DNV Provides Information about Damage Control Documentation (Norway)

DNV Receives Inquiries about Damage Control Documentation

During the past few weeks, DNV has received a number of inquiries about the Damage Control documentation required to be carried on board vessels in DNV class. The concerns were raised due to possible port state control intervention in cases when the stability documentation on board is allegedly not in compliance with IMO requirements.

The 2009 Consolidated Edition of SOLAS Chapter II-1 Parts B (1 through 4) addresses Subdivision and Stability issues and is referred to regarding the documentation requirements.

A typical mistake is that Part A of this SOLAS edition, which is applicable to the whole of Chapter II-1, is not duly considered when the applicability of the other Parts of this chapter are in question.

Part A (General) Regulation 1 clearly states that:

“… 1.1 Unless expressly provided otherwise, this chapter shall apply to ships the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 1 January 2009…”

Therefore, for vessels constructed before 1 January 2009, older regulations should be applied. In order to outline relevant IMO requirements, please note that the Damage Control Plan & Booklet are required for:

  •  Passenger ships, regardless of size, constructed on or after 1980-05-25. (SOLAS 74, Chapter II-I Reg.20)
  • Dry cargo ships (not less than 500 gross tonnage) which are constructed between 1992-02-01 and 2009-01-01. (1989 amendments to SOLAS 74, Chapter II-1 Reg.23-1)
  • All cargo ships (not less than 500 gross tonnage) which are constructed on or after 2009-01-01. (2005 amendments to SOLAS 74, Chapter II-1 Reg.19).

According to IMO Res. MSC.281(85) Explanatory Notes to the SOLAS Chapter II-1 Subdivision and Damage Stability Regulations, Reg. 4, the 2005 amendments to SOLAS 74, Chapter II-1 Reg.19 are to be applied to all cargo ships and passenger ships constructed on or after 2009-01-01 regardless of their length. For dry cargo ships constructed between 1992-02-01 and 2009-01-01, DNV’s interpretation is that 1989 amendments to SOLAS 74 Chapter II-1 Regulation 23-1 apply to dry cargo ships regardless of their length. For vessels where Damage Control information is mandatory or when vessel operators would like to introduce the Damage Control information on a voluntary basis, the following must be noted:

  •  The Damage Control Plan should be permanently exhibited or readily available on the navigation bridge, ship’s control station and, in addition for cargo ships, in the cargo control room, all ship’s office or other suitable location.
  • In addition to plans, Damage Control Booklets containing relevant information should be made available to ship officers.
  • The Damage Control Plan and Damage Control Booklet should be provided in the working language of the ship and official language of the SOLAS Convention if this is different from the working language on board.
  • The Damage Control Plan and Damage Control Booklet are ship-specific documents and must be approved by the administration or the classification society acting on its behalf.
  • The master and ship officers should be able to understand and explain the content of the Damage Control Plan and Booklet.
  • Regarding the information which is to be included in a Damage Control Plan and Damage Control Booklet, please refer to:
  • IMO MSC/Circ. 919 Guidelines for Damage Control Plans for vessels constructed before 2009-01-01, and
  • IMO MSC.1/Circ. 1245 Guidelines for Damage Control Plans and Information to the Master for vessels constructed after 2009-01-01.

Failure to comply will put the vessel at risk of receiving deficiencies during port state control inspections and possible delays in port until the plan and booklet are produced.

Therefore, in order to avoid port delays and negative remarks from port state control inspectors, we advise customers to verify their vessels’ compliance with the above SOLAS requirements and ensure that the information contained in the Damage Control Plan and Booklet on board meets the specifications.

If a request for an approved Damage Control Booklet is received from the owners, the document should be prepared in accordance with the relevant guidelines and submitted to the Stability Section at DNV Høvik for review and approval.

DNV, March 15, 2013