This Guidance Note has been published to advise operators of Red Ensign Group (REG) registered vessels of Resolution MSC.402(96) which enters into force on 1st January 2020.

From the 1st January 2020 ship operators will be required to ensure all thorough examinations, operational tests, overhaul and repair of LSA equipment are carried out by personnel certified by an ASP in accordance with IMO Resolution MSC.402(96) for each make and type/model of equipment.



Amendments on life saving appliances were adopted during the 96th session of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 96) in May 2016, introducing that maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing overhaul and repair of the following must be performed by authorized service providers:

  • Lifeboats, rescue boats and fast rescue boats;
  • Launching appliances and on-load and off-load release gear for lifeboats, rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit-launched life rafts.


Frequently Asked Questions

-What is the definition of “Make and Type” used in section 7 & 8 of MSC 402(96)?

The definition of “Make and type” should be read as per ISO standard ISO/PAS 23678- 1:2019(E); Maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats) and rescue boats (including fast rescue boats), launching appliances and release gear Service Personnel. This defines Type (Model) as; a category of LSA equipment having common characteristics as identified in the scope of this standard.

-Will an existing approval, issued in compliance with MSC.1/Circ.1277 still be valid after 1st January 2020?

Existing approvals will be valid after 1st January 2020 until the approval’s expiry date or until 3 years from the date of issue, whichever occurs first. Once the approval has expired, it will have to be re-issued in accordance with Resolution MSC 402(96).

-Can an ASP be accredited to work on a different manufacturer’s equipment?

This is permitted, however the ASP will have to demonstrate during their authorisation process that they have sufficient technical information (e.g. the manufacturer’s guidelines) in order to establish a training program for the make and type of another manufacturer’s equipment.