May 29, 2019

Lifeboat Regulatory Update

Dear Customers and Friends of N&P Maritime, by now, you should have been notified of the new lifeboat regulatory update MSC402(96) which will take place on 1st Jan 2020. Which is basically months from now. Here is a 5 mins snippet of what I find important and is about to change besides that the regulation is going to become a mandatory requirement from next year.

The personnel carrying out the maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing overhaul and repair shall be certified by an authorized service provider...

What this means is that, the technician that is assigned to carry out any jobs on lifeboat, davits and release gear (or lifeboat hook), will have to be trained. No more possibility of getting flag approvals for such services unless that manufacturer of lifeboat or davit is bankrupted or no longer capable of providing any services.

The requirements shall equally apply to manufacturers when they are acting as service providers

If the manufacturer of lifeboat brand A is not trained and authorized by lifeboat brand B, he is not allowed to carry out services on lifeboat brand B.  

Requirements for authorization of service providers

This is where it gets really mind boggling. The rules stated that - employment and documentation of personnel certified in accordance with a recognized national, international or industry standard as applicable, or a manufacturer's established certification programme. First, manufacturer trained personnel and their trained service station gets a free pass to service their own products, that is a given. Or, if the service provider underwent a national, international or industry statndard? From what we know, there are a couple of companies that promote this "industry standard training" and claims it complies to this new regulation. But there has not been any flag administration notice so far that specifically gives the green light. Therefore, without further notice from flag administration, the safest bet for owners and managers will be, use the authorized service stations.

Operational test of the davit-launched liferaft automatic release function shall be carried out with load

Under annual inspection of davit launched liferaft automatic release gear, the rules requires manually release the hook with a load of 150kg on the hook and automatically release the hook with a load of 200kg on the hook when it is lowered to the ground. This is a new requirement and come 2020, please make sure your service station brings along a certified load cell during the annual inspection if your ship does not have a load cell.

Have you read the new regulations and what are your thoughts? Please share with me at francis.wong@npmarine.sg, I would love to exchange ideas with you.