In an attempt to eliminate accidents associated with the on-load release mechanism, the IMO has adopted amendments to SOLAS Chapter III and LSA Code as well as developed recommendations for test
of Life Saving Appliances.

Through MSC.317(89) the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted amendments to
SOLAS III/1.5 for lifeboat release and retrieval systems (RRS) The requirements apply to on-load
mechanisms installed on all new and existing cargo ships as well as passenger ships. January 1, 2013
is the date of entry into force and the requirements will take effect on July 1, 2014. Additionally
through MSC.1/Circ.1393 guidelines for the early application of new SOLAS regulation III/1.5 have
been published that clarifies the application to new ships and encourages the use of compliant on-load
RRS at the earliest opportunity.
Furthermore, through resolution MSC.320(89) Chapter IV of the LSA Code has been revised in order to
prevent unexpected accidents during lifeboat drills and/or inspections. The expected date of entry into
force is January 1, 2013. Moreover, resolution MSC.321(89) includes amendments to the revised
recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (Resolution MSC.81(70), as amended) to come in
line with the revised LSA Code Chapter IV.
IMO MSC has also adopted guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval
systems that include design review, performance test, reporting the evaluation results for existing RRS,
one-time follow-up overhaul examination and procedure for replacing non-compliant RRS. These
guidelines have been adopted through circular MSC.1/Circ.1392 and are applicable only to existing
All ship Owners / Managers of existing ship shall recognize whether installed lifeboats’ on-load release
mechanisms have been evaluated and identified as being in compliance with the LSA Code Chapter IV,
as amended by MSC.320(89). If the release mechanism is not in compliance, replacement will be

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