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Asbestos on board ships

International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974

 

The December 2000 amendments
Adoption: 6 December 2000
Entry into force: 1 July 2002

For ships built before 1 July 2002

In accordance with SOLAS, ships built before 1 July 2002 may contain asbestos, but it should be managed properly - further guidance is available in MSC/Circ.1045 Guidelines for Maintenance and Monitoring of On-Board Materials Containing Asbestos.

For ships built between 1 July 2002 and 1 January 2011

SOLAS was amended in December 2000. The new regulation in SOLAS Chapter II-1 (Construction - Structure, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations) prohibits the new installation of materials which contain asbestos on all ships.

Regulation 3-5 New installation of materials containing asbestos states that the regulation shall apply to materials used for the structure, machinery, electrical installations and equipment covered by the SOLAS Convention.

For all ships, new installation of materials which contain asbestos shall be prohibited except for:

  • vanes used in rotary vane compressors and rotary vane vacuum pumps;
  • watertight joints and linings used for the circulation of fluids when, at high temperature (in excess of 350ºC) or pressure (in excess of 7 x 106 Pa), there is a risk of fire, corrosion or toxicity; and
  • supple and flexible thermal insulation assemblies used for temperatures above 1000ºC.

For ships built after 1 January 2011

The 2009 Amendments to SOLAS (resolution MSC.282(86)), further amended the text to prohibit all new installation of asbestos on board ships. These came into force on 1 January 2011;

Part A-1 Structure of Ship
Regulation 3-5 - New installation of materials containing asbestos

The existing text of paragraph 2 is replaced by the following;

"From 1 January 2011, for all ships, new installation of materials which contain asbestos shall be prohibited".


Further information regarding asbestos on ships is available in the following circulars;

IMO MSC.1/Circ.1379 Unified Interpretation of SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-5 (concerning asbestos in stores)
IMO MSC.1/Circ.1426 Unified Interpretation of SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-5 (concerning likely components, evidence and documentation)
IMO MSC.1/Circ.1374 Information on Prohibiting the Use of Asbestos on board ships (includes how to manage asbestos found on ships not in compliance with SOLAS)