Applicability: All SOLAS certificated passenger ships.

Further to Class News 40/2017. The IMO’s additional regulation to SOLAS – Chapter II-1, Regulation 19-1, ‘Damage control drills for passenger ships’ – enters into force on 1 January 2020 and will apply to all passenger ships. SOLAS Chapter III is also amended, to require damage control duties to be detailed in the ship’s muster list.

This regulation requires crew members with damage control responsibilities to participate in a drill at least every three months. Each drill must include the relevant crew members reporting to stations and preparing for their duties, as detailed on the ship’s muster list.

If fitted, the ship’s onboard damage stability computer should be used to conduct assessments of the simulated damage, and a communications link should be established to any shore-based support, if provided.

At least one damage control drill each year shall include activation of the shore-based support, if provided (in compliance with regulation II-1/8-1.3), to conduct stability assessments for the simulated damage conditions.

Further requirements for each drill include: the operation of watertight doors and bilge pumps, as well as demonstrating proficient use of the flooding detection system and any cross-flooding arrangements.

The changes to SOLAS are detailed in Resolution MSC.421(98), adopted on 15 June 2017.

What should owners and operators do now?

Owners and operators of passenger ships should make the necessary changes to their ship’s muster lists and procedures no later than 1 January 2020.

A useful summary table of SOLAS Requirements for Maintenance, Servicing, Testing and Drills can be found here.

Further information on shore-based support from LR’s ship emergency response service can be found on our SERS webpage. Alternatively contact your local Lloyd’s Register office or