Amendments to SOLAS II-1 – Towing and Mooring Equipment

C23051 | 28 August 2023

Notice to: Ship Owners / Managers/ Operators / Surveyors / Masters

This circular is issued to advise that the IMO adopted amendments to SOLAS Ch. II-1, Reg 3-8, through Resolution MSC 474 (102) which come into force from 1 January 2024.


The amendments include:

  1. new requirements for construction, inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment (including lines) applying to ships:
    • with building contracts dated on or after 1 January 2024; or
    • constructed on or after 1 July 2024; or
    • delivered on or after 1 January 2027
  2. new requirements for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment (including lines) applying to:
    • all ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007
    • all ships in operation, both (existing) and new, on or after 1 January 2024

Specific requirements for ships (as specified in the category (a) above):

The requirements for such ships are:

  1. Shipboard arrangements, equipment, and fittings of sufficient safe working load to enable the safe conduct of all towing and mooring operations associated with the normal operation of the ship are to be provided, in accordance with the requirements in MSC.1/Circ. 1175/Rev1– Revised Guidance on Shipboard Towing and Mooring Equipment.
  2. All fittings, or items of equipment, provided under this regulation are to be clearly marked with any limitations associated with their safe operation, considering the strength of the supporting ship’s structure and their attachment to it.
  3. For ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and above, mooring arrangements are to be designed, and mooring equipment (including lines) to be selected, so as to ensure occupational safety and safe mooring of the ship, based on the guidelines provided in MSC.1/Circ. 1619. Ship-specific information is to be provided and kept on board.
  4. Ships of less than 3,000 gross tonnage should comply with the requirement above as far as reasonably practicable, or with applicable national standards of the Administration.

Inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment (including lines):

All ships are required to comply with the new requirements regarding inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment (including lines) from 01 January 2024 as follows:

  1. Mooring equipment, including lines, are to be inspected and maintained in a suitable condition for their intended purposes taking into consideration Guidelines in MSC.1/Circ. 1620.
  2. Procedures are to be established and available onboard in accordance with industry practices in MSC.1/Circ. 1620, for mooring operations, inspections and maintenance of mooring equipment, including mooring lines.
  3. Procedures to allow the identification and control of mooring lines, tails and associated attachments are to be established and available onboard.
  4. The onboard maintenance plan or equivalent maintenance management system is to include periodic inspection of mooring lines, mooring line tails and associated attachments.
  5. Manufacturers’ criteria for replacement of mooring lines are to be available onboard.
  6. Records of the original design concept, equipment, arrangement and specifications are to be available onboard.Note: For ships with keels laid before 1 January 2007 and without appropriate documentation, owners may establish the minimum breaking loads for mooring based on the safe working load of mooring equipment provided onboard.If no safe working load is specified, then owners are advised to check strength of mooring equipment and their supporting hull structures based on MSC.1/Circ. 1175/Rev1 and determine the minimum breaking loads based on the actual capacity of the equipment and their supporting hull structure on board.Manufacturer’s test certificates for mooring lines, joining shackles and synthetic tails should be kept onboard and properly linked back to the equipment, if available.
  7. A document is to be provided on board for gathering the information above and describing how the information listed above is filed and collected.
  8. Records of inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment, and inspection and replacement of mooring lines, are to be kept updated and available on board.

Survey timeline

Verification of compliance to these requirements is to be undertaken at the initial survey for new ships and at the first periodical survey for the issuance of the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate or renewal survey for the issuance of the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate on or after 1 January 2024 for existing ships.

Act now

Shipowners / Managers / Operators and Surveyors are advised to be guided by the above and consider these upcoming regulatory changes and guidelines when finalizing any new build designs.

Shipowners / Managers / Operators and Masters are advised to ensure they have the required maintenance plans, procedures and records in place before these changes come into force.

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