Onderwerp: Bezoek-historie

Chapter V Safety of navigation
Geldigheid:12-02-2015 t/m 08-05-2016Versie:vergelijk Status: Was geldig

Dit onderwerp bevat de volgende rubrieken.


Chapter V - Safety of navigation

1 Definition of bridge wing (11-10)


Chapter V

Definition of bridge wing (11-10)
In accordance with SOLAS Chapter V, regulation , when the ship’s bridge is totally enclosed and unless the Administration determines otherwise, a sound reception system, or other means, to enable the officer in charge of the navigational watch to hear sound signals and determine their direction shall be provided for all ships irrespective of size.

The position of NSI on this issue is as follows:
Overreliance on sophisticated navigational systems must be countered by the appropriate management of bridge resources, a thorough assessment of the risks of the passage, contingency plans for when the system fails and good navigational watch keeping practices at all times.

Regarding the watch keeping practices every vessel should at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing, including maintaining a listening watch, as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

This interpretation aims to provide clarification as to the application of SOLAS V/ and in this respect define the expression “totally enclosed ship’s bridge” in a concrete and practical manner as well as elaborate on the expressions  “unless the Administration determines otherwise” and “or other means” in subject regulation. Vessels flying the Dutch Flag, built on or after the publication of this document, shall comply with the interpretations provided below.


  • SOLAS V/15
  • MSC/Circ.982
  • IACS UR 95
  • ISO 14612
  • STCW Convention and Code, as amended
  • Colreg.’72


  1. Interpretation of “totally enclosed ship’s bridge” and “unless the Administration determines otherwise.”
    IACS UR 95 and ISO 14612 provide the following definitions:
    Bridge: The area from which the navigation and control of the ship is exercised, including the wheelhouse and bridge wings.

    Bridge wings: Those parts of the bridge on both sides of the ship’s wheelhouse which, in general, extend to the ship’s side.

    Catwalk: extension to a deck outside a totally enclosed bridge wide enough to allow the safe passage of a person.

    Navigation bridge: Area of a wheelhouse or enclosed bridge allocated navigating functions and control of the ship, and which includes any additional bridge workstation to be used by the officer of the watch.
    Totally enclosed bridge: A bridge without open bridge wings, meaning that bridge wings form an integral part of an enclosed wheelhouse.

    Wheelhouse: Enclosed area of the bridge.
    A catwalk is primarily provided to help maintenance of window wipers and manual cleaning of bridge front windows. Typically the width of a catwalk is limited and it’s construction at both sides of the wheelhouse usually consists of gratings, screened off with railings. Catwalks are most commonly entered from an open deck space behind the totally enclosed  bridge via a door or doors at the portside - and or starboard side rear end of the totally enclosed bridge.
    Vessels with a totally enclosed bridge, also when provided with a catwalk, shall be equipped with a type-approved sound reception system. In this respect it is emphasized that a catwalk is not considered as an equivalent for a(n) (open) bridgewing. This follows instantly from the definitions above, as the definition of a catwalk is linked to a totally enclosed bridge, which has per definition no open bridge wings. SOLAS V/15 dictates that the bridge team and pilot have convenient and continuous access to essential information. NSI considers the reception of sound signals to be essential information. Consequently open bridge wings shall be accessible by means of doors placed at both sides of the ship’s bridge.
    In the case of an enclosed wheelhouse (either with or without a catwalk) a door or doors positioned at the portside - and or starboard side rear end of the wheelhouse do not qualify as convenient and continuous access.

  2. Interpretation of “or other means”
    Up until the date of this document, NSI considered the provision of windows, that can be opened, at both sides of a totally enclosed bridge as an equivalent for a sound reception system. Owing to insight gained from field-surveyor’s feedback, this equivalency can no longer be considered.

2 Performance Monitor extra radar


Chapter V

Performance Monitor extra radar
A question was raised by one RO whether radars which are installed in addition to the required equipment in accordance with SOLAS V/19, are required to be equipped with a performance monitor (PM). The reason for this question was that a vessel was delivered with two radars but only one PM, however no argument was given for the absence of the second PM other than the second radar being additional.
After consulting suppliers of this equipment about the practical issues regarding the availability and added value of a performance monitor, the following conclusions came up:

  1. A PM assesses the proper functioning of the radar’s transmitter and receiver. The value of the PM is to give confidence in the proper functioning of the radar in the absence of echo’s, in particular in circumstances of reduced visibility.

  2. Due to the introduction of new technologies and carriage requirements like AIS, and the required link of AIS with the radar (in accordance with MSC.192(79)), the added value of a PM has surely diminished, but not completely vanished.

  3. The reluctance of shipowners to install a PM for additional radars arises sometimes from practical grounds (lack of space), but in particular from economic grounds.


Based on the above conclusions the position of NSI on this issue is as follows:
Bearing in mind the requirement of SOLAS V/18.7 with regard to additional equipment, NSI is of the view that in principle an additional radar shall comply with all provisions of the performance standard MSC.192(79), including the provision of a performance monitor.
Bearing in mind the clause in SOLAS V/18.7 stating “whenever practicable”, NSI may in the rare occasion that installing a PM is demonstrated to be inevitably impracticable, decide on a case-to-case basis to grant an individual exemption for this purpose.
Vessels flying the Dutch Flag, built on or after the publication of this document, shall comply with the interpretations provided above.

3 Redundancy of ship’s whistle


Chapter V

Redundancy of ship’s whistle
SOLAS II-1 regulation requires that with regard to the emergency source of electrical power, the intermittent operation of the ship’s whistle is guaranteed for a period of 18 hours, on the assumption that this equipment is considered an “essential safety service” (reg.43.2).
COLREGs however, where the requirement for a ship’s whistle is established (article 35), and where the technical specifications for this equipment are laid down (Annex III), does not have provisions for redundancy of the ship’s whistle. Nor does it specify the required means of activation of the ship’s whistle.
This brings about a lacuna in the legislation as soon as a means of activation other than electricity is chosen for the ship’s whistle, for instance air.
A question was raised by one RO whether a redundancy is required in such cases.

The position of NSI on this issue is as follows:
Bearing in mind that the ship’s whistle is regarded, through SOLAS II-1 regulations 43.2 and, as an essential safety service, the operative requirements (i.e. 18 hours operation after power breakdown) should be guaranteed at all times, irrespective of the means of activation (i.e. electric or non-electric).
How this is guaranteed in the case of non-electric activation (e.g. air) is left to the discretion of the shipowner, as far as the provisions fall within the technical requirements of COLREG Annex III.
Examples of possibilities to provide the required redundancy are (e.g. in the case of air driven whistle) entire duplication, extra compressors, a compressor with larger capacity or an extra electric driven whistle.
Vessels flying the Dutch Flag, built on or after the publication of this document, shall comply with the interpretations provided above.

4 BNWAS issues (11-11)


Chapter V

BNWAS issues (11-11)
Further to our Information to Shipping no.1 the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels has been amended to include the provisions of MSC.282(86). Article 24.3 of this regulation now reads as follows:

If a cargo ship with a length of 24 metres or more or a passenger ship has been equipped with a bridge navigational watch alarm system on or after 1 July 2009 but before 1 July 2011, it shall meet the requirements of resolution MSC.128(75) of the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO, involving Performance standards for a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS).”

Furthermore, in accordance with the new Regulation of SOLAS Chapter V, the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels has been amended to include an exemption provision for the BNWAS in Article 41a, which reads as follows:

“Bridge navigational watch alarm systems, placed before 1 July 2009, have been exempted from the requirements of Resolution MSC.128(75) of the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO, involving Performance standards for a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) or equivalent performance standards.”
Although a text for the Record of Safety Equipment was already agreed, with the amendment of the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels NSI proposes to slightly alter this text to read as follows:

Existing BNWAS, installed before 1 July 2009, which complies with National requirements at time of installation and is consequently, in accordance with Article 41a of the Regulation Seagoing vessels, exempted from full compliance with resolution MSC.128(75)

Furthermore questions have been raised by ROs whether or not an interface between BNWAS and the (S)VDR is required.

The position of NSI on this issue is as follows:
Even though the BNWAS  was not an IMO mandatory requirement until 1 July 2011, it has always been a national requirement for Dutch flag vessels.
Parallel to the requirement of the engine room personnel alarm being connected to the (S-)VDR, NSI has in the past always required that the BNWAS be connected to the (S)VDR as well. And even though sometimes challenges were experienced, and extra provisions had to be made (e.g. additional cables etc.), the connection between BNWAS and (S)VDR always proved to be feasible.
Moreover, with the SOLAS mandatory carriage requirement for BNWAS as per 1 July 2011, BNWAS has become an IMO mandatory alarm, also for existing vessels (pending on the category in accordance with new regulation V/ As a consequence, also the connection with (S-)VDR has become mandatory.

NSI’s position wrt BNWAS contained in our Information to Shipping No.1 only deals with the exemption for the BNWAS performance standards, not those for the connection to the (S-)VDR.

Considering the above, NSI’s position remains that, in principle, the connection of BNWAS (including existing installations) shall be connected to the (S-)VDR.

An elaboration on this issue provides the following:


Par.5.4.9 of MSC 163(78) (performance standards S-VDR) reads as follows:
Other items
5.4.9 Any additional data items listed by IMO with the requirements set out in resolution A.861(20) should be recorded when the data is available in accordance with the international digital interface standards using approved sentence formatters.

Furthermore this paragraph contains a footnote reference, the footnote reads as follows: Refer to publication IEC 61162.

The text above provides leeway to apply flexibility as far as the connection of the BNWAS to the S-VDR is concerned in the event that the BNWAS does not provide the required data for input in the S-VDR.
However, it shall be established, for instance by means of a declaration from the manufacturer of the BNWAS, that the required data is not available and that the BNWAS cannot be adapted for this.

For the sake of good order, we draw your attention to the fact that this flexibility can only be applied in the event of an S-VDR.

5 BNWAS (11-14)


Chapter V 

Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS; Tripartite 11-14)
IMO resolution MSC.282(86) has become applicable for certain types of vessels as regards to the carriage of a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS). It concerns the new regulation and of SOLAS chapter V. Regulation V/ determines that Administrations may exempt BNWAS’s from full compliance with the standards adopted by the IMO (i.e. resolution MSC.128(75)) when they are installed prior to 1 July 2011.

NSI’s Regulation Seagoing Vessels already gives effect to MSC.128(75) for BNWAS’s installed on or after 1 July 2009.BNWAS’s installed on Dutch flag vessels before this date are exempted from full compliance with resolution MSC.128(75) provided they comply with the provisions in force before that date (i.e. Notice to Shipping nr.234/1988) or, when it concerns vessels transferred to Dutch register from a register of another Administration, provided the BNWAS was approved by the Administration of the previous flag.
The Regulation Seagoing Vessels will be amended to incorporate this exemption. Until this has been effected NSI should be consulted in case of comments from –or discussions with- PSC surveyors.


6 BNWAS issues (11-11)


Chapter V

BNWAS issues (11-11)
Further to our Information to Shipping no.1 and 2 regarding this subject, clarification is given on existing systems:
Compliance with the relevant national requirements (i.e. Notice to Shipping No.234/1988 for Netherlands flag vessels) needs not necessarily be demonstrated through a type approval certificate, but may also be documented otherwise or through a functional check.
Alternatively, when it concerns vessels transferred to Netherlands flag from a register of another Administration, demonstration of compliance with the applicable requirements of that Administration in force before 1 July 2009 may be effected in a similar way.

7 Carriage of digital nautical publications


Chapter V

Carriage of digital nautical publications
Official digital publications are permitted in order to meet the carriage requirements for nautical charts and publications (Ref. SOLAS V/2.2, V/, V/, V/27). They shall be issued by or on the authority of a Government, authorized Hydrographic Office or other relevant government institution and be adequate and up to date.
Due to the fact that SOLAS V/2.2, V/ and V/ refer to digital publications they are permitted by virtue of the mentioned SOLAS regulations. In this respect a separate Flag State approval is not relevant.

Please note that in accordance with SOLAS V/ back-up arrangements are required in the event that nautical charts and/or nautical publications are provided partly or fully in digital format.

As far as digital nautical charts are concerned the Dutch Maritime Administration has issued an equivalent arrangement, SLS.14/Circ.191.

Regarding back up arrangements for digital nautical publications the Dutch Administration has at present not issued an equivalent arrangement or specific instructions.
So far as is known IMO has not issued any instrument providing guidance in this matter.

However, when it concerns Dutch flag vessels reference is made to similar provisions for ECDIS back-up, which are captured in par.3.1.8 of appendix 6 to MSC.232(82):

Those provisions are the following:

  1. Facilities enabling a safe take-over of the functions in order to ensure that a failure does not develop into a critical situation;

  2. Means to provide for safe navigation for the remaining part of the voyage in case of failure;

  3. Inclusion of a timely transfer to the back-up system during critical navigation situations;

  4. The information to be used in the back-up system should be the latest edition, as corrected by official updates, of that issued by or on the authority of a Government, authorized Hydrographic Office or other relevant government institution. The information displayed should be up-to-date for the entire voyage;

  5. It should not be possible to alter the contents of the electronic information;

  6. Edition and issuing date of the electronic publication should be indicated;

  7. The back-up arrangements should provide reliable operation under prevailing environmental and normal operating conditions;

  8. If an electronic device is used, it should provide a suitable alarm or indication of system malfunction;

  9. If an electronic device is used, the back-up power supply should be separate from the power supply of the main system, and conform to the requirements of the ECDIS performance standards.

In conclusion:
The application of digital nautical publications is permitted by SOLAS. In this case a back up is required in accordance with SOLAS V/; SOLAS does not provide any specific requirements regarding back up provisions for digital nautical publications. In this respect NSI refers to the above-mentioned guidelines which provide a clear and concrete reference framework. As such sufficient back up is provided in the event of failure of the “primary system”.

8 BNWAS issues (CI 2012-14)

SOLAS regulation V/ requires that BNWAS shall be in operation whenever the ship is underway at sea. The performance standards, required by V/18  however require BNWAS to incorporate an automatic mode which shall be brought into operation whenever the ships heading or track control system is activated and inhibited whenever this system is not activated. 

Since both requirements cannot be fulfilled at the same time, the IMO issued interim guidance under MSC.1/Circ.1474.
It is expected that the performance standards will be brought in line with SOLAS V/19, (MSC94 November 2014 decision).  As long as no final decision has been taken on this issue, NSI considers the interim guidance Circ.1474 policy rule. 

This means that, pending the revision of the performance standards, on Dutch flagged SOLAS ships, the automatic mode on BNWAS, if it is available, shall not be used.

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