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Maritime Law Amendments Take Force

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

22 January 2014


Several amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the 1988 Load Lines Protocol entered into force or took effect from January 1, 2014.

Amendments to SOLAS that entered into force on January 1, 2014, include:

  • A new mandatory requirement on new passenger ships for either on board stability computers or shore-based support, to support crew in the case of flooding;
  • An amendment to regulations for the testing of free-fall lifeboats, to require that the operational testing of free-fall lifeboat release systems be performed either by free-fall launch with only the operating crew on board, or by a simulated launching;
  • A new regulation V/14 on ships' manning, to require Administrations to issue rules on appropriate minimum safe manning levels;
  • The addition of a new regulation VI/5-2 to prohibit the blending of bulk liquid cargoes during sea voyages, and to prohibit production processes on board ships;
  • The replacement of regulation 4 on the documentation of transport information relating to the carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form, and the container/vehicle packing certificate; and
  • Amendments to make mandatory the International Code on the Enhanced Program of Inspections during Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers, 2011.

Other legislation that entered into force on January 1, 2014, included the revised MARPOL Annex III Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form, and also changes to the Annex to coincide with the next update of the mandatory International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, specifying that goods should be shipped in accordance with relevant provisions.

Lastly, the United States Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area came into effect. The Control Area establishes stricter controls on emissions of sulfur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter for ships trading in certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

TAGS: marine

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