Liberia issues notice for underwater examination of hull
Dec 05, 2022
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The Liberia Maritime Authority has issued the marine notice for underwater examination of hull in lieu of drydocking, referring to the passenger vessels.
This document has been issued on November 30th, 2022.
It is addressed to all shipowners, operators, masters and officers of merchant ships, and authorized classification societies.
This marine notice supersedes the Marine Notice TEC-008, dated 07/20.
Regulation 7 in Chapter I of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS 1974) requires annual inspection of passenger vessel structures, including the outside of the ship's bottom.
The external hull examination is normally performed with the vessel in drydock. However, under certain conditions and for specific surveys, the external examination of the ship’s hull may be carried out with the ship afloat.
This notice outlines the procedures by which, under certain conditions, an underwater examination of a ship's bottom by divers in lieu of drydocking may be permitted.
This Notice applies to all passenger vessels. SOLAS defines passenger ships as all vessels carrying more than twelve (12) persons who are not members of the crew or are not engaged in any capacity on the business of the vessel.
Operators of Liberian registered passenger vessels should make the request to perform an underwater examination in lieu of drydocking directly to the Recognized Organization (RO) that issued the vessel’s Passenger Ship Safety Certificate.
For passenger vessels of 15 years of age or less, the RO shall evaluate the request and, shall consider all the relevant information, prior approving the request for underwater examination of hull in lieu of drydocking.
The RO shall notify the Administration of each approved request for an underwater examination of hull in lieu of drydocking to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Passenger vessels of more than 15 years of age, the RO shall obtain prior agreement from the Administration before approving an underwater examination of the hull in lieu of drydocking. Requests for such agreement shall be sent to email@example.com.
The underwater examination shall be performed according to the IMO Guidelines found in reference (d) and the RO procedures to the satisfaction of the attending surveyor.
The RO shall inform the Administration of the outcome of all underwater examination in lieu of drydocking to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A minimum of two of the inspections of the outside of the ship's bottom during any five-year period should be conducted in dry-dock. In all cases, the maximum interval between any two dry-dock bottom inspections should not exceed 36 months. The definition of "any five-year period" is the five-year period of validity of the International Load Line Certificate.
For passenger vessels of 15 years of age or less (which is not a ro-ro passenger ship), upon request, the Administration will consider reducing the minimum number of inspections in dry-dock of the outside of the bottom in any five-year period from two to one. In such cases, the interval between consecutive inspections in dry-dock should not exceed 60 months.
Passenger vessels of more than 15 years of age must have the outer bottom of the hull examined in drydock at least every other year. Underwater examinations in lieu of drydockings for the alternate years may be requested in accordance with the procedures described in Section 1 of this Notice.
For all passenger ships, the bottom inspection, regardless of method, should be carried out within the allowable time window for the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate renewal survey (i.e. within the three-month time window before the expiry date of the certificate).