Frequenty asked questions on the IMO IP Code

Would an SPS Code certificate be sufficient to carry more than 12 industrial personnel in international waters?

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No. While the non-mandatory Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (2008 SPS Code) addresses non-maritime crew workers who are on board due to the special purpose of a ship (seismic, diving, pipe laying, etc), it explicitly restricts SPS vessels from being used for transportation or accommodation of persons not working on board.

What is the definition of “industrial personnel”?

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Industrial personnel (IP) are persons who are transported or accommodated on board for the purpose of offshore industrial activities performed on board other ships and/or offshore facilities.

Industrial personnel shall have basic knowledge of the ship (IP Code Reg. III/1.5) and shall have received training in safety procedures, personal survival and the handling of the ship’s personal life-saving equipment (IP Code Reg. III/1.3).

Would an IP Code certificate be sufficient to carry special personnel engaged on board the ship?

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The new IP Code is intended to enable the carriage of industrial personnel, not to restrict the carriage of special personnel. Wherever in the new draft of SOLAS Chapter XV, or in the IP Code, the number of industrial personnel appears as a parameter, it shall be the aggregate number of industrial personnel, special personnel and passengers carried on board, where the number of passengers shall not exceed 12.

Hence, in DNV’s understanding, the IP Code certificate would be sufficient to carry special personnel engaged on board the ship. Communication with the relevant flag administration is, however, recommended in the implementation phase of the new code.

What is the main difference between the SPS Code and the IP Code?

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The mandatory draft of the new IP Code is based on the non-mandatory Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (2008 SPS Code), but with adaptations and provisions also for the training of industrial personnel, safe personnel transfer and carriage of dangerous goods. Ships carrying toxic products, low-flashpoint products and acids as cargo are not allowed to have more than 60 persons on board.

Would SPS ships occasionally carrying more than 12 industrial personnel have to carry both an SPS Code certificate and an IP Code certificate?

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This is not the intention of the new requirement. The new IP Code is intended to enable the carriage of industrial personnel, not to require the carriage of industrial personnel.

Wherever in the new draft of SOLAS Chapter XV, or in the IP Code, the number of industrial personnel appears as a parameter, it shall be the aggregate number of industrial personnel, special personnel and passengers carried on board, where the number of passengers shall not exceed 12.

Hence, in DNV’s understanding, it should not be necessary to carry a non-mandatory Certificate of Safety for Special Purpose Ships in addition to the mandatory IP Safety Certificate. Communication with the relevant flag administration is, however, recommended in the implementation phase of the new code.

It may be noted that the IMO has agreed to consider if guidance to clarify the interaction between the non-mandatory SPS Code and the mandatory IP Code is necessary.

Would ships certified to the 1983 SPS Code be eligible for an IP Code certificate under the grandfather clause?

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The draft of the new IP Code is based on the 2008 SPS Code. For existing ships already carrying more than 12 industrial personnel, flag administrations may permit the continued carriage of industrial personnel in accordance with other standards meeting an equivalent level of safety acceptable to the administration, as per Resolution MSC.418(97). In other words, a decision from the flag administration is needed on a case- by-case basis or as a general policy decision.

Would wind turbine installation vessels be required to carry an IP Code certificate?

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All ships carrying more than 12 industrial personnel on international voyages would be required to carry an IP Code certificate. Voluntary application of the new draft of SOLAS Chapter XV in domestic waters is encouraged, but is the prerogative of the respective administration. In other words, if the wind turbine installation vessel operates on international voyages and is carrying more than a total of 12 industrial personnel, special personnel and passengers (and is above 500 GT), it will be required to carry an IP Code certificate.

Would the IP Code apply to ships not carrying IP?

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The IP Code is intended as an enabler for the carriage of industrial personnel. It does not come with an obligation to carry industrial personnel. The IP Code could as such provide flexibility for ships looking at carrying both special and industrial personnel. In other words, it could be used to allow the carriage of SPS personnel (without any IP). Acceptance from the flag administration will be necessary.

Wherever in the new draft of SOLAS Chapter XV, or in the IP Code, the number of industrial personnel appears as a parameter, it shall be the aggregate number of industrial personnel, special personnel and passengers carried on board, where the number of passengers shall not exceed 12.