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SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA – MAINTENANCE OF SHIPS

SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA – MAINTENANCE OF SHIPS 

CHAPTER 15

India is a party to several International Conventions protocol regarding safety of life at sea and to give effect to the requirements of these Conventions, suitable statutory provisions have been made in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The details of the Conventions which have been developed by the International Maritime Organisations, their date of entry into force and the ratifications of these Conventions and protocol by India is given in Chapter X. The various parts of the Merchant Shipping Act dealing with safety in one way or the other are as follows:-

Part Section Contents
V 20-74 Registration of Ships
VI 75-87 Certificates of Officers
VIII 219-282 Passenger Ship
IX 283-344 Safety (Cargo ships)
IX-A 344 A-344 I Nuclear Ships
XI 353-356 Navigation
XI-A 356-A- 356 I Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by oil.


  • Process of rule making: The act and the rules made thereunder form the major part of legislative measures employed to regulate shipping; the process followed in preparation of rules involving safety is normally as follows:-

  1. Preparation of rules by the Director General of Shipping after due consultation with the industry where necessary. Thereafter approval of same by the Government of India.

  2. Prior publication of the rules where so specified in the Gazette which would also declare the date on which the rules shall come into force.

As per the recommendations of the Review Committee established by the Government of India prior publication of Rules in certain sections have been proposed to be done away with as it is found that there is no public response on the prior publication of the rules and therefore the exercise of prior publication of the rules in the Gazette does not have a fruitful meaning. The Government is actively considering the proposal.

  1. Rules under M. S. Act – The rules under the M. S. Act are made under powers conferred under various sections of M. S. Act. Such powers are cited in the preamble to the rules. In cases where no such particular powers are given, powers under Section 457 may be use to carry out the general purpose of the Act. Non-compliance with the rules is punishable under section 458 in addition to any penalty prescribed under section 436 of the Act. Rules prior to being enforced are required to be published in the Official Gazette and are also required to be laid as soon as may be after it is made before each house of parliament as specified in section 458(3). A list of rules framed under Merchant Shipping Act 1953 is given in Chapter I.

  2. Enforcement of provision of M. S. Act and Rules made thereunder:

  1. Enforcement machinery – Mercantile Marine Department.


    Mercantile Marine Departments were established in 1929 to administer the various merchant shipping laws and rules relating to registration, tonnage measurement, crew accommodation, loadline construction and safety of ship, etc. Their other functions include multifarious activities such as inquiries into shipping casualties holding of examinations for Certificates of Competency prescribed under Section 78 of the Act, inspection and approval of statutory equipment, including life-saving appliances, radio and other navigational aids, detection of overloaded and unsafe vessels, survey of vessels on behalf of State Government etc.
     

  2. Mercantile Marine Districts – The Indian coastline is divided in three Mercantile Marine Districts and the areas of each of the Districts is as per Annex 10. Each of the Districts is under the charge of a Principal Officer.

  3. Control of D.G. for MMD Exemptions – The Principal Officers in the discharge of their duties are subject to the control of the Director General of Shipping. The control, besides administrative, is also statutory and extends to approval by the Directorate of plans, relating to construction of ships, assignment of freeboards, general and grain stability booklets, crew accommodation, tonnage computation approval of machinery and other items of equipment to be provided on board ships, grant of Certificate of Competency and grant of exemptions and dispensations from statutory requirements. The Director General of shipping alone has the powers to grant dispensation/exemption in addition to the Central Government. Powers to grant exemptions/dispensations from various technical requirements have also been delegated to the Chief Surveyor and Nautical adviser.

  4. Organisation of Mercantile Marine Department – Mercantile Marine Departments are manned by Nautical Surveyors, Engineer and Ship surveyors and Ship Surveyors and Radio Inspectors. The surveyors are appointed under Section 9 of the Act and Radio Inspectors under Section 10.

  5. Technical guidance to Surveyors – All surveyors in the discharge of their duties are guided by the rules made under the Act, MMD / DG Shipping Circulars, IMO Conventions recommendations and publications whenever adopted by the Central Government and M. S. Notices.

  6. Power of Surveyors – Surveyors are authorised to board any Indian Ship at any reasonable time and inspect the same to ensure compliance with the M. S. Act under the powers given by sections stated below:-

 

Section 27 For tonnage
Section 176 For crew accommodation
Section 221 For passenger ship
Section 287 For collision regulations
Section 290 For L.S.A. & F. F.A.
Section 294 For Radio
Section 315 & 323 For Loadlines
Section 331 For Dangerous Goods
Section 332(4) For Grain Carriage
Section 344(F) For Nuclear ships
Section 356(G) Prevention of Pollution by Oil

 

  1. Essential Certificates -  During of certificates -  Surveys -  Inspections -  Peculiar requirements applicable to passenger ships, dry cargo ships and Tankers :

Certification of Ships

  1. General requirement certification: - All ships for the purpose of issue of certificates are required to be inspected by a surveyor of the Mercantitle Marine Department. Certificates issued to ships are for prescribed periods as explained below.

  2. Passenger ships: Every ship carrying more than 12 passengers is defined as a passengers ship. Passenger ships are subjected to surveys as specified below:

  1. A survey before the ship's put into service

  2. A periodical survey once every 12 months

  3. Additional surveys as occasion arises.

  1. Surveys before putting in service: - The Survey before the ship is put into service shall include a complete inspection of its structure, machinery and equipments, including the outside of the ship's bottom and the inside and outside of the boilers. This survey shall be such as to ensure that the arrangements, material and scantlings of the structure, boilers and other pressure vessels and their appurtenances, main and auxiliary machinery, electrical installation, radio installation, radio-telegraph installations in motor lifeboats, portable radio apparatus for survival craft, lifesaving appliance, appliances for the protection, detection and extinction of fires, pilot ladders and other equipments, fully comply with the requirements of the laws, decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by the Central Government for the service for which it is intended. The survey shall also be such as to ensure that the workmanship of all parts of the ship and its equipments is in all respects satisfactory and that the ship is provided with the lights, means of making sound signals and distress signals as required by the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder.

  2. Periodical Survey: - Passenger ship: The periodical survey shall include an inspection of the structure, boilers and other pressure vessels, machinery and equipment, including the outside of the ship's bottom. The survey shall be such as to ensure that the ship, as regards the structure, boilers and other pressure vessels and their appurtenances, main and auxiliary machinery, electrical installation, radio installation, radio-telegraph installations in motor lifeboats, portable radio apparatus for survival craft, life-savings appliances, fire detecting and extinguishing appliances, pilot ladders and others equipments, is in a satisfactory condition and fit for the service for which it is intended and that it complies with the laws, decrees, order and regulations promulgated by the Central Government. The lights and means of making sound signals and the distress signals carried by the ship also be subject to the above mentioned survey for the purpose of ensuring that they comply with the requirements of the Act and the Rules made thereunder.

  3. Survey - Accidents Defects - Passenger Ship: - A survey either general or partial, according to the circumstances, shall be made every time, an accident occurs or a defect is discovered which affects the safety of the ship or the deficiency or completeness of its life-saving appliances or other equipments, or whenever any important repairs or renewals are made. The survey shall be such as to ensure that the necessary repairs or renewals have been effectively made, that the material and workmanship of such repairs or renewals are in all respects with the provisions of the laws, decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by the Central Government.

  4. Special Trade Passenger Ships - Applicability: - Special trade passenger ships which by definition means a mechanically propelled ships carrying more than 30 special trade passengers are also required to undergo surveys as indicated above but they shall be regulated in particular by the rules relating to special trade passenger ships.

  1. Certificates: -

    1. Certification - Passenger Ships: - certificates for passenger ships- passenger ships are issued with the following certificates at the conclusion of the inspections:

  1. Passenger Ships Safety Certificate and Special Trade Passenger ship safety and space certificates for ships engaged on international voyage.

  2. Certificates of Survey.

  3. Certificates 'A' showing the details of the passenger spaces and number of passengers that may be carried in such spaces for ships engaged in domestic voyages.

  4. Certificate 'B' in respect of special trade passenger ships issued under sections 240 & 242.

  5. I.O.P.P. Certificate

  6. International Loadline Certificate.

  7. Safe Manning Certificate.

  1. Procedure for issue of certificates: - The Passenger Ship Certificate shall be issued by the Mercantitle Marine Departments after surveyor/s concerned has/have submitted to the owners a Declaration of Survey. Such declaration of survey shall be issued only if the surveyors are satisfied on completion of Survey that the vessels comply in all respects with the requirements. If a surveyors is not fully satisfied with the part or parts of the ships under survey, he must either refuse his declaration or refer the matter to his principal officer for satisfaction who, in turn may refer the case to the Directorate General. When surveys are carried out in one or more ports, surveyors may issue declarations showing partial surveys. A surveyor completing the survey should ensure from records available and the master and chief engineer that the parts already surveyed are maintained satisfactorily since the survey. Normally the date when the hull or sea connections of the vessels were last inspected in dry-dock, is an important date and the period of validity of a certificate would depend on that date irrespective of the date of actual complition of the survey or issue of the certificate. In the matter of detailed surveys the surveyor would be guided by passenger ship construction rules and the instructions issued in that respect.

       

    1. Action in case of accidents to Passenger Ships:-

A passenger ship which suffering damage: The master or owner of a passenger ship which has sustained damage through accidents should report the same to the Central Government as required by Section 350. Such report should indicate the nature of the damage and the detailed narration of the events leading to it along with extracts from relevant log books etc. On arrival at a port in India, the ship shall be inspected by a surveyor who would make an immediate report after making such enquiries as necessary after obtaining statements from master or other responsible officer were necessary. The report should include the opinion of the surveyor as to whether the sea-worthiness of the ship is affected. Where damage is of such a nature that the efficiency of the hull or machinery or seaworthiness of the ship is affected the passenger ship safety certificate should be withdrawn. If the damage is of minor character and the surveyor does not consider repairs necessary, no further action need to be taken. A report in any case as indicated above should be sent to the Director General through the Principal Officer.
  1. Number of passengers:- The Master and the owner shall at all times ensure that the number of passengers carried does not exceed the number permitted by the relevant certificate.

  1. Cargo Ships:

  1. Cargo ship surveys – Cargo ships are subject to survey as follows:-

  2. Construction – Every cargo ships shall be subject to the following survey before being put into service:-

  3. (a)        The survey shall include a complete inspection of the structure of the ship inside and outside, the inside and outside of boilers and other pressure vessels, the main and auxiliary machinery, electrical installations, steering gear, anchor cables and other items of equipment to ensure that they conform to the requirements of the appropriate rules and regulations.

  4. (b)         Periodical surveys once every five years to ensure that all the above items are in a satisfactory condition and fit for the intended service.

  5. (c)     I) Besides, the cargo ships are subjected to annual surveys and tankers of 10 years and over are also subjected to intermediate surveys at halfway stage of the validity of full term safety construction certificate.

  6. II) Important surveys such as drylocking, tailend shaft and auxiliary boilers surveys have to be carried out as per Rule 73 of M. S. (Cargo Ship Construction and Survey) Rules 1991.

  1. Whenever a ship has suffered any damage or when a defect has been discovered affecting the efficiency of the hull and machinery.

  1. Safety Equipment - The safety equipment of cargo ships consisting of life saving appliances, appliances for the prevention detection and extinction of fires, lights and shapes and means for making sound signals shall be examined initially and thereafter once every one year.

  2. Radio telegraphy & telephony – Every Indian cargo ship of 1600 tons and above fitted  with radio telegraphy and every Indian ship of 300 tons and above fitted with radio telephony shall be examined initially and thereafter annually to ensure that the above equipment comply with the requirements of the rules and are being maintained satisfactorily.

  3. Load Lines – Every Indian ship unless exempted shall be assigned a load line and be surveyed as follows:-

  4. (a)   An initial survey of the structure of the ship and all the closing appliances to ensure that they comply with the load line rules ;

  5. (b)      An annual survey of all closing appliances and load line marking; and

  6. (c)        A periodical survey once every five years of the hull internally and externally to ensure that it is in a satisfactory condition along with all the closing appliances.

  1. Certificates : - Cargo ships engaged on International changes are to be in possession of the following certificates :-

  1. 1.   Cargo ship Safety Construction Certificate.

  2. 2.      International Load Line Certificate.

  3. 3.        Cargo ship Safety Equipment Certificate.

  4. 4.       Cargo ship Safety Radio Certificate.

  5. 5.           IOPP Certificate

  6. 6.        Safe Manning Certificate

  1. 15.7.7           Cargo ship engaged on coastal voyages shall be in possession of :-

  2. (a)         Cargo ship Construction Certificate

  3. (b)       Government of India Load Line Certificates.

  4. (c) Cargo ship Equipment Certificate

  5. (d)    Cargo ship Safety Radio Certificate

  6. (e)IOPP Certificate

  1. 15.7.8     Tankers carrying chemicals and liquefied gases must carry an appropriate certificate of fitness in addition to above certificate.

  1. 15.8.0  Procedure of surveys required for statutory certificate:

  2. 15.8.1   Surveys carried out by Mercantile Marine Departments:

Surveys and inspections for issue of Cargo ships safety equipment certificate and cargo ship safety Radio Telegraphy certificate to cargo ships and for issue of Passenger ship certificate are carried out by surveyors of the Mercantile Marine Departments principally at the ports of Jamnagar, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, Calcutta, Port Blair and Tuticorin.
  1. Surveys and inspections for ensuring that the vessel complies with Cargo ship constructions rules and the loadline rules are also carried out by the Surveyor of the Mercantile Marine Departments. However, notified classification societies have been authorised to issue international load line certificate. They are also authorised to issue a short-term cargo ships safety construction certificate of six months duration only. Classification societies are required to submit reports of inspection of cargo ships to Principal Officers of Mercantile Marine Departments, who, if satisfied in all respects, will issue cargo safety construction certificate for period as recommended by the surveyor of for such shorter period as deemed fit by him.

  2. ISM Code – Considering that around 80% of all shipping accidents are caused by human error and that act or omission of a human being plays some part in virtually every accident, including those where structural of equipment failure may be the immediate cause, the IMO has developed International Management Code for the safe operation of ships and for pollution prevention (ISM Code). The ISM code establishes an international standard for the safe Management & operation of ships by setting rules for the organisation of company management and for safe management and operation of ships in relation to safety and pollution prevention and for the implementation of a safety management system (SMS). Under this code a shipping company is expected to qualify for a document of compliance and a safety management certificate for each of their vessels. The documents used to describe and implement the SMS is referred to as the "Safety Management Manual". Documentation should be kept in a form that the company considers most effective. Each ship should carry on board all documentation relevant to that ship. The code is becoming effective for Passenger vessels, Tankers, Chemical carriers, bulk carriers from July' 98 and for others not later than July 2002. It is being included in SOLAS as chapter IX. The G.O.I. will partially delegate this work to the recognised organisations, however, control will remain with Administration.

  1. Surveys - Procedure to be followed:

  2. Procedure for surveys :- The Master, shipowners and their agents requiring the services of a surveyor of the Mercantile Marine Department shall apply to that Department at least 3 days in advance on form survey I after paying the prescribed fees.  If the survey  is to be made at a port not designated in para 15.8.1 then the application should be made as much as in advance as is possible and in any case not less 7 days prior to the date of survey. This is necessary, as prior arrangements with respect to work and travelling arrangements have to be made before a surveyor leaves his headquarters.

  3. Preparation for survey: - The shipowner or his representative should, prior to the date of a survey, keep in touch with the Surveyor concerned, so that Surveyor's instructions if any, in respect of the preparation for the survey can be carried out. In order to save time of the Surveyor as well as that of the ship, it is considered essential that the parts of the ships to be inspected should be ready in all respects. At every inspection or survey, the shipowners representatives should at all times be present. Addition to the normal facilities for washing and changing, Surveyors should at all times be provided with safe access to areas that he is required to inspect.

  4. Documents required – The Surveyors when examining / inspecting any items of ship equipment or any part of the ship or its machinery shall be guided by the documents provided on board the ship as (a) approved plans indicating the state of the ship when first built showing any changes therein subsequently with prior approval  (Approved as fitted plans and changes approved subsequently)   (b) list of equipment shown in documents such as record of safety equipment and (c) any other documents approved by the Government. Such documents should at all time be kept ready for perusal of the Surveyor.

  5. Frequency of visits :- Surveys are generally carried out in two parts Viz. (a) when a surveyor examines for the first time the patys of ship, its machinery or items of equipment and details out to the shipowners representatives a list of the deficiencies that he has observed and the defects and repairs which require to be carried out. (b) when the deficiencies pointed out by the surveyor are rectified, and the surveyor ensure that the repairs and renewals have been carried out satisfactorily. In case of safety equipment surveys, a short visit is also necessary when a surveyor witnesses the boat and fire drills carried out on board under the direction of the Master. As far as possible all items that are to be inspected on any one ship by any surveyor should be ready at the same time.

  1. Deficiencies Found During Survey:

  2. Deficiencies – As stated in para 15.9.4 after a surveyor has conveyed the deficiencies and defects and his recommendation therefor, the owner's representative shall ensure that same is rectified and shall not, irrespective of the validity of the existing certificate, permit the vessel to sail.

  3. Procedure when deficiencies cannot be rectified – Where a ship owners representative is unable to rectify the defects for reasons beyond his control or carryout recommendation without undue delay to the ship or without making undue alteration in the gear or structural arrangements involved he will inform the surveyor giving the reason why it is not possible to reasonably comply with the same. He should also state the alternative arrangements if any that is proposed to be made.

  4. Alternative arrangements - The surveyor on receipt of the communication described in 15.10.2 irrespective of whether the survey is complete or not inspect the item concerned. If the alternative proposed do not comply with the rules he shall forward a report in respect thereof to the Director General through Principal Officer, MMD as early as possible for approval. Such report should include the Surveyor's observation and his recommendation on the alternative arrangements proposed.

  5. Grants of exemption – On receipt of the report of the surveyor, the Directorate shall consider the report for approval. Where this involves granting an exemption, the period for which it is valid and the condition of its validity shall be stated. Each case of exemption shall be dealt with on its own merits and no exemption shall be considered to be a precedent. If an exemption has a period of validity the statutory certificate issued therewith shall carry similar validity.

  6. Expiry of terms of exemption: At the expiry of the term for which the exemption certificate was issued, the surveyor at the port where such period expires shall on application by the shipowner carry out an inspection and shall report to the Director General whether the defect / recommendation have been rectified / carried out and if not reasons of the shipowner along with his recommendations in respect of its extension.

  7. Short term exemptions – Exemption for short term are granted only to facilitate the shipowner to sail the ship without unreasonable delay or to arrange planning of repairs in a rational way. Shipowners are therefore strongly advised to comply with the condition of exemption and to ensure completion of recommendation / alteration within the exemption period.

  8. Whenever exemptions are issued on permanent basis with or without condition for any statutory requirement an exemption certificate shall be granted along with the relevant certificate as provided for in Section 316(1)(aa). Section 302 and Section 303(1B).

  1. Extension of Certificates:

  2. Extension of certificates in India - In Indian waters: Whenever a vessel is in port in India with an expired statutory certificate and it is not possible to carry out the survey due to non-availability of necessary repair facilities or other causes, the Principal Officer concerned may permit the ship to proceed from that port to another port of survey in India. Such extensions shall not exceed a period of one month.

  3. Extension of certificates abroad - Whenever an Indian ship arrives at a port abroad and her certificate is likely to expire, the Master shall intimate the nearest Indian Consular officer authorised to deal with extension of certificates telegraphically giving him details of further voyage. The Consular Officer on receipt of this information shall extend the certificate for an adequate period to enable the vessel to return to a port in India but in no case shall such period exceed five months. Where a vessel is not likely to return to India, the Consular Officer may either request the local administration at that port for a survey and issue of an appropriate certificate on behalf of the Government of India or extend the certificate to enable the vessel to reach her next port of call where such survey facilities are available.

  1. Damages affecting validity of certificates:

  2. Damages or Casualties to ships abroad: - Whenever a ship has sustained damages or caused any accident Masters of ships shall be guided by the contents of Section 350. Whenever a ship is abroad the report shall be sent to the Principal Officer, Mercantile Marine Department at the port of registry with a copy to the Director General of Shipping and the report in such case should state whether the validity of any of the certificates was affected. This should also be reported to the nearest Indian Consular Officer who will arrange the vessel to be surveyed by a Surveyor of the local administration if necessary.

  3. Damage done to ships enroute to India or in India - If the ship is due to arrive in India or is at an Indian port when the damage is caused, the Master shall inform the Principal Officer, Mercantile Marine Department of the district concerned, who will arrange for an appropriate inspection by a surveyor to supervise the repairs and renewals to ensure that the vessel is satisfactory in all respects. Masters are advised that whenever machinery hull or equipment is damaged to an extent where they seriously affect the validity of statutory certificates and therefore seaworthiness they should as far as possible make for the nearest port commensurate with safety and the intended voyage.

  1. Inspections for issue of other statutory certificates:

  2. Miscellaneous Inspections: Registration: (See also Chapter VI) under Rule 5 of M. S. Registration of Indian ships a Surveyor is required to survey a vessel.

These surveys are

  1. To carry out measurement of tonnage and

  2. To ensure that the vessel complies with M. S. Crew Accommodation Regulations.

On full compliance the Surveyor shall issue a certificate of survey, indicating therein particulars of the ship as are required to identify the ship's net register and gross tonnage. On receipt of the certificate of survey, the registrar shall have the ship inspected by a Surveyor. The markings are to be carved in accordance with M. S. Registration of Indian ships rules, 1960. Whenever a vessel is abroad and requires to be inspected either for issue of certificate of survey or for carving and marking, the owners may apply to the registrar sufficiently in advance giving him details of the vessel's itinerary. The registrar shall then refer the matter to the D. G. Shipping for guidance. Normally surveys for the above are carried out on behalf of the Government of India by the Surveyors of the national administration. In exceptional cases, these surveys may be carried out by a recognised classification society.
  1. Inspection of Overloaded Ships: Submersion of loadlines:

  1. An Indian ship under Section 313 and any other ship under Section 326 shall not be so loaded as to submerge in salt water, the appropriate load line of the ship.

  2. Whenever any ship is reported to be so loaded in an Indian port the vessel shall not be permitted to sail till a surveyor boards the vessel and verifies the truth of the report.

  3. A surveyor boarding a ship to ascertain overloading shall examine all aspects and ascertain for himself whether the vessel is in fact so loaded. In reaching these conclusions, he may, besides the midship freeboards and the list, take into account, draft fore and aft, ballast in tanks, cargo loaded, fuel and fresh water on board and the quantity to be consumed prior to reaching sea and rubbish etc. on board.

  4. Where a vessel is overloaded she may be detained until she ceases to be so loaded. In case of a ship other than an Indian ship, the consular officer of the country concerned should also be informed.

  5. The Principal Officer, MMD, may launch action against the master under section 436(2) for default of section 312 after considering all aspects of the case. In all such cases a report shall be forwarded to D.G. Shipping.

  6. Where a ship arrives at an Indian port in an overloaded condition, similar procedure as stated in proceeding paragraphs be followed and action under Section 436 shall be Institute.

  1. Inspections for carriage of dangerous goods:-

  1. (A) – Provision of Cargo Securing Manual for General Cargo Vessels

Regulation 5.6 of chapter VI of SOLAS: - All general cargo vessels shall require to have on board securing manual latest by 1.12.97.
  1. (B) – Dangerous Goods: (a) Carriage of dangerous goods on board ships is governed by the following :-

  1. Section 331 and the rules made thereunder; and

  2. The International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code published by IMO as amended from time to time.

    1. M. S. (Carriage of Dangerous Goods Code) Rule 19 – lays the responsibility of proper packing, labelling and of documentation on the shipper and the responsibility of proper carriage and stowage on the master.

    2. A ship contravening any of the provisions of the rules shall in addition to any other action be detained till the vessel is no more in an unsafe condition within the meaning of sub-section 5 of Section 331 of the Act.

    3. Sub-section 3 of Section 331 requires owner, master or agent of a ship intending to carry dangerous goods to furnish details as specified to an authority prescribed. However, the responsibility for safe carriage lies with shipper and Master. The MMD may call for cargo plans to ensure full compliance with the rules and masters are advised to keep such palms ready along with details of the dangerous goods, their packing, stowage etc. at all times.

    4. Masters of ships carrying explosives i.e. dangerous goods defined under Class 1 of IMC Dangerous Goods should not, however, load such cargoes without prior approval of the Mercantile Marine Department.

    5. Ships carrying chemicals or inflammable goods in bulk if certified by duly authorised authorities in compliance with the relevant IMO Code need not be inspected by MMD, unless non-compliance with such requirement is reported. Vessels not so certified may apply to Principal Officer MMD for necessary survey. Ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk liquid form must carry a Certificate of Fitness for the carriage of such cargo issued in pursuance of IMO Code for the construction and equipment of the ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk (BCH/IBC Codes). Similarly, ships carrying inflammable gases in bulk must carry a certificate of fitness for the carriage of such cargoes issued in pursuance of IGC Code.

    6. Shippers, masters, etc. are advised that total compliance with the provisions of the IMO Dangerous Goods Code is essential in the interest of safety of life and property at sea. No departure shall be approved unless the alternative arrangements are considered equivalent to those specified – commensurate with safety, nature of the goods, the proposed stowage and the nature of the voyage.

    7. Inspection pertaining to Certificate of Compliance for carriage of Dangerous Goods in pursuance of SOLAS II-2, Reg. 54 and Appendix B of Solid Bulk Code and issuance of Certificate thereafter is carried out by the Administration in accordance with Second Schedule [(Rules 9(3), 14(6)] of M.S. (Carriage of Cargo) Rules 1995.

  1. Inspection for carriage of grain :- Carriage of Grain:

    1. Carriage of grain in bulk is regulated by the provisions of:-
    1. Carriage of Cargo Rules
    2. Section 331 A and 332
    3. Chapter VI of SOLAS Convention 1974.
    1. Shipowners and masters are advised that prior to carriage of grain the ship should be furnished with a plan called the grain loading plan approved by the Director General of Shipping under sub-section 3 or 4 of Section 331 A an Indian ship, if intending to load grain abroad does not carry an approved grain loading plan, the owner may apply to the Director General for approval of such a plan by the Government of the country as provided under sub-section 4 of Section 331 (A) of the Act. Such application should give details of the ship, type and quantity of grain to be loaded and the port at which the ship is to be loaded. As far as possible adequate notice should be given in such cases to enable such approvals to be made in sufficient time.
    2. A ship loading grain should strictly comply with the grain loading plan in respect of stowage arrangement and stability of the ship.
    3. A ship arriving in India with grain in bulk shall comply with sub-section 3 of Section 332 and give notice to the Customs and the Principal Officer, MMD, stating the details required by the section.
  1. General Inspections –

  1. The surveyor of the MMD under powers stated in para 15.4.6 are also required to inspect all ships to ensure that the conditions under which various statutory certificates were granted are maintained. For this purpose a surveyor may board a ship at any reasonable time and inspect part or parts as he deems necessary.

  2. A vessel which by reason of defective condition of her hull equipment or machinery or by reason of improper loading is considered unsafe shall be detained as provided for in section 336 of the Act.

  1. Inspection of proto-type safety equipment manufactured indigenously for use on board ships :

  2. Inspection of proto-type equipment: - When surveys and inspections under 15.9 are carried out, surveyors are required to ensure that all item of equipment contributing to safety are of an approved type. Approved means approved by the government of India.

  3. Where a manufacturer desires an approval for a certain item of equipment, he may apply to the Principal Officer, MMD of the District in which his factory/works are located. Such application should state details of the equipments along with working drawings , particulars of materials used, and the tests carried out if any. Every such applicant should bear in mind that the process of approval is necessary to ensure that a component or equipment meets the standard of performance under actual working conditions without failure. The specification for each component/equipment shall be as generally specified in the relevant rules.

  4. The Principal Officer, on receipt of the applications shall appoint a surveyor or surveyors to carry out the necessary tests or inspections. Where tests are required on items of equipment for which details are not specified in the appropriate rules, Principal officers should obtain guidance from the Director General of Shipping as to the tests to which they should be subjected. It is also desirable that at important tests technical officers in the D.G. Shipping should be present to avoid duplication. Wherever possible , tests should be carried out at the national test house or other approved testing houses and witnessed by the surveyor. In carrying out tests the surveyors shall be guided by the instructions issued in that respect. Any failure of a test must be conveyed to the applicant in writing with a copy to the D.G. Shipping.

  5. At the conclusion of the specified tests surveyor shall submit a report on the equipment to the Director General through Principal Officer, MMD stating therein, with reason, suitability or otherwise of the equipment for the purpose intended.

  6. On receipt of the report at the Directorate General of Shipping it shall be examined by the technical advisers. The Director General on their advice may then grant an approval which may be provisional for a specified period. The surveyors are required to watch the quality of the equipment during shipboard use and report its suitability in case of any adverse reports in respect of an approved equipment the Director General may suspend/withdraw the approval so granted. If an investigation proves conclusively that the equipment manufactured is no more suitable for the purpose intended the approval shall be withdrawn. In cases where it is revealed that the manufacturer has intentionally used sub-standard material or has deviated from the specification knowingly the name of the manufacturer may be blacklisted and approval to all other equipment manufactured by him may be withdrawn permanently.

  1. Navigation:

  2. Navigation Publication – Shipmasters are advised that they should ensure that latest copies of the following documents are available on board their ships.

  • Notices to Mariners published by Chief Hydrographer, Deharadun.

  • Admiralty notices to mariner.

  • Hydrographic charts and publication.

  • Routing and traffic separation scheme.

  1. Navigation as an art to take a vessel from one port to another has made rapid strides in the last three decades with electronics making its major contribution. However, this has not reduced the burden of responsibility on the watch keeping officers and masters.

  2. Watchkeeping: - IMO recommendations with respect to watch keeping published with the M. S. Notice No. 5 of 1975 clearly indicates the duties and responsibility of the Watch Keeping Officers. Experience has shown that accidents are caused and do not happen. An accident to a ship in addition to causing structural damage may: -

  1. Cause pollution in the area due to spillage of oil or other dangerous cargoes.

  2. In case of foundering etc. leave behind a potential danger to navigation.

  3. Cause indirect losses to those whose cargo is carried on board.

  • In order therefore, to ensure safety of navigation at all times shipmaster must ensure that the ships under his command carry up-to-date publications such as charts sailing directions, list of lights Radio signals, notices to mariners published by Indian authorities, admiralty and where applicable by local authorities and routing and traffic separation scheme etc. It shall be considered the duty of shipowner to ensure that the master is supplied with these as soon as possible after they are published.

  • Danger to Navigation: Attention of Master is drawn to M. S. Navigational Warning rules, wherein duties of masters who encounter dangers to navigation are detailed.

  • Weather – One of the major hazards still existing at sea inspite of all the modern development is uncertain weather and solution to it is a good forecast. Sea areas being large, establishment of sufficient observation station at sea, as on land is not possible. Ships at sea, therefore, invited to make these reports on a voluntary basis. Ship's officers and masters should take cognisance that their reports are an essential step to good forecasting. It should be remembered that the weather observations made by them are not only useful to themselves but as a little thought would show they also do contribute to safety and progress of fishing and off shore drilling at sea and agriculture ashore.


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