Guidelines on the voluntary early implementation of IMO amendments
24 January 2018 | C18006
Relevant guidance for the Committee and its subsidiary bodies when considering proposed MSC circulars on the voluntary early implementation of amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and related mandatory instruments have been provided.
Flag Administrations | Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors
The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-third session, approved the guidance on entry into force of amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and related mandatory instruments (MSC.1/Circ.1481). This guidance reintroduced the four-year cycle of entry into force of amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and related mandatory instruments. However, several amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and relevant mandatory instruments, adopted by the Committee after the approval of the guidance, have been accompanied by MSC circulars inviting voluntarily implementation of these amendments in advance of the entry-into-force date.
Following a concern expressed at MSC 96, the Committee, at its ninety-eighth session, approved guidelines on the voluntary early implementation of amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and related mandatory instruments.
These guidelines describe criteria and a coherent approach to be used by the Committee when taking the decision on issuing MSC circulars on the voluntary early implementation of the amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and related mandatory instruments.
For the purpose of the guidelines, “voluntary early implementation” means a decision by a Contracting Government to the Convention to bring into effect the adopted amendment(s), with respect to ships entitled to fly its flag, prior to the entry-into-force date of those amendments. Voluntary early implementation is at the sole discretion of a Contracting Government and it should be noted that they may use different terminology in line with their national legislation.
It is worth to be noted that four IMO Circulars have been released, where the Administrations are invited to voluntary adopt amendments, as listed below:
- MSC.1/Circ.1566: Voluntary early implementation of the amendments to SOLAS REG. II-2/1 and II-2/10, adopted by Res. MSC.409(97)
- MSC.1/Circ.1567: Notification of amendments to SOLAS Reg. II-1/12.5.1
- MSC.1/Circ.1568: Notification of amendments to par. 11.3.2 of the IGF Code
- MSC.1/Circ.1569: Notification of amendments to the 1994 and 2000 HSC Codes
Port State control activities
A Contracting Government, in line with paragraph 1.2.3 of the Procedure for Port State Control, 2011 (resolution A.1052(27)), as may be amended, when acting as a port State, should refrain from enforcing its decision to voluntarily early implement amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and/or related mandatory instruments to ships entitled to fly the flag of other Contracting Governments calling at its ports.
When the Committee has invited voluntary early implementation of the amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and/or related mandatory instruments, the Contracting Governments, when undertaking port State control activities, should take into account the invitation and any subsequent communications by other Contracting Governments through GISIS.
Ship Owners / Managers / Operators are kindly requested to take above guidelines into consideration when they are adopting new IMO requirements as the Flag Administration may not permit early implementation.
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