November 5, 2019

MSC402(96) is the latest update to Lifeboat, Rescue Boat, Release Gear and Launching Appliances services which will supercede MSC 1277 after 1st Jan 2020.

This regulation may seem confusing to many but in recent months, the ROs (Classification Societies) has published an update to UR Z17, the Approval of Service Suppliers, the latest version is 14 and available for download. Now, let's dive into the details.

There are a few important points in the latest UR Z17 Section 13. for Firms engaged in maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear.

#1. Employment and documentation of personnel certified in accordance with a recognised national, international or industry standard as applicable, or an equipment manufacturer's established certification program. What is important here is that, this certification program cannot be a generic training but one that is specific to each make and the model number or series of the equipment. Class LRS' "Procedures for Approval of Service Suppliers", section 2.12, # Interpretation confirms this: 

As the certification program has to take into account each make and type of equipment which is to be served, it cannot be a generic programme; but has to be a specific programme taking into account the requirements as established by the manufacturer of each equipment

Make in this sense meant the manufacturer of the lifeboat, rescue boat, on-load release mechanism and/or launching appliances

Type refers to the model or a series of the equipment. It does not equal to kind of equipment such as lifeboat, davit, etc...

#2. UR Z17 Section 13.2.3, if an equipment manufacturer is no longer in business or do not provide technical support, then the Service Supplier might be approved to carry out the inspection service. If they were authorized by the said manufacturer before or if they can prove to be competent based on their long term experience and demonstrated they possess the expertise to carry out the service for the equipment.

#3. UR Z17 Section 13.3, this part is relevant for certification of the personnel, the technician or engineer whom inspects or services the equipment. They may receive a license by taking part in a manufacturer's established certification programme or if they work for an Authorized Service Provider whom is allowed to certify their own service personnel. The training for the personnel shall include practical technical training using the equipment for which the personnel is to be certified.

After the service personnel has successfully be trained for disassembly, reassembly, correct operation and adjustment of the equipment, then a competency assessment shall be satisfactorily completed, with a competency assessment conduct in order to renew the certification upon expiry. The certificate shall define the level of qualification, which make and type is certified to service and lastly, scope of work allowed to perform (annual thorough examination and operational tests; 5 year thorough examination, overhaul; overload operational tests; repairs)

#4. Besides having IMO resolution, One of the reference documents that an Authorized Service Supplier must possess is the "Manufacturer's Instructions" including updates, amendments and safety notices involving disassembly or adjustment of on-load release mechanisms and davit winches. The Service Supplier must prove to the auditor that they have the manufacturer's technical documents and also access to future updates to these documents.

#5. Another important aspect to be Authorized Service Supplier by Classification, is to possess appropriate parts and accessories specified by the manufacturers. As for the onload release mechanism, genuine replacement parts from manufacturers should be available.


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