Onderwerp: Bezoek-historie

Ships Decree 2004 (english, uncontrolled version)
Geldigheid:01-07-2004 t/m Status: Geldig vandaag

Dit onderwerp bevat de volgende rubrieken.


WE BEATRIX, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, QUEEN OF THE NETHERLANDS, PRINCESS OF ORANGE-NASSAU, ETC. ETC. ETC.

Decree dated containing regulations concerning the safety and certification of ocean-going ships (Ships Decree 2004) On the recommendation of Our Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water Management dated , No HDJZ/SCH/xxxx-xxxx, Legal Affairs Department;
Having regard to the Convention on Load Lines adopted on 5 April 1966 in London (Treaties Journal 1966, 275) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea adopted on 1 November 1974 in London (Treaties Journal 1976, 157), articles 3, 3a, 4, 6, 7 and 9 of the Ships Act and article 38, paragraph 2, of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Having heard the opinion of the Council of State (opinion dated , No ); Having seen the more detailed report by Our Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water Management dated , No HDJZ/SCH/xxxx-xxxx, Legal Affairs Department;
Having taken account of the provisions of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands;

Have approved and understood:

Chapter 1 Preliminary provisions

Article 1 Definitions


1. In this Decree and the provisions based upon it the following definitions shall apply:
a. the terms ”ship”, ”passenger ship”, ”fishing vessel”, ”master” and ”owner”: as they are understood in the Ships Act;
b. cargo ship: a ship that is not a passenger ship;
c. sailing ship: a ship that is designed and constructed to be propelled primarily by means of sails;
d. GT: the gross tonnage unit of measurement in which the total capacity of a ship, established in accordance with the Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships adopted on 23 June 1969 in London is expressed (Treaties Journal 1970, 122);
e. length: the length of a ship established in accordance with the Convention referred to in section d;
f. international voyage: a voyage between two different countries, where a territory for whose international relations a government outside that territory is responsible or for which the United Nations is the administrative authority is also deemed to be a separate country;
g. national voyage: a voyage that is not an international voyage;
h. Our Minister: Our Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water Management, acting in agreement with Our Ministers for the Netherlands Antilles and for Aruba whom it also concerns;
i. Convention on Load Lines: the Convention on Load Lines adopted on 5 April 1966 in London (Treaties Journal 1966, 275) and the binding protocols, appendices and annexes forming part of that Convention;
j. Collision Convention: the Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea adopted on 20 October 1972 in London (Treaties Journal 1974, 51);
k. SOLAS Convention: the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea adopted on 1 November 1974 in London (Treaties Journal 1976, 157) and the binding protocols, appendices and annexes forming part of that Convention;
l. IMO: the International Maritime Organisation of the United Nations;
m. Maritime Safety Committee: the IMO committee of the same name;
n. BCH Code: the Code adopted by resolution MSC.9(53) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk (Bulk Chemical Code);
o. GC-Code: the Code adopted by resolution A.328(IX) of the General Assembly of the IMO for the construction and equipment of ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk (Gas Carrier Code);
p. Grain Code: the International Code adopted by resolution MSC.23(59) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the safe carriage of grain in bulk (International Grain Code);
q. HSC Code 1994: the International Code adopted by resolution MSC.36(63) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the safety of high-speed craft (High-Speed Craft Code, 1994);
r. HSC Code 2000: the International Code adopted by resolution MSC.97(73) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the safety of high-speed craft (High-Speed Craft Code, 2000);
s. IBC Code: the International Code adopted by resolution MSC.4(48) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk (International Bulk Chemical Code);
t. IGC Code: the International Code adopted by resolution MSC.5(48) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the construction and equipment of ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk (International Gas Carrier Code);
u. INF Code: the International Code adopted by resolution MSC.88(71) of the Maritime Safety Committee for the safe carriage of packaged irradiated nuclear fuels, plutonium and high-level radioactive wastes on board ships (Irradiated Nuclear Fuel Code);
v. ISM Code: the International Safety Management Code adopted by resolution A.741(18) of the General Assembly of the IMO for maritime safety and the prevention and control of marine pollution from ships (International Safety Management Code);
w. ISPS Code: the International Code adopted on 12 December 2002 by resolution 2 of the Conference of governments party to the SOLAS Convention for the security of ships and port facilities (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code).

2. For the application of the Conventions and Codes applicable under this Decree, unless stipulated to the contrary by or pursuant to this Decree, the Administration shall mean: the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate.

Article 2 Date of construction of a ship


1. The date of construction of a ship shall be deemed to be the day on which the keel of the ship is laid, or the day on which, taking account of the relevant provisions in the Conventions or Codes applicable under this Decree, a stage of construction is achieved that is comparable with the keel laying.

2. As a departure from paragraph 1, the date of construction of a ship that has undergone a conversion to a different type of ship under this Decree, shall be deemed to be the day on which the conversion of the ship is commenced.

3. By order of Our Minister, further rules may be established regarding the date to be deemed the date of construction for new ships or the conversion of ships. These rules may also concern the date to be deemed the date of construction of a ship where a deadline to be determined by this order for the completion of a ship or the completion of a particular stage of construction is exceeded.

Article 3 Fishing vessels


This Decree shall not apply to fishing vessels, insofar as these ships are not used for purposes other than catching fish or other living marine resources.

Chapter 2 Certificates and surveys

Section 1 Certificates required

Article 04 International load line certificate


For ships of a length of 24 metres or above with which international voyages are made, an international load line certificate as referred to in article 16 of the Convention on Load Lines shall be required.

Article 05 International safety certificates (SOLAS)


1. For ships with which international voyages are made, the following international safety certificates referred to in regulation I/12 of the SOLAS Convention shall be required:
a. for passenger ships: the passenger ship safety certificate;
b. for cargo ships of 500 GT or above: the cargo ship safety certificate;
c. for cargo ships of 300 GT or above but less than 500 GT: the cargo ship radio safety certificate.

2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to sailing ships of less than 500 GT, built before 1 January 2005, and ships that are not equipped with means for mechanical propulsion.

3. For ships to which regulation II-2/19 of the SOLAS Convention applies, the document of compliance for the carriage of dangerous goods referred to in that regulation shall be required.

Article 06 National safety certificate


1. For a ship for which no international safety certificate as referred to in article 5, paragraph 1, section a or b, is required, a national safety certificate established by order of Our Minister shall be required.

2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to cargo ships of a length of less than 12 metres.

Article 07 Safety certificates for high-speed craft (SOLAS)


1. For high-speed craft as referred to in regulation X/1 of the SOLAS Convention in respect of which under article 16, paragraph 1, it has been decided to apply the HSC Code 1994 or the HSC Code 2000, the high-speed craft safety certificate forming part of the respective Code shall be required, together with the permit to operate laid down in that Code.

2. The safety certificate referred to in paragraph 1 and the permit referred to in that paragraph shall replace the safety certificate required under article 5 or article 6.

Article 08 Certificates for special cargo ships (SOLAS, IMO)


1. For ships with which international voyages are made, in addition to the certificates required by or pursuant to this Decree, the following special certificates shall also be required:
a. for ships that transport grain in bulk as referred to in regulation VI/8 of the SOLAS Convention: the document of authorisation, forming part of the Grain Code;
b. for chemical tankers as referred to in regulation VII/8 of the SOLAS Convention, constructed on or after 1 July 1986: the international certificate of fitness for the carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk, forming part of the IBC Code;
c. for chemical tankers as referred to in the BCH Code, constructed before 1 July 1986: the certificate of fitness to carry dangerous chemicals in bulk, forming part of the BCH Code;
d. for gas tankers as referred to in regulation VII/11 of the SOLAS Convention, constructed on or after 1 July 1986: the international certificate of fitness to carry liquefied gases in bulk, forming part of the IGC Code;
e. for gas tankers as referred to in the GC Code, constructed before 1 July 1986: the certificate of fitness to carry liquefied gases in bulk, forming part of the GC Code;
f. for ships used to carry packaged irradiated nuclear fuels , plutonium or high-level radioactive wastes as referred to in regulation VII/14 of the SOLAS Convention: the document of compliance, forming part of the INF Code.

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to ships with which national voyages are made.

Article 09 Safety management and ship safety certificate (SOLAS)


1. For a ship for which a passenger ship safety certificate, a cargo ship safety certificate or, for a ship with which international voyages are made, a high-speed craft safety certificate is required, the following certificates shall also be required: a. the safety management certificate, forming part of the ISM Code; b. the international ship safety certificate, forming part of the ISPS Code.

2. To operate a ship as referred to in paragraph 1 a document of compliance relating to the respective type of ship, forming part of the ISM Code, shall be required. A copy of this document shall be present on board the ship.

Article 10 For records of equipment and appendices etc. forming part of certificates


The certificates referred to in articles 4 to 8 shall be accompanied by the records of equipment and appendices forming part of these certificates, and by the stability information or other information concerning the ship or cargo laid down in the respective Conventions or Codes.

Article 11 Exemption certificate (SOLAS, Convention on Load Lines)


1. An international load line certificate that is issued with due regard for an exemption of individual ships or the exemption of a class of ships granted under article 5 of the Ships Act, shall be accompanied by an international exemption certificate concerning the load lines as referred to in article 16 of the Convention on Load Lines.

2. Certificates as referred to in article 5 that are issued with due regard for an exemption of individual ships or the exemption of a class of ships granted under article 5 of the Ships Act, shall be accompanied by an exemption certificate as referred to in regulation I/12 of the SOLAS Convention.

Article 12 Other certificates


1. By order of Our Minister it may be stipulated that for particular types of ship or ships designed for special purposes or sailing areas, a special certificate shall be required. The order may specify that this certificate shall replace the national safety certificate.

2. By order of Our Minister additional rules may be established regarding the certificates required for the carriage of cargo or the management of ships.

Section 2 Surveys

Article 13 Surveys under the Convention on Load Lines


A ship for which an international load line certificate is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in article 14, paragraph 1 of the Convention on Load Lines.

Article 14 Surveys in connection with international safety certificates (SOLAS)


1. A ship for which a passenger ship safety certificate is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in regulation I/7 of the SOLAS Convention.

2. A ship for which a cargo ship safety certificate is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in regulations I/8 to I/10 of the SOLAS Convention.

3. A ship for which a cargo ship radio safety certificate is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in regulation I/9 of the SOLAS Convention.

4. Bulk carriers and oil tankers as referred to in regulation IX/1, or regulation II-1/2, respectively of the SOLAS Convention, in the surveys referred to in paragraph 2, shall also be subject to the enhanced survey as referred to in regulation XI-1/2 of that Convention.

Article 15 Surveys in connection with the national safety certificate


1. Regulations I/8 to I/10 of the SOLAS Convention, with the exception of the provisions relating to annual surveys, shall apply mutatis mutandis to ships for which a national safety certificate is required, with the exception of cargo ships of a length of less than 24 metres.

2. The surveys to which a cargo ship is subject in connection with the national safety certificate, where a radio safety certificate is also required for the ship, shall not relate to the requirements regarding the radio equipment of the ship.

3. Ships as referred to in paragraph 1 with which national voyages are made, shall also be subject to surveys in respect of their load lines. Article 14, paragraph 1, of the Convention on Load Lines shall apply mutatis mutandis, with the exception of the provisions concerning annual surveys.

4. By order of Our Minister rules shall be established regarding the surveys to which cargo ships of a length of less than 24 metres shall be subject in connection with the national safety certificate.

Article 16 Surveys of high-speed craft (SOLAS)


1. The owner of a high-speed craft as referred to in regulation X/1 of the SOLAS Convention may choose to have the ship surveyed and certified with due regard:
a. for a ship, constructed before 1 July 2002: the HSC Code 1994;
b. for a ship, constructed on or after 1 July 2002: the HSC Code 2000.

2. Where, with regard to a high-speed craft, it is decided to apply the HSC Code 1994 or the HSC Code 2000, the surveys provided for in the respective Code shall replace the surveys referred to in article 14 or 15.

Article 17 Surveys of special cargo ships (SOLAS, IMO)


A ship for which a certificate forming part of a Code referred to in article 8 is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in the respective Code.

Article 18 Safety management surveys (SOLAS)


1. A ship for which a safety management certificate is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in the ISM Code.

2. The industrial organisation of the owner of a ship as referred to in paragraph 1, in order to obtain the document of compliance referred to in article 9, paragraph 2, and during the validity period of that document shall be subject to the surveys provided for in the ISM Code.

Article 19 Surveys in connection with security (SOLAS)


A ship for which an international ship security certificate is required, in order to obtain that certificate and during the validity period thereof, shall be subject to the surveys provided for in the ISPS Code.

Article 20 Times of surveys


1. The surveys referred to in article 13 to article 17 and article 19 shall take place at the times stipulated in the respective Conventions and Codes, provided that the renewal survey to which a ship is subject in connection with the renewal of a certificate, always takes place in the last three months of the validity period of the certificate concerned.

2. The surveys referred to in article 18 shall take place at the times stipulated in the ISM Code, provided that: a. the first survey to which a ship is subject in connection with the first issue of a safety management certificate takes place after the safety management system provided for by the ISM Code has been applied for at least three months on board that ship; b. the first survey to which an industrial organisation is subject in connection with the first issue of the document of compliance referred to in article 9, paragraph 2, takes place after the safety management system provided for by the ISM Code has been applied for at least three months in that organisation and on board at least one ship of the type to which the system relates.

Article 21 Endorsement of surveys


An endorsement of the surveys to which a ship is subject under article 13 to article 19 during the validity period of a certificate shall be placed on the certificate by the person who has carried out the survey.

Article 22 Other surveys


1. By order of Our Minister rules shall be established regarding the surveys to which ships are subject in connection with a certificate required under article 12.

2. By order of Our Minister further rules may be established regarding the surveys to which ships are subject for which a certificate as referred to in article 4 to article 9 is required.

Article 23 Appointment of natural persons or corporate bodies


1. Our Minister shall appoint the natural persons and corporate bodies that are responsible for the tasks specified by him to be performed in the context of the surveys referred to in article 13 to article 19 and article 22.

2. A natural person or corporate body appointed under paragraph 1, where in a survey shortcomings are found in the ship or its equipment, shall be authorised to demand that these shortcomings be rectified.

3. By order of Our Minister rules may be established regarding the way in which the natural persons and corporate bodies appointed under paragraph 1 perform their tasks.

Article 24 Maintaining condition after survey


1. After a survey provided for by or pursuant to this Decree has been completed, the condition of the ship and its equipment shall be maintained in accordance with the rules laid down by or pursuant to this Decree. No change shall be made to this situation without the prior permission of the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate or of the natural person or corporate body appointed under article 23, paragraph 1, that has carried out the survey.

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the security measures taken in compliance with the ISPS Code or in implementation of the ship security plan laid down in that Code.

Section 3 Issue and validity of certificates

Article 25 Application for certificates


1. An application for a certificate required by or pursuant to this Decree shall be made in writing to the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate.

2. By order of Our Minister rules shall be established regarding the information to be provided and the documents to be submitted when applying for a certificate.

Article 26 Issue of safety and safety management certificates


1. A passenger ship safety certificate, a cargo ship safety certificate or, where a ship making international voyages is concerned, a high-speed craft safety certificate, shall only be issued where a safety management certificate is issued for the ship concerned.

2. A safety management certificate shall only be issued where the owner of the ship possesses a document of compliance for that type of ship as referred to in article 9, paragraph 2.

Article 27 Provisional certification of the safety management


1. For a ship that is put into use for the first time by its owner prior to the survey referred to in article 20, paragraph 2, section a, a provisional safety management certificate with a validity period of no more than six months may be issued, where the conditions laid down in the ISM Code for the issue of a provisional certificate are satisfied.

2. Where a newly established owner or an owner who puts a new type of ship into use is concerned, prior to the survey referred to in article 20, paragraph 2, section b, a provisional document of compliance with a validity period of no more than twelve months may be issued, where the conditions laid down in the ISM Code for the issue of a provisional document of compliance are satisfied.

Article 28 Provisional certification of ship security


1. For a ship that is put into use for the first time or put into use again by its owner, a provisional international ship security certificate with a validity period of no more than six months may be issued, where the conditions laid down in the ISPS Code for the issue of a provisional certificate are satisfied.

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply accordingly to ships that are put into use for the first time or put into use again under the flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Article 29 Validity period of certificates


1. The passenger ship safety certificate and, where issued for a passenger ship, the high-speed craft safety certificate shall be valid for a period of one year. The other certificates referred to in article 4 to article 9, and high-speed craft safety certificates that are issued for cargo ships, shall be valid for five years.

2. The Head of the Shipping Inspectorate may issue certificates with a shorter validity period than that referred to in paragraph 1, where all the surveys have not yet been completed to his satisfaction, or where he does not yet possess all the information about the ship that he has requested. 3. The validity period of an exemption certificate as referred to in article 11, paragraph 1 or 2, shall not be longer than the validity period of the certificate to which it belongs.

Article 30 Renewal of certificates


After the completion of a renewal survey in connection with the renewal of a certificate, the new certificate, as a departure from article 29, paragraph 1, shall be valid from the date of completion of the respective survey until:
a. where it concerns a passenger ship safety certificate or a high-speed craft safety certificate, issued for a passenger ship: a date no later than twelve months after the expiry date of the existing certificate;
b. for the other certificates referred to in article 4 to article 9: a date no later than five years after the expiry date of the existing certificate.

Article 31 Special extensions of the validity period


1. Where a ship, at the time that a certificate loses its validity, is not in a port where a renewal survey can take place, the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate may extend the validity period of the certificate by no more than three months in order to enable the ship to complete its voyage to the port where it will be surveyed. The ship shall then not leave that port without the new certificate.
2. The Head of the Shipping Inspectorate may extend by no longer than one month the validity period of a certificate that is issued on behalf of a ship that makes short voyages.

3. In cases as referred to in paragraph 1 or 2, after the completion of the renewal survey, the validity period of the new certificate shall be determined by taking the original expiry date of the existing certificate.

4. Where, after the completion of a renewal survey the new certificate cannot be issued before the expiry date of the existing certificate or be provided to the ship, the party who has carried out the survey may place an endorsement on the existing certificate. In such cases, the existing certificate shall still be deemed to be valid for a period of no more than five months after its expiry date.

Article 32 Further rules


By order of Our Minister rules shall be established regarding the validity period of the certificates required under article 12 and further rules may be established regarding the validity period of the certificates referred to in article 4 to article 9 and article 11.

Article 33 Refusal to issue certificates


In the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba the refusal to issue a certificate shall be given in writing and the reasons stated and communicated by sending it to or handing it to the party concerned.

Article 34 Expiry of certificates


1. Where a ship is withdrawn by its owner from its general use as a passenger ship or cargo ship, the certificates issued for that ship shall lapse.

2. Where a ship is withdrawn by its owner from a special use that it had at the time of the issue of the certificates required for that ship, but it retains its general use as passenger ship or cargo ship, the certificates issued in connection with that special use shall lapse.

Article 35 Reinstatement of lapsed certificates


The Head of the Shipping Inspectorate may restore the validity of a certificate that has lapsed under article 7, paragraph 1, section b, of the Ships Act, where in his opinion from a survey it appears that the ship satisfies the respective requirements.

Chapter 3 Requirements of the ship and management

Section 1 General conditions

Article 36 Appointment of classification societies


Our Minister shall appoint the bodies of which the rules may apply as a requirement as referred to in article 3a, paragraph 1, of the Ships Act.

Article 37 Classification rules


1. Before a ship is subject to an initial survey in connection with the first issue of a certificate stipulated by or pursuant to this Decree, the owner or builder of that ship shall decide to comply with the rules of a body appointed under article 36.

2. A ship shall be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with the rules of shipbuilding, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering of the body referred to in paragraph 1, insofar as these rules do not contravene the rules laid down by or pursuant to this Decree.

3. A ship shall be equipped with the means stipulated for that ship under the rules of equipment of the body referred to in paragraph 1, insofar as these rules do not contravene the rules laid down by or pursuant to this Decree.

Article 38 Ship identification number and ship data (SOLAS)


1. Passenger ships of 100 GT or above and cargo ships of 300 GT or above shall be given a unique ship identification number that complies with regulation XI-1/3 of the SOLAS Convention.

2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to ships that are not provided with means of mechanical propulsion and ships with which exclusively national voyages are made.

3. On board a ship for which a passenger ship safety certificate, a cargo ship safety certificate or, where a ship making international voyages is concerned, a high-speed craft safety certificate is required, a summary document containing, among other things, details of the owner and registration of the ship (Continuous Synopsis Record) must be present that complies with regulation XI-1/5 of the SOLAS Convention.

Section 2 Requirements of ships

Article 39 Requirements under the Convention on Load Lines


A ship for which an international load line certificate is required shall satisfy the requirements of the Convention on Load Lines applicable to that ship.

Article 40 Requirements in respect of international safety certificates (SOLAS)


1. A ship for which a passenger ship safety certificate or a cargo ship safety certificate is required shall satisfy the requirements of chapters II-1, II-2, III, IV, V and XII of the SOLAS Convention applicable to that ship.

2. A ship for which a cargo ship radio safety certificate is required shall satisfy the requirements of chapters IV and, with regard to the radio equipment on board group life-saving appliances, chapter III of the SOLAS Convention applicable to that ship.

3. The requirements of chapter V of the SOLAS Convention, insofar as not specified to the contrary by Our Minister with due regard for regulation V/1 of the Convention, shall also apply to ships for which no safety certificate as referred to in paragraph 1 is required.

Article 41 Requirements in connection with national safety certificates


1. The requirements of chapters II-1, II-2, III, IV and XII of the SOLAS Convention shall apply mutatis mutandis to ships for which a national safety certificate is required, with the exception of cargo ships of a length of less than 24 metres.

2. For the application of chapters II-1, II-2 and, with the exception of the requirements concerning the radio equipment on board group life-saving appliances, chapter III, a cargo ship of less than 500 GT shall be equal to a cargo ship of 500 GT. For the application of chapters IV and, with regard to the radio equipment on board group life-saving appliances, chapter III, a cargo ship of less than 300 GT shall be equal to a cargo ship of 300 GT.

3. On a ship of a length of 24 metres or above for which a national safety certificate is required, where a ship making national voyages is concerned, the requirements of the Convention on Load Lines shall also apply mutatis mutandis.

4. By order of Our Minister rules shall be established regarding the requirements that must be laid down in connection with the national cargo ship safety certificate of a length of less than 24 metres.

5. In order to obtain the national safety certificate, a ship shall also satisfy the requirements of chapter V of the SOLAS Convention applicable to that ship.

Article 42 Requirements of high-speed craft (SOLAS)


1. A high-speed craft in respect of which it has been decided under article 16, paragraph 1 to apply the HSC Code 1994 or the HSC Code 2000, shall satisfy the requirements of the respective Code.

2. A high-speed craft, with due regard for the relevant provisions of regulation X/3 of the SOLAS Convention, in order to obtain the high-speed craft safety certificate, shall also satisfy the requirements of chapter V of the SOLAS Convention applicable to that ship.

Article 43 Requirements of ships with special cargoes (SOLAS, IMO)


A ship for which a certificate forming part of a Code referred to in article 8 is required shall satisfy the requirements of the respective Code as well as the requirements laid down by or pursuant to this Decree.

Article 44 Requirements relating to security (SOLAS)


A ship for which an international ship security certificate is required shall satisfy regulation XI-2/6 of the SOLAS Convention.

Article 45 Requirements under the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea


1. Every ship shall be equipped with the lights, beacons (daymarks) and sound signals applicable to that ship specified in the regulations of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

2. Ships for which a safety certificate as referred to in article 5, paragraph 1, section a or b, 6 or 7, paragraph 1, is required, in order to obtain that certificate shall also satisfy the requirements referred to in paragraph 1.

Article 46 Further requirements


1. By order of Our Minister, the safety requirements shall be established that ships must satisfy in connection with a certificate required under article 12.

2. By order of Our Minister additional safety requirements may be established for ships for which a certificate as referred to in article 4 to article 9 is required, together with further rules regarding the requirements referred to in article 38 to article 45.

Article 47 Equivalent arrangements


The Head of the Shipping Inspectorate may, with due regard for the provisions in that context in the respective Convention or Code, permit departures from the requirements referred to in article 39 to article 45, where on board the ship arrangements are made that in his opinion are at least equivalent to the arrangements required in the regulation from which a departure is made.

Article 48 Admission of equipment, parts and materials


1. By order of Our Minister rules may be established regarding the admission and inspection of equipment to be placed on board ships or parts and materials to be used in ships.

2. Our Minister may appoint natural persons or corporate bodies that are responsible for surveys specified by him to be performed in the context of paragraph 1. He may also designate natural persons or corporate bodies to be responsible for surveys or calibration of equipment present on board ships.

3. By order of Our Minister rules may be established regarding the way in which the natural persons and corporate bodies appointed under paragraph 2 perform their tasks.

Section 3 Requirements of the management of ships

Article 49 Safety management system (SOLAS).


1. The owner of a ship for which a safety management certificate is required shall ensure in connection with the document of compliance forming part of the ISM Code required for the operation of that ship, that in his industrial organisation a safety management system is developed and applied that satisfies the requirements of the ISM Code.

2. On board a ship for which a safety management certificate is required the safety management system developed for that ship shall be applied.

Article 50 Ship security (SOLAS)


1. The owner of a ship for which an international ship security certificate is required shall ensure that a ship security plan is developed and applied for that ship that satisfies the requirements of the ISPS Code.

2. Article 47 shall apply accordingly to the security measures to be taken on board ships in compliance with the ISPS Code.

Article 51 Further rules (SOLAS)


By order of Our Minister rules may be established regarding the management of ships for which a certificate relating to the management as referred to in article 12, paragraph 2, is required, together with further rules regarding the management of ships as referred to in article 49 and article 50.

Chapter 4 Carriage of cargoes

Section 1 Carriage of cargoes

Article 52 General regulations (SOLAS)


When carrying cargoes that are not dangerous goods as referred to in chapter VII of the SOLAS Convention, the general regulations of chapter VI, section A, of that Convention shall be observed.

Article 53 Grain and other bulk cargoes (SOLAS)


1. The carriage of bulk cargoes, not being dangerous goods as referred to in chapter VII of the SOLAS Convention, shall take place with due regard for the regulations laid down in chapter VI, section B, of that Convention.

2. As a departure from paragraph 1, the carriage of grain in bulk shall take place as described in regulation VI/8 of the SOLAS Convention with due regard for the regulations laid down in chapter VI, section C, of that Convention.

3. Where the carriage is made by a bulk carrier as referred to in regulation IX/1 of the SOLAS Convention, the regulations of chapter XII of that Convention shall also be observed.

Article 54 Further rules


By order of Our Minister, further rules may be established regarding the carriage of cargoes not being dangerous goods, together with further rules regarding the regulations referred to in article 52 and article 53.

Section 2 Carriage of dangerous goods

Article 55 Dangerous goods in packaged form (SOLAS)


1. The carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form as referred to in regulation VII/1 of the SOLAS Convention shall be only permitted with due regard for the regulations laid down in chapter VII, section A, of that Convention.

2. The carriage of packaged irradiated nuclear fuel, plutonium or high-level radioactive wastes as referred to in regulation VII/14 of the SOLAS Convention shall, moreover, only be permitted on a ship for which the document of compliance, forming part of the INF Code, is issued and with due regard for the regulations contained in that Code.

Article 56 Dangerous goods in solid form in bulk (SOLAS)


1. The carriage of dangerous goods in solid form in bulk as referred to in regulation VII/7 of the SOLAS Convention shall only be permitted with due regard for the regulations laid down in chapter VII, section A-1, of that Convention.

2. Article 53, paragraph 3, shall apply accordingly.

Article 57 Dangerous chemicals and liquefied gases (SOLAS, IMO)


1. The carriage in bulk of chemicals as referred to in the IBC Code by a ship that is constructed on or after 1 July 1986 shall only be permitted where for that ship an international certificate of fitness for the carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk, forming part of the IBC Code, is issued and with due regard for the regulations contained in that Code.

2. The carriage of chemicals in bulk as referred to in the BCH Code by a ship that is constructed before 1 July 1986 shall only be permitted where for that ship a certificate of fitness for the carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk, forming part of the BCH Code, is issued and with due regard for the regulations contained in that Code.

3. The carriage in bulk of liquefied gases as referred to in the IGC Code by a ship that is constructed on or after 1 July 1986 shall only be permitted where for that ship an international certificate of fitness for the carriage of liquefied gases in bulk, forming part of the IGC Code, is issued and with due regard for the regulations contained in that Code.

4. The carriage in bulk of liquefied gases as referred to in the GC Code by a ship that is constructed before 1July 1986 shall only be permitted where for that ship a certificate of fitness for the carriage of liquefied gases in bulk, forming part of the GC Code, is issued and with due regard for the regulations contained in that Code.

Article 58 Further rules


By order of Our Minister further rules may be established regarding the carriage of dangerous goods together with further rules regarding the regulations referred to in article 55 to article 57.

Section 3 Surveys in connection with the carriage of cargoes

Article 59 Appointment of natural persons or corporate bodies


1. Our Minister may appoint natural persons or corporate bodies that are responsible for performing surveys of ships and their cargoes in the context of the rules laid down by or pursuant to article 52 to article 58.

2. By order of Our Minister rules may be established regarding the way in which the natural persons and corporate bodies appointed under paragraph 1 perform their tasks.

Chapter 5 Captain''s obligations

Section 1 General conditions

Article 60 Regulations concerning load lines


1. The master of a ship for which an international load line certificate is required shall ensure, with due regard for the respective provisions of the Convention on Load Lines, that prior to and during a voyage the ship does not have a freeboard that is less than that permitted for that ship on the voyage.

According to the "Staatsblad 2009, 259" part 2 is valid from 1 juli 2009.
2. Paragraph 1 shall apply accordingly to ships of a length of 24 metres or above, for which a national safety certificate is required and with which national voyages are made.

Article 61 General regulations for ships (SOLAS)


1. The master of any ship with which a voyage is made shall ensure that prior to the voyage and during the voyage the regulations and requirements of chapter V of the SOLAS Convention are observed.

2. Where a passenger ship safety certificate or a cargo ship safety certificate is required for the ship, the master shall also ensure that on board the ship the regulations and requirements of chapters II-1 to IV of the SOLAS Convention are observed.

3. Where a cargo ship radio safety certificate is required for the ship, the master shall also ensure that on board the ship the regulations and requirements of chapter IV of the SOLAS Convention are observed.

According to the "Staatsblad 2009, 259" part 4 is valid from 1 juli 2009.
4. Paragraph 2 shall apply accordingly to ships for which a national safety certificate is required, with the exception of cargo ships of a length of less than 24 metres.

Article 62 Regulations for high-speed craft (SOLAS)


The master of a ship for which a safety certificate forming part of the HSC Code 1994 or the HSC Code 2000 is required, without prejudice to article 61, paragraph 1, shall ensure that on board the ship the regulations and requirements in the respective Code are observed.

Article 63 Safety management and ship security (SOLAS)


1. The master of a ship for which a safety management certificate is required shall ensure that on board the ship the safety management system provided for in the ISM Code is applied.

2. The master of a ship for which an international ship security certificate is required shall ensure that the regulations and requirements of chapter XI-2 of the SOLAS Convention are observed and that on board the ship the ship security plan provided for in the ISPS Code is applied.

Article 64 Keeping a ship logbook


The master shall ensure that the ship logbooks on board are kept up to date, with due regard for the relevant provisions in the Conventions and Codes applicable under this Decree.

Article 65 Further rules


By order of Our Minister further rules may be established regarding the regulations and requirements to be observed by the master on board a ship or on making a voyage.

Section 2 Special provisions

Article 66 Assistance to persons in distress (SOLAS)


1. The master of a ship at sea, when a report or signal reaches him that one or more persons at sea are in distress, shall be bound to assist these persons.

2. The master shall, moreover, be bound to respond to the request by the master of a ship in distress to assist his ship.

3. The provisions of regulation V/33 of the SOLAS Convention shall apply to the requirements referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2.

Article 67 Procedure in the event of damage


1. Where a ship has suffered damage or an incident has occurred in which it is suspected that damage or a defect has arisen whereby the safety of the ship may be affected, the master shall inform the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate as soon as possible. Where the damage or the incident concerns the hull or the mechanical and electrical equipment, the master shall also inform the body referred to in article 37. Also, where the ship is in a port outside the Kingdom (of the Netherlands) he shall inform the competent local authorities accordingly.

2. Where the ship is in a port, the voyage may not be continued before the master has received a declaration from the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate or from the body referred to in paragraph 1, stating that any repairs have been carried out properly or that the voyage can be continued without any problems for its safety, insofar as the competent local authorities do not object to the voyage being continued.

Article 68 Naval documents


1. The master shall be required to accept the documents handed over to him by Our Minister of Defence, to familiarise himself with these documents and to follow any instructions given in them. The master shall keep these documents in an appropriate place.

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply accordingly to documents made available by electronic data carriers or by electronic means.

Article 69 Cases of force majeure


1. Insofar as the rules established by or pursuant to this Decree do not apply to a ship at the start of a voyage, where as a result of bad weather or another case of force majeure the master is forced to deviate from the planned voyage, they shall not apply to that ship.

2. Insofar as the number of crew or passengers on board a ship is a deciding factor for the applicability of rules established by or pursuant to this Decree, in calculating this number no account shall be taken of persons who are on board the ship as a result of force majeure or as a result of a statutory requirement of the master to transport shipwrecked persons or other persons.

Chapter 6 Final provisions

Article 70 Publication of Codes


1. Our Minister shall be responsible for the publication of the Codes applicable under this Decree.

2. The method of publication shall be announced in the Official Gazette, the Curacao Official Gazette and the Aruba Official Gazette.

Article 71 Amendments to Conventions and Codes


1. Any amendment to the Conventions and Codes applicable under this Decree, unless specified to the contrary in a decree by Our Minister, for the application of this Decree shall apply with effect from the day on which the amendment comes into effect at international level.

2. Insofar as an amendment as referred to in paragraph 1 only applies to ships constructed on or after a certain date, unless specified to the contrary by Our Minister, the Convention or the Code such as they read before the respective amendment shall remain applicable to ships constructed before that date, with due regard for the provisions in that amendment, in the amended Convention or in the amended Code regarding the regulations to be applied to repairs, conversions and other changes to the condition or equipment of a ship.

3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the amendments to the Conventions and Codes referred to in paragraph 1 that have already come into effect before the entry into force of this Decree.

4. A Decree by Our Minister as referred to in paragraph 1 or 2 shall be published in the Official Gazette, the Curacao Official Gazette and the Aruba Official Gazette.

Article 72 Transitional provisions for existing ships


1. Article 4 shall not apply to ships constructed before 21 July 1968, with a gross capacity of less than 150 gross register tons, established in accordance with the Convention for a uniform system of tonnage measurement of ships adopted on 10 June 1947 in Oslo (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 1949, J 370; Treaties Journal 1955, 52).

2. For ships constructed before 18 July 1982, of which the gross capacity is established in accordance with the Convention referred to in paragraph 1, for the application of this Decree the unit of a gross register ton shall be equal to the GT unit.

3. For ships as referred to in article 6, paragraph 1, for which under the Ships Decree 1965 a certificate of fitness is issued, the requirement referred to in article 6 shall first apply at the time when the fitness certificate issued under article 7, paragraph 1 of the Ships Act expires. Until that time the rules laid down by or pursuant to the Ships Act 1965 in respect of surveys and requirements shall remain applicable to the ship.

4. To ships constructed before the entry into force of this Decree, the requirements arising on the basis of this Decree from the SOLAS Convention shall only apply, insofar as the ship does not already comply with them, insofar as that is practicable and reasonable. The usual transitional provisions concerning the application or new or amended regulations to existing ships on amendments to the SOLAS Convention shall apply accordingly as far as possible.

Article 73 Repeal of Ships Decree 1965


The Ships Decree 1965 shall be repealed at a time to be determined by Royal Decree, that may be established differently for the different articles or sections thereof and for different categories of ships.

Article 74 Entry into force


This Decree shall enter into force at a time to be determined by Royal Decree that may be established differently for the different articles or sections thereof and for different categories of ships.

Article 75 Official title


This Decree may be cited as: the Ships Decree 2004.


Hereby order that this Decree together with its explanatory memorandum be published in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, in the Official Journal of the Netherlands Antilles and in the Official Bulletin of Aruba.

Explanatory memorandum

1 General

Section 1 Introduction


This Decree serves to replace the Ships Decree 1965 and aims to provide a new and modern framework for the rules to be adopted for the implementation of the Ships Act, with particular reference to the implementation of international and European legislation. The Decree also serves to implement a number of amendments to the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Treaties Journal 1976, 157) that have not yet been implemented or not been fully implemented, including the measures taken during the diplomatic conference on Maritime Security in December 2002 for the security of ships. Section 5 will refer to these amendments in greater detail.

With the establishment of the Decree, account has been taken of the policy of the Dutch cabinet to reduce bureaucracy and to increase the freedom of choice of individuals and companies (cabinet vision and action programme to modernise the government ”Andere Overheid” (”A different form of government”); (Parliamentary Papers II 2003/04, 29 362, No 1). This is reflected, inter alia, by the fact that this Decree is considerably less detailed than the Ships Decree 1965 and ” with due regard to the relevant international frameworks ” provides more room for the own initiative of shipping companies. In that respect the Decree can also be seen as a first step in the context of the Ministry project ”Beter Geregeld!” (”Regulated Better!”) in which consideration is given per area of legislation (in this case the Merchant Navy) to the possibilities of simplifying and reviewing the legislation in the field of the Ministry for Transport, Public Works and Water Management. Of particular interest here is the increased social need for less detailed legislation and more targeted legislation. Furthermore, the establishment of a new Decree naturally provides a good opportunity to examine administrative burdens for industry arising from the shipping safety legislation, and where possible to reduce these burdens. Section 6 of this explanatory memorandum goes in further detail into the reductions achieved by this Decree.

Section 2 Occasion for modernisation


The technical and operational safety of ocean-going ships under the Royal Netherlands flag has been governed for almost four decades by the Ships Decree 1965. However, in all these years, the context in which requirements have been laid down regarding the safety of ocean-going ships has radically changed. The Ships Decree 1965 dates from a time when ship safety legislation was still largely based on national policy. There was relatively little international influence and the present International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which was then called the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO), was not yet fully developed. There was not yet any European influence in terms of maritime directives and regulations as we know them nowadays. Since the establishment of the Ships Decree 1965 the international influence on ship safety legislation has, however, greatly increased. Under the auspices initially of the IMCO and later of the IMO, ever more increasingly detailed regulations for ocean-going vessels were developed, that to an increasing extent were established in obligations under international law. Also important in that connection is the establishment of the Convention on Load Lines (Treaties Journal 1966, 275), the "Load Line Convention", in 1966 and the revision of the Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (Treaties Journal 1976, 157), the ”SOLAS Convention”, in 1974. Furthermore, since the beginning of the 1990s, European legislators have concerned themselves with the importance of ship safety, as is clear in particular from the still growing number of directives and regulations regarding the safety of ocean-going ships. This has all led in 2004 to the purely national contribution to the ship safety legislation being considerably less than in 1965. The majority of the safety regulations for ocean-going ships is currently determined in an international context.

The Ships Decree 1965 has been amended many times since it was established, among other ways, in order to implement the increasing number of international and European requirements. The many amendments were, however, not able to prevent - and possibly even contributed to - the Decree increasingly showing the shortcomings of its age. It was once intended as a decree from which it was possible easily to glean all the relevant safety regulations for ocean-going ships and in the meantime it had changed into a rather complex whole with a structure that could really only be described as historic. Furthermore, owing to the considerable rise in the number of international regulations, the scope of the Decree had considerably increased, which also did not make the Decree any more accessible. The situation was not much better with the implementing legislation based on the Ships Decree 1965. Over time a real jumble of minor rules and regulations came about, in which there was ever decreasing consistency. The implementing legislation also contained a relatively large amount of ”dead wood” in the form of rules that were no longer up to date or no longer applicable.

The 'age-old shortcomings' of the Decree naturally did not go unnoticed when implementing its provisions. There was a call for a thorough revision from industry and from the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate. A frequently expressed plea was for a clear distinction to be made between the national and international elements. In the Ships Decree 1965, the national elements were often substantially interwoven with the international regulations contained in the Decree. Because of this, it was not possible simply to ascertain what were the national characteristics vis-à-vis the international standard. In a branch of industry that is largely internationally orientated, this was found to be unnecessarily tiresome. The international regulations are generally already known from international sources; it is therefore not necessary to consult the national legislation. The national legislation is particularly important to establish whether a particular international standard is applicable and, if so, what any national (or European) characteristics are. With a view to this essential international approach of the ship safety legislation it is understandable that importance is attached to a clear distinction between international and national elements. For the record, it is also noted that the European legislation in the light of the Conventions must in fact also be seen as 'national' legislation, because the European legislation usually relates to subjects that on the basis of the Conventions belong to the national authority of the flag State.

The implementation was not the only area in which the age of the Ships Decree 1965 gave rise to concern. It also became increasingly difficult to make the necessary amendments to the Decree. For example, the implementation of European directives was made more difficult through the fact that the Decree has a thematic structure, in which, in principle, no distinction is made between the so-called ”convention ships” (ships to which the international Conventions apply) and the ”non-convention ships”. This is awkward because directives often link up with that distinction. Good examples here are Directive No 96/98/EC on marine equipment (OJ 1997, L 46) and Directive No 98/18/EC on safety rules and standards for passenger ships (OJ L 144). Directive No 96/98/EC applies only with regard to convention ships, while Directive No 98/18/EC applies to a category of non-convention ships. For the implementation of such directives it is necessary for the distinction between convention and non-convention ships to be introduced. The interweaving of national and international regulations already mentioned often formed an extra complicating factor here. As far as non-convention ships in the Ships Decree 1965 were concerned, there was often actual corresponding application to international Convention regulations. However, this generally occurred not by expressly declaring the international regulations to be applicable, but by tacitly extending the sphere of applicability of these regulations when adopting the international regulations. The result was that many provisions of the Ships Decree 1965 regarding convention ships had to be considered as international regulations, while the same provisions regarding non-convention ships applied as national regulations.

The implementation of the (amendments to the) international ship safety Conventions continued to be difficult. In the Ships Decree 1965, in principle, the technique of ”implementation by transfer” was still used (see, for example the annexes to that Decree, that are often an almost literal account of the Convention on Load Lines or the SOLAS Convention), where the necessary amendments to the Decree were often very labour-intensive. Initially this was able to be absorbed by using a relatively large part of the legislative capacity for the amendments to the Ships Decree 1965 associated with the international Conventions. However, in recent years a considerable amount of legislative work has had to be carried out for the implementation of European directives, as a result of which the available legislative capacity for the Ships Decree 1965 greatly decreased and a backlog gradually occurred in the implementation of recent SOLAS amendments. The sector, and also the Shipping Inspectorate in the three countries of the Kingdom (of the Netherlands), have insisted that this backlog be made up as quickly as possible.

The shortcomings of the Ships Decree 1965 outlined above formed the occasion to decide to undertake a thorough revision and modernisation of the safety legislation for merchant shipping. This Decree is the result.

Section 3 Structure and method of the Decree


In this Decree, the thematic structure of the Ships Decree 1965, in which regulations were classified on the basis of their intrinsic similarities, is largely abandoned. A structure has been chosen that above all reflects the existing international frameworks. The main thread running through it is formed by the certificates required for a ship to operate. In principle, these certificates are still issued on the basis of the surveys to which a ship is subject in order to obtain a certificate, the requirements demanded of a ship in that context and the regulations to be observed when making a voyage (cf. articles 4, 13, 39 and 60).

Having regard to the international nature of the ocean-going ship sector, as much reference as possible to international Conventions is sought from the content point of view. Where possible, reference is made directly to these Conventions. This approach also falls in well with the relevant European legislation, in which reference is also frequently made to the international Conventions. Moreover, an international approach is currently almost essential, in view of the great extent to which outside the Netherlands as well established institutions are involved in implementing ship safety legislation. A good example of this is of course the international classification societies, but also within the European Union it occurs increasingly often that institutions from other Member States offer their services, thereby making use of the possibilities offered them by Community law.

In drawing up the Decree ” also with regard to the efforts of the Dutch Cabinet to reduce bureaucracy, as already mentioned in the introduction to this explanatory memorandum ” it has been endeavoured to limit the scope of the Decree as far as possible and to place the essential focus where it belongs: in the Conventions themselves. This means that the Decree does not contain any unnecessary repetitions of regulations already in the Conventions and that in principle reference is also only made in outline to these Conventions. In these referrals to the Conventions the particular features are naturally introduced that are necessary for a specific category of ship with sufficient clarity to be able to denote the international regulations applicable to these ships.

With a view to the durability of the Decree, it has also been decided on dynamic referral to the Conventions, so that the Decree does not have to be adapted with every amendment to these Conventions. In the Conventions themselves, the technique of dynamic referral has been used for many years ("as amended or as may be amended") and the European legislator ” compelled by the fact that the European shipping legislation often lagged behind international developments ” in 2002 changed to a system of dynamic referral to the international Conventions: see Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 establishing a Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) and amending the Regulations on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships (OJ L 324) and Directive No 2002/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 amending the Directives on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships (OJ L 324). It is of course also important that by introducing a system of dynamic referral it is largely possible to prevent the occurrence of new backlogs in the implementation of IMO legislation.

The requirements of a clear distinction between the national and international elements are dealt with as follows. To start with, it will in principle always be indicated specifically, where with regard to non-convention ships corresponding application is given to certain international regulations. A departure from this principle is only made in respect of one point and that is with regard to the regulations for the carriage of cargo (chapter 4). The reasons for this are set out in more detail in the article-by-article explanation at article 52 et seq. Furthermore, the additional establishment of details that the Conventions leave to the flag state, always take place in a clearly identifiable way. The same applies to any additional requirements that must be laid down on the basis of European legislation.

The implementing legislation for the Decree will also be revised as part of the modernisation operation. Efforts are being made to adopt a limited number of consolidated rules with a clear structure that as far as possible link up with the structure of the Decree. Furthermore, efforts will also be made in the implementing legislation to achieve succinctness and where possible dynamic referrals will also be applied. Use will also be made of the opportunity to abolish the ”notices to shipping” instrument (general binding rules of the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate with which further interpretation can be given to certain regulations of the Ships Decree 1965). The assignment of legislative powers to officials is outdated.

Section 4 National safety certificate


The Ships Decree 1965 required all ships to have a (national) certificate of fitness, even if an international safety certificate was already required for such ships. In this Decree the certificate of fitness, that was once the most important certificate of the Ships Act, but in the meantime has largely been superseded and pushed into the background by the international certificates, no longer recurs. For ships for which international safety certificates are already required under the SOLAS Convention, these international certificates will suffice. The SOLAS Convention offers sufficient room when certifying ships also to take account of any "national" requirements, so that, for example, the requirements laid down in respect of the implementation of Community requirements can also underlie the issue of the international safety certificates. There is no further need for an umbrella certificate in the form of a certificate of fitness for these ships. Paragraph 6 deals with the reduction of the administrative burdens for industry achieved in this way.

For ships for which under the SOLAS Convention no international safety certificate for passenger ships or cargo ships is required, the certificate of fitness will be replaced by the new "national safety certificate", that – in name also – is complementary to the international safety certificates. This new certificate will also replace the national load line certificate which is required for ships of a length of less than 24 metres. The information now contained in the national load line certificate regarding the load line of the ship will in future be contained in an annex to the national safety certificate.

It is not possible to completely streamline the safety certification of ships for which a national safety certificate will be required. Owing to the diverse scope of the different convention requirements in certain cases the accumulation of certificates is unavoidable. Thus, for cargo ships of 300 to 500 GT with which international voyages are made, in addition to the national safety certificate the (international) cargo ship radio safety certificate required under the SOLAS Convention also remains necessary, while for cargo ships of a length from 24 metres with which international voyages are made, the international load line certificate remains necessary under the Convention on Load Lines.

The survey system for ships for which under this Decree a national safety certificate is required, has been relaxed. To begin with, the national safety certificate for all ships for which that certificate is necessary – consequently for passenger ships as well, insofar as these ships do not come under the European system of Directive No 98/18/EC referred to in section 2 for passenger ships engaged on domestic voyages – will have a validity period of five years. Previously, following the international Conventions, the national certificates for passenger ships were also only valid for one year. Now, passenger ships are included in the five-year survey cycle that applies to cargo ships. Another relaxation concerns the abolition of the annual surveys for both cargo ships and passenger ships for which a national safety certificate is required. The purpose of the annual surveys stipulated on the basis of the Conventions for cargo ships engaged on domestic voyages is to establish whether the ship is properly maintained and is still fit for its stated purpose. These surveys are, however, already provided for by the classification society where the ship is classified. Furthermore, the technical quality of ships has greatly improved over the years. The method of construction and the durability of the materials used and the on-board equipment have in the meantime become such that it is safe to have greater intervals between surveys. It is adequate to carry out an initial survey on the issue of the certificate, an interim survey in the third year and a renewal survey after five years in connection with the renewal of the certificate. It is noted that the new survey system naturally does not bring in any change in the non-routine surveys to which a ship should be subject should the occasion arise, for example, because it has suffered damage or has undergone alterations.

The requirements made of a ship in connection with the national safety certificate will in principle not differ from the requirements under the Ships Decree 1965 of non-convention ships. Under the Ships Decree 1965 corresponding application is usually given to the requirements of the SOLAS Convention and the Convention on Load Lines, whereby for cargo ships of a length of less than 24 metres (known as –small craft–), a relaxed scheme applies. That system is maintained in this Decree. However, for cargo ships a lower limit has been introduced: for cargo ships of a length of less than 12 metres in principle a safety certificate is no longer needed. In general, with this category of ship there is not such a great degree of safety involved that a general certificate requirement for cargo ships under 12 metres is in order. It is more correct only to let those small cargo ships be subject to a certificate that belong to a specific risk group or with which – for example, because they are structurally used for the carriage of (no more than 12) passengers – a special safety requirement is involved. Naturally, however, a special certificate must be obtained for these ships, whereby account must be taken of the specific risk profile of these ships or the particular safety aspect involved. In addition, it should be noted that the new lower limit of 12 metres only applies to cargo ships. For passenger ships (i.e. ships that are designed or used for the carriage of more than 12 passengers; see the definition of –passenger ship– in article 1, paragraph 1 of the Ships Act) for which a national safety certificate is required - in the same way as for passenger ships that come under the SOLAS Convention – they will always require a certificate, irrespective of their length or tonnage.

Section 5 Recent amendments to the SOLAS Convention


It has already been stated in the introduction that the Decree also serves to implement a number of amendments to the SOLAS Convention that have not yet been implemented. This concerns the amendments to that Convention adopted under resolutions MSC.47(66), MSC.57(67), MSC.65(68), MSC.69(69), MSC.87(71), MSC.91(72), MSC.99(73), MSC.117(74), MSC.123(75) and MSC.134(76) of the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO and the amendments adopted during the diplomatic conferences in 1997 and 2002.

a. maritime security
The most important amendment to the SOLAS Convention which this Decree implements is the extension of the SOLAS Convention by a new chapter XI-2 on Special Measures to enhance Maritime Security that were adopted during the diplomatic conference on Maritime Security in December 2002. The reasons for this conference were the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 that gave rise to awareness that other transport sectors could also be affected by terrorist attacks. In view of the global nature of the shipping sector and its vital function for the world economy (over 90 percent of world trade goes by sea), it was considered necessary to improve the security of ships and ports. This has led ” particularly on the initiative of the United States ” to the introduction of a security system for shipping and ports that largely has the same weight as the security system for aviation. The new chapter XI-2 comes into effect internationally from 1 July 2004.

The focal point of the new security measures for shipping is to be found in the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code on the basis of the new chapter XI-2 that contains regulations for the security of shipping and for the security of ports. The Code stems from an analysis of the risks and their management by taking adequate precautions. In the Code a standardised set of instruments is drawn up with which the risks of a terrorist attack can be evaluated. All states that are parties to the SOLAS Convention must study the security risks of their port facilities. This involves identifying the most important port facilities that in the event of a terrorist attack would result in the most damage to the economy or the environment, or could lead to a considerable loss of human life. The actual threats must be assessed, so that priority can be given to security measures. The weak spots in the field of equipment, security, organisation, procedures, communication and other areas are mapped out. With this knowledge, it is possible to make a good evaluation of the risks.

The ISPS Code also deals with the security of ships. Following the attacks on 11 September, it appears that means of transport that are safe in themselves can become deadly weapons in the hands of terrorists. For these reasons, from 1 July 2004 all passenger ships making international voyages and all cargo ships of 500 GT or more making international voyages must comply with the security requirements of the ISPS Code. This Code requires the owner of the ship to appoint a company security officer (CSO) within his professional association. Among other things, the CSO is responsible for ensuring that for each ship that comes under the Code a security assessment is carried out. On the basis of this assessment a ship security plan is then drawn up for each individual ship. On board each ship to which the Code applies, a ship security officer (SSO) must also be appointed who is responsible for the security of the ship and for the implementation of the ship security plan. The SSO also maintains contact with the CSO. A security alert system must also be present on board the ship, with which the authorities and the professional association of the owner can be alerted if the security of the ship is compromised or when the ship is confronted by a terrorist threat.

The ISPS Code distinguishes ” both for ships and for ports ” three security levels, depending on the extent of the threat. Security level 1 is the normal situation, where account must indeed be taken of the possibility of terrorist attacks, but in which no specific threat exists. Level 2 concerns situations in which there is a heightened risk of terrorist attacks. Finally, level 3 concerns situations in which there is a high probability of a terrorist attack, even when the target of the attack cannot be identified.

The ship security plan states for each of the security levels distinguished in the ISPS Code which operational and physical security measures must be taken on board the ship. The standard applies on board a ship of security level 1, but the flag state can stipulate that on board ships under its flag a higher security level must be in force. The security level on board a ship must also be increased if the ship is in a sea area or port where at that time the local authorities have established a higher security level on the spot than the one that applies on board the ship. A ship that fails to bring its security level into line with the (higher) security level applicable in a particular port, under chapter XI-2 of the SOLAS Convention may have access to that port denied.

The new security system for ships is a system of surveys, checks and certification that corresponds with the system to which ships are already subject regarding their safety. Ships that come under the ISPS Code must have an International Ship Security Certificate, that is only issued if the ship meets the requirements of chapter XI-2 of the SOLAS Convention and the ISPS Code applicable on the basis of that chapter. Chapter XI-2 also provides for a form of port state control that relates specifically to the security of ships. Just as with the `regular” port state control, a ship that does not possess the required security certificate or does not appear to comply with the security requirements of the SOLAS Convention may be detained by the port state authorities.

The security of ships is not a national matter within the terms of article 3, paragraph 1, section e, of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and therefore does not have to be regulated in national legislation. Nevertheless, the countries of the Kingdom (of the Netherlands) have chosen to implement the security measures for ships temporarily by means of order in council, in which the safety requirements of ships arising from the SOLAS Convention are also implemented. An important consideration here was the fact that the short implementation period up to 1 July 2004 leaves little room for establishing new national legislation for the security of ships. However, it is stressed that the Community scheme of security measures for ships contained in this Decree is based on Article 38 of the Charter and if desired can be ended by any of the countries in the Kingdom (of the Netherlands) automatically for the ships registered in that country, as soon as a suitable legal framework for the security of ships has come about in the form of national legislation.

b. revision of chapters II-2 and V of the SOLAS Convention
Among the SOLAS amendments that are implemented by means of this Decree mention should also be made of the revision of chapters II-2 and V of the SOLAS Convention adopted under resolution MSC.99(73) which came into force on 1 July 2002. The revised chapters II-2 and V are a good illustration of two developments that can be observed in the recent amendments made to the SOLAS Convention. The first development concerns the use of Codes to provide further interpretation of the general requirements of chapters II-1 to V of the SOLAS Convention. Whereas in the past the technical details for the elaboration of a particular regulation were often contained in the Convention, these details are now increasingly often housed in a separate Code. The new chapter II-2 (fire protection) even has two such "implementing" Codes: the Fire Fighting Systems (FFS) Code, which contain the further requirements of fire-fighting systems, and the Fire Test Procedures (FTP) Code, that contains detailed regulations for testing materials, parts and systems. Earlier, also on the revision of chapter III (life-saving appliances), the detailed technical requirements of life-saving appliances were set out in a separate Code: the Life Saving Appliances (LSA) Code (see MSC.47(66).

The second development in the SOLAS Convention concerns the increased use of target regulations. The most apparent one can be seen in the new chapter II-2, that begins with ”fire safety objectives” and ”functional requirements” and throughout the whole chapter leaves open the choice of a particular appliance as far as possible. Compared to the old chapter II-2, that above all contained means regulations, the new chapter II-2 contains a clear change in thinking about safety legislation. This change can also be seen in chapter V (safety of navigation). In the chapter V that was previously applicable a wide range of mandatory equipment was stipulated. In the new chapter V, however, it has been decided to take a functional approach: it is stipulated which navigation functions must be able to be carried out on board. The owner of the ship can then choose for himself for each of these functions the appropriate equipment to be used. In view of the fact that nowadays an increasing amount of navigation equipment is suitable for several functions simultaneously, this means that in practice on board the ship it is possible to function with less equipment.

The international trend of more target regulations is, of course supported by the countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and, where possible, encouraged. This international trend links up with the existing need within the Netherlands for more targeted legislation (see also section 1 of this memorandum). It is, moreover, important that in a sector of the economy like the shipping sector, which is very greatly regulated on an international basis, the room for national legislative policy with regard to targeted legislation is largely determined by the room that the international frameworks provide for it.

Section 6 Administrative burdens for industry


In line with the Dutch Cabinet’s objective to reduce the pressure of administrative burdens for industry arising from legislation and regulation, in establishing this Decree particular attention has been paid to the importance of safety in the regulations contained in this Decree in relation to the burdens that compliance with these regulations entails. As the basis here, in 2001 Cap Gemini Ernst & Young undertook an examination of the administrative burdens arising from the existing legislation and regulations in the field of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. From this so-called ’zero measurement’ it appears that ’ after correction for 2003 ’ the burdens resulting directly from the Ships Decree 1965, having regard to the size of the current fleet of 1294 ships (reference date 1 January 2004) should now amount to € 38,788,807. In addition there is the requirement that is set out partly in the Ships Act and partly in the Ships Decree 1965 to keep ship logbooks and submit them periodically, which with the current size of the fleet involves payment of an amount in administrative burdens of € 21,432,493. Consideration is given to the extent to which all these burdens could be reduced without the ship’s safety being affected. Account is of course taken of the recommendations in the report published in 2003 by the Sorgdrager Committee ’Overheid, bedrijfsleven en wetgeving ’ Mogelijkheden tot reductie van administratieve lasten en een breeder perspectief’ (Government, industry and legislation ’ Possibilities of reducing administrative burdens and a broader perspective), in which the possibilities of reducing administrative burdens are outlined for the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.

First and foremost, ship safety legislation is largely determined by international requirements. For the time being, the administrative burdens arising from these requirements are on balance increasing rather than decreasing. That applies particularly to European legislation. The efforts of the IMO over the last few years have also been directed towards consolidating safety regulation and streamlining certification procedures (an example of this is the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification described in articles 13 and 14); the European ship safety legislation is still in such a state of flux that any consolidation or streamlining does not seem likely at the moment.

Because of the international context the room for national policy with regard to reducing administrative burdens is limited. Apart from the efforts to reduce the administrative burdens also in an international and European context, with the establishment of this Decree therefore only the administrative burdens that originated in national provisions could be considered for reduction. That in fact appeared to be more the case than was expected. It is true that with the so-called ’Maritiem Keerpunt’ (Maritime Turning Point) in the context of the new shipping policy (see Parliamentary Papers II 1994/95, 24 165, No 2) a great many provisions with a purely national background were deleted, but the remaining national provisions sometimes appeared to have considerable financial implications. The most striking provision was in that regard article 135a of the Ships Decree 1965, in which the master was required during the voyage regularly to have soundings taken of cofferdams and tanks. The administrative burdens arising from this requirement should amount to € 21,433,428 with the current size of the fleet. To the assumption behind this amount that on board each ship soundings are taken daily for 365 days a year, the necessary footnotes can be added, not least because the taking of soundings on board many ships nowadays is done automatically. Also after adjusting this assumption, the intended safety objective is not in proportion to the costs. Article 135a articulated an aspect of ’good seamanship’ that, certainly at the current state of technology, in itself no (longer) needs to be set down in a statutory provision. In this Decree the requirement to have soundings taken, however, does not recur.

Another large cost item was formed by the requirement to keep ship logbooks and the mandatory periodic submission of these logbooks. The associated administrative burdens should now amount to € 21,432,493 for the Dutch fleet. In this Decree it has been endeavoured in two ways to reduce the administrative burdens associated with the ship logbooks. Firstly, the requirement to keep ship logbooks is limited to the international requirements to keep a logbook (see article 64). This does not remove the fact that on board ships under international requirements a great deal of information must still be kept, but for an increasing amount of information the requirement to keep this information in a ship logbook is replaced by the requirement ’to keep a record’. This means that the necessary information that is often compiled electronically can be kept in automated systems (such as the voyage data recorder), whereby the administrative burdens associated with the data management are greatly reduced. On the basis of a careful estimate, with the abolition of the national requirement to keep all information in a logbook, a reduction in the administrative burden of 40 percent (€ 8,572,997) is achieved. There will be a further reduction as in the international context the requirement to keep all kinds of information in a ship logbook is further pushed back. At national level it will also be considered whether ’ as recommended by the Sorgdrager Committee ’ the requirement in the 1970 Decree on logbooks for ships to keep a paper logbook, cannot also be replaced by the requirement ’ as desired ’ of keeping a paper or an electronic logbook.

The second way in which it has been endeavoured to reduce the administrative burdens associated with the ship logbook concerns the abolition ’ both in the Ships Act and in the implementing legislation ’ of the requirement periodically to submit the ship logbooks. It will be adequate to have a requirement to allow the Shipping Inspectorate, at its request, to inspect the ship logbooks. For the merchant fleet this means a further saving of 10 percent (€ 2,143,249) in administrative burdens.

The abolition of the national certificates of fitness and load line certificates already described in section 4 and the relaxing of the survey system for non-convention ships lead to a reduction in the administrative burdens. With the abolition of the certificate of fitness for all ships, in view of the fact that for non-convention ships of a length from 12 metres the new national safety certificate is required, this involves a reduction of € 1,859,786; the abolition of the national load line certificate leads to a reduction of € 289,622. The relaxation of the survey system to which non-convention ships are subject in connection with the new national safety certificate, whereby the annual surveys in the second and fourth year after the certificate has been issued will lapse, leads to a saving of € 326,859.
These calculations take a basis of 1294 ships for which a certificate of fitness was required under the Ships Decree 1965, 140 ships for which under that Decree there was a requirement to possess a national load line certificate, and 395 ships for which under this Decree the new national safety certificate is required. The average amount in administrative burdens that is involved annually with a particular certificate and the associated surveys is calculated at € 2,069 per ship. The total saving in administrative burdens associated with the above amendments to the certification scheme amounts to € 2,476,267.

Other activity that has led to a reduction in the administrative burdens includes the abolition of the (nationally required) certificate for animal transport (1 ship at € 2,069), the abolition of the (national) requirement to introduce load lines (60 newly built ships per annum at € 1,126; total reduction € 67,560) and the abolition of the national requirement to have certain books on board (1294 ships at € 109; total reduction € 141,046). The abolition of the requirement to introduce load lines or of the requirement to have certain books on board does not, however, mean that the use of load lines or having certain books on board should no longer be endorsed. For the load lines, however, it is the case that they are so obvious for safe travel with a ship that a statutory requirement to have them would not have any added value. A similar consideration applies to the information present on board a ship in the form of books or otherwise. The ship owner and the master are in a very good position to determine independently which information must be present on board a ship in order to be able to sail safely with that ship or to be able to familiarise themselves with the statutory requirements to be observed on board a ship. Here, the implicit rule that certain information had to be on board in the form of books stood in the way of more modern forms of knowledge management, including the possibility of consulting certain information by means of electronic data carriers or even by means of Internet applications.

Furthermore ’ making use of the possibility offered by regulation V/26 of the SOLAS Convention ’ ships that make many short voyages are exempt from the requirement to test the steering mechanism before each voyage. For those ships the steering mechanism must be tested weekly. This involves a reduction of € 726,080 (800 ships at € 908 per annum).

This Decree also brings in new administrative burdens, particularly in connection with the new security measures for ships (see section 6). Under the new chapter XI-2 of the SOLAS Convention, passenger ships and cargo ships with a gross tonnage from 500 GT which make international voyages, from 1 July 2004 must possess an international ship security certificate. With the certification of these ships ’ that complies with the existing safety and safety management certification of ships ’ every year an amount of administrative burdens of € 1,824,618 will be involved (882 ships at € 2,069).

The content of the new security requirements also involves administrative burdens. Under the ISPS Code, a ship security plan must be drawn up for the ship, on the basis of a previously established ’security risk assessment’. The ensuing administrative burdens are estimated at € 740 per ship. Account is also taken of the fact that the Royal Netherlands Shipowners Association, in consultation with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, has drawn up a comprehensive manual that makes it relatively easy for the ship owner to carry out a risk assessment and to draw up a security plan. The above-mentioned amount also already takes into account ’ as can be seen, for example from the experiences with the safety management system ’ that larger shipping companies have the advantage that for (virtually) identical ships only one risk assessment needs to be carried out, while the ship security plans for these ships can also be almost identical.

The drawing up of a ship security plan is in principle a one-off requirement. In calculating the annual administrative burdens associated with the ship security plan, it is, however, assumed that as a result of changes in the composition of the fleet annually, for 10 % of the total number of ships to which the security measures apply, a new security plan will be drawn up. On an annual basis this represents an administrative burden of € 65,670 (882 ships at € 740 with a frequency of once every 10 years). To that amount must also be added the recurring charges associated with occasionally updating the ship security plans. These burdens are calculated at € 110,038 per annum (882 ships at € 125). This brings the total amount in administrative burdens associated with the ship security plans to € 175,708 per annum.

In conclusion, the introduction of the Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) that contains a summary of the most important ships’ data, leads to new administrative burdens. In principle, the request for the CSR is a one-off event, but, just as with the ship security plan, it is assumed that every year a new CSR will be requested for about 10 percent of the merchant fleet. On an annual basis that leads to an amount of € 76,120 in administrative burdens (882 ships at € 860 with a frequency of once every 10 years). The burdens associated with amendments to the CSR as a result of changes in ships’ data are estimated at € 80,050 per annum (882 ships at € 91). In total the administrative burdens associated with the CSR amount to € 156,170 per annum.

To sum up, it can be stated that with this Decree, as regards the situation that applied at 1 January 2004, a (gross) administrative burden reduction of € 35,562,696 per annum has been achieved. With regard to the new administrative burdens associated with the international security measures for ships (€ 2,156,496), the net reduction achieved on an annual basis by means of this Decree amounts to € 33,406,200. In view of the fact that the administrative burdens arising for the merchant shipping sector from the Ships Act (including the implementing legislation) at 1 January 2004 amounted to € 62,913,352, this amounts to a net reduction of 53 percent.

The draft decree was referred to the Dutch Advisory Board on Administrative Burdens (Actal), that approved it (opinion dated 5 February 2004, RL/PL/2004/25).

Section 7 Implementation and enforcement


The implementation and enforcement of the regulations contained in this Decree are regulated by the Ships Act. The issuing of the certificates required by a ship is assigned to the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate (article 6, paragraph1of the Ships Act); the officials of the Shipping Inspectorate and the natural persons or corporate bodies designated by the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management are responsible for the surveys on which the issue of these certificates is based (article 6, paragraph 2 of the Ships Act). The officials of the Shipping Inspectorate are also responsible for ensuring compliance with the law (article 10 of the Ships Act). The enforcement of the safety regulations takes place both via administrative and criminal law channels. The officials of the Shipping Inspectorate are authorised to withdraw certificates issued for a ship (article 7, paragraph 3 of the Ships Act) and to detain ships that do not possess the necessary certificates or do not comply with the requirements of the Ships Act (article 16 of the Ships Act). In chapter VI of the Ships Act, moreover, a number of types of conduct, including sailing without the required certificates, are threatened with a penalty. In practice, it rarely comes to criminal proceedings, mainly because the administrative instrument of detention (or even the threat of possible detention) owing to the considerable financial consequences that detention would have for the operator of the ship, is a much more effective means of enforcement than criminal law. The Ships Act also provides the possibility of disciplinary punishment of the master and certain members of the crew (see chapter V of the Ships Act). This Decree does not introduce any changes in the implementation and enforcement of the Ships Act outlined above. Insofar as the Decree concerns the certification of ships, it only serves to implement the certification system laid down in the Ships Act. Otherwise the Decree contains details of the safety regulations for ships.

Section 8 Notification


The draft decree was notified on [date] to the Commission of the European Communities (notification number .../.../NL), in accordance with article 8, paragraph 1 of Directive No 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and rules on information society services (OJ L 204), as amended by Directive No 98/48/EC of 20 July 1998 (OJ L 217). The notification particularly concerns the introduction of the national safety certificate and the requirements and surveys associated with the certificate. For the rest, the Decree is a (re)codification of technical regulations notified previously that mostly serve to implement international Conventions to which all Member States of the European Union are parties. [For the record discussion on results of notification procedure].

The Secretariat of the World Trade Organisation has also been notified in accordance with article 2, paragraph 9 and article 5, paragraph 6 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade adopted on 15 April 1994 in Marrakesh (Treaties Journal 1994, 235).

2 Article-by-article explanation

Article 01


This article contains the definitions. The definitions given in the first paragraph can be divided into two types: subparagraphs a to h contain a number of substantive terms, while subparagraphs i to w provide abbreviated designations for the international instruments cited in this decree. The substantive terms largely correspond to the terms from the Ships Decree 1965. In terms of content the terms in subparagraphs a, b and f have been taken over unchanged from the Ships Decree 1965, while the terms in subparagraphs d and e, apart from the fact that they have been updated, largely correspond in content to the terms from the Ships Decree 1965.

Subparagraphs d and e give definitions of the terms –GT– and –length–. Both definitions refer to the International Convention on the Tonnage Measurement of Ships (Treaties Journal 1970, 122), which for the Netherlands has been implemented in the Certificates of Tonnage Act 1981 and for the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Netherlands Antilles Certificates of Tonnage Act 1986 (PB 1986, 103) and the Netherlands Antilles International Certificates of Tonnage Act (AB 1991, no 2) respectively. In terms of content neither term differs substantially from the terms –ton– and –length– in the Ships Decree 1965. The term –GT– has been updated however. In the Ships Decree 1965 reference was also made in the definition of the term –ton– to the Certificates of Tonnage Act 1948 (now withdrawn), which implemented the Oslo Convention on a Uniform System of Tonnage Measurements of Ships that came into existence on 10 June 1947 (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 1949, J 370; Treaties Journal 1955, 52). This Convention is no longer relevant today. Since 1994 all ships have been measured according to the International Convention on the Tonnage Measurement of Ships adopted in 1969. There is therefore no longer any need to refer to the Oslo Convention in the definition. With regard to the term –GT–, it should be noted that this is the commonly used abbreviation of the English term –gross tonnage–.

Subparagraph c contains a different definition of the term –sailing ship– from the Ships Decree 1965. No substantially different content of the term sailing ship is intended by the new definition however. It is simply an attempt to replace the somewhat subjective criterion –carrying sufficient sails to sail safely, to be judged by standards that (–) are laid down by the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate– with a more objective criterion that also does not contain a normative element. There is no change in the situation that a sailing ship, for safety reasons for example, can also be equipped with means of mechanical propulsion. The new definition provides for this by means of the word –primarily–.

What is new compared with the Ships Decree 1965 is the addition of the phrase –acting in agreement with Our Ministers for the Netherlands Antilles and for Aruba whom it also concerns– to the definition of the term –Our Minister– in subparagraph h. Agreements have in the past been made between the countries of the Kingdom about the joint involvement of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the development of regulations delegated to Our Minister for Transport, Public Works & Water Management under the Ships Act. The addition is intended to enshrine these agreements in the present decree.

Subparagraphs i to w provide for the abbreviated designation of the Conventions and Codes to which (dynamic) reference is made in the decree. Although the Codes – with the exception of the Codes referred to in subparagraphs n and o – are those required under the SOLAS Convention, the first paragraph does not contain a full list of all the Codes required under that Convention. Codes to which – other than the Codes referred to in article 8 for example – no independent significance is due in the decree, such as the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code with detailed regulations for the implementation of Chapter III of the SOLAS Convention, have not been defined. This does not of course mean that these Codes, if reference is made to them in the SOLAS Convention, would not be applicable. References to the SOLAS Convention include the Codes required under that Convention. It should also be noted that in references to the SOLAS Convention regulations the customary international reference method has been retained, in which the article number is preceded by the Chapter number and as the occasion arises is followed by the relevant subparagraph. "VII/12.3" for example refers to regulation 12, section 3 ("third paragraph") of Chapter VII of the SOLAS Convention.

The second paragraph of article 1 specifies which administrative body is to be regarded as competent authority, –Administration–, for the application of the international instruments. At detail level the Conventions and Codes often provide for discretionary powers for the government of the flag state of the ship, usually recognisable by the stipulation that a provision required by Convention or Code must be –to the satisfaction of the Administration–. This discretion allows the government to customise application of the international instruments as far as possible, taking account of the specific properties and risk profiles of individual ships. The discretionary powers are particularly appropriate where the certification of ships is concerned. In view of the fact that article 6(1) of the Ships Act assigns certification to the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate, it is obvious that this person should also be granted the discretionary powers under the Conventions and Codes. The second paragraph consequently stipulates that the term Administration must be taken to mean the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate, on the understanding that in special cases a different department can be designated by or pursuant to this decree. One such example is regulations relating to the carriage of cargo, in which as far as the Netherlands is concerned certain tasks are also assigned to the Transport Division of the Transport, Public Works & Water Management Inspectorate (formerly the Government Transport Inspectorate).

Finally, it should be noted that the reference in the second paragraph to –the Codes applicable under this decree– does not refer simply to the Codes referred to in the first paragraph, subparagraphs n to w, but also to the Codes otherwise applicable under the Conventions, which – cf. the LSA Code mentioned above – are not expressly referred to in the decree.

Article 02


The requirements that a ship must meet are usually in part dependent on the date of construction of the ship. This applies in particular to the requirements relating to the construction of ships. The reason for this link between the date of construction of a ship and the requirements applicable to that ship of course lies in the fact that the construction of a ship is largely determined by the requirements in force at the time of the design and the construction of the ship.

The first paragraph of the present article lays down the point in time that counts as the date of construction of a ship. Following the Conventions and Codes, the date of construction is regarded as the day on which the keel is laid or on which a similar stage of construction is reached. As a rule a similar stage of construction is regarded as the stage at which a start is made on the construction, identifiable as forming part of a specific ship, and at which a start is also made on its assembly, consisting of at least 50,000 kg or, if the estimated mass of all structural material amounts to less than 5,000,000 kg, one per cent of that estimated mass (cf. regulation II-1/1.1.2 of the SOLAS Convention).

The second paragraph provides for a different regime for ships that have undergone any conversions giving rise to a change in the ship type. For these ships it is no longer their original date of construction but the date on which the conversions begin that is decisive for the requirements applicable to the ship. Where a cargo ship is converted into a passenger ship this follows from the SOLAS Convention (see for example regulation II-1/1.1.3.3); for conversions into special ship types this also follows, apart from the SOLAS Convention, from the Codes applicable as the occasion arises (for gas tankers for example see regulation VII/12.3 of the SOLAS Convention and regulation 1.1.3 of the IGC Code).

The third paragraph provides for the power, for the implementation of an IMO decision or recommendation for example, to lay down detailed rules regarding the date to be regarded as date of construction of a ship. These rules can also, as is apparent from the second sentence of that paragraph, mean that a date of construction does not remain ”valid without limit”. In practice it can happen for example that the keel of a ship is all that is laid, after which construction is suspended prior to resumption some considerable time later, in accordance with what have then become obsolete requirements. To prevent such abuse of the date of construction principle, the third paragraph provides for the option of binding the completion of a ship to deadlines which, if they are overrun, will mean that a different date of construction will apply for the ship.

Article 03


This article excludes fishing vessels from the effect of the decree. Since 1989 provision for the safety of fishing vessels has been made in a separate order in council, which has recently undergone total revision in connection with community obligations: the Fishing Vessels Decree 2002. Internationally too fishing vessels have a special position in many respects. They are not for example covered by the Load Lines Convention (see article 5(1) of that Convention), nor – at least in principle – by the SOLAS Convention (see regulation I/3(a) of that Convention).

In view of the possibility of fishing vessels being used (in part) for purposes that are by their nature covered by this decree (for example for commercial recreational use with amateur fishermen), the present article does include the limitation that the exception for fishing vessels only applies in so far as these ships are not used for purposes other than the catching of fish and other living resources of the sea. This prevents the non-application of the decree to fishing vessels that are used for purposes which are by their nature covered by the present decree.

Article 04


Section 3(1) of the Ships Act stipulates that a ship ”may not be used for any voyage unless the necessary certificates have been issued for the ship”. The second paragraph of the same section stipulates that the certificates required are laid down by or pursuant to an order in council. This provision is implemented in articles 4 to 12 of this decree.

The present article provides for the International Load Line Certificate required under the Load Lines Convention for ships engaged on international voyages. Under this Convention all ships built on or after 21 July 1968, with a length of 24 metres and above, and also all ships built before that date with a gross capacity of 150 gross register tons and above must be provided with an international load line certificate. The number of ships built before 21 July 1968 however is now so small that they are no longer distinguished as a separate category in the present article. All we need is what now applies as a general rule: the length limit of 24 metres. A transitional provision has been included in article 72(1) for the handful of ships dating from before 21 July 1968.

Article 05


Article 5(1) relates to the general safety certificates under the SOLAS Convention. Passenger ships are under the obligation to have a safety certificate without any restriction: all passenger ships engaged on international voyages, whatever their length or gross tonnage, must be provided with a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, which in principle relates to all the safety aspects of a passenger ship, from construction to equipment. Cargo ships, on the other hand, are only under the obligation to have a certificate relating to all the safety aspects of the ship – the Cargo Ship Safety Certificate – from 500 GT. Below this tonnage limit there is still a certificate obligation relating to the radiocommunication equipment required on board: for cargo ships from 300 to 500 GT a Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate is required. It should be noted in this regard that modern cargo ships intended for the commercial carriage of cargo are rarely less than 2,500 to 3,000 GT. Cargo ships with a gross tonnage of less than 500 GT are for the most part special categories of ships, such as harbour tugboats and lightweight dredging equipment.

For the sake of completeness it should also be noted that no use has been made of the option contained in regulation I/12 of the SOLAS Convention to certify cargo ships from 500 GT by means of three modular certificates. The said regulation, as an alternative to the Cargo Ship Safety Certificate, provides for the issue of three separate safety certificates relating to the construction, the equipment and the radiocommunication equipment on board cargo ships. However, on the implementation of the SOLAS amendment in which the Cargo Ship Safety Certificate was introduced (Decree of 18 December 1997, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 745, amending the Ships Decree 1965 in connection with the introduction of a harmonised survey and certification system) the all-embracing Cargo Ship Safety Certificate was chosen. The present decree endorses this choice.
Regulation I/3(a) of the SOLAS Convention stipulates that the Convention is not (in principle) applicable to ships that are not equipped with means of mechanical propulsion, which means towed navigation, such as pontoons, cranes, barges and dredging and contractor–s equipment. The second paragraph of the present article therefore stipulates that the general SOLAS certificate requirements in the first paragraph do not apply to non-mechanically propelled ships. Nor do non-mechanically propelled ships therefore need to meet the requirements referred to in article 40(1) and (2), while the surveys in article 14 are equally inapplicable of course. It should be noted that the Load Lines Convention does apply to non-mechanically propelled ships. For this reason no exception for this category of ships has been included in article 4.

The second paragraph also contains an exception for sailing ships. Sailing ships which for safety reasons are also equipped with (auxiliary) means of mechanical propulsion – which is usually the case – must, strictly speaking, be regarded as convention ships for the application of the SOLAS Convention. Often however, because of the special construction and properties of sailing ships, the requirements of the SOLAS Convention have not been applicable to these ships or less well so. For this reason sailing ships up to approx. 500 GT have in practice often been equated with non-mechanically propelled ships and a special regime has applied to these ships (cf. the Sailing Ships with Passengers Regulation). Now however there are sufficient appropriate regulations available, in combination with the exemption options that the SOLAS Convention provides, to bring sailing ships up to 500 GT into line with the SOLAS Convention. With effect from 1 January 2005 all sailing ships built after that date that are also equipped with means of mechanical propulsion will have to have SOLAS certificates if international voyages are made with these ships. For existing sailing ships up to 500 GT however the special position currently applicable will be maintained.

The third paragraph of the present article refers to an additional certificate that is required for ships used to transport dangerous goods. Under regulation II-2/19 of the SOLAS Convention these ships must comply with special fire safety requirements, which is evident from a document of compliance issued in accordance with that regulation. This document is not an isolated certificate however. The obligation arises from the requirements underlying the safety certificates referred to in subparagraphs a and b of the first paragraph. For this reason the document of compliance is not included in article 8, but in the present article.

Article 06


This article refers to the national safety certificate (Ship Safety Certificate) that will be required for ships for which no SOLAS passenger ship or cargo ship safety certificate is required. The ships in question are those used for domestic voyages, ships that have no means of mechanical propulsion and cargo ships up to 500 GT used for international voyages. It has previously been noted in section 4 of the general part of this explanation that the national safety certificate for these ships is replacing the certificate of seaworthiness required under the Ships Decree 1965, which is being abolished for all ships.

The second paragraph stipulates that the obligation to have a national safety certificate does not apply to cargo ships with a length of less than 12 metres. As previously explained in section 4, there is no need to require a certificate as standard for this category of ship. However, if specific safety reasons exist, a special certificate can be required for certain cargo ships up to 12 metres pursuant to article 12. By way of comparison with the other certificate obligations contained in this decree and the tonnage limits employed with them, it should be noted that a ship with a length of 12 metres has a gross capacity of approx. 10 GT.

Article 07


Under Chapter X of the SOLAS Convention a different regime applies to high-speed craft, which takes the form of special safety certificates for this category of ship. High-speed craft differ from normal ships in their lightweight construction and low water displacement, which enable them to reach high speeds. Because of their special construction the general construction requirements of the SOLAS Convention are less readily applicable to these ships, while in certain respects the higher speeds at which they travel also make different safety requirements necessary. There have therefore been special regulations for high-speed craft since 1977. Initially these regulations only had the status of a recommendation at international level (see the Dynamically Supported Craft (DSC) Code adopted by resolution A.373(X) of the General Meeting of the IMCO). But in 1996 the regulations for high-speed craft laid down in the High-Speed Craft (HSC) Code 1994 also acquired a place in the SOLAS Convention (Chapter X, Safety Measures for High-Speed Craft). A second Code has recently been added to it, the HSC Code 2000, which applies to high-speed craft built on or after 1 July 2002.

Application of the HSC Code 1994 or 2000 is not in itself mandatory. The owner of a high-speed craft can opt for it. This option is in part connected with the operational restrictions that apply to ships certified in accordance with the HSC Code. The main restriction is that under no circumstances may a high-speed craft be located more than a limited number of hours” sailing time from a port (see regulation X/2 of the SOLAS Convention). The decree provides for the option of having a high-speed craft surveyed and certified according to the HSC Code 1994 or 2000 in article 16. If the owner opts for application of the HSC Code, then under article 7 this leads to the certificate obligations forming part of the respective Code also applying to the ship.

The second paragraph then stipulates that the High-Speed Craft Safety Certificate that forms part of the HSC Code and the permit to operate prescribed in the Code replace the general safety certificate required under article 5(1). This implements regulation X/3.2 of the SOLAS Convention, which stipulates that ”certificates and permits issued under the High-Speed Craft Code shall have the same force and the same recognition as the certificates issued under chapter I”.

The option to elect for application of the HSC Code 1994 or 2000 is not only reserved to the owner of a convention ship: the owner of a ship for which in principle a national safety certificate is required can also opt for application of the HSC Code. As for convention ships a general safety certificate (in this case the national safety certificate) is no longer required for the ship.

Article 08


In Chapters VI and VII the SOLAS Convention contains regulations for the carriage of cargo in general (Chapter VI) and dangerous goods in particular (Chapter VII). In a number of cases the said regulations in part concern the suitability of ships for the carriage of certain cargo. A chemical tanker for example must comply with the special requirements of the International Bulk Chemical (IBC) Code, one of whose aims of course is to minimise the environmental hazard associated with the carriage of (dangerous) chemicals. In four cases the SOLAS Convention stipulates that compliance with the special suitability requirements for the carriage of certain cargo must be evident from a document or certificate issued for the ship. Subparagraphs a, b, d and f of the first paragraph of article 8 refer to these (in the terminology of Section 3(1) of the Ships Act) ”required certificates”. In the first paragraph, subparagraphs c and e also include two certificates that are not mandatory under the SOLAS Convention. They are certificates under the BCH Code and the GC Code. These are the (internationally merely recommended) predecessors of the IBC and IGC Codes referred to in subparagraphs b and d. Application of the BCH Code and the GC Code was already mandatory under the Ships Decree 1965 and, in view of the importance of security involved with the carriage of chemicals and liquefied gases, continues to be mandatory under the present decree too.

It should be noted that the certificate obligations referred to in this article are not tied to a gross tonnage limit. Notwithstanding the general scope of the SOLAS Convention, Chapters VI and VII are also applicable to cargo ships with a gross tonnage of less than 500 GT (see for example regulations VI/1.1, VII/9.1, VII/12.1 and VII/15.1). The same applies to the BCH Code and GC Code referred to in the first paragraph, subparagraphs c and e.

The second paragraph stipulates that the first paragraph is applicable mutatis mutandis to ships engaged on domestic voyages. Where in general the (more) sheltered nature of domestic voyages can be used as a basis for arguments to allow reductions compared with the requirements applicable for international voyages, it has to be said that the importance of safety in domestic transport tends to increase rather than decrease where the transport of dangerous goods is concerned. This is because ships on domestic voyages remain closer to the coast than ships on international voyages. For this reason it has been decided to declare the certificate obligations in the first paragraph, subparagraphs b to f, applicable mutatis mutandis to ships on domestic voyages.

The application mutatis mutandis of subparagraph a of the first paragraph to ships on domestic voyages has a different background. The special regulations for the carriage of grain in bulk (and cargo equated with it under regulation VI/8 of the SOLAS Convention) contained in the Grain Code are principally connected with the safety of the ship itself. Because of the properties of grain in bulk special arrangements are needed on board a ship being used to transport grain to prevent the ship becoming unstable and starting to list because of the ”shifting” of the cargo. Since, if a ship is not equipped for the carriage of grain, the shifting of cargo usually happens as soon as a ship leaves the calm waters of a port and is confronted by waves, it has been decided to make the Grain Code applicable mutatis mutandis to ships on domestic voyages as well.

Article 09


Since 1 July 1998 the SOLAS Convention has also contained regulations relating to the management of ships, contained in Chapter IX of the Convention (’safety management’) and set out in detail in the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Initially, the obligation to have a so-called ’safety management system’ only applied to passenger ships and to certain types of cargo ship, such as gas and chemical tankers from 500 GT. Since 1 July 2002 it has also applied to all other cargo ships of 500 GT and above.

The safety management system is a new means for the shipping sector to increase the safety of ships. It is no longer a matter of paying attention primarily to the technical and operational safety of ships; now the management of ships is also being seen as an important safety factor. Safety management contributes ’ in part through learning and improvement processes and through prompt identification of safety risks and the taking of precautions ’ to a higher safety standard within the business organisation and the prevention of human error in critical processes.

The ISM Code mandatory under Chapter IX provides for two certificates: the safety management certificate, which relates to the management of a specific ship, and the document of compliance, which is issued for the shipowner’s business organisation and refers to the management of a certain type of ship. Just a copy of this latter document must be present on board the ship (see the second paragraph); there must be an original of the safety management certificate issued for a ship on board, like the other certificates required for the ship (see Section 9(1)(i) of the Ships Act).

The requirements that are made of the management of ships will, with effect from 1 July 2004, also refer to the security of ships. On that date the new SOLAS Convention Chapter XI-2 (on Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security) previously discussed in section 5 of this explanation will enter into international force and convention ships will be under the obligation to have an international security certificate. Without this certificate a ship can be refused access to a port.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the obligation to have a safety management certificate and a ship security certificate only applies to ships used for international voyages. For this reason high-speed craft used for domestic voyages are excepted in the first paragraph.

Article 10


A certificate often comes with certain appendices or annexes. A good example is the Record of Equipment prescribed by regulation I/12(a)(vi) of the SOLAS Convention, which must for example be included with the safety certificates referred to in article 5(1). The said record contains a detailed specification of the (prescribed) equipment on board a ship. Other examples are the details relating to the stability of the ship to be added to the document of authorisation for the carriage of grain (see article 8(a)) under the Grain Code and the ”tank plan” (a schematic overview of the cargo sections of a gas tanker) that must be included with the certificate referred to in article 8(d) under the IGC Code.

Article 11


The Load Lines Convention and the SOLAS Convention both provide for powers to grant exemption of individual ships or exemption of a class of ship from the regulations contained in these Conventions. Such an exemption shall then be evident from an Exemption Certificate issued for the ship: see article 16 of the Load Lines Convention and regulation I/12 of the SOLAS Convention. These provisions are implemented by means of the present article.

For the record it should also be noted that the decree – unlike the Ships Decree 1965 – no longer contains any provisions in which the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate is given the power to grant exemption from certain regulations. Since the amendment of the Ships Act of 12 April 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 301, provision for this power has after all generally been made by means of Section 5(2) of the Ships Act.

Article 12


This article provides for the option of requiring a special certificate for particular categories of ship that relates specifically to the special properties, purposes or areas of navigation of these ships. Firstly this refers to ships for which special regulations have been developed by the IMO. An example are the so-called mobile offshore drilling units, for which regulations have been specifically laid down by resolutions A.414 (XI) of the General Meeting of the IMCO and A.649 (16) of the General Meeting of the IMO, as set out in the Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) Code of 1979 and a Code of the same name of 1989. Other examples are high-speed craft within the meaning of the DSC Code previously referred to in the explanation to article 7 and ”Special Purpose Ships” within the meaning of the Special Purpose Ships (SPS) Code adopted by resolution A.534(13) of the General Meeting of the IMO. This latter Code is relevant for example to large sailing ships that are used as training ships.

The said Codes, in common with the HSC Code (see article 7), contain alternative regulations in respect of the SOLAS Convention. In contrast to the HSC Code there is no requirement for these Codes however that the certificates forming part of these Codes be considered equivalent to the safety certificates referred to in article 5(1) for the application of the SOLAS Convention. The Codes must be applied in combination with the facility offered in the SOLAS Convention to grant exemption from the general SOLAS requirements of ships. In the systematics of the Ships Act this means that the Codes will in the main have to be implemented by means of an exemption arrangement under Section 5(1) of the Ships Act. That Section however does not provide any basis for making the certificate pertaining to the respective Code mandatory. Provision for this can however be made under the present article.

For the sake of completeness it should be noted that a SOLAS convention ship in respect of which application has been given to a special Code will have to have three certificates: the SOLAS safety certificate (which continues to be required unimpaired) issued subject to the exemption, the Exemption Certificate required in connection with the exemption (see article 11(2)) and the certificate pertaining to the respective Code. To prevent a similar accumulation of certificate obligations for non-convention ships, the first paragraph provides for the option to stipulate for non-convention ships that any special certificates take the place of the national safety certificate. No certificate of exemption will of course therefore be required for these ships.

The first paragraph also provides a basis for the implementation of special regional obligations. For the Netherlands this article implements Council Directive 98/18/EC of 17 March 1998 on safety rules and standards for passenger ships (OJ L 144), which is applicable to passenger ships used for domestic voyages in European waters. For the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba the article provides a basis for implementing the Code of Safety for Caribbean Cargo Ships (CCSS Code) adopted by the Caribbean Port State Control Committee in 1997, which contains regulations for cargo ships of less than 500 GT engaged on regional voyages in the Caribbean. With regard to Directive 98/18/EC it must however be noted that in the Dutch situation in particular the distinction between passenger ships engaged on domestic and international voyages, which the Directive requires, is a theoretical distinction. In the Netherlands a mere handful of voyages qualify incidentally for the designation ”domestic voyage”. The distinction between domestic and international voyages is relevant mainly for archipelago states or countries such as Greece, where a not insubstantial share of ”domestic transport” takes place by sea. In the Dutch situation there is little or no such domestic sea transport. Partly in view of the fact that under the decree of 17 November 1981, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 718, the Wadden Sea counts as an inland waterway for the determination of the offshore line, it is almost exclusively international voyages that are made from Dutch ports.

The second paragraph provides for the power to lay down additional rules with regard to the certificates required for the carriage of cargo or the management of ships. The power to require additional certificates for the carriage of cargo makes it possible to implement IMO resolutions that are not (yet) mandatory. Before a Code becomes mandatory at international level, it often initially has the status of a recommendation. For reasons of safety this does not however take anything away from the desirability of the regulations in question. An example is the INF Code for the carriage of certain types of radioactive cargo now mandatory under Chapter VII of the SOLAS Convention (see article 8(1)(f)), which initially also simply had the status of a recommendation. The need to be able to implement any European obligations regarding the carriage of cargo also had a part to play of course.
The need to be able to implement European obligations was also an important consideration where the power to lay down additional rules relating to the certificates required for the management of ships is concerned. In the light of the growth in attention for safety management as an important factor in the safety of ships, account must also be taken of the community legislature deciding in the future on the mandatory introduction of a safety management system for certain categories of non-convention ships. It is also important that a European Regulation is currently in preparation, which provides (in part) for the application mutatis mutandis of the security obligations in the SOLAS Convention to certain categories of non-convention ships. The second paragraph also provides a basis for the implementation of this Regulation.

Article 13 and 14


Section 3a(3) of the Ships Act stipulates that the surveys to which ships are subject in connection with the required certificates are laid down by or pursuant to an order in council. For the certificates prescribed in articles 4 to 9 this provision is implemented in articles 13 to 21. Article 22 then refers to the surveys that are connected with certificates prescribed pursuant to article 12.

Articles 13 and 14 ” like articles 16 to 19 ” require little explanation in themselves. These articles refer to the surveys provided for in detail in the respective Conventions and Codes to which ships are subject to obtain a certificate or during the validity of a certificate. Since the introduction of the so-called Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (`HSSC”) the said surveys have been harmonised (see the 1988 Protocol to the Load Lines Convention adopted in London on 11 November 1988 (Treaties Journal 1989, 134) and the SOLAS Convention (Treaties Journal 1989, 135); see also the amendment of the Ships Decree 1965 of 18 December 1997, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 745, in which the HSSC was implemented early for the Kingdom with due regard for resolution A.718(17) of the General Meeting of the IMO). One of the important merits of HSSC is that the periodicity of the surveys has been standardised. In combination with the fact that the HSSC also provides for a system in which the certificates required for a ship all have the same issue date, this leads to the surveys to which ships are subject now being concentrated within certain periods. This is a substantial improvement on the situation that existed prior to the introduction of the HSSC, in which the surveys took place throughout the year.

The HSSC has two survey cycles, depending on (the validity of) the certificate. Most certificates are subject to a cycle of more than one year, with the ship being subject to a renewal survey in connection with the renewal of the certificates at least once every five years. During this period the ship is also subject to annual surveys and, roughly halfway through the validity of the certificate, to an intermediate survey. A record of these surveys must be placed on the certificate (see article 21). On the other hand safety certificates for passenger ships are subject to a shorter survey cycle. The said certificates have a validity of just one year (cf. article 29(1)), with the consequence that the renewal survey for passenger ships for which international certificates are required is an annually recurring phenomenon.

For bulk carriers and oil tankers there is also an (additional) extended inspection programme, the ”enhanced survey” under Chapter XI of the SOLAS Convention (Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety) (see article 14(4)), which is carried out in connection with the surveys referred to in article 14(2). As a result of their specific use bulk carriers and oil tankers have proven to be subject to extra wear, with adverse consequences for the strength of the construction and watertightness. The aim of the enhanced survey is to spot wear at an early stage, so that appropriate repair measures can be taken in good time.

Otherwise the Conventions and Codes also contain obligations with regard to incidental surveys of ships. Regulation I/7 (b)(iii) of the SOLAS Convention for example stipulates that a passenger ship that has undergone modifications or, if it has suffered damage, repairs must be subject to an additional survey, in order to establish whether the modifications or repairs are in conformity with the requirements that are made of the ship under the Convention. It should be stressed that the surveys referred to in articles 13 and 14 also encompass these incidental surveys. The same applies to the surveys referred to in articles 15 to 19.

Article 15


In article 15 the ships for which a national safety certificate is required are also brought into line with the systematics of the HSSC, on the understanding that, with the exception of the annual surveys, the SOLAS survey regime is followed for cargo ships (see regulations I/8 to I/10). The background to this choice has previously been considered in section 4 of this explanation.

The first paragraph stipulates that the application mutatis mutandis of regulations I/8 to I/10 of the SOLAS Convention does not apply to cargo ships with a length of less than 24 metres. Specific rules will be laid down for the surveys of these ships pursuant to the fourth paragraph of the present article. Article 41(1) and (4) contain similar provisions with regard to the requirements with which cargo ships up to 24 metres must comply in connection with the national safety certificate. The special position of cargo ships up to 24 metres – which in many respects corresponds to the special position of the so-called "small vessels" in the Ships Decree 1965 – is connected with the fact that customisation is needed for these ships. The requirements of the Load Lines Convention and the SOLAS Convention are only applicable to the said ships with the necessary exceptions and reductions. Application of the Conventions in full would, given the small sizes of the said ships, lead to unreasonably severe or even practically unenforceable requirements for these ships. For this reason all the requirements of the Load Lines Convention and the SOLAS Convention will in principle have to be considered to see to what extent these requirements are also applicable to cargo ships up to 24 metres. Because this will lead to detailed technical rules having to be laid down for the said ships with regard to the requirements to be made of these ships, it has been decided in article 41 to lay down these rules by ministerial regulation. Because of the connection between requirements and surveys this choice also filters through into the present article. For the sake of completeness it should be noted that the 24 metre limit, which also previously applied for the "small vessels" in the Ships Decree 1965, coincides with the lowest international lower limit for which the Conventions provide: that of 24 metres under the Load Lines Convention.

The second paragraph stipulates that a cargo ship requiring a radio safety certificate under the SOLAS Convention (see article 5) is not subject to surveys of its radio equipment in connection with the national safety certificate. Provision for these surveys is after all already made in connection with the radio safety certificate (see article 14(3)).

The third paragraph is connected with article 41(3), which declares that the requirements of the Load Lines Convention are also applicable mutatis mutandis to a ship of 24 metres and more that is used for domestic voyages. As previously set out in section 4 of this explanation, the national safety certificate will also – to prevent unnecessary accumulation of certificates – pertain to the application mutatis mutandis of the requirements of the Load Lines Convention. Articles 41(3) and 15(3) do not apply to ships from 24 metres that are used for international voyages. This is because an international load line certificate is already required for these ships under the Load Lines Convention (see article 4).

Article 16


For the sake of brevity see the remarks previously made with regard to article 7 for the background to article 16. It should be added that the surveys connected with the application of the HSC Code 1994 or the HSC Code 2000 replace the general surveys in the SOLAS Convention or the surveys prescribed under article 15 in connection with the national safety certificate (see article 16(2)).

Article 20


Provision for the points in time at which (or periods within which) all the surveys are to take place is in principle made in the Conventions and Codes. In principle therefore a reference to these Conventions and Codes will suffice (see the first paragraph). There are just two points that require further regulation. The first point concerns the total duration of the cycle of more than one year. The SOLAS Convention merely stipulates that it may not exceed five years, but leaves it to the Administration to decide the exact duration of the cycle and the time at which the renewal survey must take place. In the aforementioned amendment of the Ships Decree 1965 in connection with the introduction of the HSSC it was decided to adhere to the maximum period referred to in the SOLAS Convention and to stipulate that the renewal survey must take place in the last three months of the validity of the certificate. The first paragraph is in line with this choice. The second point that requires further regulation concerns the management surveys in connection with the safety management system (see the second paragraph). It follows from the Amended Guidelines for the implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations (resolution A.913(22) of the General Meeting of IMO) that the survey for the issue of a safety management certificate or an ISM document of compliance must for example show that the safety management system has been in practical use for at least three months. There is however no express provision in the ISM Code that the management surveys must likewise therefore not take place until after the end of that period. The second paragraph therefore provides for this. Where it would not yet have been possible for the safety management system to have been in use for three months, article 27 provides for the option of provisional certification.

Article 22


The first paragraph of this article refers to the surveys that are connected with certificates prescribed pursuant to article 12. Together with article 46(1) its effect is to give substance to these certificates.

The second paragraph provides for the power to lay down detailed rules with regard to the surveys to which ships are subjected. The said rules can be a detailed elaboration of the survey obligations to which reference is made in articles 13 to 19 or provide for additional surveys in respect of these articles. The power to prescribe additional surveys is important for example with a view to implementing Council Directive 1999/35/EC of 29 April 1999 on a system of mandatory surveys for the safe operation of regular ro-ro ferry and high-speed passenger craft services (OJ L 138). The first paragraph is not sufficient for this because the Directive does not prescribe an additional certificate.

Article 23


In practice the majority of the surveys associated with the certification of ships are carried out by third parties, usually by the so-called ”classification societies”. For convention ships this survey task of the classification societies, which can trace their involvement with ship safety historically back to the international maritime insurance world, is enshrined both in international Conventions and in Community law: see for example regulation I/6 of the SOLAS Convention and Council Directive 94/57/EC of 22 December 1994 on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations (OJ L 319). The SOLAS Convention and Directive 94/57/EC also provide for the requirements with which classification societies must comply. These requirements, which must be taken into account in the designation of classification societies provided for in this article, are laid down in the Ships Act Regulation of Classification Societies based directly on the Ships Act.

Section 6(2) of the Ships Act provides the scope for stipulating by or pursuant to an order in council that surveys be carried out as a whole or in part by natural persons or legal persons designated for this purpose by Our Minister. This is given substance for all the surveys prescribed by or pursuant to this decree in the first paragraph of the present article. A deliberate choice has been made to keep open the option of designating natural persons. For certain categories of ship or certain survey tasks there may after all be a need for special expertise that may well be available to natural persons, but not or to a lesser degree to organisations with legal personality. It should be noted that the SOLAS Convention does not stand in the way of the designation of natural persons: regulation I/6 of that Convention expressly provides for the option of designating (natural persons as) surveyors.

The second paragraph comes directly from the SOLAS Convention. The aforementioned regulation I/6 stipulates that the ”Administration (”) shall as a minimum empower any nominated surveyor or recognised organisation to require repairs to a ship (”).”
If a repair required by a classification society or surveyor is not carried out or is not carried out properly, then this can lead to the certificates issued for the ship being withdrawn by the Shipping Inspectorate (see Section 7(3) of the Ships Act).

The third paragraph provides for the power to lay down rules with regard to the performance of duties of the natural persons and legal persons designated pursuant to the first paragraph. Without such a basis the performance of duties could only be regulated case by case, by means of regulations to be attached to the designation order (see Section 6(3) of the Ships Act).

It should be noted that the present article also provides a basis for the "Recognised Security Organisations" (RSOs) referred to in regulation XI-2/1 of the SOLAS Convention to be given responsibility for the security surveys of ships. The surveys of the security of ships require different expertise from the classic safety surveys of ships. Different requirements must therefore be made of RSOs from those of "recognised organisations" responsible for the safety certification of ships. Regulation B/4 of the ISPS Code contains guidelines for the requirements to be made of RSOs.

Article 24


To conclude the section on certification article 24(1) contains the almost self-evident rule that following the completion of a survey the condition of a ship or its equipment must be maintained and that no changes may be made to them without prior consent. This implements regulation I/11(a) and (b) of the SOLAS Convention for example.

The second paragraph declares that the first paragraph applies mutatis mutandis to the measures taken for the security of a ship. This paragraph, except as regards the "Ship Security Alert System" (SAS) (cf. article 44) prescribed in regulation XI-2/6 of the SOLAS Convention, implements regulation 19.1.4 of the ISPS Code. As regards the SAS, which forms part of the equipment of the ship, regulation 19.1.4 of the ISPS Code is implemented by means of the first paragraph of the present article.

Article 25


The effect of this article is to implement Section 3a(4) of the Ships Act, which requires that rules be laid down by or pursuant to an order in council with regard to the application for certificates. In view of this obligation, the provisions of Part 4.1.1 of the General Administrative Law Act are not sufficient for the Netherlands.

Article 26


Since the implementation of the ISM Code in the Ships Decree 1965 (see the amendment of the Ships Decree 1965 of 31 January 1997, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 62) the issue of the safety management certificate counts as a condition for the issue of the certificates otherwise required for passenger ships and for cargo ships from 500 GT (see article 3(1) of the Ships Decree 1965). A similar link is made in the first paragraph of article 26, albeit that only the issue of the safety certificates referred to in the preamble of article 9(1) is made dependent on the issue of the safety management certificate. Because these certificates cover precisely the scope of the ISM obligation (cf. regulation IX/2 of the SOLAS Convention), there is no need to link other certificates to the safety management certificate. It should be noted that the sequence in the issue of certificates has no consequences for the order in which the surveys may be carried out. The link also only applies to the certificates required at international level. There is no ISM obligation for a high-speed craft used for domestic voyages alone (see article 9). For this reason the issue of the safety certificate for high-speed craft engaged on domestic voyages is also not linked to the issue of a safety management certificate.

The link provided for in the second paragraph between the issue of the safety management certificate and the document of compliance arises from the systematics of the ISM Code. Before a safety management certificate can be issued for a specific ship, verification is required of whether the shipping company and the managerial staff on board act in accordance with the safety management system developed and implemented within the business organisation. Compliance of that system with the requirements of the ISM Code, which is evident from the document of compliance issued to the shipping company, must however then have previously been established.

Article 27


It is in principle true for both the safety management certificate and the document of compliance that forms part of the ISM Code that the safety management system must have been in practical use for some time before a ship or shipping company can be certified (cf. article 20(2)). It should however be clear that this requirement leads to a vicious circle in situations in which it has not yet been possible to use the safety management system. Application of the safety management system requires a ship to be taken into service and that is only allowed if the necessary certificates (including the safety management certificate) have been issued for that ship. To break this vicious circle the ISM Code provides for provisional certificates, for bridging the periods referred to in article 20(2).

Article 28


Like the ISM Code the ISPS Code provides for the possibility of provisional certification of ships. The background to this certification is not however that the ship security plan prescribed in the ISPS Code should have first been used for a certain time; here it is simply a matter of temporary certification where final certification could not yet be concluded. The provisional certification differs in another respect from the provisional certification under the ISM Code: it is also possible on the flagging in of a ship (see the second paragraph). This is connected with the fact that the required security of a ship – other than the safety management system – depends in part on the flag that the ship flies.

Article 29 to 32


Section 3(3) of the Ships Act stipulates that the validity of the certificates is regulated by or pursuant to an order in council. This provision is implemented in the present articles.

Article 29(1) contains the basic rule derived from article 19 of the Load Lines Convention and regulation I/14 of the SOLAS Convention that certificates for passenger ships engaged on international voyages in each case have a validity not exceeding one year, while the other international certificates have a maximum validity of five years. The validity of the certificates was also harmonised on the introduction of the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) previously described in the explanation to articles 13 and 14, in which the validity of the certificates is of course geared to the HSSC survey cycles: when a certificate has to be renewed because of the expiry of its validity, the ship is subjected to a renewal survey. Article 29(1) also provides for the validity of the national safety certificate. As previously noted in section 4 of the general explanation, the national safety certificate for both cargo ships and passenger ships has a validity of five years.

Articles 29(2), 30 and 31 contain a number of special rules with regard to validity that likewise have been derived from the Load Lines Convention and the SOLAS Convention. Article 29(2) for example provides for the power of the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate to issue certificates with a shorter validity in special cases. The Head of the Shipping Inspectorate shall of course only make use of this power if the issue of a certificate is justified. If he considers the issue of a certificate, even if it is for just a short duration, to be unjustified, then the issue shall be refused until the surveys have been properly completed or the required details have been obtained.

Article 30 is connected with the flexibility of the HSSC where the point in time at which a renewal survey must take place is concerned. The owner of a ship can, within a certain period of time (see article 20(1)), itself decide the point in time at which a ship must undergo the renewal survey. This can lead to the renewal survey being completed before the validity of the original certificate has elapsed. To be able to issue a renewal certificate at this point that is valid with immediate effect without this leading to a disturbance of the periodicity of the HSSC, article 30 stipulates that the validity of the renewal certificate is in fact extended by the remaining validity of the original certificate.

Section 7(1)(b) of the Ships Act makes it possible in special cases to depart from the rule that a certificate lapses if the prescribed surveys have not taken place on time. Article 31(1) refers to one such special case: if a ship cannot be subjected to a renewal survey on time because for example it has had to depart from its planned route owing to unforeseen circumstances, the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate can extend the validity of the certificates. This provision implements article 19(6) of the Load Lines Convention and regulation I/14 (d) of the SOLAS Convention. The fourth paragraph of article 31 also refers to such a special case.

The effect of the second paragraph of article 31 is to implement regulation I/14 (f) of the SOLAS Convention. The purpose of the third paragraph is, like article 30, to prevent disturbance of the periodicity of the HSSC, albeit in this case by reducing the validity of the renewed certificate.

The effect of article 32, in conclusion, is to implement the instruction contained in Section 3a(3) of the Ships Act also to provide for the validity of certificates in respect of certificates required pursuant to article 12. Article 32 also makes it possible to lay down detailed rules with regard to the validity of the certificates referred to in articles 4 to 9 and 11. In principle the validity of these certificates is already provided for in articles 29 to 31, but it is conceivable that these rules – for the implementation of a European obligation or a decision of the IMO for example – require further refinement.

Article 33


For the Netherlands the obligation to provide grounds, the written requirement and the publication of decrees arise directly from the General Administrative Law Act. The present article consequently relates exclusively to refusals to issue a certificate in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

Article 34


Section 7(1)(d) of the Ships Act provides for the certificates issued for a ship ceasing to have effect if the ship is converted or undergoes radical modification. In by far the majority of cases the certificates issued for a ship lose their validity for this reason alone if the ship undergoes a change of use. But situations can also arise in which a ship undergoes a change of use without being converted or radically modified for this purpose. It is to these situations, in implementation of Section 7(2) of the Ships Act, that the present article refers.

The first paragraph refers to situations in which a ship is withdrawn from its general use as a passenger ship or cargo ship by the owner. This can happen for example when the operation of a ship in accordance with its original use is no longer profitable. In no way however does this always mean that the ship is then taken out of service. It can happen that ships are no longer used for their original commercial purpose, but are kept in service as an ”historic ship” or a different purpose is found for them. It should be clear that it is desirable in such a case to see which certificates are required for that ship on the basis of the new use of the ship.

The second paragraph refers to the withdrawal of a ship from the special use that it can have, such as use as a chemical or gas tanker. If the general use of the ship is retained, there is of course no reason to cause all of the certificates issued for the ship to become ineffective. The present paragraph therefore provides only for the lapsing of the certificates connected with the special use that is being terminated. For a chemical or gas tanker these are the certificates referred to in article 8(b) and (c) for example.

Article 35


In situations other than those referred to in article 31 as well it can be unfair simply to cause the certificates to lapse when a particular survey has not taken place or has not taken place on time. Not every inattention of the owner need lead immediately to the lapsing of all the certificates, not least because having a ship recertified is an expensive business. The present article therefore gives the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate the power to reinstate lapsed certificates. The ship does however have to be surveyed to this end to establish whether it complies with the requirements.

Article 36 and 37


Section 3a(1) of the Ships Act stipulates that the requirements with which a ship must comply to obtain the certificates required for that ship shall be laid down by or pursuant to an order in council. The second paragraph adds that the rules of private bodies can also be declared applicable in this context. This power is in line with the practice that has existed for years in the sea shipping industry that ships are designed and built according to the rules of a (private) classification society chosen by the owner of the ship. These so-called "classification rules", which relate for example to the hull and the strength of the ship, to a certain extent form the basis of the entirety of safety regulations with which a ship must comply; the public law safety requirements largely build on these private rules. What we in fact have here is concurrence with the self-regulating capability of the (global) sea shipping sector.

The requirement that a ship be built "under classification" is elaborated in article 37. This article also implements regulation II-1/3-1 of the SOLAS Convention and article 14 of Council Directive 94/57/EC of 22 November 1994 on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations (OJ L 319), in which the existing practice that a ship is designed and built according to classification rules is now enshrined at both international and European level.

It should be noted that the SOLAS Convention and Directive 94/57/EC only require application of the marine engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering rules of classification societies (cf. article 37(2)). Since 1997 however the equipment rules of classification societies have also been declared applicable in the Ships Decree 1965. As a consequence of this certain legal requirements, which have no basis in international obligations, could be scrapped. See for example Annex X of the Ships Decree 1965, which contained detailed regulations for anchors and chains and ceased to have effect by decree of 18 December 1997 (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 745). In article 37(3) this adherence to the equipment rules of the classification societies is maintained. No further statutory equipment regulations will in principle be given by and pursuant to the present decree – subject to international obligations – if adherence to existing private rules within the sea shipping sector is also possible for this.

Article 38


The first paragraph of this article stipulates that from a certain tonnage ships must be provided with a unique identification number, the so-called "IMO number", which is allocated by Lloyd's Register of Shipping in London. The obligation to this effect arises from regulation XI-1/3 of the SOLAS Convention. The purpose of the allocation of unique identification numbers to ships is to combat maritime fraud. In the past it was relatively easy to alter the identity of a ship, for example to conceal the origin of a stolen ship or, when the ship had a bad record, in an attempt to throw the authorities off the scent. In principle, by allocating each ship a unique number, which is shown on the certificate of registry and the certificates and which remains unchanged in the event of name changes or transfer to a different register, at the time of the keel laying, it becomes very much more difficult to falsify the identity and registration details of a ship. With effect from 1 July 2004 the IMO number must also be indelibly applied to the hull.

Under the SOLAS Convention the IMO number is only mandatory for ships that have been equipped with means of mechanical propulsion and that are used for international voyages. This is the reason why non-mechanically propelled ships and ships that are only used for domestic voyages have been excepted in the second paragraph of the present article.

In addition to the obligation to have an IMO number, the obligation contained in regulation XI-1/5 of the SOLAS Convention to have a "Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)" on board will also apply with effect from 1 July 2004 (see article 38(3)). The ownership and registration history of the ship are among the records to be kept in the CSR. Details relating to the classification of the ship and the certification under the ISM and the ISPS Codes will also be recorded in the CSR. The purpose of the CSR is to provide the competent authorities, but also the classification societies and successive owners, with an up-to-date overview of the ship’s main particulars and their modification history. In view of this the CSR must remain on board the ship permanently, even when the ship changes owner or flags out to a foreign register. In the case of the flagging out of a ship, a copy of the CSR issued and maintained by them will also be sent by the authorities of the state where the ship was registered to the authorities of the new flag state, together with copies of the CSRs issued by any previous flag states. The obligation to have a CSR on board applies only to SOLAS convention ships. This is why high-speed craft that are not used for international voyages are excepted in the third paragraph.

Article 39 and 40


In addition to the private rules of the classification societies (see article 37), section 2 of Chapter 3 contains the public law requirements with which ships must comply to obtain a certificate. Articles 39, 40 and 42 to 45 relate to the requirements arising from international Conventions; article 41 refers to the requirements that are laid down for ships in connection with the national safety certificate. In articles 39 to 45, following what is customary in the Conventions and Codes, an integral reference to the whole package of requirements with which a ship must comply in connection with a particular certificate has been chosen. These requirements can, depending on the certificate required, relate to both the construction and equipment of the ship and to certain safety measures for which provision must be made on board a ship. Examples of such safety measures (in principle permanently required) are the damage and fire control plans prescribed in regulations II-1/23 and II-2/13 of the SOLAS Convention and also the obligation provided for in regulation III/8 to affix clear instructions for emergency situations in various places on the ship.

Article 39 refers to the requirements that are laid down for ships under the Load Lines Convention. Apart from requirements concerning the watertightness and stability of the ship, the Convention contains regulations under which the maximum load line under diverse sailing conditions is fixed for each ship. This maximum load line, which is evident from the load line marks made on the ship and from the international load line certificate issued for the ship, is decisive for the minimum freeboard that a ship must adhere to on a given voyage. The greater the freeboard to be adhered to for a given voyage, the less deep the ship can be loaded.

Article 40 contains the general requirements under the SOLAS Convention. Ships for which a passenger ship or cargo ship safety certificate is required must comply with all the requirements of the SOLAS Convention: the construction requirements of Chapter II-1, the fire safety requirements of Chapter II-2 and the requirements of Chapters III (life-saving appliances), IV (radiocommunication) and V (navigation). Bulk ships must also comply with the additional requirements of Chapter XII. Cargo ships of 300 to 500 GT, for which a radio safety certificate is all that is required under the Convention, must comply with the radiocommunication requirements contained in the SOLAS Convention in connection with that certificate. These requirements for the most part appear in Chapter IV of the Convention, but partly also in Chapter III, that is as regards the means of radiocommunication required on board certain group life-saving appliances.

Article 40(3) contains a special provision regarding the requirements of Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention. Notwithstanding the general scope of the Convention (which in principle only applies to ships that are used for international voyages and to cargo ships also only from a certain tonnage), Chapter V of the Convention applies to all ships on all voyages (see regulation V/1). Broadly speaking Chapter V therefore also applies to cargo ships of less than 500 GT that are used for international voyages and to all ships on domestic voyages. The flag state does have the power to except certain categories of ship from a number of subparagraphs of Chapter V (see regulation V/1.4), but the history of the creation of Chapter V and the formulation chosen show that this is clearly intended as an exception and not as a rule. In view of this and also to remain as close as possible to the text of the Convention, Article 40(3) has been formulated so that the basic assumption that Chapter V in principle applies to all ships on all voyages is the main thing.

Article 41


The present Article relates to the requirements made of a ship in connection with the national safety certificate. As regards content it is in line, following the Ships Decree 1965, with the requirements of the SOLAS Convention and – where that Convention is not applicable on its own account – the requirements of the Load Lines Convention (see the first and third paragraphs). In the first paragraph the requirements of the SOLAS Convention are also declared applicable mutatis mutandis to ships with a gross tonnage that is less than the lower limits of 500 or 300 GT employed in principle in Chapters II-1 to IV of that Convention. To avoid any misunderstanding about the requirements applicable to these ships, the second paragraph stipulates that ships that have a lower gross tonnage than the tonnage applying in principle as lower limit for the application of a particular Chapter are equated with ships of 500 or 300 GT respectively.

As in article 15(1) cargo ships with a length of less than 24 metres are excepted from the application mutatis mutandis of the SOLAS Convention in the present article. For this category of ships provision will be made for requirements by ministerial regulation (see the fourth paragraph). The background to the special position of cargo ships up to 24 metres has previously been considered in the explanation to article 15.

The fifth paragraph is connected with the fact that it already follows from article 40(3) that a ship for which a national safety certificate is required must comply with the requirements of Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention. That Chapter after all applies to all ships on all voyages. This is the reason why Chapter V is also declared not applicable mutatis mutandis in the first paragraph of this article. It is sufficient to make the provision contained in the fifth paragraph that the requirements of Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention form part of the certification framework that applies to ships for which a national safety certificate is required.

Article 42


Article 16 provides for the owner of a high-speed craft electing to have that ship certified in accordance with the applicable HSC Code. The ship does not then need to comply with the requirements of Chapters II-1 to IV of the SOLAS Convention: regulation X/3 of the Convention provides for the requirements of the HSC Codes being equivalent to the requirements of Chapters II-1 to IV. The same applies to a number of requirements of Chapter V of the Convention. But otherwise a high-speed craft simply has to comply with the requirements of Chapter V (see article 42(2)).

Article 44


The requirements that are made of a ship in connection with the international security certificate relate mainly to the management of the ship (see article 50). Regulation XI-2/6 of the SOLAS Convention however also lays down the equipment requirement in connection with this certificate that a ship must be equipped with an alarm system ("Security Alert System") with which it can alert the authorities and the owner’s shore organisation if the safety ("security") of the ship is at issue.

Article 45


Regulations I/7 and I/8 of the SOLAS Convention stipulate that the surveys to which passenger ships and cargo ships from 500 GT are subjected in connection with the safety certificates required in part concern the equipment requirements of the London Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea adopted on 20 October 1972 (Treaties Journal 1974, 51). In view of this the present article provides for the requirements of this Convention also forming part of the certification framework for ships for which an international or national safety certificate is required and for this certificate only being issued if the requirements of the so-called "Collision Convention" have been met.

Otherwise the Collision Convention also applies to ships not requiring a certificate. In view of the obligation resting on the master of a ship under Section 4(1)(d) of the Ships Act to ensure that "all the equipment necessary for compliance with the provisions for preventing collisions" is on board, the first paragraph therefore stipulates that the requirements of the Collision Convention apply to all ships.

Article 46


The first paragraph of this article provides for the instruction also to lay down safety requirements for ships in connection with a certificate required pursuant to article 12 (cf. article 22(1)). Article 51 contains a similar provision with regard to the management of ships.

The second paragraph makes it possible to set detailed rules regarding the requirements of ships for which a certificate as referred to in articles 4 to 9 is required. IMO resolutions that provide the details of the international requirements and also European Directives that provide for additional requirements in respect of the Conventions can be implemented under the second paragraph. Restraint will otherwise be exercised with the power to provide details of the international requirements. In the light of the increased social need for less detailed regulatory measures and more target regulations, the discretionary freedom that is provided in the Conventions and Codes for the concrete details of certain requirements will be fleshed out less than in the past by means of statutory rules and more will be left to the discretion of the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate, in order that better customisation can be delivered in consultation with the owner of a ship. This approach is also in line with the international trend to work more with target regulations and less with means regulations previously outlined in section 5 of the general explanation.

Article 47


The Conventions and Codes referred to in articles 39 to 45 contain various provisions under which the Administration may permit departure from the requirements laid down in those Conventions and Codes if a similar level of safety can be achieved by means of an equivalent arrangement. One of the purposes of these ”equivalent arrangement” provisions is to make the application of new, innovative techniques and arrangements possible, but they can of course also be used for the application of alternatives that have already been in existence for a long time. The condition is that in the opinion of the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate an equivalent arrangement must be equivalent to the arrangement prescribed by the relevant Convention or the relevant Code. A further condition of course is that the Convention or the Code provides scope for equivalent arrangements: in making use of the power assigned to him in this article the Head of the Shipping Inspectorate is bound by the stipulations in this regard in the Convention or the Code.

Article 48


The Conventions stipulate that a great number of the appliances forming part of the equipment of a ship must be of a type approved by the Administration. The requirement of prior (type) approval by the Administration also applies to certain parts and materials. For convention ships registered in the Netherlands these approval requirements have now largely been put into effect by Council Directive 96/98/EC of 20 December 1996 on marine equipment (OJ 1997 L 46). Under this Directive all the equipment referred to in Annex A.1 of the Directive intended for placement on board community convention ships must have been inspected in accordance with the Directive and have been provided with a mark of conformity. This mark, which is symbolised by the illustration of a ship’s wheel, counts as the required type approval for the application of the Conventions.

The first paragraph provides a basis for the approval requirements to be laid down for marine equipment and other parts and materials. Equipment covered by Directive 96/98/EC and intended for placement on board Dutch convention ships will of course be subject to the approval requirement that it must be inspected and marked in accordance with the Directive. For equipment intended for Netherlands Antilles and Aruban ships and equipment that is not (yet) covered by Annex A.1 of the Directive substantive approval requirements will be laid down, which will implement the type approval provisions of the Conventions.

The second paragraph makes it possible to involve private inspection agencies in the implementation of the first paragraph. This is especially important for the inspection of equipment that is not covered by Directive 96/98/EC. After all the Directive does have its own regime for the designation of inspection agencies responsible for activities under the Directive, which has been implemented for the Netherlands by means of the Marine Equipment Act. Private individuals can also be designated under the second paragraph to be responsible for surveys or calibration of equipment present on board ships. This is not a matter of the (type) approval of equipment, but of periodic surveys whose purpose is to verify that the equipment is still functioning properly. An example in this regard is the activities of compass setters, who in principle undertake annual verifications that the compasses needed on board are not deviating excessively.

Article 49 to 51


The present articles refer to the requirements that are made of the management of ships. Articles 49 and 50 relate to the international requirements that are laid down for the management with a view to safety management and the security of ships. Consideration of the background to these requirements has previously been given in the article-by-article explanation to article 9 and in section 5 of the general explanation. Article 51, finally, also provides for the power – whether or not in connection with a certificate required pursuant to article 12 – to lay down detailed rules in respect of the management of ships.

Article 52 to 54


Chapter 4 contains regulations relating to the carriage of cargo. Under Sections 4(1)(n) and 9(1)(l) of the Ships Act the obligation to ensure that these regulations are observed rests with the master. The regulations relating to the carriage of cargo also cover the loading of the ship and the stowage and also the unloading of the cargo.

Chapter 4, following Chapters VI (Carriage of Cargoes) and VII (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) of the SOLAS Convention, makes a distinction between the carriage of cargo to which, apart from risks for the ship or the persons on board, environmental risk is attached (’dangerous cargo’) and other cargo. The present articles relate to the carriage of cargo to which no direct environmental risk is attached. The effect of the SOLAS regulations to which reference is made in these articles is primarily to guarantee the safety of the ship and the persons on board.

The effect of article 52 is to implement Part A of Chapter VI of the SOLAS Convention, which contains general regulations for the carriage of cargo. One of the provisions in Part A is that the master must obtain adequate information regarding the cargo to be taken on board in good time, before the ship is loaded, in order that he can ensure the correct loading of the ship and take the precautionary measures for the safe carriage of that cargo (regulation VI/2). Part A also contains regulations for the loading and the stowage (see regulation VI/5).

The effect of article 53(1) and (2) is to implement Parts B and C of Chapter VI. These Parts contain special regulations for the carriage of grain and other cargo in bulk. Consideration of the carriage of grain, for which a special certificate is also required (see article 8(1)(a)), has previously been given in the article-by-article explanation to article 8. The special properties of grain (and similar cargo) mean that in certain respects grain in bulk can start to behave (’shift’) like a liquid, with adverse consequences for the stability of the ship. For this reason ships that are used for the carriage of grain must be compartmentalised by alongship partitions. In a ship without any side tanks this can be done through the installation of so-called ’grain bulkheads’. The carriage of grain is provided for in Part C of Chapter VI and the Grain Code required under that Part.

Part B of Chapter VI refers to the carriage of other cargoes in bulk. Different regulations apply to these cargoes from those for bulk grain. An important regulation to be taken into account in the carriage of cargoes in bulk is regulation VI/7, which relates to the loading and unloading of cargo in bulk. It is of course important for the stability of the ship that the cargo is evenly distributed over the ship. It is also very important however that both the loading and the unloading of the ship proceed with some caution. If a ship is loaded or unloaded incorrectly, the structure of the ship can be overloaded, as a consequence of which the ship ’ under the effect of the dynamic forces of the beating of the waves for example ’ can break at sea. Regulation VI/7 therefore requires the master to lay down a loading and unloading plan in consultation with the loading and unloading terminal, in which account is taken of the maximum load-bearing capacity of the structure of the ship.

Article 53(3) contains a supplementary provision for bulk ships. In practice bulk ships have proven to run a higher safety risk on average than other ships. For this reason additional safety regulations, which can be found in Chapter XII of the SOLAS Convention, have applied to bulk ships from 1 July 1999. If the carriage of cargo in bulk is taking place on a bulk ship, the regulations of Chapter XII must also be observed. In articles 52 and 53, as in articles 55 to 57, no distinction is made between domestic voyages and international voyages. For the regulations concerning the carriage of dangerous goods contained in articles 55 to 57 this is connected with the fact that ’ as previously set out in the explanation to article 8 ’ the often more sheltered nature of domestic voyages is no reason to permit a relaxation of the international requirements of the carriage of dangerous goods. Because ships engaged on domestic voyages stay closer to the coast, the importance of safety tends to increase rather than decrease. A consideration for declaring the general regulations for the carriage of cargo applicable as well is that the specific risks against which these regulations seek to protect do not essentially differ for ships engaged on domestic voyages from the risks for ships engaged on international voyages. The risk of overloading of the ship’s structure due to incorrect loading and unloading is no less for ships engaged on domestic voyages than for ships engaged on international voyages, while as far as the carriage of grain is concerned the shifting of cargo usually occurs shortly after leaving port. The nature of the proposed voyage is not relevant here. It has therefore been decided to make Chapter 4 applicable both to ships engaged on international voyages and to ships engaged on domestic voyages. Since it would have little added value in the context of Chapter 4, expressly stipulating that the regulations of Chapters VI and VII of the SOLAS Convention are applicable mutatis mutandis to ships engaged on domestic voyages in each case has been avoided.

Article 54 contains a basis for detailed rules regarding the carriage of cargo. Under this article IMO resolutions or European obligations can be implemented or detailed rules can be laid down to implement the regulations referred to in articles 52 and 53.

Finally, it should also be noted that the regulations of Chapter VI of the SOLAS Convention are not bound to a gross tonnage limit and therefore also apply to cargo ships with a gross tonnage of less than 500 GT (cf. the explanation to article 8).

Article 55 to 57


The present articles implement Chapter VII of the SOLAS Convention, which contains specific regulations for the carriage of dangerous goods. Since 1 January 58 2004 Chapter VII has consisted of five parts. Parts A and A-1 refer to the carriage of packaged dangerous goods and the carriage of dangerous goods in solid form or in bulk. Parts B and C refer to the carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk and the carriage of liquefied gases in bulk. Part D, finally, relates to the carriage of irradiated nuclear fuels, plutonium and high-level radioactive waste. As with Chapter VI the applicability of Chapter VII of the SOLAS Convention is not bound to a gross tonnage limit. Chapter VII is therefore also applicable to cargo ships with a gross tonnage of less than 500 GT. The regulations of Chapter VII are largely elaborated in specific Codes. Part A refers to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code adopted by resolution MSC.122(75) of the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO, the application of which has been mandatory at international level since 1 January 2004. Apart from a classification of dangerous goods, the said Code contains regulations for the carriage of packaged dangerous goods. Parts B to D also declare the IBC, IGC and INF Codes applicable. These last three Codes also contain suitability requirements for ships, evidence of which must be apparent from a certificate issued under the Code (cf. article 8(1)(b), (d) and (f)).

Apart from the IBC and IGC Codes applicable under the SOLAS Convention, article 57 declares the internationally recommended predecessors of these Codes, the BCH and GC Codes, applicable. The IBC and IGC Codes are only applicable to ships built on or after 1 July 1986. In view of the importance of safety involved with the carriage of dangerous chemicals and liquefied gases, it is however desirable to regulate the carriage of dangerous chemicals and liquefied gases on older ships as well. For this reason – as in article 8(1)(c) and (e) – the application of the BCH and GC Codes is also declared mandatory.

Article 59


This article makes it possible to involve natural persons or corporate bodies with the implementation of the rules laid down by or pursuant to articles 52 to 58 as well. In a number of cases the ship or the cargo must first have been surveyed before the ship is allowed to make a voyage with that cargo. An example is the survey prescribed by the IMDG Code with regard to (the ban on) the combined cargo of different dangerous goods. Goods that would bring about a hazardous reaction on mixing or contact may not be carried in one another’s proximity. In practice the surveys of whether the regulations regarding combined cargo have been observed are usually carried out by the port authority or other (private) companies. The present article provides a basis for this.

Article 60 to 62


Chapter 5 refers to the obligations of the master. On him rests the responsibility for the operational safety of the ship and the personal safety of the persons on board. In view of this the master must satisfy himself prior to a voyage that the ship is seaworthy and properly equipped and during a voyage must ensure that any defects in ship or equipment are rectified as far as possible. He must also take appropriate measures to protect the ship and the persons on board against the perils of the sea and against other perils that can occur on board a ship, such as the risk of fire. The master must for example ensure that crew and passengers are familiar with the use of the life-saving appliances and that disembarkation and fire safety drills are held. The master is of course also responsible for the safety of navigation, both with a view to the safety of his own ship and to the safety of other shipping.

The responsibilities of the master are largely defined in detail in the Conventions and Codes. The Load Lines Convention (see article 60) contains the regulations that the master has to take into account in connection with the ship”s load line. On each voyage the master has to ensure that the ship does not have less freeboard than is permitted for the ship on that voyage. The freeboard to be observed can vary from one voyage to another. The season and the area of navigation are among the decisive factors. In the Load Lines Convention the world is divided into zones for which, depending on the climatological conditions and the season, the minimum freeboard to be observed in that zone is stipulated. This can also mean that on departure from a certain port it is not the minimum freeboard applying locally that can be observed, because account must be taken of the passage through an area in which a greater freeboard is required. Even on its departure the ship will in consequence have to be loaded less deep in this case.

Article 61 refers to the obligations arising from the SOLAS Convention, starting with the obligations under Chapter V of that Convention. In the explanation to article 40(3) it has previously been indicated that Chapter V ” notwithstanding the general scope of the SOLAS Convention ” is applicable to all ships on all voyages. This also applies to the ”operational” regulations of Chapter V. Examples of the regulations that the master has to take into account under Chapter V (”safety of navigation”) are the obligation to prepare a voyage and to plan the proposed route (regulation V/34), the obligation to test the steering gear 12 hours before departure (regulation V/26) and the obligation to make appropriate use of routing systems (regulation V/10). The master is also obliged to transmit danger messages to alert other shipping of any hazards that he has observed (regulation V/31).

Apart from the regulations of Chapter V, the operational regulations of Chapters II-1 to IV of the SOLAS Convention (article 61(2)) also apply to ships for which an international passenger ship or cargo ship safety certificate is required under the SOLAS Convention. Where Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention refers to the safety of navigation, Chapters II-1 to IV refer to a number of other important safety aspects. The operational regulations of Chapter II-1 relate mainly to the ”watertightness” of the ship. On embarking on a voyage the master must ensure that, as Section 4(1)(a) of the Ships Act puts it, ”all the relevant openings inboard and outboard” are closed. This applies for example to the watertight doors and the cargo doors, which must be closed prior to the voyage and must remain closed during the voyage (cf. regulations II-1/15.10 and II-1/20-1). Chapter II-2 contains regulations with regard to fire safety on board ship, while Chapter III refers to the life-saving appliances and the personal safety of the persons on board. Both Chapters require that the fire safety and life-saving appliances on board be tested (cf. regulations II2/14 and III/20) and that fire safety and disembarkation drills be held (cf. regulations II-2/15 and III/19) with some regularity. Chapter IV, finally, relates to radiocommunication and for example stipulates that a continuous radio watch must be maintained on board a ship at sea (see regulation IV/12). This latter Chapter is also applicable to cargo ships for which a radio safety certificate is required (article 61(3)).

Articles 60(2) and 61(4) stipulate that the operational regulations of the Load Lines Convention and the SOLAS Convention, Chapters II-1 to IV, also apply to ships for which a national safety certificate is required. This is in line with article 41, in which the requirements arising from these Conventions were also declared applicable mutatis mutandis. As in article 41 cargo ships with a length up to 24 metres are excepted in articles 60(2) and 61(4). In article 60 this exception is connected with the scope of the Load Lines Convention, which after all only applies from 24 metres. The background to the exception in article 61 is that the operational regulations to be observed on board a ship are often related to the technical requirements that apply to that ship. Since these requirements for cargo ships up to 24 metres are laid down by ministerial regulation (see article 41(4)), the obvious thing to do is lay down the operational regulations for these ships by ministerial regulation as well. Article 65 provides for the basis required for this.

Article 62 contains a special provision with regard to the operational regulations that have to be observed on board high-speed craft. These regulations are connected in part with the special requirements that apply to high-speed craft under the HSC Code 1994 or 2000. For this reason the HSC Codes contain specific operational regulations for high-speed craft.

Article 63


This article refers to the regulations that are connected with the management of ships. The obligation to develop a safety management system and a ship security plan for the ship rests with the owner (see articles 49 and 50). Also resting with him initially is the obligation to ensure its implementation, but the master of the ship is responsible for the safety management system and the ship security plan actually being used. This has no effect on the possibility of assigning the actual care for the application of the safety management system or the ship security plan to a member of the crew. For the security of a ship this will be the "ship security officer" (SSO), who under the ISPS Code must be appointed on board any ship for which an international ship security certificate is required. Final responsibility however always rests with the master. Under regulation XI-2/8.2 of the SOLAS Convention the latter also has the power, if in his opinion the safety of the ship so requires, to suspend temporarily the security measures arising from the ship security plan (known as "Master's discretion").

The present article also refers to the regulations and obligations applying under Chapter XI-2 of the SOLAS Convention. In the first place there is the general obligation to ensure that the security of the ship complies with the requirements that are made in this regard under Chapter XI-2 and that the security level on board the ship is increased if there is reason to do so (regulation XI-2/4). Chapter XI-2 however also contains regulations that the master has to take into account when putting into a port (see regulation XI-2/9.2).

Article 64


As previously indicated in section 6 of the general explanation, the obligation to keep the ship’s logs involves a substantial amount of administrative burden for the industry. The obligation to keep a ship’s log largely arises however from international regulations. The Conventions and Codes contain a large number of provisions relating to the details to be recorded in ship’s logs. The subjects concerned are fairly diverse, ranging from the closing of the watertight doors (see regulation II-1/15.9.4 of the SOLAS Convention) to the holding of the fire safety and disembarkation drills (see regulation III/19.5 of the SOLAS Convention). The decree however will no longer contain any "domestic" obligations to keep the logs. All that need be stated is that which has been prescribed internationally (see the present article). Nor, following article I(B) of the proposed amendment of the Ships Act in connection with the passing of the Research Council for Safety Act and the introduction of a new regulation of disciplinary proceedings for the sea shipping industry (Parliamentary Documents II 2003/2004, ’.), is any obligation to submit the logs regularly included in the decree any more. It should also be noted that the present article does not refer to international regulations that require a record to be kept of a particular activity or a particular regulation if it is not thereby stipulated that this must be done in a ship’s log. If only the obligation to keep particular details exists, it is for the master and the owner to specify a suitable medium for it. This can be the log, but this is not mandatory.

Article 65


The effect of the present article in the first place is to enable operational regulations to be laid down for cargo ships with a length of less than 24 metres for which a national safety certificate is required or ships for which a certificate as referred to in article 12 is required. The present article also provides for the possibility, for the implementation of European obligations for example, of laying down detailed rules regarding the regulations to be taken into account on board ships as referred to in articles 60 to 62.

Article 66


This article refers to a special obligation in Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention: the obligation to come to the assistance of persons who are in distress at sea (see also Section 9(1)(f) of the Ships Act). This obligation is defined in detail in regulation V/33 of the SOLAS Convention. The origin of the second paragraph too can be found in regulation V/33: section 2 of this regulation stipulates that the master of a ship in distress has the right to request the assistance of other ships. The master of a ship so requested is, with due regard for the provisions of regulation V/33 in this regard, obliged to respond to this request.

Article 67


It has previously been noted in the explanation to articles 13 and 14 that the surveys to which a ship is subject during the validity of a certificate can also be of an incidental nature. Incidental surveys are required for example when a ship has suffered damage. In view of this the present article (which for example implements regulation I/11.c of the SOLAS Convention) stipulates that the master must report damage and defects that may affect the safety of the ship, in order that the ship – if the Shipping Inspectorate or the classification society deems this necessary – can be surveyed. The master also has to notify the authorities in whichever foreign port he happens to be. Under the Conventions the port state has the obligation not to allow ships suspected of not (no longer) complying with the international requirements to leave port (cf. regulation I/19 of the SOLAS Convention).

Article 68


Chapter XII of the Ships Decree 1965 contains a number of special regulations with regard to war and risk of war. These regulations date from shortly after the Second World War (see the amending decree of 7 June 1947, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees H 173, in which a new Chapter XI about war and risk of war was added to the Ships Decree of the time). The Ships Decree 1952 also contained a Chapter about war and risk of war, which was taken over almost unamended when the Ships Decree 1965 was passed. Nowadays there is no longer any need for the majority of these special regulations. For this reason most of the regulations with regard to war and risk of war do not appear in the present decree. Only the obligation with regard to the marine documents is maintained in the decree: see the first paragraph. The second paragraph provides for the possibility in the future of the marine documents being supplied on CD-ROM or for example being available for downloading from the internet.

Article 69


The present article implements article IV of the SOLAS Convention and article 7 of the Load Lines Convention for example.

Article 70


Provision for the publication of the Conventions applicable under this decree has already been made by the Act on the Approval and Publication of Treaties: they are published in the Treaties Journal. The Codes laid down by the IMO are not usually published in the Treaties Journal however. For this reason the present article stipulates that provision for the publication of the Codes applicable under this decree shall be made by the Minister for Transport, Public Works & Water Management.

In addition to the formal publication for which this article provides, it is the intention to publish the Conventions and Codes applicable under this decree electronically as well. In line with government policy to make legislation and regulations accessible by way of the internet as well, the Transport, Public Works & Water Management Inspectorate is currently working on an internet site on which Conventions, Codes and other relevant IMO documents can easily be consulted.

Article 71


There is dynamic reference in the decree to the Conventions and Codes applicable under the decree. In connection with this the present article provides for the point in time at which changes in those Conventions and Codes filter through for the application of the decree. In view of the international nature of the shipping sector and the fact that the relevant European regulations also in principle follow the international dates of entry into force, harmonisation has been sought with the point in time at which amendments take effect internationally. The first paragraph does however provide for the possibility of breaking the automatic filtering through of amendments by ministerial decree. This is for example important in view of community regulations that can require accelerated implementation of Convention amendments or amendments of Codes, but also in view of the power of the (European) Committee on Safe Seas and Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) recently introduced in the European maritime regulations to exclude amendments of the Conventions for the application of community shipping regulations. In this connection see Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 and Directive 2002/84/EC previously quoted in section 3 of the general part of this explanation, by which a system of dynamic references to the international Conventions has been introduced in the community shipping regulations.

The second paragraph refers to the so-called "grandfather clauses" (provisions in respect of deferring effect) that are usual with amendments of the Conventions and Codes. To prevent existing ships having to undergo radical conversions or adaptations or having to replace their equipment (prematurely), on amendment of the construction and equipment requirements it is usually stipulated that the requirements previously in force remain applicable to existing ships. The deferring effect of the grandfather clauses is not absolute however. In the event of repairs, conversions and other changes in the condition or equipment of the ship, the new requirements must – –as far as practically possible– – often be applied nonetheless. The Conventions and Codes contain detailed rules for this, which must be taken into account on the application of the grandfather clauses.

The effect of the third paragraph is to allow the amendments of the Conventions and Codes and the associated transitional provisions that have come into force before the entry into force of this decree to filter through into the decree. By declaring the Conventions and Codes in fact applicable from their original international entry into force, the Ships Decree 1965 can also be replaced by the present decree in respect of existing ships and no complicated transitional law needs to be effected for those ships to harmonise the Ships Decree 1965 with the present decree.

Article 72


In the article-by-article explanation to article 4 it has previously been noted that before 21 July 1968 a different lower limit applied for the application of the Load Lines Convention than the limit of 24 metres now contained in article 4. At the time there was an obligation for an international load line certificate to be provided for ships from 150 register tons. In view of this the first paragraph of the present article provides for the obligation referred to in article 4 not being applicable to ships built before 21 July 1968, in so far as these ships are more than 24 metres, but less than 150 register tons.

Since 1994 all ships have been measured in accordance with the International Convention on the Tonnage Measurement of Ships of 1969. A limited number of ships however still have certificates of tonnage that were issued in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on a Uniform System of Tonnage Measurements of Ships of 1947. The gross capacity of these so-called "green stamp" ships (on account of the stamp on their certificate of tonnage) was not recorded in GT, but in the unit gross register ton (GRT). Since the unit GRT is larger than the unit GT, ships that were built just below the tonnage limits at the time (for example 499.9 GRT), now come out over the tonnage limits. In accordance with resolution A.791(19) of the General Meeting of the IMO, where the application of SOLAS Convention regulations tied to tonnage limits is concerned, the gross capacity in GRT may therefore continue to be used for these ships. In view of this the second paragraph provides for an equalisation of the unit GRT with the unit GT.

The purpose of the third paragraph is to make possible a flexible transition for non-convention ships from the certificate of seaworthiness to the new national safety certificate. It would be unreasonable (and practically impossible) to make the national safety certificate mandatory with immediate effect. For this reason it has been stipulated that the obligation to have a national safety certificate for an individual ship does not take effect until the certificate of seaworthiness issued for that ship loses its validity. Leaving special circumstances aside, this means that the ship does not need to be provided with a national safety certificate until the next survey in connection with the renewal of its certificates.

In practice nearly all Dutch ships comply with the SOLAS Convention requirements currently in force. A ship failing to comply with these requirements would risk arrest in a foreign port by the port state inspection authorities. For this reason the Shipping Inspectorate has already been certifying on the basis of the SOLAS requirements in force, to prevent the implementation backlog that existed with regard to certain SOLAS amendments causing problems for Dutch ships abroad. This certification in accordance with SOLAS was also formalised in 2002 by means of the Ships Decree (Temporary Exemption Regulation) 1965 (Official Gazette 2002, 201). A provision has been included in the fourth paragraph of the present article for the special case that a ship does not yet comply with the SOLAS Convention requirements currently in force.

Article 73 and 74


In view of the existing SOLAS implementation backlog and the forthcoming international entry into force of the Maritime Security measures, it is very important that for convention ships the decree can enter into force as soon as possible. For this reason provision has been made for the possibility of phased entry into force of the present decree and, related to this, the phased withdrawal of the Ships Decree 1965. In this way we can prevent the entry into force of the decree in respect of convention ships being delayed where certain implementing regulations for non-convention ships – for example because of an extension of the standstill period in the context of the European notification of technical regulations – were not yet ready.

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