SOLAS Amendments for lifeboats With Resolution MSC.402(96), IMO issued amendments for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats /rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear, which came into force in January 2020. 5/01/2021 The provisions aim to prevent accidents with survival craft and to address longstanding issues such as the need for uniform, safe and documented standards related to the servicing of these appliances. The core of above amendments is the requirement for thorough examination, operational testing, repair and overhaul of equipment conducted by authorized and certified personnel. The summary below is extracted by the Resolution. Equipment covered by the new requirements include: lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats and fast rescue boats; and launching appliances and on-load and off-load release gear for lifeboats (including primary and secondary means of launching appliances for free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit-launched life rafts. Weekly and monthly inspections and routine maintenance of such equipment must be carried out by authorized service providers, or by shipboard personnel under the direction of a senior ship's officer in accordance with the maintenance manual(s). Annual thorough examinations and operational tests must be carried out by certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider. The service provider may be the ship operator, provided they are authorized. Five-year thorough examination, any overhaul, overload operational tests and repairs of such equipment, must be carried out by certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider. Authorized service providers are entities authorized by the flag administration in accordance with Sections 3 and 7 of Resolution MSC.402(96). It is important to note that the requirements apply equally to manufacturers when they are acting as authorized service providers. Certification is issued by authorized service providers to their personnel. Each authorized service provider must certify its personnel for each make and type of equipment to be worked on, as well as for the specific work activities to be carried out, such as annual or five-yearly inspections. Completion of relevant education and training, including a competence assessment using the equipment for which the personnel are to be certified, is a prerequisite for certification. Additionally, to the above do not forget the requirement of LSA Code for on load release mechanisms, which requires every lifeboat, including lifeboats which are also rescue boats, to be fitted with hooks that have on-load release capability. Exempted are free-fall lifeboats. The requirement is in place and the date of conformance has expired (no later than 01 July 2019). IMO requirements for on load release systems as per IMO Resolution 320(89).

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