Circulars
  • Date: 2/7/2017
  • Valid to: 12/31/2021
  • Series: RSV
  • Number: RSV 1 - 2017
  • Case number: 2015/39557

Information on certificates required to operate passenger ships at Svalbard

This is a continuation of RSV 04-2015.

The following certificates are required for passenger ships:

1. Certificate requirements for ships carrying more than 12 passengers, engaged on international voyages

Ships arriving at or departing from Svalbard and carrying more than 12 passengers are required to have a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (SOLAS), alternatively an exemption certificate together with a Record of Equipment (form P).

2. Certificate requirements for ships carrying more than 12 passengers and operating in the inner and territorial waters of Svalbard

As an alternative to a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (SOLAS), ships carrying passengers in the inner and territorial waters of Svalbard may have

  1. a safety certificate for passenger ships of class A, B or C according to Directive 2009/45/EC; or
  2. a national passenger certificate allowing the ship to operate in the territorial waters of Svalbard.

For safety reasons, the certificates are required to have an endorsement from the flag state stating that the following technical requirements are fulfilled under the special conditions in these waters:

  1. the ship is fitted with a gyro-compass and GMDSS equipment for sea area A2. The company shall ensure that other transmitting heading devices are appropriate for the ship's operational area and take account of the potential limitations of the devices;
  2. the ship is provided with personal life-saving appliances with thermal properties for every person on board, or thermal protective aids (TPA) for the total number of passengers and for the crew members who do not have their own immersion suits.

3. Planned introduction of new regulations

The certificate requirements for ships carrying more than 12 passengers and operating in the inner and territorial waters of Svalbard must be regarded as temporary. The NMA is in an investigational phase regarding the introduction of new regulations for these ships. With the recently adopted Polar Code as a backdrop, one must expect that a potential adoption of new regulations will introduce further safety requirements.

3. Certificate requirements for ships carrying 12 passengers or less in the inner and territorial waters of Svalbard

These ships shall comply with the provisions of the Regulations of 24 November 2009 No. 1400 on the operation of vessels carrying 12 passengers or less, etc.

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