Lifeboat and davit manufacturer Schat-Harding and other leading manufacturers say that German classification society Germanischer Lloyd is showing its IACS colleagues a sensible lead in the way it will apply the service provisions set out in IMO MSC1206.
“Coming ahead of an IMO meeting which will discuss how MSC1206 should be applied, GL has shown its colleagues in IACS the way forward,” says David Bradley, group after sales and service manager, Schat-Harding. “In its GL Infomail this month it tells owners that although MSC1206 is not mandatory for now, they should either use the manufacturer’s personnel or technicians approved by the manufacturer to service and test their lifeboats. If they choose to use non-approved service personnel, then GL will insist on having a surveyor present at all times during the work. This is a pragmatic approach which the other IACS classification societies and flag states would do well to follow if they really care about seafarer safety.”
IMO MSC1206 sets down rules and guidance on safe servicing of lifeboat equipment. Those guidelines require owners to use correct spares and technicians approved by the original equipment manufacturer. All the major lifeboat manufacturers have geared up global networks to provide Original Equipment Manufacturer service, and correct spare parts. However, some administrations and classification societies are effectively ignoring the IMO Guidelines and allowing any service station to carry out the IMO-mandated service work.