Classification News No. 23/2010 detailed new SOLAS requirements* for BNWAS which entered into force on 1 January, 2011, and which apply according to ship type, gross tonnage and keel laying date.
The requirements were intended to apply to all vessels. However, an omission in the amendments to SOLAS meant the requirements technically did not apply to vessels constructed (having their keels laid) before 1 July, 2002. Despite this, most flag administrations and their recognized organizations have been implementing the requirements for all vessels, regardless of build date.
To correct the omission, the IMO has further amended SOLAS (through IMO Resolution MSC.350(92)) to formally introduce the requirements for BNWAS to be fitted on ships constructed (having their keels laid) before 1 July, 2002.
Resolution MSC.350(92) also includes scope for flag administrations to exempt ships from the requirement to install a BNWAS if they will be taken permanently out of service within two years of the implementation date.
What should owners and operators do now?
Owners and operators of existing vessels should bring this information to the attention of their relevant employees and parties, and take any necessary action.
* The requirements were adopted at the 86th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee through Resolution MSC.282(86)