Thursday, June 30, 2022

ABS Updates Rules on RoRo Vessels in Response to Fires

 In the wake of recent incidents of fire on RoRo vessels carrying vehicles, ABS has responded to industry concerns with an update to its Rules addressing electric vehicles on board.

The culmination of more than a year of work with leading industry expertise including RoRo operators, ABS has introduced new requirements within its Marine Vessel Rules. These requirements include supplemental fire detection, alarms, and firefighting equipment as well as provisions associated with vehicle recharging.

ABS is the first Classification organization to adapt its rules to account for the specific challenges presented by increasing volumes of battery-operated vehicles transported by sea.

“Although recent incidents have not affected ABS-Classed vessels, the nature of the vehicles carried on all RoRo vessels is changing, introducing fresh challenges for the entire industry and we are committed to meeting these challenges. By updating our rules in response to the evolving risk presented by battery-powered electric vehicles and the particular issues these types of vehicles create for car carriers, we are advancing the cause of safety at sea and continuing our 160-year-old mission,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology.

The new updated Rules build on ABS’ industry-leading experience in addressing firefighting and safety systems of cargo holds of container vessels, and also the location of a series of high-profile fires onboard. The ABS Guide for Fire-Fighting Systems for Cargo Areas of Container Carriers was the industry’s first guidance on tackling the issue.

The updated requirements can be found here and here. They become effective for new build vessels on July 1, 2022. 

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