Applicability: shipowners, ship operators, ship masters and shipbuilders. 

Amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance Code (LSA Code) on requirements for lifeboats, launching and embarkation appliances comes into force on 1 January 2024. 

Amendments in Resolution MSC.459(101), adopted by the International Maritime Organisation, apply to rescue boats installed onboard ships on or after 1 January 2024. They give a potential waiver to the requirement for stored mechanical power used for slewing the rescue boat outboard (normally achieved by a hydraulic accumulator fitted to a single-arm radial davit).

The amendments add the following text to paragraph of Chapter VI of the LSA Code (Launching and Embarkation Appliances):

“  A launching appliance shall not depend on any means other than gravity or stored mechanical power which is independent of the ship's power supplies to launch the survival craft or rescue boat it serves in the fully loaded and equipped condition and also in the light condition.

Notwithstanding the above, on cargo ships equipped with a rescue boat, which is not one of the ship’s survival craft, having a mass not more than 700kg in fully equipped condition, with engine, but without crew, the launching appliance of the boat does not need to be fitted with stored mechanical power provided that: 

  1. Manual hoisting from the stowed position and turning out to the embarkation position is possible by one person.
  2. The force on the crank handle does not exceed 160N at the maximum crank radius of 350mm; and
  3. Means having sufficient strength such as bowsing lines are provided for bringing the rescue boat against the ship’s side and holding it alongside so that person can be safely embarked.”

Equivalent Arrangements

Many flag Administrations have previously been accepting rescue-boat launching appliances that are not to be fitted with stored mechanical power, based on “Equivalent Arrangements”. Such arrangements published by flag Administrations are expected to continue to apply to rescue boats installed onboard ships before 1 January 2024.

For further information

For further information or advice, please get in touch with your local Lloyd's Register office or contact

Download PDF of Class News 17/2023