02 April 2018 | C18013
The IMO, recognizing the need to establish a uniform, safe and documented standard adopted new requirements for the maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats,rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Flag Administrations | Surveyors
Through IMO Resolution MSC.404(96), amendments have been adopted to SOLAS Regulations III/3 and III/20, related to the maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats, launching appliances and release gear.
Taking the need of establishing a uniform, safe and documented standard, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted Resolution MSC.402(96), coming in force on 01 January 2020, with requirements that apply to the maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of:
- lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats and fast rescue boats; and
- launching appliances and on-load and off-load release gear for lifeboats (including primary and secondary means of launching appliances for free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit-launched liferafts.
Weekly and monthly inspections and routine maintenance as specified in the equipment maintenance manual(s), shall be conducted by authorized service providers, or by shipboard personnel under the direction of a senior ship’s officer in accordance with the maintenance
Annual thorough examinations and operational tests shall be conducted by certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider. The service provider may be the ship operator provided that it is authorized. The requirements for annual inspections are outlined in Sections 6.1 and 6.2 of the IMO MSC.402(96)
Five-year thorough examination, any overhaul, overload operational tests and repair shall be conducted by certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider. The requirements for five-year thorough examination are outlined in Sections 6.1 and 6.3 of the IMO MSC.402(96).
All reports and checklists shall be completed and signed by the person who carries out the inspection and maintenance work and countersigned by the Company’s representative or the ship’s master.
Records of maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair shall be updated and filed on board the ship for the service life of the equipment.
When thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair are completed, a statement confirming that the lifeboat arrangements remain fit for purpose shall be promptly issued by the manufacturer or authorized service provider that conducted the work. A copy of valid documents of certification and authorization as appropriate shall be included with the statement.
Specific procedures for inspection, maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair are given in section 6 of MSC.402(96) and the requirements for authorization of service providers and personnel in Sections 7 and 8 respectively of the same resolution.
 See SOLAS regulations III/188.8.131.52, III/184.108.40.206 and III/220.127.116.11.
Our revised Technical Publication
We have revised our Technical Publication relating to the procedure for the approval of the Service Suppliers taking into account the above new requirement.
Download the full Publication here.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators must ensure that their maintenance programme is updated to include the new weekly, monthly, annual and five-yearly examinations of lifeboats, rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear on board as required above.
Service providers must ensure that they follow the new requirements and have competent personnel prior the regulation coming into force
For further information, please contact our Marine Division at firstname.lastname@example.org