World Shipping Council Welcomes New SOLAS Regulations

June 3, 2024

Source: IMO
Source: IMO

The World Shipping Council (WSC) has applauded the recent adoption of amendments to SOLAS at MSC 108. Starting January 1, 2026, these amendments will require mandatory reporting of all containers lost at sea, setting a new standard for maritime safety and environmental protection.

“The new regulations, specifically amending SOLAS Chapter V Regulations 31 and 32, mark a significant advancement in maritime safety and environmental protection. By ensuring prompt and detailed reporting of lost and drifting containers, these amendments will enhance navigational safety, facilitate swift response actions, and mitigate potential environmental hazards,” says Lars Kjaer, SVP Safety & Security for WSC.

Key Provisions of the New Regulations

Regulation 31 – Reporting by the Master of the Ship:

• The Master of a ship involved in the loss of containers must immediately and thoroughly report specific details to nearby ships, the nearest coastal state, and the flag State.

• The flag State will then pass this information to the IMO via a new module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

• Masters of ships that observe drifting containers must report it to nearby ships and the nearest coastal state.

Regulation 32 – Reporting Details:

For Containers Lost at Sea:

• Reports must be made ASAP, with updates as more information becomes available.

• A final count of lost containers must be confirmed after a thorough inspection.

• Mandatory details include the position of the lost containers, the total number lost, and if any contained dangerous goods. Additional descriptive info is required if possible.

• Masters can also share voluntary details about the cargo, sea conditions, and more.

For Drifting Containers Observed:

• Reports must include the position and total number of containers spotted drifting.

• Additional voluntary details similar to those for lost containers can be provided if available.

In anticipation of the introduction of mandatory reporting requirements, WSC has since 2008 gathered information from its members on the number of containers lost at sea. Published regularly in the Containers Lost at Sea Report and submitted to the IMO, the report has been an important source of information for all efforts to increase container and cargo safety. The “Containers Lost at Sea Report – 2024 Update” will be published in the coming weeks, providing data for 2023.

By mandating detailed and timely reporting, as the WSC has been advocating, the maritime community can better tackle the challenges of lost containers, ensuring safer navigation and protecting oceans.

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