Lloyd’s Register has issued a statutory alert regarding amendments to SOLAS regulations III/19.2.2 and III/19.2.3 which will enter into force on 1 January, 2015, introducing mandatory requirements for passenger mustering and briefing before or on departure, for ships which are engaged in international voyages lasting more than 24 hours. The amendments were adopted by Resolution MSC.350(92).

The amendment requires that if passengers are scheduled to be on board for more than 24 hours, musters of newly-embarked passengers shall take place before or immediately on departure. This shall include instruction in using the lifejackets and the action to take in an emergency.

In addition to the mustering requirement, a passenger safety briefing will be required to be given immediately before or immediately after departure. This shall include the instructions required by SOLAS regulations III/8.2 and III/8.4, and announced in one or more languages likely to be understood by the passengers. The ship’s public address system is to be used, or another equivalent means likely to be heard at least by the passengers who have not yet heard it during the voyage.

The briefing does not have to be separate; it can be included in the muster required by amended regulation III/19.2.2. While the briefing can be supplemented by information cards, posters or videos, these may not be used to replace it.