Servicing of Life Saving Appliances



 No. 22-NT(18)/92                                                                     Date : 8th February, 2006


Subject: Servicing of Life Saving Appliances


1. This circular supersedes of NT Branch Circular No.NT/LSA/01/05, dated 25th January, 2005 vide letter No.22-NT(18)/92.

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 with the relevant guidelines issued by the Directorate and as prescribed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) from time to time.

2. The importance of servicing of such safety equipments and that the shipping industry operates in a "time bound" manner is pertinent. Based on the deliberations with the Industry representatives following guidelines are to be implemented 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 systems 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 for issue of  Letter of Acceptance for that appliance. It is 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 placed on board Indian ships.

d. Letter of Acceptance as mentioned in para (c) shall be issued for a limited period, maximum of 5 years subject to intermediate verification of 2 1/2 year + 3 months. The distributor to ensure that the validity as granted to the product by the maritime administration of country of the manufacturer is kept valid for the period of validity of Letter of Acceptance.

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 system, be a registered company and must have a approved competent person who will be responsible for activities related to servicing of inflatable LSA in that service station.

g. For self certification, the servicing of Life raft shall be carried out at Service Station approved by D.G. Shipping. Such approved Service Station should also have necessary approval from the manufacturer. In all other cases the servicing may be carried out in the presence of a surveyor from the Mercantile Marine Department.

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 for receipt of fees only from the MMD for the purpose of record keeping.

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. It would be obligatory on part of the manufacturers to train any applicant having adequate background and otherwise qualified for training, as competent person within a reasonable period of time at a reasonable cost without any discrimination.

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 after 2  year + 3 months. Application for renewal of approval for competent person and letter of acceptance/type approval can be made three months prior to expiry. The renewal will be issued for a further period of five years effective from previous date of expiry. Such verifications shall be carried out by the Principal Officer of the Mercantile Marine Department Departments..

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.

m. A list of all approvals along with their validity shall be placed on D.G. Shipping website.

n. All MMDs must ensure that an unscheduled inspection of service station shall be carried out by MMDs at least once in every calendar year.

o. The type approval shall be granted subject to the manufacturer supplying a copy of latest service manual to D.G. Any authorized service station shall also maintain an updated copy of such servicing manual by manufacturers or those having type approval by Directorate.

3. Adhesive and fabric for each type of life raft shall be stocked in adequate quantity by the manufacturer/type approved suppliers for supply to all service stations at reasonable price at short notice without any discrimination.

4. In case of any breach of above instruction or an adverse report in regard to the approval of competent person, service station, type approval, letter of acceptance, tampering with pyrotechnic expiry date and any other approval with respect to Life Saving Appliance, the approval may be withdrawn or suspended by the Nautical Adviser to the Govt. of India. Subsequently if found guilty of an offence after the inquiry, the defaulters may be prosecuted under Section 334 of M. S. Act (as amended), which may amount to a penalty as imprisonment which can extend upto six months

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.

-CUM- SR. D.D.G. (T)


1. Certificate of Approval

2. Endorsement for Verification

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