Safe navigation by sea-going vessels – new regulation enters into force


26.01.2015 r.

Safe navigation by sea-going vessels – new regulation enters into force

28th January 2015 will see entry into force of the Regulation on particular conditions of safe navigation by sea-going vessels, issued by the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development.

The purpose of this regulation is to implement the provisions of Chapter V of the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention, by specifying the conditions required to safely operate sea-going vessels. It should be noted that the procedures and requirements set forth in the said regulation shall not, in all probability, have a significant effect on Polish maritime practice, as most of the provisions stipulated therein have been previously implemented by relevant marine authorities on lower legislative level.

The provisions of the new regulation are addressed in most part to the shipowners and other entities responsible for ensuring that the vessels flying Polish flag are properly equipped (technical managers in particular). Chapter 1 of the regulation sets out its scope, excluding from its domain vessels flying foreign flag. Some of the provisions of the regulation shall however still apply to all vessels, regardless of their flag. This pertains in particular to passenger ships and ro-ro ferries, operation of which is covered by chapters 3 and 4 of the regulation. And, obviously, the exclusion of the said vessels from the scope of the Polish regulation does not in any way exempt them from compliance with the requirements set forth in the SOLAS Convention.
Chapter 2 of the regulation holds general provisions on safe shipping, which shall apply to Polish vessels, with the exclusion of sea-going yachts, inland waterway vessels and ships that are not subject to entry in the Polish register of vessels or registries held by the maritime office directors.

As stated above, regulation enters into force on 28th January 2015. However, pursuant to its §39, shipowners will have yet 12 months to adapt their vessels to comply with the new provisions. After this period expires, all ships should meet the requirements set forth in the regulation, which means appropriate equipment, marine safety devices, as well as navigation and radio instruments will have to be acquired or adjusted.