We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies. Close

II.3.20 (SOLAS 1974) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA, 1974, AS AMENDED

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.3.20

(SOLAS 1974) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA, 1974, AS AMENDED

Note: The full text of the Convention, which is set out at II.3.20, incorporates the original text as modified by the following amendments:

  Date of entry
  into force
—1981 amendments adopted by res. MSC.1(XLV) 01.09.1984
—1983 amendments adopted by res. MSC.6(48) 01.07.1986
—1988 (April) amendments (ro-ro) adopted by res. MSC.11(55) 22.10.1989
—1988 (October) amendments (ro-ro) adopted by res. MSC.12(56) 29.04.1990
—1989 (April) amendments adopted by res. MSC.13(57) 01.02.1992
—1990 amendments (chapter II-1) adopted by res. MSC.19(58) 01.02.1992
—1991 amendments adopted by res. MSC.22(59) 01.01.1994
—1992 (April) amendments (chapter II-2) adopted by res. MSC.24(60) 01.10.1994
—1992 (April) amendments (chapter II-1) adopted by res. MSC.26(60) 01.10.1994
Note: By a communication dated 07.12.1993 the United Kingdom notified their objection to the amendment.
—1992 (December) amendments adopted by res. MSC.27(61) 01.10.1994
Note: For the Arab Republic of Egypt the date of entry into force was 01.10.1995.
—1994 (May) amendments (chapter V) adopted by res. MSC.31(63) 01.01.1996
—1994 (May) amendments (new chapters X and XI) adopted by Conference of Contracting Governments, res. 1 01.01.1996
Note: Panama is exempt from the application of the amendment to chapter XI, reg. 1 until 01.01.1997.
—1994 (December) amendments (chapters VI and VII) adopted by res. MSC.42(64) 01.07.1996
—1995 (May) amendments (chapter V) adopted by res. MSC.46(65) 01.01.1997
—1995 (November) amendments (ro-ro ships) adopted by the Conference of Contracting States, res. 1 01.07.1997
—1994 (May) amendments (new chapter IX) adopted by the Conference of Contracting States, res. 1 01.07.1998
—1994 (May) amendments (chapters II and V) adopted by res. MSC.31(63) 01.07.1998
—1996 (June) amendments (chapters II, III, VI, IX) adopted by res. MSC.47(66) 01.07.1998
—1996 (December) amendments adopted by res. MSC.57(67) 01.07.1998
—1997 (November) amendments (new chapter XII) adopted by the Conference of Contracting States, res. 1 01.07.1999
—1997 (June) amendments (chapters II-1 and V) adopted by res. MSC.65(68) 01.07.1999
—1998 (May) amendments (chapters II-1 and IV) adopted by res. MSC.69(69) 01.07.2002
—1999 (May) amendments (chapter VII) adopted by res. MSC.87(71) 01.01.2001
—2000 (May) amendments (chapter III) adopted by res. MSC.91(72) 01.01.2002
—2000 (November) amendments (chapters II, V, IX, X) adopted by res. MSC.99(73) 01.07.2002
—2001 amendments (chapter VII) adopted by res. MSC.117(74) 01.01.2003
—2002 (December) amendments (chapters IV, V, VII) adopted by res. MSC.134(76) 01.07.2004
—2002 (December) amendments (chapters II, III, V, XI and XII) adopted by the Conference of Contracting States, res. 1 01.07.2004
—2003 (June) amendments (chapter V) adopted by res. MSC.142(77) 01.07.2006
—2004 (May) amendments (chapters II-1, III, IV, V, VII,) adopted by res. MSC.151(78), MSC.152(78), MSC.153(78) 01.01.2006
—2004 amendments (chapters II–1, III, V and XII) adopted by res. MSC.170(79) 01.07.2006
—2005 amendments (chapters II–1, II–2, VI, IX, XI–1, XI–2 and appendix to the annex) adopted by res. MSC.194(80) 01.01.2007
—2006 amendments (chapter II–2) adopted by res. MSC.201(81) 01.07.2010
—2006 amendments (chapter V) adopted by res. MSC.202(81) 01.01.2008
—2006 amendments (chapters II–1, II–2, III and XII and appendix) adopted by res. MSC.216(82) Annex 1 01.07.2008
 Annex 2 01.01.2009
 Annex 3 01.07.2010
—2007 amendments (chapters IV, VI and appendix) adopted by res. MSC.239(83) 01.07.2009
—2008 amendments (chapters II–1, II–2, III, IV and appendix) adopted by res. MSC.256(84) 01.01.2010
—2008 (May) amendments adopted by res. MSC.257(84) 01.01.2010
—2008 (December) amendments (chapter VI, Annex 1) adopted by res. MSC.269(85) 01.07.2010
—2008 (December) amendments (chapter VI, Annex 2) adopted by res. MSC.269(85) 01.01.2011
—2009 (June) amendments (chapter VI) adopted by res. MSC.282(86) 01.01.2011
—2010 amendments (chapter II–1) adopted by res. MSC.290(87) inc NV.009 01.01.2012
—2010 amendments (chapters II–1 and II–2) adopted by res. MSC.291(87) 01.01.2012
—2010 amendments (chapters II–1, II–2 and V and appendix) adopted by res. MSC.308(88) 01.07.2012
—2011 amendments (chapter III) adopted by res. MSC.317(89) 01.01.2013
—2012 (May) amendments adopted by res. MSC.325(90) 01.01.2014
—2012 amendments (chapter VI) adopted by res. MSC.325(90) 01.01.2014
—2012 amendments adopted by res. MSC.338(91) 01.07.2014
—2013 (June) amendments adopted by res. MSC.350(92) 01.01.2015
—2014 amendments (chapters II–1 and II–2) adopted by res. MSC.365(93) 01.01.2016
—2014 amendments (new chapter XIII) adopted by res. MSC.366(93) 01.01.2016
—2014 amendments (chapters II–2, VI and XI–1 and appendix) adopted by res. MSC.380(94) 01.07.2016
—2014 amendments (new chapter XIV) adopted by res. MSC.386(94) 01.01.2017
—2015 (June) amendments adopted by res. MSC.392(95) 01.07.2017
—2016 (May) amendments adopted by res. MSC.404(96) 01.01.2020
—2016 (November) amendments (chapters II-1, II-2 and XI-1) adopted by res. MSC.409(97) 01.01.2020
—2017 (June) amendments (chapters II-1, II-2 and III and the appendix to the annex) adopted by res. MSC.421(98) 01.01.2020
—2018 (May) amendments (chapters II-1, IV and appendix) adopted by res. MSC.436(99) 01.01.2020
ADOPTED: Done at London, 1 November 1974
REFERENCE: SOLAS 1974
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 25 May 1980
DEPOSITARY: IMO London
SECRETARY: IMO London

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION

Article IX

(a) The present Convention shall remain open for signature at the Headquarters of the Organization from 1 November 1974 until 1 July 1975 and shall thereafter remain open for accession. States may become parties to the present Convention by:

  • (i) signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval; or
  • (ii) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval; or
  • (iii) accession.

(b) Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument to that effect with the Secretary–General of the Organisation.

(c) The Secretary–General of the Organisation shall inform the Governments of all States which have signed the present Convention or acceded to it of any signature or of the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and the date of its deposit.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article X

(a) The present Convention shall enter into force twelve months after the date on which not less than twenty–five States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping, have become parties to it in accordance with article IX.

(b) Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the date on which the present Convention enters into force shall take effect three months after the date of deposit.

(c) After the date on which an amendment to the present Convention is deemed to have been accepted under Article VIII, any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited shall apply to the Convention as amended.

DENUNCIATION

Article XI

(a) The present Convention may be denounced by any Contracting Government at any time after the expiry of five years from the date on which the Convention enters into force for that Government.

(b) Denunciation shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of denunciation with the Secretary-General of the Organisation who shall notify all the other Contracting Governments of any instrument of denunciation received and of the date of its receipt as well as the date on which such denunciation takes effect.

(c) A denunciation shall take effect one year, or such longer period as may be specified in the instrument of denunciation, after its receipt by the Secretary-General of the Organisation.

AMENDMENTS

Article VIII

(a) The present Convention may be amended by either of the procedures specified in the following paragraphs.

(b) Amendments after consideration within the Organisation:

  • (i) Any amendment proposed by a Contracting Government shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the Organisation, who shall then circulate it to all Members of the Organisation and all Contracting Governments at least six months prior to its consideration.
  • (ii) Any amendment proposed and circulated as above shall be referred to the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organisation for consideration.
  • (iii) Contracting Governments of States, whether or not Members of the Organisation, shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the Maritime Safety Committee for the consideration and adoption of amendments.
  • (iv) Amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Governments present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee as provided for in sub-paragraph (iii) of this paragraph (hereinafter referred to as “the expanded Maritime Safety Committee”) on condition that at least one-third of the Contracting Governments shall be present at the time of voting.
  • (v) Amendments adopted in accordance with sub-paragraph (iv) of this paragraph shall be communicated by the Secretary-General of the Organisation to all Contracting Governments for acceptance.
  • (vi) (1) An amendment to an Article of the Convention or to Chapter I of the Annex shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Contracting Governments.
  • (2) An amendment to the Annex other than Chapter I shall be deemed to have been accepted:
    • (aa) at the end of two years from the date on which it is communicated to Contracting Governments for acceptance; or
    • (bb) at the end of a different period, which shall not be less than one year, if so determined at the time of its adoption by a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Governments present and voting in the expanded Maritime Safety Committee.
  • However, if within the specified period either more than one-third of Contracting Governments, or Contracting Governments the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet, notify the Secretary-General of the Organisation that they object to the amendments, it shall be deemed not to have been accepted.
  • (vii) (1) An amendment to an Article of the Convention or to Chapter I of the Annex shall enter into force with respect to those Contracting Governments which have accepted it, six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted, and with respect to each Contracting Government which accepts it after that date, six months after the date of that Contracting Government’s acceptance.
  • (2) An amendment to the Annex other than Chapter I shall enter into force with respect to all Contracting Governments, except those which have objected to the amendment under sub-paragraph (vi)(2) of this paragraph and which have not withdrawn such objections, six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted. However, before the date set for entry into force, any Contracting Government may give notice to the Secretary-General of the Organisation that it exempts itself from giving effect to that amendment for a period not longer than one year from the date of its entry into force, or such longer period as may be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Governments present and voting in the expanded Maritime Safety Committee at the time of the adoption of the amendment.

(c) Amendment by a Conference:

  • (i) Upon the request of a Contracting Government concurred in by at least one-third of the Contracting Governments, the Organisation shall convene a Conference of Contracting Governments to consider amendments to the present Convention.
  • (ii) Every amendment adopted by such a Conference by a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Governments present and voting shall be communicated by the Secretary-General of the Organisation to all Contracting Governments for acceptance.
  • (iii) Unless the Conference decides otherwise, the amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted and shall enter into force in accordance with the procedures specified in sub-paragraph (b)(vi) and (b)(vii) respectively of this Article, provided that references in these paragraphs to the expanded Maritime Safety Committee shall be taken to mean references to the Conference.

(d)(i) A Contracting Government which has accepted an amendment to the Annex which has entered into force shall not be obliged to extend the benefit of the present Convention in respect of the certificates issued to a ship entitled to fly the flag of a State the Government of which, pursuant to the provisions of sub-paragraph (b)(vi)(2) of this Article, has objected to the amendment and has not withdrawn such an objection, but only to the extent that such certificates relate to matters covered by the amendment in question.

(ii) A Contracting Government which has accepted an amendment to the Annex which has entered into force shall extend the benefit of the present Convention in respect of the certificates issued to a ship entitled to fly the flag of a State the Government of which, pursuant to the provisions of sub-paragraph (b)(vii)(2) of this Article, has notified the Secretary-General of the Organisation that it exempts itself from giving effect to the amendment.

(e) Unless expressly provided otherwise, any amendment to the present Convention made under this Article, which relates to the structure of a ship, shall apply only to ships the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction, on or after the date on which the amendment enters into force.

(f) Any declaration of acceptance of, or objection to, an amendment or any notice given under sub-paragraph (b)(vii)(2) of this Article shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary-General of the Organisation, who shall inform all Contracting Governments of any such submission and the date of its receipt.

(g) The Secretary-General of the Organisation shall inform all Contracting Governments of any amendments which enter into force under this Article, together with the date on which each such amendment enters into force.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND STATEMENTS

China

At the time of signature of the Convention the representative of the People’s Republic of China made the following statement:

[translation] “1. The People’s Republic of China reserves the right rationally to implement, in conformity with the conditions of China, the regulations concerning fire detection and fire protection for tankers and passenger ships stipulated in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974.

2. The so-called ‘signing’ on the Convention by the perished Saigon puppet regime is illegal and null and void, and the sole legitimate representative of the South Vietnamese people is the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam.”

France

The instrument of approval of the French Republic contained the following declaration:

[translation] “Article VIII, paragraph (d)(i): the Government of the French Republic enters a reservation concerning article VIII, paragraph (d)(i), to the effect that it will not recognize any invocation of that provision against it in respect of its own ships as the provision is contrary to international law.”

Germany, Federal Republic of

The instrument of ratification of the Federal Republic of Germany was accompanied by a declaration (in the English language) “that with effect from the day on which the Convention enters into force for the Federal Republic of Germany it shall also apply to Berlin (West)”.

Israel

The depositary received the following communication dated 3 December 1979 from the Ambassador of Israel in London:

“The instrument of accession deposited by the Government of the State of Kuwait was accompanied by a statement of a political character in respect of Israel. In the view of the Government of Israel, this Convention is not the proper place for making such political pronouncements. Moreover, the said declaration cannot in any way affect whatever obligations are binding upon the State of Kuwait under general international law or under particular conventions. The Government of Israel will, in so far as concerns the substance of the matter, adopt towards the Government of Kuwait an attitude of complete reciprocity.”

The depositary received the following communication dated 6 November 1985 from the Ambassador of Israel in London:

“The Government of the State of Israel has noted that the instrument of accession deposited by the Government of Jordan contains a declaration of a political character in respect of the State of Israel, this Convention is not the proper place for making such political pronouncements, which are in flagrant contradiction to the principles and purposes of the Convention. Moreover, the statement by the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan cannot in any way affect whatever obligations are binding upon it under general international law or under particular conventions. In so far as the substance of the matter is concerned, the Government of the State of Israel will adopt towards the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan an attitude of complete reciprocity.”

Jordan

The instrument of accession of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was accompanied by the following reservation:

“The accession by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea in no way means recognition of, or entry into, treaty regulations with Israel under the Said Convention.”

Kuwait

The instrument of accession of the State of Kuwait was accompanied by an Understanding (in the English language), the text of which reads as follows:

“It is understood that the accession of the State of Kuwait to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, done at London on the 1st of November 1974 . . . does not in any way mean recognition of Israel by the State of Kuwait. Furthermore, no treaty relations will arise between the State of Kuwait and Israel.”

The rest of this document is only available to i-law.com online subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, please enter your details below to log in.

Enter your email address to log in as a user on your corporate account.
Remember me on this computer

Not yet an i-law subscriber?

Devices

Request a trial Find out more

Unable to display the content
Unable to display the content
Unable to display the content
Unable to display the content