Safety Of Life At Sea - SOLAS - General Conditions Without Amendments Applying To The Cruise Industry
List of Solas Signatory Nations - International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended SOLAS 1974.
Chapter I - General Provisions
Includes regulations concerning the survey of the various types of ships and the issuing of documents signifying that the ship meets the requirements of the Convention. The Chapter also includes provisions for the control of ships in ports of other Contracting Governments.
Chapter II-1 - Construction - Subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations
The subdivision of passenger ships into watertight compartments must be such that after assumed damage to the ship's hull the vessel will remain afloat and stable. Requirements for watertight integrity and bilge pumping arrangements for passenger ships are also laid down as well as stability requirements for both passenger and cargo ships. The degree of subdivision - measured by the maximum permissible distance between two adjacent bulkheads - varies with ship's length and the service in which it is engaged. The highest degree of subdivision applies to passenger ships. Requirements covering machinery and electrical installations are designed to ensure that services which are essential for the safety of the ship, passengers and crew are maintained under various emergency conditions. The steering gear requirements of this Chapter are particularly important.
Chapter II-2 - Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction
Includes detailed fire safety provisions for all ships and specific measures for passenger ships, cargo ships and tankers. They include the following principles: division of the ship into main and vertical zones by thermal and structural boundaries; separation of accommodation spaces from the remainder of the ship by thermal and structural boundaries; restricted use of combustible materials; detection of any fire in the zone of origin; containment and extinction of any fire in the space of origin; protection of the means of escape or of access for fire-fighting purposes; ready availability of fire-extinguishing appliances; minimization of the possibility of ignition of flammable cargo vapour.
Chapter III - Life-saving appliances and arrangements
The Chapter includes requirements for life-saving appliances and arrangements, including requirements for life boats, rescue boats and life jackets according to type of ship. The International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code gives specific technical requirements for LSAs and is mandatory under Regulation 34, which states that all life-saving appliances and arrangements shall comply with the applicable requirements of the LSA Code.
Chapter IX - Management for the Safe Operation of Ships
The Chapter makes mandatory the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which requires a safety management system to be established by the shipowner or any person who has assumed responsibility for the ship (the "Company").
Chapter XI-1 - Special measures to enhance maritime safety
The Chapter clarifies requirements relating to authorization of recognized organizations (responsible for carrying out surveys and inspections on Administrations' behalves); enhanced surveys; ship identification number scheme; and port State control on operational requirements.
Chapter XI-2 - Special measures to enhance maritime security
The Chapter was adopted in December 2002 and entered into force on 1 July 2004. Regulation XI-2/3 of the new chapter enshrines the International Ship and Port Facilities Security Code (ISPS Code). Part A of the Code is mandatory and part B contains guidance as to how best to comply with the mandatory requirements. The regulation requires Administrations to set security levels and ensure the provision of security level information to ships entitled to fly their flag. Prior to entering a port, or whilst in a port, within the territory of a Contracting Government, a ship shall comply with the requirements for the security level set by that Contracting Government, if that security level is higher than the security level set by the Administration for that ship. Requires all ships to be provided with a ship security alert system, according to a strict timetable that will see most vessels fitted by 2004 and the remainder by 2006. When activated the ship security alert system shall initiate and transmit a ship-to-shore security alert to a competent authority designated by the Administration, identifying the ship, its location and indicating that the security of the ship is under threat or it has been compromised. The system will not raise any alarm on-board the ship. The ship security alert system shall be capable of being activated from the navigation bridge and in at least one other location. Also covers requirements for port facilities, providing among other things for Contracting Governments to ensure that port facility security assessments are carried out and that port facility security plans are developed, implemented and reviewed in accordance with the ISPS Code.