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From ISM News Update nr. 125: Update on ItoRO no. 24 – Ban on the use of Asbestos on board ships

April 2023

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Update on ItRO no. 24 – Ban on the use of Asbestos on board ships

Despite the clear prohibition of ACMs (Asbestos containing materials), asbestos is still found in various places on board ships. For example, on gaskets, fire blankets, joints and insulation materials, types of sealants, friction material for brakes, wall and ceiling coverings, cables, electrical fuses, etc. Even with an asbestos-free statement or certificate issued by the shipyard. In addition, ships that were previously asbestos-free have been found to have asbestos on board as a result of repairs at shipyards and/or the purchase of spare parts at a later stage.

In 2011, the Netherlands developed a temporary instruction with the aim of offering the industry the opportunity to work towards asbestos-free ships. From the entry into force of this temporary instruction, it focuses on managing the risks of ACMs, both permitted and prohibited, on board ships. Many years have now passed since the publication of this temporary instruction and it is considered necessary to update the instruction to a higher level, with the ultimate aim that the issuance of exemption certificates is no longer necessary, which is now foreseen as of 1st of January 2025.

The goal of the ‘Instruction to Recognised Organisation no. 24’ (‘Instruction’) is to provide instructions to Recognised Organisations (ROs), shipping companies, shipyards, suppliers and seafarers for the investigation in relation to asbestos containing material (ACM) and the continuation once ACM is found in any part of the ship and furthermore aims at prevention at the source.

The Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (NSI) emphasizes that shipping companies and ROs shall comply with all the relevant International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments and Unified Interpretations (UI) by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), see Annex 2 of this Instruction, at all times. As advised by IMO, special care shall be taken in order to avoid ACMs to be installed on board, as stipulated in MSC.1/Circ.1379, MSC.1/Circ.1374/rev.1 and MSC.1/Circ.1426/Rev1.

ItoRO no. 24 – Ban on the use of Asbestos on board ships

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