What does SOLAS cover?
The main objective of the SOLAS Convention is to specify minimum standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships, compatible with their safety. SOLAS includes requirements for vessels’ structure, machinery, electrical equipment, fire protection, life-saving appliances, radiocommunications, safety of navigation and carriage of cargo.
How does Lloyd's Register help?
We are authorised to act on behalf of numerous flag administrations to verify that your vessels comply with SOLAS and issue the appropriate certification. Our involvement ranges from initial plan approval and on-board surveys to annual and renewal surveys to ensure compliance is maintained. We are also able to issue type approval certification, required by SOLAS, for a wide range of fire protection materials and safety equipment.
We closely monitor activities at IMO and IACS to enable us to better advise you and keep you up to date with forthcoming changes to the regulations and what they will mean to you. We also offer training courses to help you better understand the requirements.
Helping you meet requirements as regulations change
For a more in-depth overview of upcoming changes to mandatory statutory regulations and instruments, see our Future IMO legislation page.
Recent and upcoming new requirements
New SOLAS regulation II-1/19-1 - amendments entering into force on 1 January 2020: Introduced by IMO resolution MSC.421(98), and introduces a requirement for damage control drills for passenger ships to be carried out every 3 months, and applies to all passenger ships on or after 1 January 2020. See Class News 40/2017.
SOLAS regulations II-2/1 and II-2/10 - amendments entering into force on 1 January 2020: Introduced by IMO resolution MSC.409(97), and waives the requirement for an approved foam-type extinguisher of at least 135 l capacity, for boilers protected by fixed water-based local application fire-extinguishing systems, may apply to all ships on or after 1 January 2020.
SOLAS regulations III/3 and III/20 - amendments entering into force on 1 January 2020: Introduced by IMO resolution MSC.402(96) and IMO resolution MSC.404(96), and which effectively makes mandatory the Requirements for Maintenance, Thorough Examination, Operational Testing, Overhaul and Repair of Lifeboats and Rescue Boats, Launching Appliances and Release Gear previously contained in MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 and MSC.1/Circ.1277, for all ships on or after 1 January 2020. See also Class News 16/2019.
SOLAS regulation V/20 - amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual will come into effect on 1 July 2019. See Class News No. 15/2018 for further guidance.
SOLAS Chapter II-1 Part F amended and IGF Code - entering into force on 1 January 2017: Introduced by IMO resolution MSC.392(95) and IMO resolution MSC.391(95) for ships (other than gas carriers) using low-flashpoint fuels contracted for construction on or after 1 January 2017 or converted to use low-flashpoint fuels on or after 1 January 2017. For more information see our Gas Technology page.
SOLAS new Chapter XIV and Polar Code - entering into force on 1 January 2017:
Introduced by IMO resolution MSC.386(94) and IMO resolution MSC.385(94) for vessels operating in polar waters constructed on or after 1 January 2017. Ships constructed before 1 January 2017 shall meet the Polar Code by the first intermediate or renewal survey, after 1 January 2018. See Class News No. 45/2016 and our polar code webpage for further guidance.
SOLAS regulation II-2/10.10.1 amended by IMO resolution MSC.338(91) requires:
"For ships constructed on or after 1 July 2014, requires that fire-fighters' outfit's SCBA shall be fitted with an audible alarm and a visual or other device which will alert the user before the volume of the air in the cylinder has been reduced to no less than 200 litres. As per MSC.1/Circ.1499 a pressure gauge may be regarded as a visual device. Ships constructed before 1 July 2014 shall comply with the requirements of this paragraph not later than the first survey after 1 July 2019." See Class News No. 18/2014 for further guidance.
SOLAS regulation II-2/10.10.4 amended by IMO resolution MSC.338(91) requires:
"For ships constructed on or after 1 July 2014, a minimum of two two-way portable radiotelephone apparatus for each fire party for fire-fighter's communication shall be carried on board. Those two-way portable radiotelephone apparatus shall be of an explosion-proof type or intrinsically safe. Ships constructed before 1 July 2014 shall comply with the requirements of this paragraph not later than the first survey after 1 July 2018." See Class News No. 18/2014 for further guidance.
SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 introduced by IMO resolution MSC.290(87) requires:
Oil tankers and bulk carriers (excluding ore carriers and combination carriers) of 150m in length (load line length) and above shall be provided with a Ship Construction File which shall be and kept on board the ship and/or ashore* and updated as appropriate throughout the ship's service. This requirement applies to ships:
- contracted for construction on or after 1 July 2016; or
- in the absence of a building contract, constructed (keel laid) on or after 1 July 2017; or
- delivered on or after 1 July 2020.**
* Refer to the Guidelines for the information to be included in a Ship Construction File (MSC.1/Circ.1343).
**IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.7 and MSC.1/Circ.1637 gives guidance concerning new construction projects and the unforeseen delays in the delivery of ships due to COVID-19.