| Code: 59445 |

TIN news:        At MSC 94, an amendment to SOLAS XI-1 was made, introducing a new chapter 7. This chapter requires an atmosphere testing instrument for enclosed spaces. The amendment enters into force on 2016-07-01, and requires the following:
 
Every ship to which chapter I applies shall carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments
 
As a minimum, these shall be capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapors, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide prior to entry into enclosed spaces
 
Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of all such instruments. This implies that calibration shall be done in accordance with maker’s instructions and recorded.
 
Instruments carried under other requirements may satisfy this regulation. This implies that equipment required for compliance with SOLAS II-2/62.17 (81 amendments) and SOLAS VI/3 (91 amendments) and similar requirements from other relevant codes may also be accepted for this purpose, provided they comply with the above criteria.
 
SOLAS III/19 amendments, applicable from 2015-01-01 added new requirements stating that crew members with enclosed space entry or rescue responsibilities shall participate in an enclosed space entry and rescue drill on board the ship at least once every two months. A part of the scope for this drill is checking and use of instruments for measuring the atmosphere in enclosed spaces. The regulation does however not explicitly state a carriage requirement for atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed spaces.
 
Based on the mentioned scope of this drill, the crew will need to be provided with atmosphere measuring instruments. Hence one may state that the requirement for ships to be provided with atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed spaces has already entered into force.
 
In order to avoid any confusion regarding these two requirements, IMO has encouraged flag states to require early implementation of the requirement for carriage of atmosphere testing instruments.
 
Ship owners and managers are advised to ensure that their vessels are provided with applicable atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed space entry as soon as possible.
 
So far, Singapore flag has issued Shipping Circular No. 8 of 2015 and Vanuatu has issued Fleet/Safety Letter 170415.GEN regarding early implementation of the requirement, making the requirement applicable from 1 July 2015.
 
Also Marshall Islands have issued a newsletter providing clarifications to the implementation of this requirement, given in Marine Notice No. 7-041-1.

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