enabled non seafaring underwriters and judge the risk that the vessels posed.

In 1760, the Lloyds Register Society was formed by the customers of the coffee house, which was followed in 1764 by production of the the Lloyds ‘Register of Shipping’.

From 1829 onwards other Societies were founded around the world replicating the work of Lloyds

In 1968 IACS was formed to establish minimum technical standards and ensures their consistent application

After that brief introduction to vessel classification this blog will soon return with another certificate.  This journey through certification is soon to reach its destination.


Part 1 of a new series of Really Handy Study guides has just been launched

A revision guide covering vessel certification; more of the series are on the way.

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What is a Declaration of Security under the ISPS Code?


Navsregss>Ship Certification>International Ship Security Certificate>Deceleration of Security 

A Quick handy guide to the ISPS Declaration of Security

Following on from the last two posts on security related Certification is a quick look at an associated piece of documentation that may be held by a vessel.  

The Declaration of Security is a document that  may be required for a  port visit when specific security requirements exist. The Declaration address the security requirements that could be shared between a port facility and a ship, or between ships, and states the responsibility for each.

What determines if a Declaration of Security is required?

A Government shall determine when a Declaration of Security is required by assessing the risk the ship/port interface or ship to ship activity poses

A ship can request completion of a Declaration of Security when:

  • The ship is operating at a higher security level than the port facility or another ship
    it is interfacing with
  • There is an agreement on a Declaration of Security between Contracting Governments covering certain international voyages or specific ships on those
  • There has been a security threat or a security incident involving the ship or
    involving the port facility
  • The ship is at a port which is not required to have and implement an approved port
    facility security plan
  • The ship is conducting ship to ship activities with another ship not required to have and implement an approved ship security plan

Who completes the declaration of Security?

  • The master or the ship security officer on behalf of the ship(s); and, if appropriate,
  • The port facility security officer or, if the Contracting Government determines
    otherwise, by any other body responsible for shore-side security, on behalf of the
    port facility

What is contained on the Declaration of Security between a ship and a port facility?

Ship and port facilities

  • Name of Ship
  • Port of Registry
  • Certs Dec of secuityIMO Number
  • Name of Port Facility

Summary  of actives

  • Validity dates
  • List of activities covered
  • Security level(s) for the ship
  • Security level(s) for the port facility

Security measures  agreed between Ship and Port

  • Monitoring restricted areas to ensure that only authorized personnel have access
  • Controlling access to the port facility
  • Controlling access to the ship
  • Monitoring of the port facility including
  • berthing areas and areas surrounding the ship
  • Monitoring of the ship, including berthing areas and areas surrounding the ship
  • Handling of cargo
  • Delivery of ship’s stores
  • Handling unaccompanied baggage
  • Controlling the embarkation of persons and their effects
  • Ensuring that security communication is readily available between the ship and port facility

Two IMO publications on the ISPS code available from Amazon


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The International Ship Security Certificate- A handy guide

Navsregss>Ship Certification>International Ship Security CertificateDSC00373

This series of posts has to take a round turn now, to go back and explore an important certificate by-passed earlier on.  

The ISSC- Improving security

Why is it required?

  • The International code for the Security of Ships and of port facilities (ISPS code).
  • SOLAS chapter XI-2

Click here for the IMO ISPS web page>

What is contained on the Certificate?

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Type of ship
  • Gross tonnage
  • Date of initial / renewal verification on which this certificate is basedISPS Cert format

What does it Certify?

  • That the security system and any associated security equipment of the ship has been verified in accordance with section 19.1 of part A of the ISPS Code
  • That the verification showed that the security system and any associated security
    equipment of the ship is in all respects satisfactory and that the ship complies with the applicable requirements of chapter XI-2 of SOLAS and part A of the ISPS Code
  • That the ship is provided with an approved Ship Security Plan

What are the survey requirements?



The certificate is subject to Verifications rather than surveys. These verifications are to ensure that the security system and any associated security equipment of the ship fully complies with the applicable requirements of the Code, is in satisfactory condition and fit for the service for which the ship is intended.

Verification types

Initial verification before the ship is put in service or before the certificate
is issued for the first time.

Renewal verification at intervals specified by the Administration, but not
exceeding five years.

At least one intermediate verification. If only one intermediate verification is
carried out it shall take place between the second and third anniversary date of the

A Definition

“Ship security plan means a plan developed to ensure the application of measures
on board the ship designed to protect persons on board, cargo, cargo transport
units, ship’s stores or the ship from the risks of a security incident.” ISPS code

Which vessels require an International Ship Security Certificate?

The following types of ships engaged on international voyages:

  • Passenger ships, including high-speed passenger craft
  • Cargo ships, including high-speed craft, of 500 gross tonnage and upwards
  • Mobile offshore drilling units;

Note the code also applies to port facilities serving such ships engaged on international voyages. Flag states and regional areas may extend this list to include additional types of vessels.

When does the Certificate become invalid?

  • If the relevant verifications are not completed within the specified periods
  • When a Company assumes the responsibility for the operation of a ship not previously operated by that Company
  • When the vessel is transferred to the flag of another State

Other associated Certificates

Interim International Ship Security Certificate

This is a temporary certificate issued for a period of no more than 6 months that allows a vessel to sail without its full International Ship Security Certificate.

When is it issued?

  • When a ship is without a certificate, on delivery or before its entry or re-entry into service
  • When a ship is transferring flags between Governments
  • When a a ship changes ownership

What must be verified before an Interim Certificate can be issued?

  • That the ship security assessment has been completed
  • That a  copy of the ship security plan meeting the requirements of the Code is provided on board, has been submitted for review and approval, and is being implemented on the ship
  • That he ship is provided with a ship security alert system if required,
  • That the company security officer has ensured:
    • The review of the ship security plan for compliance with the
      the Code
    • That the plan has been submitted for approval
    • That the plan is being implemented on the ship
    • That they have established the necessary arrangements, including
      drills, exercises and internal audits, through which the company security
      officer is satisfied that the ship will successfully complete the required
      verification within 6 months
    • Arrangements have been made for carrying out the required verifications
    • The master, the ship’s security officer and other personnel with security duties are familiar with their duties and responsibilities and within the ship security plan placed on board
    • These personnel  have been provided such information in the working language of the ship’s personnel or languages understood by them
  • The ship security officer meets the requirements of this Part of the Code

Declaration of Security

This is declaration completed by the vessel and a port for a specific period stating the security requirements and allocation of responsibilities. Such declarations are required only in certain circumstances, its detail will be covered in a later post.

Maritime Security Posts


Sources of Information

This Handy Revision guide has just been published for Kindle. The first in a new series of revision aids covering the topic of ship certification.

Click here to see on Amazon>

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The Special Trade Passenger Ship Safety Certificate

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Special Trade Passenger Ship

wpid-wp-1438103199200.jpegA handy guide to the Special Trade Passenger Ship Safety Certificate-Carrying pilgrims safely

What is a special trade passenger ship?

It is a ship carrying large numbers of unberthed passengers in special trades such as the pilgrim trade in a restricted sea area around the Indian Ocean.

(6) “ Special trade ” means the conveyance of large numbers of special trade passengers by sea on international voyages within the area specified below (as illustrated in the chart in Appendix I to these Rules):….Special Trade Passenger ship Rules


Why is a Special Trade Certificate required?

It is required under SOLAS Chapter III regulation 2 Exemptions

2 In the case of passenger ships which are employed in special trades for the carriage of large numbers of special trade passengers, such as the pilgrim trade, the Administration, if satisfied that it is impracticable to enforce compliance with the requirements of this chapter, may exempt such ships from those requirements, provided that such ships comply fully with the provisions of:

.1 the rules annexed to the Special Trade Passenger Ships Agreement, 1971; and

.2 the rules annexed to the Protocol on Space Requirements for Special Trade Passenger Ships, 1973.

What is a Special Trade Passenger?

“‘Special trade passenger‘ means a passenger carried in special trades in spaces on the weather deck, upper deck and/or between decks which accommodate more than eight passengers. Special Trade Passenger Ships Rules, 1971

Does the Special Trade Passenger Ship Safety Certificate replace the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate?

No, a Special Trade Passenger Ship Safety Certificate shall, be issued in addition to the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate.

Is shall be issued after inspection and survey to a special trade passenger ship which complies with the applicable requirements of these Rules.

How long does the Certificate last?

This Certificate shall be issued for a period of not more than twelve months.

What information is shown on the certificate?CertSpecialTradeCert

  • Ship particulars
    • Name
    • Distinctive numbers or letters
    • Port of Registry
    • Gross tonnage
  • Particulars of voyages
  • Date on which keel was laid
  • Subdivision loadlines
    • D1-D3 Freeboards
    • These apply when defined alternative spaces are use to carry passengers
  • Life saving  appliances carried for specified number of passengers
    • Lifeboats
    • Liferafts
    • Buoyant apparatus
    • Lifebuoys
    • Lifejackets
  • A Table of space available for accommodation of special trade passengers
  • Location of spaces
  • Number of passengers for less than 24 hours, 24 hours and over but less than 72 hours, 72 hours over (Existing ships 24 to 48 hours in seasons of fair weather)

Click here for the Special Passenger Trade Space Protocol> 

Important: This blog is written as an aid to revision, and represents my own wanders through maritime legislation.  For definitive information please refer to source documentation.   Throughout this blog I will provide links to those sources when available.

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