Tag Archives: SOLAS

SOLAS and Maritime Security

Portsmouth Commercial Harbour panorama

Navsregss>Ship Certification>International Ship Security Certificate>SOLAS and Maritime Security

After its delve into the Polar Code the Navregs blog now changes focus to explore Maritime Security. It follows on from previous posts based on the International Ship Security Certificate; delving deeper and looking wider.


A Handy Reference to SOLAS Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security

Previous Navregs  Maritime Security Related  Posts

What SOLAS chapter  Chapter makes the ISPS code mandatory?

XI-2 – Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security

Note: ISPS stands for The International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Facilities.

What does SOLAS Chapter XI-2 Cover?Railings

  • Regulation 1 – Definitions
  • Regulation 2 – Application
  • Regulation 3 – Obligations of Contracting Governments with Respect to Security
  • Regulation 4 – Requirements for Companies and Ships
  • Regulation 5 – Specific Responsibility of Companies
  • Regulation 6 – Ship Security Alert System
  • Regulation 7 – Threats to Ships
  • Regulation 8 – Master’s Discretion for Ship Safety and Security
  • Regulation 9 – Control and Compliance Measures
  • Regulation 10 – Requirements for Port Facilities
  • Regulation 11 – Alternative Security Agreements
  • Regulation 12 – Equivalent Security Arrangements
  • Regulation 13 – Communication of Information

What does SOLAS chapter XI apply to?

  • 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.


  • Port facilities serving such ships engaged on international voyages.

Governments shall decide the extent of application of the chapter to those port facilities Ship and harbour cranes which, although used primarily by ships not engaged on international voyages, are required, occasionally, to serve ships arriving or departing on an international voyage.

The chapter does not apply to warships, naval auxiliaries or other ships owned or operated by a Contracting Government and used only on Government non-commercial service.

A selection of definitions from the Chapter

Ship/port interface

The interactions that occur when a ship is directly and immediately affected by actions involving the movement of persons, goods or the provisions of port services to or from the ship.

Port facility

A location, as determined by the Contracting Government or by the Designated Authority, where the ship/port interface takes place. This includes areas such as anchorages, waiting berths and approaches from seaward, as appropriate.

Ship to ship activity

Any activity not related to a port facility that involves the transfer of goods or persons from one ship to another.

Security incident

Any suspicious act or circumstance threatening the security of a ship, or of a port facility or of any ship/port interface or any ship to ship activity.

Security level

The qualification of the degree of risk that a security incident will be attempted or will occur.

Declaration of security

An agreement reached between a ship and either a port facility or another ship with which it interfaces specifying the security measures each will implement.

Recognized security organization

 An organization with appropriate expertise in security matters and with appropriate knowledge of ship and port operations authorized to carry out an assessment, or a verification, or an approval or a certification activity, required by the chapter or the ISPS Code.

Some online Maritime Security Resources

A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification-Part 3

Keeping vessels safe

Cover of the Really handy Guide to Ship Certification, part 3.

The third book of the series on vessel certification covers the SOLAS and security certificates, including SAFCON, CSSC, PSSC, ISPS and a diversion into the subject of HSSC.

Click here for the book’s Amazon page>


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The maintenance of navigation equipment

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Maintenance of Navigational Equipment

Radars , radios and lights on ship's gantry mastSOLAS V Regulation 16-Maintenance of equipment.

On the Navregs  blog writing the front the exploration of SOLAS V continues . This time the focus is on maintenance.

What is the requirements for the maintenance of navigational equipment?

That adequate arrangements are in place to ensure that the performance of the equipment required by SOLAS Chapter V is maintained.

Note This will include ensuring that proper manuals enabling on-board maintenance are available and that that companies have ensured a comprehensive back-up service, including provision of both spares and maintenance engineers by manufacturers or their agents.

Can a vessel sail with defective navigational equipment?

Yes, where repair facilities are not readily available, provided suitable arrangements are made by the master to take the inoperative equipment or unavailable information into account in planning and executing a safe voyage to a port where repairs can take place. In such cases the vessel must obtain approval from their flag state. Approval to sail will not apply to cases when the defects are detected during a safety survey.

The decision to allow a vessel to sale with defective equipment  will depend on the equipment involved, the magnitude of the malfunction and it’s effect on the ship being able to complete the voyage safely.

Equipment manuals and IEC

IEC 60945, issued by the IEC states that equipment manuals must be:

  • Be written in English
  • Identify the category of the equipment or units to which they refer
  • in the case of equipment so designed that fault diagnosis and repair down to component level are practicable, provide full circuit diagrams, component layouts and a component parts list
  • In the case of equipment containing complex modules in which fault diagnosis and repair down to component level are not practicable, contain sufficient information to enable a defective complex module to be located, identified and replaced.

IEC is the international Electrotechnical Commission.

ISM and maintenance

ISM paragraph 5.10 contains the codes requirements for maintenance.

“5.10 Maintenance of the Ship and Equipment

5.10.1 The Company should establish procedures to ensure that the ship is maintained in conformity with the provisions of the relevant rules and regulations and with any additional requirements which may be established by the Company.

5.10.2 In meeting these requirements the Company should ensure that:
.1 inspections are held at appropriate intervals;
.2 any non-conformity is reported, with its possible cause, if known;
.3 appropriate corrective action is taken; and
.4 records of these activities are maintained”

Click here for a Really Handy Guide to the ISM code on Amazon (Kindle edition)>


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The use of heading and track control- a quick guide

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Heading and Track Control
A cargo ship at sunrise off DawlishAnother SOLAS V Regulation, and another regulation on steering gear. This one covers what used to be called the  ‘Auto Pilot’, before technology gave us many variations to play with.

The importance of the steering gear in safety of navigation is reflected in the fact there are several regulations devoted to it within SOLAS V. So far this blog has covered these two-

And now, it will look at a third.

SOLAS V Regulation 24 – Use of heading and/or track control systems-a quick guide

When must it be possible to immediately establish manual control of a ship’s steering?

  • In areas of high traffic density
  • in conditions of restricted visibility
  • in all other hazardous navigational situations

 “(l) The term “restricted visibility” means any condition in which visibility is restricted by fog, mist, falling snow, heavy rainstorms, sandstorms or any other similar causes.” COLREGS Rule 3

What must the Officer of the watch have immediately available in  areas of high traffic density, in conditions of restricted visibility, and in all other hazardous navigational situations?

The services of a qualified helmsperson who shall be ready at all times to take over steering control.

How should the changeover from automatic to manual steering and vice versa shall be made?

By or under the supervision of a responsible officer.

When at sea should the manual steering be tested?

After prolonged use of heading and/or track control systems, and before entering areas where navigation demands special caution.

What International standard refers to Heading Control standards?

 A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification Part 3 is now available on Kindle

Cover of the Really handy Guide to Ship Certification, part 3.

The third in the series of revision guides on Ship certification is now available for the Kindle Platform.  SOLAS safety certification and Security are the themes this time, with a bit of HSSC thrown in for good measures.

Click here to see on Amazon>

Click here to find out more about the Really Handy Series of Guides>

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SOLAS V and Steering Gear

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Steering Gear

Stern of Isle of Wight Ferry Leaving Portsmouth

Another Regulation of SOLAS V-Safety of Navigation-explored

And so the wader through SOLAS V continues with its equipment related theme. This time its the steering gear, and in particular. the tests an Officer of the Watch must conduct.

Regulation 26-Steering gear- Testing and Drills

This Regulation within SOLAS V contains the requirements for the pre-sailing tests of steering gear tests.

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Regulation 26>

When should the pre-departure testing of steering gear be conducted?

It should be tested within 12 hours before departure

What equipment should include within the steering gear testing procedure?

  • The main steering gear
  • The auxiliary steering gear
  • The remote steering gear control systems
  • The steering positions located on the navigation bridge
  • The emergency power supply
  • The rudder angle indicators in relation to the actual position of the rudder
  • The remote steering gear control system power failure alarms
  • The steering gear power unit failure alarms
  • The automatic isolating arrangements and other automatic equipment

What tests and checks should be included in the steering gear testing procedures?

  • The full movement of the rudder according to the required capabilities of the steering gear
  • A visual inspection for the steering gear and its connecting linkage
  • The operation of the means of communication between the navigation bridge and steering gear compartment


The flag state may waive the requirements to carry out the checks and tests for ships which regularly engage on short voyages. Such ships shall carry out these checks and tests at least once every week.

How often should the emergency steering gear be tested?

Emergency steering drills shall take place at least once every three months.

These drills shall include

  • Direct control within the steering gear compartment
  • The communications procedure with the navigation bridge
  • Where applicable, the operation of alternative power supplies

The date upon which the checks and tests are carried out and the date and details of emergency steering drills carried shall be recorded.

What should be displayed regarding the steering gear change over procedures?

A simple operating instructions with a block diagram showing the change-over procedures for remote steering gear control systems. This shall be permanently displayed on the navigation bridge and in the steering compartment.

Note: All ships’ officers concerned with the operation and/or maintenance of steering gear shall be familiar with the operation of the steering systems fitted on the ship and with the procedures for changing from one system to another.

Car ferry manouvering

In addition to the testing requirements, SOLAS V contains a short regulation requiring the use of more than one steering gear.

SOLAS V Regulation 25-Operation of Steering Gear

When should more than one steering gear be used?

In areas where navigation demands special caution,  when steering gear units are capable of simultaneous operation.

Click here for MCA guidance on Regulation 25>

A diversion beyond SOLAS V into the Construction section of the convention gives the performance standards required when testing the steering gear.

SOLAS II-1 Regulation 29-Steering Gear

How quick should a rudder turn?

At maximum ahead service speed the rudder must be capable of putting the rudder over:

From 35° on one side to 35° on the other side


From 35° on either side to 30° on the other side in not more than 28 seconds.

The auxiliary steering gear shall be of adequate strength and capable of steering the ship at navigable speed and be capable of putting the rudder over from 15° on one side to 15° on the other side in not more than 60 seconds at one half of the maximum ahead service speed or 7 knots, whichever is the greater.

Other online sources of information

A New Really Handy Guide has just been published

Cover of the Really handy Guide to Ship Certification, part 3. A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification

Part 3

Keeping Vessels safe

The third in the series of revision guides on Ship certification is now available for the Kindle Platform.  SOLAS safety certification and Security are the themes this time, with a bit of HSSC thrown in for good measures.

Click here to see on Amazon>

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What are the requirements for VDRs?


Radars , radios and lights on ship's gantry mast

Voyage Data Recorders- the Maritime’Black box’

A quick guide to  The SOLAS requirements

The blog now returns to the series of posts on SOLAS V with a topic that follows on nicely from the last post on MAIB accident reporting requirements.

SOLAS V-Regulation 20 – Voyage Data Recorders

Click here for the UK MCA guidance of Regulation 20>

Why are VDRs required?

To assist in casualty investigations.

VDR Capsule as shown on IMO website, click to visit the site

Click For IMO page on VDRs

Click here for the IMO page on VDRs>

Which ships require to be fitted with an SDR?

Ships, when engaged on international voyages:

  • All passenger ships
  • Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002

Which ships must be fitted with a VDR or a simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR)?

  • Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards

Non-passenger ships on or above 3000 GT built after July 2002, and all passanger ships must have a VDR. Non-passenger ships built before July 2002 must have either a VDR or SVDR.  SDRs are Simplified data recorders that have less inputs then a full VDR.

What is a VDR?

Full information can be found at:

What is a VDRs Purpose

To maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a ship over the period leading up to and following an incident.

This information is for use during any subsequent safety investigation to identify the causes of the incident.


Who should the VDR information be made available to?

Information contained in a VDR should be made available to both the Administration and the shipowner.

What is included within the term ‘VDR’?

The complete system, including:

  • Any items required to interface with the sources of input signals and their processing and encoding
  • The final recording medium
  • The playback equipment
  • The power supply and dedicated reserve power source


What must a VDR do?

  • Continuously maintain sequential records of pr-selected data items relating to the status and output of the ship’s equipment, and command and control of the ship
  • Allow analysis of factors surrounding an incident
  • Include functions to perform a performance test at any time

The final recording medium should consist of the following items:

  • Fixed recording medium-Capable of being accessed after an accident- maintain data for 2 years after termination
  • Float-free recording medium;-6 months after termination,this is to  transmit a homing signal
  • Long-term recording medium- Accessible internaly

What Data items are to be recorded?Main mast

  • Date and time– From an external source
  • Ship’s position-From electronic position fixing system
  • Speed– over water and over ground
  • Heading– As ship’s heading source
  • Bridge audio-Covering all bridge workstations. At least 2 channels
  • Communications audio– On separate channel
  • Radar-Main displays of both radar installations
  • ECDIS-Record the display of ECDIS in use as primary means of navigation
  • Echo sounder– Depth information
  • Main alarms– Status of mandatory alarms
  • Rudder order and response– Includes settings of heading or track controller
  • Engine and thruster order and response-positions of any engine telegraphs or direct engine/propeller/Thruster controls, feedback indications and the control station in use
  • Hull openings status– To include all mandatory status information required to be carried on the bridge
  • Watertight and fire door status— To include all mandatory status information required to be carried on the bridge
  • Accelerations and hull stresses- When a ship is fitted with hull stress and response monitoring equipment
  • Wind speed and direction– Where a ship is fitted with a suitable sensor, wind speed and direction
  • AIS- All AIS data should be recorded
  • Rolling motion– If electronic inclinometer

What is a S-DVR?

A simplified voyage data recorder that fulfils the same requirements of an VDR, but with less inputs. They can be carried by cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards instead of a VDR built after July 2002.

For full information see


What data items need to be recorded by a S-VDR?

  • Date and time– From an external source
  • Ship’s position-From electronic position fixing system
  • Speed– over water and over ground
  • Heading– As ship’s heading source
  • Bridge audio-Covering all bridge workstations. At least 2 channels
  • Communications audio– On separate channel
  • Radar data,- Main displays of of radar installations
  • AIS Data-If it is impossible to obtain radar data3 then AIS target data should be recorded as a source of information regarding other ships. If radar data is recorded,, AIS information may be recorded additionally as a  secondary source of information
  • Other items– Any additional data items required for a VDR should be recorded when the data is available.

Surveys and inspections

For more information see:

What test is the VDR and SDV-R subject to?

The voyage data recorder system, including all sensors, shall be subjected to an annual performance test.  The test shall be conducted by an approved testing or servicing facility

What is the objective of the annual VDR test?

  • To verify the accuracy, duration and recoverability of the recorded data
  • To determine the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid location

A copy of the certificate of compliance issued by the testing facility, stating the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards, shall be retained on board the ship.

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Marine Incident Reporting- what does MGN 564 say?

A Handy Summary to MGN 564 on Marine Casualty and Marine Incident Reporting.

A shipwreck near Port Stanley

A Quick break from SOLAS V posts to look at a new important M Notice from the UK MAIB.Click to view the MGN on the UK GOV website

The UK MAIB has recently issued a new M Notice MGN 564(M + F) on  Marine Casualty and Marine Incident Reporting. This explains what accidents and near misses needs to be reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Recommend sources of information

The M Notice

What ships are required to report incidents?

  • A UK ship
  • A ship is within UK waters and carrying passengers to/from the UK
  • The marine casualty or marine incident occurs within the jurisdiction of a UK harbour master

Which other organisations are required to report incidents?

  • Harbour authorities, for occurrences in or adjacent to their harbour area
  • The person, authority or body having responsibility for an inland waterway

Which vessels do not have to report?

  • Recreational craft hired on a bareboat basis
  • Commercial craft or boats <8m length overall that are operating in a harbour or on an inland waterway, which are not carrying passengers
  • Unless the marine casualty involves an explosion, fire, or capsize of a power driven vessel, or results in death, serious injury or severe pollution

A pleasure vessel (though notifications are welcomed).Click to view MAIB accident reports

The definition of a pleasure vessel is covered later in this post.

What has to be reported?

  • Marine casualties
  • Marine incidents

What is a marine casualty?

  • An event or sequence of events that occurred directly in connection with the operation of a ship, and resulted in:
  • Death
  • A serious injury to, a person that renders the person unable to perform their usual duties for greater 72 hours, or requires their admittance to a hospital / medical facility for greater than 24 hours
  • The loss of a person from a ship
  • The loss, presumed loss or abandonment of a ship.
  • Material damage to a ship. This means the structural integrity, performance or operational characteristics of the ship or infrastructure are significantly affected, and requires major repair or replacement of a major component or components
  • The ship being unfit to proceed, or requires flag state approval or a condition of class before it may proceed
  • At sea, a breakdown of the ship, requiring towage.
  • The stranding or disabling of a ship, or the involvement of a ship in a collision
  • Material damage to marine infrastructure external of a ship that could seriously endanger the safety of the ship, another ship or any individual
  • Pollution, caused by damage to a ship or ships

What is a marine incident?

A marine incident means an event, or sequence of events, which occurred directly in connection with the operation of a ship, that do not meet the criteria to be classified as a marine casualty but that endangered or, if not corrected would endanger, the safety of the ship, its occupants or any other person or the environment.

Examples of marine incidents include:

  • Close-quarters situations where urgent action was required to avoid collision.
  • Any event that had the potential to result in a serious injury.
  • A fire that did not result in material damage.
  • An unintended temporary grounding on soft mud, where there was no risk of stranding or material damage.
  • A person overboard who was recovered without serious injury.
  • Snagging of fishing gear resulting in a dangerous heel

What is not to be reported?

There is no requirement to report:

  • Defects to equipment and vessel detentions, unless they are related to a marine casualty or marine incident
  • Injuries to passengers that did not result from activities connected with the operation of the vessel. For example: a passenger suffering a fall on board a ship, where the ship’s movement, design, or acts or omissions by crew were not contributing factors
  • Damage or injuries occurring ashore, including the quayside, which do not involve the ship’s equipment
  • A deliberate act or omission that is intended to cause harm to the safety of a ship, an individual (e.g. assault, suicide or homicide) or the environment

When is the report to be made?

All marine casualties and marine incidents must be notified to the MAIB as soon as practicable by the quickest means available. Notification must not be delayed until the completion of an internal company investigation.

How is the report to be made?

  • By telephone to  MAIB’s 24 hour accident reporting line.
  • By submitting an Accident Report Form (ARF)

Rocky coastline in Cornwall

Pleasure vessels

What is a pleasure vessel?

A vessel which is:

Wholly owned by an individual or individuals and used only for the sport or Small craft at Portsmouth Hard, HMS Warrior in the backgroundpleasure of the owner or the immediate family or friends of the owner


Owned by a body corporate and used only for the sport or pleasure of employees or officers of the body corporate, or their immediate family or friends


Is on a voyage which the owner is not paid for.

The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2005 contains more details and explanation of a pleasure vessel.

Incident reporting and SOLAS

Click here for the IMO page on casualty investigation>

What SOLAS regulation requires accident investigation?NAVSREGSOLASCover

SOLAS 1 Regulation 21 requires each Administration to conduct an investigation of any casualty occurring to any of its ships when it judges that such an investigation may assist in determining what changes in the present regulations might be desirable.

What is the Casualty investigation code?

This is a code that Administrations must follow when investing marine incidents. It is introduced by SOLAS Chapter XI-1, Regulation 6 -Additional Requirements for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents.

Click here for a copy of the code>

Some Handy Amazon Book searches

Accidents at sea>
Maritime accidents>

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The Safety of Navigation- what is in SOLAS Chapter V?

After many months of exploring ship Certification this blog will now return to some bridge watch keeping related topics. So for those studying for officer of the watch, Mates, and Masters this will be well worth following. For those studying for engineering tickets the keep an eye on the topics for I am sure I will wander off into non-navigation subjects along the way.

Why is SOLAS V  a ‘must read’ for bridge watchkeepers?

If you are a bridge watchkeeper and have the time to read any one part of SOLAS, then this chapter should be it. Within its many regulations are many directly relevant to the keeping of a safe navigational watch.

The chapter is even more useful when used as a starting point for further study; as a framework to hang other knowledge on.

This series of posts will do just that, use some of the more important regulations as a starting point of an exploration of The Safety of Navigation.

What ships does SOLAS V apply to?

The chapter applies to all ships on all voyages, except:

  • Warships, naval auxiliaries and other ships owned or operated by a Contracting Government and used only on government non-commercial service. However, such vessels are  encouraged to act in a manner consistent, so far as reasonable and practicable, with the chapter.
  • Vessels in the Great Lakes and connected waters when navigating west of Quebec.

Flag states can decide how much of the chapter applies to the following vesses:

  • Ships operating solely in waters landward of the baselines which are established in accordance with international law.
  • Ships below 150 gross tonnage engaged on any voyage
  • Ships below 500 gross tonnage not engaged on international voyages
  • Fishing vessels

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Chapter V>

The contents of SOLAS Chapter V

The Regulations

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What is in SOLAS Chapter XI?

This blog will now take a pause in its exploration of ship’scertificates.  But before it moves on to the next topic here is a very quick post on an eclectic chapter in SOLAS.

Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety

SOLAS Chapter XI is a mixture of assorted Regulations, some covering safety, and some security. Hidden within this Chapter are some important Regulations that may be expected to be contained in other parts of SOLAS.

Contents of the Chapter

  • Regulation 1 – Authorization of Recognized Organizations
  • Regulation 2 – Enhanced Surveys
  • Regulation 3 – Ship Identification Number
  • Regulation 3-1 – Company and Registered Owner Identification Number
  •  Regulation 4 – Port State Control on Operational Requirements 
  •  Regulation 5 – Continuous Synopsis Record
  •  Regulation 6 – Additional Requirements for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents 
  •  Regulation 7 – Atmosphere Testing Instrument for Enclosed Spaces

    What useful information can be found in these regulations?

    Regulation 2  contains the additional hull survey requirements for bulk carriers and oil tankers.This Regulation mandates the requirement to comply with the ESP code.

    Regulation 3 contains the requirements to display  the vessels IMO number.

    Regulation 5 contains the requirements to hold a CSR.

    Regulation 7 contains the requirement to hold portable atmosphere testing equipment.

    To find SOLAS and other conventions on Amazon, click here>

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    The Maritime Conventions

    dscf3338SOLAS, MARPOL and beyond

    A Handy Revision Guide to the Conventions

    Throughout this series of posts on Ship Certification various International Conventions have often been referred to. Therefore this is good time to create a summary of the the Key conventions.  To keep things simple, I have ordered and categorised them in the same manner as the certification posts.

    The IMO conventions

    The majority of the conventions, but not all, are produced by the IMO.

    Identifying the ship


    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)     

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982

    “The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world’s oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. It enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole.”

    The issues covered by the Convention include:

    • Territorial seas
    • Innocent passage
    • Transit passage through straits
    • Exclusive economic zones  (EEZ)
    • Continental shelf exploitation
    • Freedoms of the high sea
    • Marine pollution responsibilities
    • Disputes

    The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

    The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.

    Defining the shipwpid-wp-1437630402998.jpeg

    International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Tonnage Convention)

    This Convention introduced an universal tonnage measurement system. The Convention provides for gross and net tonnages, both of which are calculated independently.

    Gross tonnage and net tonnage

    The Convention meant a transition from the traditionally used terms gross register tons (grt) and net register tons (nrt) to gross tonnage(GT) and net tonnage (NT).

    Some definitions from the Convention

    “(4) “gross tonnage” means the measure of the overall size of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;

    (5) “net tonnage” means the measure of the useful capacity of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;”

    International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as Loadlinesmodified by the 1988 Protocol relating thereto, as amended (Load Lines Convention)

    “It has long been recognized that limitations on the draught to which a ship may be loaded make a significant contribution to her safety. These limits are given in the form of freeboards, which constitute, besides external weathertight and watertight integrity, the main objective of the Convention.” IMO website

    Contents of the convention

    Annex I

    • Chapter I – General
    • Chapter II – Conditions of assignment of freeboard
    • Chapter III – Freeboards
    • Chapter IV – Special requirements for ships assigned timber freeboards

    Annex II covers Zones, areas and seasonal periods

    Annex III contains certificates, including the International Load Line Certificate

    Managing the vessel

    The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certificationwpid-157765645208.jpg
    and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978

    International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers entered into force in 1984. The main purpose of the Convention is to promote safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment by establishing in common agreement international standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

    The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25 June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.

    The STCW regulations are supported by sections by the STCW Code. The Convention contains basic requirements which are then enlarged upon and explained in the Code.

    Part A of the Code is mandatory. The minimum standards of competence required for seagoing personnel are given in detail in a series of tables.

    Part B of the Code contains recommended guidance which is intended to help implement the Convention.

    ILO Maritime Labour Convention, (MLC 2006) – As amended by the 2014DSCF3260 Amendment (MLC)

    The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (“MLC, 2006”) establishes minimum working and living standards for all seafarers working on ships flying the flags of ratifying countries. It is widely known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights,”

    The convention is an international labour Convention adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

    Keeping the ship safe

    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974img_20151119_111728.jpg

    “The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. The first version was adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, the second in 1929, the third in 1948, and the fourth in 1960. The 1974 version includes the tacit acceptance procedure – which provides that an amendment shall enter into force on a specified date unless, before that date, objections to the amendment are received from an agreed number of Parties.” IMO Website

    The 1974 Convention has been updated and amended on numerous occasions. The Convention in force today is sometimes referred to as SOLAS, 1974, as amended.

    Keeping the seas clean

    The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from wpid-10152154002370209.jpgShips, 1973 (MARPOL)

    MARPOL is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

    The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO.  MARPOL has been updated by amendments over the years.

    The convention currently includes six technical Annexes.

    International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention)aquariamcircleedited

    The Convention aims to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments. It enters into force on 8 September 2017.

    Under the Convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate.

    International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (AFS Convention)

    The Convention prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems.

    Annex I of the Convention states that all ships shall not apply or re-apply organotins compounds which act as biocides in anti-fouling systems.

    International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention)

    The Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers

    International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (CLC Convention)

    The Convention covers those 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.

    The Convention applies to seagoing vessels 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.

    Other Conventions

    Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGs)

    The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009caribillemillnarrow

    The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

    Its regulations cover:

    • The design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling
    • The operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner
    • The establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements

    Ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, which will be specific to each ship.

    International Convention on Salvage

    The Convention replaced the 1910 convention on the law of salvage which incorporated the “‘no cure, no pay” principle. The 1989 Convention added a provision for an enhanced salvage award taking into account the skill and efforts of the salvors in preventing or minimizing damage to the environment.

    International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR)

    The 1979 Convention was aimed at developing an international SAR plan, so that, no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at sea will be co-ordinated by a SAR organization and, when necessary, by co-operation between neighbouring SAR organizations.

    As this series on Certification  draws to a close this post will no doubt be ‘tweaked’ and expanded, and may form the basis of its own page on spawn more pots….maybe. Meanwhile the next certificate is awaiting exploring.

    For Information about the Really Handy Range of Revision Books for Mariners, Click here>

     A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification (part 1) has just been added to the range. More to follow shortly in the series.

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    ​SOLAS  Chapter VI-Safety of Cargoes


    SOLAS Chapter VI – Carriage of Cargoes and Oil Fuels

    Click for SOLAS on Amazon

    What does it cover?

    Before this blog dives into the realms of grain cargoes certification it will have a quick look at the contents of SOLAS Chapter VI.  A quick look that may be useful in hunting  for cargo related legislation.

    Contents of Chapter VI

    Part A – General Provisions

    • Regulation 1 – Application
    • Regulating 1-1 – Definitions
    • Regulation 1-2 – Requirements for the Carriage of Solid Bulk Cargoes other than Grain
    • Regulation 2 – Cargo Information
    • Regulation 3 – Oxygen Analysis and Gas Detection Equipment
    • Regulation 4 – The Use of Pesticides in Ships
    • Regulation 5 – Stowage and Securing
    • Regulation 5-1 – Material Safety Data Sheets
    • Regulation 5-2 – Prohibition of the Blending of Bulk Liquid Cargoes and Production Processes during Sea Voyages

    Part B – Special Provisions for Solid Bulk Cargoes

    • Regulation 6 – Acceptability for Shipment
    • Regulation 7 – Loading, Unloading and Stowage of Solid Bulk Cargoes

    Part C – Carriage of Grain

    • Regulation 8 – Definitions
    • Regulation 9 – Requirements for Cargo Ships Carrying Grain

    Some recommended links on cargo safety

    The next post will move on to explore the certification associated with Regulation 9, the carriage of grain.

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