All You Need To Know About The Different Types Of Surveys Onboard

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An initial survey refers to a complete inspection conducted before a ship is put into service, encompassing all items relating to a particular certificate. This ensures that the relevant requirements are complied with and that these items are satisfactory for the intended service of the ship.

Types Of Survey 

Additionally, more surveys are often required to ensure continued compliance with regulations. Let’s explore how many can take place onboard!

  1. Initial survey

It is a complete inspection before a ship is put into service of all the items relating to a particular certificate. The initial survey should be held before the ship is put in service, or when a new instrument applies to an existing ship, and the appropriate certificate is issued for the first time.

  1. Annual survey

It should be held within three months before or after each anniversary date of the certificate

  1. Intermediate survey 

It is an inspection of specified items relevant to the particular certificate to ensure that they are in a satisfactory condition

The intermediate survey should be held within three months before or after the second-anniversary date or within three months before or after the third anniversary date of the appropriate certificate and should take the place of one of the annual surveys

  1. Periodical survey

It is an inspection of the items relating to the particular certificate to ensure that they are in a satisfactory condition and fit for the service for which the ship is intended.

The periodical survey should be held within three months before or after the second-anniversary date or within three months before or after the third anniversary date in the case of the cargo ship safety equipment certificate and should take the place of one of the annual surveys; in the case of the cargo ship safety radio certificate, it should be held within three months before or after each anniversary date

3. Renewal survey

It is the same as a periodical survey but also leads to the issue of a new certificate.

The renewal survey should be held before the appropriate certificate is renewed. The cargo ship safety construction renewal survey may be commenced at the fourth annual survey and may be progressed during the succeeding year with a view to completion by the fifth-anniversary date. The survey items of the fourth annual survey should not be credited to the completion of the renewal survey.

  1. Additional survey

The additional survey should be held: when required after an investigation; or whenever any important repairs or renewals are made; or when ballast water management systems (BWMS) are retrofitted on an
existing ship to which an International Ballast Water Management Certificate was previously issued.

Some Other Survey Types 

  • Survey of radio installations: The survey of the radio installations, including those used in life-saving appliances, should always be carried out by a qualified radio surveyor who has the necessary knowledge of the requirements of SOLAS 74, the International Telecommunication Union’s Radio Regulations and the associated performance standards for radio equipment. The radio survey should be carried out using suitable test equipment capable of performing all the relevant measurements required by these Guidelines. On satisfactory completion of the survey, the radio surveyor should forward a report of the survey, which should also state the organization he or she represents, to the authorities responsible for the issue of the ship’s Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate or Passenger Ship Safety Certificate. 
  • Survey of the automatic identification system (AIS): The survey of the automatic identification system should always be carried out by a qualified radio surveyor who has the necessary knowledge of the requirements of SOLAS 74, the International Telecommunication Union’s Radio Regulations, and the associated performance standards for radio equipment. The survey of the automatic identification system should be carried out using suitable test equipment capable of performing all the relevant measurements required by and following the Guidelines on annual testing of the automatic identification system (AIS) (MSC.1/Circ.1252).
  • Surveys for ships intended to operate in polar waters: By SOLAS 74/88 regulations XIV/2.1 and 3.1, MARPOL Annex I regulation 47, MARPOL Annex II regulation 22, MARPOL Annex IV regulation 18 and MARPOL Annex V regulation 14, the Polar Code is a standalone instrument, providing requirements additional to SOLAS 74/88 and MARPOL for ships intended to operate in polar waters. The requirements of the Polar Code should be surveyed in the context of the surveys under SOLAS 74/88 and MARPOL, but do not form separate survey types. 
  • Remote surveys: A remote survey is a means of survey that enables examination of a ship’s hull structure, machinery components and systems, and ship’s equipment and/or gathering information and evidence of compliance with applicable requirements without the physical attendance on board of the surveyor. 

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Source: Safety4sea

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