Shipping is perhaps the most international of all the world's great industries - and one of the most dangerous. It has always been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea is by developing international regulations that are followed by all shipping nations.
IMO's first task when it came into being in 1959 was to adopt a new version of the International Convention for the Safety of life at sea (SOLAS), the most important of all treaties dealing with maritime safety.
IMO has also developed and adopted international collision regulations and global standards for seafarers, as well as international conventions and codes relating to search and rescue, the facilitation of international maritime traffic, load lines, the carriage of dangerous goods and tonnage measurement.
The Maritime Safety Committee is IMO's senior technical body on safety-related matters. It is aided in its work by a number of Sub-Committees.
Of all the international conventions dealing
with maritime safety, the most important is the International Convention for the Safety of
Life at Sea, better known as SOLAS, which covers a wide range of measures designed to
improve the safety of shipping.
The Convention is also one of the oldest of its
kind: the first version was adopted in 1914 following the sinking of the Titanic with the
loss of more than 1,500 lives. Since then there have been four more versions of
SOLAS. The present version was adopted in 1974 and entered into force in 1980.
In order to provide an easy reference to all
SOLAS requirements applicable from 1 July 2004, this edition presents a consolidated text
of the SOLAS Convention, its Protocols of 1978 and 1988 and all amendments in effect
from that date.
The 2000 amendments (affecting chapters II-1, II-2, III and V and some of the certificates), the 2001 amendment
(affecting chapter VII) and the 2002 amendments (affecting chapters II-1, II-2, III, IV,
V, VI, VII, and XII and dividing chapter XI into
XI-1 "Special measures to enhance maritime safety" and XI-2 "Special measures to enhance
maritime security") have been incorporated into the previous consolidated edition to
produce this new one.
It also includes forms of the safety certificates relating to the
Convention and the text of regulation II-1/12-2.
This regulation was deleted from the consolidated text of the Convention by the
amendments that were adopted in December 2002, but oil tankers of 500 gross tonnage and
over that are constructed on or after 1 October
1994 and before 1 January 2005 must comply with its provisions.
AMENDMENTS 2003-2005 The present publication contains
amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of life at sea (SOLAS), 1974,
and the 1988 Protocol relating thereto, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee
(MSC) of IMO during 2003, 2004 and 2005.
This publication presents amendments to SOLAS concerning:
- Chapter II-1: access to spaces in cargo areas of oil tankers; testing of watertight
doors; emergency towing arrangements.
- Chapter III: emergency drills; maintenance
of life-saving appliances; carriage of immersion suits; rescue boats.
- Chapter IV: EPIRBs.
- Chapter V: New requirements for ships of 500 gross tonnage and above; place of
safety for rescued persons; shipboard navigational equipment and voyage data
- Chapter XII: additional safety measures for
This publication contains the amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of life at sea (SOLAS) 1974 and to its 1988 Protocol that were adopted by the Maritime
Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2006.
Resolution MSC.201(81) was adopted by the MSC at its eighty-first session and contains
amendments to SOLAS chapters II-2, III, IV and V to include, in particular, new
requirements for personal life- saving appliances related to the provisions for infant
and adult lifejackets. The amendments also cover matters related to radiocommunications
and the safety of navigation during ballast water exchange.
Resolution MSC.202(81) was also adopted by the MSC at its eighty-first session and
contains amendments to SOLAS chapter V for matters related to long-range
identification and tracking of ships. Resolution MSC.204(81) contains
amendments to the Annex to the 1988 SOLAS Protocol, affecting chapter I for
matters related to surveys of structure, machinery and equipment of cargo ships.
The MSC adopted resolution MSC.216(82) atits eighty-second session in December 2006.
It has three annexes.
These include amendments to chapters II-1, II-2, III and XII of SOLAS and its certificates and records of
equipment (annex 1), to chapter II-1 (annex 2) and to chapters II-1, II-2 and III
(annex 3). In particular, annex 1 contains amendments concerning the corrosion
prevention of seawater ballast tanks in oil tankers and bulk carriers, the safety of cabin.balconies on passenger ships and new
requirements for life-saving appliances and arrangements.
Annex 2 contains new requirements for passenger ships related to the capabilities of
essential systems after a flooding casualty and new requirements for flooding detection
systems (these were adopted by re-adopting the amendments that are contained in annex
2 of resolution MSC.194(80) and adding the above new provisions).
Annex 3 contains new regulations describing arrangements for the safe return to port of
passenger ships after a fire casualty and alternative design and arrangements for the
machinery, electrical installations and lifesaving
appliances and arrangements of all types of ships.
Further amendments to the 1988 SOLAS Protocol were adopted in December 2006
by resolution MSC.227(82). There are changes to the records of equipment that are
associated with several certificates.
Amendments to the Annex to the 1988 SOLAS Protocol in resolution MSC.204 (81)
shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which the resolution is accepted
by two thirds of the Parties to the Protocol.
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