Applicability: shipowners, ship operators, ship managers, ship masters and agents.  

From 1 August 2019, new regulations came into force for the control and monitoring of service suppliers in China for the following categories and equipment:

  1. Life saving appliances: inflatable liferafts, inflatable rescue boats, marine evacuation systems (MES), inflatable life jackets, immersion suits and lifeboats/rescue boats, launching appliances, release gear, hydrostatic release units (HRU);
  2. Firefighting equipment: fixed fire detection and alarm systems, fixed fire extinguishing systems, portable/wheeled fire extinguishers, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), emergency escape breathing devices (EEBD);
  3. Safety of navigation and radio communication equipment: radio devices, navigation warning receivers, EPIRBs, ship earth stations, search and rescue transponders, two-way portable radios, ship security alert system (SSAS), automatic identification system (AIS), voyage data recorders (VDR);
  4. Thickness measurement of a ship’s structure and non-destructive testing: radiography, ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle inspection, dye penetrant inspection;
  5. Ship noise measurement; and,
  6. Other equipment required to be serviced by IMO Conventions or Codes.

Service suppliers undertaking such services in the ports and waters of China are now required to be official registered companies in China.

Classification societies are now required to record recognised service suppliers on the web-based database of the China Marine Safety Administration (MSA).

These suppliers are also required to have workshop facilities for the servicing of fire-fighting equipment, life-saving appliances and EPIRBs. Where a service supplier’s workshop is located in a different province to the port where the ship has arrived, additional monitoring will be required by a surveyor on board and at the workshop location.

For the servicing of the categories and equipment listed above, either in workshop facilities or on-board ships in Chinese waters, the service suppliers are required to issue certificates through the China MSA web-based system, which will be validated by the surveyor.

Foreign thickness measurement companies used for surveys during voyages to China will not be permitted to continue working on board vessels after arrival at the repair yard. A second thickness measurement company that is registered in China will be needed to continue the work. This will be confirmed during the approval of ESP survey planning documents.

What should owners and operators do now?

Owners and operators must ensure that all servicing done in China for the categories and equipment listed above is undertaken by service suppliers that are not only registered on the China MSA database, but also acceptable to Lloyd’s Register and/or the ship’s Flag Administration.

For further information, please contact your local Service Delivery Office in China.