New SOLAS rules enter into force

The latest batch of requirements under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) come into force on 1 July 2014, including mandatory procedures to recover people from the water.

The rules aim to ensure that all vessels are available to search and rescue coordinators in the event of an incident and independently capable of rescuing people from the water and from survival craft. The amendments were adopted in 2012 during the IMO’s focus on passenger ship safety in the wake of the sinking of the Costa Concordia in January 2012.

Existing ships will need to comply by their first periodical or renewal survey of safety equipment after 1 July 2014.

Also entering into force on 1 July are regulations governing onboard noise, provision of firefighting communication equipment, updates to forms and certificates and new rules on fire extinguishing systems for vehicle, special category and RORO cargo spaces.

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