Applicability: Lifeboat manufacturers, release and retrieval systems’ manufacturers, shipbuilders, shipowners and ship managers

This Class News is a reminder to owners and operators of existing ships that lifeboat on-load release and retrieval systems (OLRMs) which do not comply with paragraphs to of the revised LSA Code must be replaced no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July, 2014, but, in any case, no later than 1 July, 2019*. “Existing ships” means ships constructed (having their keels laid) before 1 July, 2014.

To assess the compliance of existing OLRMs with the revised LSA Code, they have been evaluated in accordance with IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1392. The assessment results and supporting documentation can be found in the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) database.

In cases where Lloyd’s Register (LR) is issuing safety equipment certification or is authorised to act on behalf of the vessel’s flag administration, the following requirements will apply:

1. Existing OLRM types reported in the GISIS database as ‘compliant’

Owners and operators must ensure that the manufacturer carries out an overhaul examination of any OLRMs reported as ‘compliant’ installed on their lifeboats, in accordance with Annex I of IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 - Measures to Prevent Accidents with Lifeboats. On completion of the examination, the OLRM should be operationally tested in the presence of an LR surveyor.

2. Existing OLRM types reported in the GISIS database as ‘compliant after modification’

For these OLRMs, LR will expect to confirm that any modification has been carried out in accordance with approved plans. On completion of the modification and overhaul examination, the OLRM should be operationally tested in the presence of an LR surveyor. After verification and post-modification testing, the attending surveyor will issue a statement of acceptance.

3. Existing OLRM types reported in the GISIS database as ‘non-compliant’

These OLRMs must be replaced. The replacement OLRM should be of an approved type in accordance with Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89). This can be confirmed from the relevant type approval certificate.

Before an OLRM can be replaced, the following information must be submitted to LR for review and approval:

  • details of the proposed replacement equipment, including approval certification
  • drawings of the original on-load release mechanism
  • detailed drawings showing the proposed changes
  • calculations of static forces from the release mechanism into the lifeboat structure (if the drawings show that forces and/or force couples will change and/or the on-load release mechanism fixed structural connections of the release mechanism will change)
  • amended operating and training manuals
  • details of the people responsible for design appraisal, installation work and post-installation testing, and evidence of their competence
  • other details, including the loading of the release handle, the efficiency of the hydrostatic interlock, and the effect of the OLRM on stability or seating space.

The installation (in accordance with the approved plans) and testing of the new OLRM should be done in the presence of an LR surveyor, who will then issue a statement of acceptance to be kept on board.

Recommendation to owners and operators

If ORLMs on your vessel are known to be ‘non-compliant’, we urge you to ensure that proposals for their replacement are submitted for approval in good time, well in advance of the planned installation date.

More information can be found on the Lloyd's Register website:


*The requirements apply under SOLAS regulation III/1.5. The LSA Code was amended by IMO Resolution MSC.321(89). 

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