USCG Ship InspectionThe IMO has published revised guidelines on evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships in MSC.1/Circ.1533, which supersedes the existing MSC.1/Circ.1238, according to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR).

LR stated that SOLAS Regulation II-2/13.7.4 ‘means of escape’ currently requires escape routes on ro-ro passenger ships to be evaluated by an evacuation analysis early in the design process, and recommends the use of MSC.1/Circ.1238 when conducting the analysis.

For non-ro-ro passenger ships, the guidelines are applied either on a voluntary basis or sometimes as part of the approval of alternative designs. However, experience gained through evacuation analyses or accidents with passenger ships has shown that the existing voluntary guidelines do not satisfy the practical conditions of state-of-the-art passenger ships, LR stated.

MSC.1/Circ.1533 recommends that the revised guidance is used early in the design process, for conducting evacuation analyses, on new passenger ships, (carrying more than 36 passengers) that are to be constructed (keel lay date) on or after 1 January 2020.

The guidance also encourages an evacuation analysis to be conducted on existing passenger ships in order to identify congestion points and/or critical areas so that revised operational measures can be implemented, if the results of an analysis show that the maximum allowable evacuation duration has been exceeded.

LR said it should be noted that the associated amendments to SOLAS Regulation II-2/13 adopted under Resolution MSC.404(96) will make evacuation analysis a mandatory requirement for new passenger ships constructed (keel lay date) on or after 1 January 2020 when carrying more than 36 passengers. The existing mandatory requirement for conducting evacuation analysis on ro-ro passenger ships will continue to be applicable.

The revised guidelines are applicable to: ro-ro passenger ships in compliance with SOLAS regulation II-2/13.7.4, and SOLAS regulation II-2/13.3.2.7 from the entry into force date of 1 January 2020 (refer to Resolution MSC.404(96); new passenger ships (other than ro-ro passenger ships) carrying more than 36 passengers, constructed (keel lay date) on or after 1 January 2020 in compliance with SOLAS regulation II-2/13.3.2.7 (refer to Resolution MSC.404(96).