Asbestos Survey For IMO Compliance & Flag States

Asbestos Surveys for IMO Compliance

Most maritime countries have banned both the importing and exporting of asbestos, including ships and/or ships parts with asbestos or asbestos containing material(s). To ensure the total ban of asbestos within maritime industry, the IMO revised the relevant Safety at Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in 2009 to include an ‘asbestos-free’ condition for newly installed materials and products onboard ships or offshore facilities from January 1st, 2011.

Despite these new SOLAS requirements, asbestos is still regularly found on new ships. CTI frequently performs pre-delivery surveys on new builds of ships and has uncovered asbestos materials that have used in their construction. The presence of asbestos is not only confined to Asian shipyards, but we have also highlighted many such cases of asbestos in European shipyards. Our findings of asbestos on board ships have also been widely reported within well-known media outlets in the maritime industry, such as Marine Insight, Offshore Energy Watch, Shipping Watch, and Ship Insight.

The ongoing issue of asbestos discoveries found on board recently constructed vessels has prompted SOLAS to state that all ships built after June 2002 now require an official asbestos-free compliance statement.  This certification can only be obtained by having an asbestos survey performed by marine specialists with a thorough technical knowledge and experience within ship construction.

Port State inspections are on the increase and the discovery of ACM's (asbestos containing materials), which are deemed to be a violation of IMO Flag State regulations, require the ACM to be removed within 3 years on issue of a non-extendable exemption certificate.

This violation could easily compromise a charter agreement with the significant financial exposure of damages and lost revenue.

Some Flag States, including the UK, Netherlands and Australia, require an independent inspection and assessment of asbestos when a vessel arrives in their ports. In these circumstances, the ship owner must provide an asbestos inspection report and certificate issued by the accredited inspection body.

Reference Standard

Class IACS Rec. 2010 No.113

Asbestos Surveys for Specific Flag State Asbestos Regulation Compliance

Australian Flag State requires ships constructed after 31 December 2003 and/or Australian flagged vessels to be 100% asbestos free. An approved Asbestos Free Certificate (AFC) issued by an accredited inspection body is mandatory for ships to have on board as required by Australian Customs & Excise. Further to this, vessels on national voyages are subject to the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993 and the associated Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) (National Standards) Regulations 2003 (Regulation 2.08 and Schedule 2, column 2).

 The Australian Maritime Safety Administration (AMSA) is the prosecutor body of these Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) regulations. The ship owner must provide the Australian Authorities with an asbestos inspection report and asbestos-free certificate issued by an accredited inspection body such as CTI.

Australian Resolution The Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993
The Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) (National Standards) Regulations 2003
UK HSG264: Asbestos: The survey guide 2012
NETHERLANDS Instruction to ship owners , shipping companies and recognized organizations (RO’S),Ban on the use of asbestos on board ships

CTI Company Accreditation

CTI-Maritec has been accredited by the following organizations as:

  • the first company to be recognised by, and the only United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited inspection body in the world capable of performing asbestos surveys on board ships.
  • the first foreign marine asbestos survey body recognized and accredited by by Australian Maritime Safety Administration (AMSA)
  • the first marine asbestos survey body recognized by the Netherlands Ship Inspectorate (NSI).
  • the first IHM investigation body approved by Lloyds Register (LR) and DNV GL in the Asia-pacific region.

Typical Schedule

A typical schedule for implementing an IMO Compliant asbestos management programme for your vessel would take place as according to the table below:

Phases Turn Around Days Output
Plan 1-2 Visual and Sampling Plan
Travel time to/fr tbc  
Onboard survey 2-3 Visual and Sampling Check Records
Lab analysis 5 Lab Testing Certificate
Report 1-3 Report
Asbestos register with risk assessment Asbestos Register, Risk assessment
Certification Asbestos Compliance Certificate, recognized by Australia, Netherlands, UK and US government
Total 9-13 days  

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