Statutory alert: Interim recommendations on the safe carriage of more than 12 Industrial Personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages
Applicability: Vessels transporting or accommodating workers to participate in offshore construction or maintenance.
At the 97th session of the Maritime Safety Committee, the IMO adopted Resolution MSC.418(97), containing the ‘Interim recommendations on the safe carriage of more than 12 Industrial Personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages.’
For the purposes of these interim recommendations, Industrial Personnel means all persons who are transported or accommodated on board for the purpose of offshore industrial activities performed on board other vessels and/or other offshore facilities and meet the criteria specified in the Resolution.
Industrial Personnel, meeting the minimum requirements as set out in the Resolution, need not be treated or considered as passengers under SOLAS reg. I/2(e).
Industrial Personnel may be carried on board ships meeting the provisions of the 2008 Special Purpose Ships Code or other standards, providing they meet an equivalent level of safety acceptable to the flag administration, taking into consideration the number of persons on board.
As most flag administrations have not implemented the Resolution into their national legislation, the flag administration’s agreement on the safety criteria to be used will be required in the case of a project involving the carriage of more than 12 Industrial Personnel. Additionally, the way such a vessel will be certified has to be agreed.
It is assumed that flag administrations will apply this Resolution when the aggregate number of passengers and Industrial Personnel on board is more than 12. This should be confirmed with the relevant flag administration.
The interim solution will not guarantee a consistent approach and safety standard by different flag administrations, but it does provide a solution to the uncertainty around whether or not Industrial Personnel are to be considered passengers under SOLAS Chapter I.
The IMO is working to develop a mandatory instrument to set a consistent safety standard for vessels involved in the transport and accommodation of Industrial Personnel. The aim for this mandatory instrument is for it to be approved and adopted by 2020, with entry into force from 2024.
Owners and operators of vessels carrying more than 12 Industrial Personnel and requiring certification should contact Lloyd’s Register.