INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA, 1974
Equivalent arrangements accepted under regulation I/5
Extended Servicing Intervals of new inflatable life rafts
Communication by the Government of the Netherlands
The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization has the honour to transmit herewith the text of a communication by the Government of the Netherlands in respect of equivalent arrangements concerning extended servicing intervals of new inflatable liferafts, accepted under the provisions of SOLAS regulation I/5.
The Secretary-General would be grateful if steps could be taken to bring this information to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
COMMUNICATION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NETHERLANDS
Equivalent arrangement for Extended Servicing Intervals of new inflatable life rafts
The Netherlands has accepted equivalent arrangements for the servicing of inflatable life rafts in accordance with Chapter III regulations 4 and 20.8.3 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
Where, during extended intervals, a noval life raft arrangement has proven to maintain the internationally required standards by testing procedure, the Netherlands accepts an extended service interval not exceeding 30 months for inflatable life raft arrangement under the following conditions:
- Servicing shall be carried out at 30 month maximum intervals, only at approved servicing stations which have additionally been appointed for this purpose by manufacturer;
- Upon installation, the life raft arrangement shall be new and in compliance with section 4.1 and 4.2 of the LSA Code. After the first ten years under extended service interval it shall revert to an annual basis according to SOLAS regulation III/18.104.22.168;
- The life raft system shall be checked on board by certified personnel according to SOLAS regulation III/22.214.171.124; and
The life raft shall be inspected ono board in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions at monthly intervals as required by SOLAS regulation III/20.7;
Items of equipment shall be checked to ensure that all are in good condition and dated items shall be replaced in cases where the expiry date falls before a three months period preceding the next service date of the life raft (e.g. where the extended service of the life raft is 30 months away the expiry date of the equipment shall be at least (30-3)27 months away);
Above requirement regarding replacement of equipment may be waived where it can be demonstrated that dated equipment can be replaced during on-board inspections, without affecting the efficiency of the hermetic seal and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions;
Each life raft or group of life rafts shall be stowed with a float-free arrangement complying with the LSA Code regulation IV/4.1.6, as required by SOLAS regulation III/13.4.2. The hydrostatic release unit used in the float-free arrangement is not within the scope of this equivalent arrangement and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Periodic servicing of hydrostatic release units shall be carried out in compliance with SOLAS regulation III/20.9;
On loss of hermetic seal for any reason within the first 12 months, a life raft shall be serviced and repacked within, on or before the 12th month. On loss of hermetic seal for any reason after the 12th month, a life raft shall be serviced and repacked within 3 months, or 30 months from previous repacking if sooner.
If means are provided for monitoring the atmosphere within the hermetic seal, the instructions of the manufacturer shall be followed with regard to monitoring, servicing and repacking.
If means are provided for monitoring inflation gas pressure and temperature, the instructions of the manufacturer shall be followed with regard to monitoring, servicing and repacking;
All serciving tests required before the next extended service date, in accordance with Appendix 2 of Resolution A.761(18), shall be carried out by the approved service station during the next service;
In addition to the marks required under regulation IV/126.96.36.199 of the LSA Code, the outer containers of life rafts within the extended servicing scheme shall be marked as such in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions;
The development of test standards for inflatable life rafts with extended service intervals are on IMO's agenda. When such standards have been adopted by the Organization this equivalent arrangement of extended service intervals shall be re-evaluated in light of the newly developed testing standards.
For an up to date list of inflatable life rafts systems which are covered by this equivalent arrangement, reference is made to the website of the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate: www.ivw.nl