Q. Why should the ships carry the required certificates and documents?
Ships must carry various certificates and documents on board to:
- legally operate to ensure the safety of men, ship and the local state;
- ensure due prevention of pollution;
- trade freely both nationally and internationally; and
- remain seaworthy all the times.
Q. Can the e-certificates be considered equivalent to the traditional certificates?
The FAL Committee (FAL 39, in 2014) has agreed that electronic certificates should be treated as equivalent to traditional paper certificates, provided that the certificates and the website used to access them conform to the guidelines approved by the Organization and that specific verification instructions are available on board the ship. The Committee has also agreed that electronic certificates viewed on a computer should be considered as meeting the requirement to be “on board”.
Q. What precisely does the FAL say about the use of electronic certificates?
FAL.5/Circ.39/2016 provides guidelines for the use of electronic certificates. Thus, Administrations that use electronic certificates should ensure that these certificates have the following features:
- validity and consistency with the format and content required by the relevant international convention or instrument, as applicable;
- protected from edits, modifications or revisions other than those authorized by the issuer or the Administration;
- a unique tracking number used for verification as defined; and
- a printable and visible symbol that confirms the source of issuance.
All stakeholders should accept electronic certificates containing the features duly identified. The port State control officers, in accepting electronic certificates, should follow the Procedures for Port State Control, 2011 (resolution A.1052 (27)).
Q. What are the 7 standardized forms developed by FAL?
IMO developed Standardized Forms for seven of these documents (updated FAL Forms are effective since 1 January 2018):
IMO General Declaration (FAL form 1)
Cargo declaration (FAL form 2)
Ship’s stores declaration (FAL form 3)
Crew’s effects declaration (FAL form 4)
Crew list (FAL form 5)
Passenger list (FAL form 6)
Dangerous goods (FAL form 7)
Q. What are the three additional declarations entered into force on 1 January 2018?
The three additional declarations:
- Security-related information as required under SOLAS regulation XI-2/9.2.2
- Advance electronic cargo information for customs risk assessment purposes
- Advanced Notification Form for Waste Delivery to Port Reception Facilities
Q. What is GISIS? How is this organization helpful in verifying the e-certificates?
GISIS (the Global Integrated Shipping Information System) is developed and maintained by the International Maritime Organisation and the website aims to allow on-line access to information supplied to the IMO Secretariat by Maritime Administrations, in compliance with IMO’s instruments.
The GISIS module ‘Survey and Certification’ provides information on e-certification verification website information. The FAL Committee urges Member States to use GISIS to provide their e-certification verification website information.
Q. Where would you find the list of certificates required to be carried on board?
FAL.2/Circ.131 dated July 2017 lists the certificates and documents that are required under IMO instruments. Additionally, a ship is required also to carry the certificates / documents required by other international organizations or governmental authorities.
Q. What certificates are carried from the requirement from Ch I of SOLAS?
The following certificates are issued under Ch I of SOLAS. A certificate called a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate shall be issued after inspection and survey to a passenger ship which complies with the requirements of chapters II-1, II-2, III, IV and V and any other relevant requirements of SOLAS 1974.
2. A certificate called a Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate shall be issued after survey to a cargo ship of 500 gross tonnage and over, which satisfies the requirements for cargo ships on survey, set out in regulation I/10 of SOLAS 1974, and complies with the applicable requirements of chapters II-1 and II-2, other than those relating to fire-extinguishing appliances and fire-control plans.
3. A certificate called a Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate shall be issued after survey to a cargo ship of 500 gross tonnage and over which complies with the relevant requirements of chapters II-1 and II-2, III and V and any other relevant requirements of SOLAS 1974.
4. A certificate called a Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate shall be issued after survey to a cargo ship of 300 gross tonnage and over, fitted with a radio installation, including those used in life-saving appliances, which complies with the requirements of chapter IV and any other relevant requirements of SOLAS 1974.
5. A certificate called a Cargo Ship Safety Certificate may be issued after survey to a cargo ship which complies with the relevant requirements of chapters II-1, II-2, III, IV and V and other relevant requirements of SOLAS 1974 as modified by the 1988 SOLAS Protocol, as an alternative to the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate and Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate.
Q. What are the forms P, E, R & C under above certificates?
A Record of Equipment (Form P) shall be permanently attached to Passenger Ship Safety Certificate.
A Record of Equipment (Form E) shall be permanently attached to Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate.
A Record of Equipment (Form R) shall be permanently attached to Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate.
A Record of Equipment (Form C) shall be permanently attached to Cargo Ship Safety Certificate.
Q. What files are to be maintained on board under Ch II/1 of SOLAS, as per the recent amendments?
The following two files are required to be maintained:
A Coating Technical File, containing specifications of the coating system applied, where applicable, to dedicated seawater ballast tanks in all types of ships and double-side skin spaces of bulk carriers of 150 m in length and upwards and cargo oil tanks of crude oil tankers, record of the shipyard’s and shipowner’s coating work, detailed criteria for coating sections, job specifications, inspection, maintenance and repair, shall be kept on board and maintained throughout the life of the ship.
A Ship Construction File with specific information should be kept on board oil tankers of 150 m in length and above and bulk carriers of 150 m in length and above, constructed with single deck, top-side tanks and hopper side tanks in cargo spaces, excluding ore carriers and combination carriers:
- for which the building contract is placed on or after 1 July 2016;
- in the absence of a building contract, the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 1 July 2017; or
- the delivery of which is on or after 1 July 2020 shall carry a Ship Construction File containing information in accordance with regulations and guidelines, and updated as appropriate throughout the ship’s life in order to facilitate safe operation, maintenance, survey, repair and emergency measures.
Q. What are the various plans, manuals and booklets as per Ch II/1 of SOLAS, required to be carried on board?
The following are such plans, manuals and booklets:
- Emergency Towing Procedure: All ships shall be provided with a ship-specific emergency towing procedure. Such a procedure shall be carried on board the ship for use in emergency situations and shall be developed based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.
- Stability information: Every passenger ship regardless of size and every cargo ship of 24 m and over shall be inclined on completion and the elements of their stability determined. The master shall be supplied with stability information containing such information as is necessary to enable him, by rapid and simple procedures, to obtain accurate guidance as to the stability of the ship under varying conditions of service to maintain the required intact stability and stability after damage. For bulk carriers, the information required in a bulk carrier booklet may be contained in the stability information.
- Damage control plans and booklets: On passenger and cargo ships, there shall be permanently exhibited plans showing clearly for each deck and hold the boundaries of the watertight compartments, the openings therein with the means of closure and position of any controls thereof, and the arrangements for the correction of any list due to flooding. Booklets containing the aforementioned information shall be made available to the officers of the ship.
- Maneuvering booklet: The stopping times, ship headings and distances recorded on trials, together with the results of trials to determine the ability of ships having multiple propellers to navigate and maneuver with one or more propellers inoperative, shall be available on board for the use of the master or designated personnel.
- Ship Structure Access Manual: This regulation applies to oil tankers of 500 gross tonnage and over and bulk carriers, as defined in regulation IX/1, of 20,000 gross tonnage and over, constructed on or after 1 January 2006. A ship’s means of access to carry out overall and close-up inspections and thickness measurements shall be described in a Ship Structure Access Manual approved by the Administration, an updated copy of which shall be kept on board.
- Construction drawings: A set of as-built construction drawings and other plans showing any subsequent structural alterations shall be kept on board a ship constructed on or after 1 January 2007.
Q. Certain reports are to be maintained as per Ch II/1 of SOLAS. What are these reports?
- Noise Survey Report, applicable to new ships of 1,600 gross tonnage and above, excluding dynamically supported crafts, high speed crafts, fishing vessels, pipe-laying barges, crane barges, mobile offshore drilling units, pleasure yachts not engaged in trade, ships of war and troopships, ships not propelled by mechanical means, pile driving vessels and dredgers. A noise survey report shall always be carried on board and be accessible for the crew. For existing ships, refer to section “Other certificates and documents which are not mandatory – Noise Survey Report” (resolution A.468 (XII).
- Evaluation of the alternative design and arrangements: Where applicable, a copy of the documentation, as approved by the Administration, indicating that the alternative design and arrangements comply with this regulation shall be carried onboard the ship.
Q. What are the various plans, manuals and booklets in respect of job information as per Ch II/2 of SOLAS, required to be carried on board?
The following are such plans, manuals and booklets:
- Fire safety training manual: A training manual shall be written in the working language of the ship and shall be provided in each crew mess room and recreation room or in each crew cabin. The manual shall contain the instructions and information required in regulation II-2/188.8.131.52. Part of such information may be provided in the form of audio-visual aids in lieu of the manual.
- Fire control plan/booklet: General arrangement plans shall be permanently exhibited for the guidance of the ship’s officers, showing clearly for each deck the control stations, the various fire sections together with particulars of the fire detection and fire alarm systems and the fire-extinguishing appliances, etc. Alternatively, at the discretion of the Administration, the aforementioned details may be set out in a booklet, a copy of which shall be supplied to each officer, and one copy shall at all times be available on board in an accessible position. Plans and booklets shall be kept up to date; any alterations shall be recorded as soon as practicable. A duplicate set of fire control plans or a booklet containing such plans shall be permanently stored in a prominently marked weathertight enclosure outside the deckhouse for the assistance of shoreside fire-fighting personnel.
- Fire safety operational booklet: The fire safety operational booklet shall contain the necessary information and instructions for the safe operation of the ship and cargo handling operations in relation to fire safety. The booklet shall be written in the working language of the ship and be provided in each crew mess room and recreation room or in each crew cabin. The booklet may be combined with the fire safety training manuals required in regulation II-2/15.2.3.
- Operations manual for helicopter facility: Each helicopter facility, if fitted, shall have an operations manual, including a description and a checklist of safety precautions, procedures and equipment requirements. This manual may be part of the ship’s emergency response procedures.
5. Maintenance plans: The maintenance plan shall include the necessary information about fire protection systems and fire-fighting systems and appliances as required by regulation II-2/14.2.2. For tankers, additional requirements are referred to in regulation II-2/14.4. For passenger ships carrying more than 36 Passengers, the maintenance plan should include low-location lighting and public address system as required by SOLAS regulation II-2/14.3.
Q. What records must be maintained as required by Ch II/2 of SOLAS?
The records of onboard training and drills shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of regulations III/19.3 and III/19.5.
Q. What is DOC, as referred to in Ch II/2 of SOLAS?
Document of compliance with the special requirements for ships carrying dangerous goods is referred to in Ch II/2 of SOLAS. The Administration shall provide the ship with an appropriate document as evidence of compliance of construction and equipment with the requirements of regulation II-2/19 of SOLAS 1974.
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