Statutory alert: Early implementation of new IMO requirements
Applicability: Shipowners, managers, operators, builders and designers
Following the recent release of a series of MSC Circulars 1566~9 on “early implementation”, the IMO has published guidance (MSC.1/Circ.1565) for flag States when they decide to implement already adopted requirements, prior to entry into force.
Advice to shipowners and ship managers
Owners and ship managers wishing to implement new requirements prior to entry into force, should check whether the flag administration permits the early implementation of such items, e.g. those covered by the MSC Circulars 1566~9.
For example, this would apply if a ship manager wanted to remove the ship’s semi-portable 135-litre foam fire extinguishers before the entry into force date of the new requirement that allows it (see MSC.1/Circ.1566 on Voluntary Early Implementation of the Amendments to SOLAS regulations II-2/1 and II-2/10 adopted by resolution MSC.409(97)).
To prevent Port State Control problems on vessels which have undergone “early implementation”, the following procedures are agreed by the IMO:
a) A flag State communicates its intent of implementing the requirements earlier than the official entry into force date.
b) The IMO disseminates the information to member States.
c) Port States take into account the above (a) and b)) when they undertake PSC inspections.