No 14. Temporary reduction of the total number of persons on the PSSC of Dutch flag passenger ships in the event of a survival craft found out of order or otherwise not fit for service.
(Date Entry Into Force: 26-05-2021)
In accordance with article 40 of the Netherlands Ships Decree 2004 ('Schepenbesluit 2004'), a ship for which a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC) is required shall comply with, among others, the requirements of SOLAS, Chapter III, as amended.
Furthermore, in accordance with the Agreement (of 3 April 2014), as amended, between the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (NSI) and the Recognised Organisations (RO’s), paragraph 6.8: "the RO is permitted to withdraw the full term certificate on behalf of the NSI in cases where the requirements of an applicable instrument cannot be met under particular circumstances, and issue a short-term certificate describing the required measures or supplementary equipment and the time limit for permanent repairs or rectification. To avoid unnecessary delay and outside office hours, the RO is allowed to issue short-term certificates without prior consultation of the NSI, in which cases the RO shall inform the NSI afterwards as soon as possible".
2. Non-conformity and temporary reduction of total number of persons on board
The RO may issue a short-term PSSC in case a survival craft is found out of order or otherwise not fit for service. In this case, the following principles and procedures shall be followed:
A survival craft found out of order or otherwise not fit for service effectively reduces the total number of persons the ship may carry. In case an RO surveyor finds the survival craft out of order or otherwise not fit for service, the appropriate action would be either the repair or the replacement of that survival craft. However, in case this is not possible, the appropriate procedure is a temporary reduction in the total persons on board (POB), depending on the configuration of the remaining survival crafts and their available remaining capacity.
Given that SOLAS requires equal distribution of lifeboat arrangements on both sides of the ship, the reduction may be substantially more than the number of persons normally carried by the lifeboat out of order or otherwise not fit for service. However this particular SOLAS requirement is a design requirement for lifeboat arrangements on the ship and this requirement does not apply to operational and temporary situations where individual lifeboat is found out of order or otherwise not fit for service.
Nonetheless, a criterion in relation to equal distribution of lifeboat arrangements is considered necessary when applying a temporary reduction of the total number of POB due to a lifeboat found out of order or otherwise not fit for service*.
In addition, as opposed to the arrangement of lifeboats, when considering a reduction in the total number of POB allowed, it shall be ensured that the total number of POB still meets the minimum requirements of SOLAS regulation III/21 (i.e. 2 x 37.5 % = 75%)
This means that when a passenger ship, engaged on international voyages which are not short international voyages, has one or more lifeboats found out of order or otherwise not fit for service, the calculation for the maximum number of POB is as follows:
Remaining lifeboat capacity
Maximum number of POB = --------------------------------------------
Remaining lifeboat capacity = total lifeboat capacity according to the PSSC – capacity of the lifeboat found out of order or otherwise not fit for service*
* In case there is more than one lifeboat out of order or otherwise not fit for service, the remaining lifeboat capacity must be calculated in such a way that the difference between the total capacity for the least affected side of the ship and the most affected side of the ship is not greater than the capacity of the largest lifeboat out of order or otherwise not fit for service.
The total required survival craft capacity is subject to the maximum number of POB, and calculated as follows:
Total required survival craft capacity = maximum number of POB * 1.25
The required liferaft capacity is subject to the total required survival craft capacity and the remaining lifeboat capacity, and calculated as follows:
Liferaft capacity required = total required survival craft capacity – remaining lifeboat capacity
If a surveyor finds a required survival craft (i.e. lifeboat or liferaft) out of order or otherwise not fit for service:
- The repair or te replacement of the survival craft found out of order or otherwise not fit for service is required before the ship may be allowed undertake the voyage.
- In cases where the survival craft cannot be repaired or replaced before the ship undertakes the voyage, a reduction of total number of POB commensurate with the provisions above will be required. Subsequently, the RO shall issue a short-term PSSC, if time permits in consultation with the NSI.
- In cases where the a lifeboat found out of order or otherwise not fit for service also serves as a rescueboat, arrangements shall be made to prepare one of the other lifeboats (on the same side of the ship) to serve as a rescueboat. In this respect the applicable requirements (i.e. among others SOLAS regulations III/14 and III/17) and the LSA Code (Chapter V) shall be met to the maximum extent possible. Navigational officers and the operating crew of the (newly appointed) lifeboat/rescue boat shall be aware of any restrictions this change of application may incur.
- It should be noted that a change in LSA configuration in accordance with this ItoRO may require a rearrangement of the occupation of the survival craft and the crew duties in emergency/abandon ship procedures. An alteration of the musterlist due to this fact should be accounted for, and the crew and passengers involved shall be informed.
- This reduction in total number of POB will remain effective until the survival craft found out of order or otherwise not fit for service has been repaired or replaced. An appropriate period for temporary reductions in total number of POB is 30 days. This period may be extended in exceptional cases.
Note: this ItoRO is not applicable to passenger ships engaged on short international voyages. On these ships the requirements of SOLAS regulation III/21.1.2 is fully applicable.