Servicing of Life Saving Appliances

No. 22-NT(18)/92                                                                  Date : 25th January, 2005




Subject : Servicing of Life Saving Appliances


1.  In accordance with the Provisions under M.S. (Life Saving Appliances) Rules 1991, Life rafts, inflatable rescue boats and other such inflatable life saving appliances are required to be serviced at periodic intervals of not more than one year. Such approved life saving appliances shall be serviced in accordance the relevant guidelines issued by the Directorate and as prescribed by International Maritime Organization (IMO).

2.  Understanding the importance of servicing of such safety equipments and being aware that shipping industry operates with "time bound" structure, to facilitate the process of such servicing and based on the deliberations with the Industry representatives following guidelines are recommended for application with immediate effect :- 


a.  All life saving appliances (LSA) to be used on Indian ships shall be approved by the Nautical Adviser to the Govt. of India in accordance with M.S. (LSA) Rules as amended.

b.  If the LSA is of Indian make, the "type approval" shall be granted in accordance with M.S. (LSA) Rules. Application shall be forwarded and thereafter tests will be carried out by the nearest Mercantile Marine Department surveyors. Based on satisfactory compliance with the applicable IMO standards an approval for a period of 5 years shall be granted. The manufacturer shall have quality standards in place and such certification shall cover the above activity.

c.  If the LSA is of foreign make, the applicant will be required to submit necessary authenticated document to the Nautical Adviser for scrutiny and consideration of "acceptance" of such appliance. It was clarified that the LSA of foreign make shall be approved as a "complete unit". No replacement or substitution shall be permitted. The life rafts of foreign make to which acceptance letter has been issued shall be put up for inspection by the MMD for functional test and necessary certificate shall be issued by the MMD on direction of DGS before the same is used on board Indian ships.

d.  Letter of Acceptance as mentioned in para (c) shall be issued for a limited period of maximum 5 years subject to intermediate verification of 2 1/2 year + 6 months. In any case he validity should not exceed, the validity granted by the maritime administration of country of manufacture.

e.  The foreign manufactures of LSA, who seek "Letter of Acceptance", shall clearly nominate only one representative in India who shall be responsible for such equipments.

f.  LSA service stations where inflatable LSA are periodically serviced must have approval from the Directorate General of Shipping. Such service stations will be permitted to carry out servicing of inflatable LSA to be used on Indian ships. Such service stations should meet the applicable IMO requirement, have a quality standard, be a registered company and must have a competent person who will be responsible for activities related to servicing of inflatable LSA.

g.  The servicing of Life raft shall be carried out by the approved service station. The approved Service Station should have necessary approval from the manufacturer. In case of foreign life rafts, the servicing may be carried out in the presence of a surveyor from the Mercantile Marine Department provided such foreign life raft manufacturer does not have an approved service station in that port.

h.  Self-certification of inflatable LSA by the competent person will be permitted with immediate effect, provided such competent person has valid authorization from the manufacturer of that particular LSA. Other inflatable LSA of foreign-make will be serviced in the presence of a surveyor from the Mercantile Marine Department. All certificate of inspection of the LSA must have necessary endorsement from the MMD for the purpose of record only.

i.  Every approved LSA service station must have a "competent person" approved by the Nautical Adviser, to carry out the servicing of such equipments. He shall be issued a certificate to this effect.

j.  The existing life raft stations and the competent persons will be issued necessary certificate valid for a period of 5 years with intermediate verification ( + 3 months). Such verification shall be carried out by the Principal Officer of the Maritime district concerned.

k.  The life raft stations and the competent persons may route their submission through the Mercantile Marine Department for the stated certification clarifying compliance with the applicable IMO guidelines. It must be ensured that necessary documentation should be duly authenticated and meet the requirement failing which the application will not be considered.

l.  The competent person shall be attached to the approved LSA service station. The approval certificate shall reflect the same. In case of any change, necessary submission may be made through the Mercantile Marine Department.

The above circular shall come into force with immediate effect and the LSA manufacturers, LSA servicing stations are hereby directed to comply with the above requirements.






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