In order to further improve the safety of pilot transfer, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23 coming in force on July 1st, 2012.
THE REVISED REGULATIONThrough MSC.308(88) adopted on December 3rd, 2010, amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23 have been
implemented. More specifically, pilot ladders on all ships (new and existing) must be clearly identified in order to
carry out mandatory inspections which are to be part of the first SOLAS safety equipment survey carried out on or
after July 1st, 2012. A record shall be kept onboard with the date the pilot ladder is placed into service and any
repairs carried out. The scope of inspection during the periodic safety equipment survey is limited to a general
examination without any load test.
Additionally, the new equipment and arrangements for pilot transfer which are installed on or after July 1st, 2012
must be certified by the manufactures or with an international standard acceptable to IMO (i.e. ISO 799:2004, Ships
and marine technology - Pilot ladders).
Two important changes which will affect the existing ships is that it is prohibited to use mechanical pilot hoists and
also, shipside doors that are used for pilot transfer shall not open outwards (i.e. ship side doors refers to shell
openings used for pilot transfer, not to bulwark or guardrail gateways).
The IMO has adopted resolution A.1045(27) with recommendations on the pilot transfer arrangements and this
revokes resolution A.889(21).
Through MSC.1/Circ.1375 the IMO provided unified interpretation of SOLAS regulation V/23 regarding the meaning
of word “installation” in order to clarify the applicability of the adopted revised regulation.
Lastly, though MSC.1/Circ.1402, the IMO encourages Port State Control officers to
include inspection of pilot transfer arrangements.
DATE IN FORCE
These amendments come into force on July 1st, 2012.