This IC applies to passenger ships registered in the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS).


  1. Agreement of 1 June 2002 between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and “Recognized Organisation” (Class Agreement) sections 2.3 and 3.3.
  2. Regulations of 1 July 2014 No. 1072 on the construction of ships section 7
  3. Regulations of 5 January 1998 No. 6 on construction, equipment and operation of high-speed craft used as passenger craft or cargo craft section 33
  4. MSC.1/Circ. 735 recommendation on the design and operation of passenger ships to respond to elderly and disabled persons' needs
  5. Regulations of 2 October 1972 No. 4 on calculation of number of passengers and on passenger accommodation, etc.


The NMA notes the increasing number of passenger ships registered in NIS. Based on experience gained over the past few years, the NMA considers it necessary to inform the ROs with regard to its practice and interpretation in relation to certain statutory regulations on passenger accommodation and universal design.


  1. With regard to the regulations referred to in nos. 2, 3 and 4 above, passenger ships shall be built to comply with the requirements of the recommendations and guidelines in MSC.1/Circ.735 (the Guidelines) for universal design of and safety for persons with reduced functional ability with the modifications required for the ship. Norway has adopted the Guidelines as statutory requirements which apply to all Norwegian passenger ships of more than 15 m LOA, with the modifications required for the ship.  With regard to the specific requirements of the Guidelines, the NMA informs the ROs’ of the following practices:
    1. In lieu of where the Guidelines do not give exact measures, the NMA  recommends ship owners and designers to use a recognized national standard accepted by the user’s organizations. As an example, where the Guidelines calls for contrasting colours and tactile warnings, with no further specifics, the NMA normally recommends using the guidelines adopted by “Norges Blindeforbund”, a Norwegian organization of the vision impaired.
    2. With regard to the Guidelines’ paragraph 7 where the area outside of the elevator should be at least 150 cm x 150 cm, the NMA considers that a circle with a diameter of 150 cm equals the footprint of subject area prescribed by the Guideline.
    3. Bearing in mind wheelchair users often will move backwards out of the elevator car, stairways going down outside of the elevator, shall be provided with barriers that effectively reduces the risk for wheelchair users to fall down the stairs when exiting the elevator.
    4. With regard to paragraph 15, the NMA advise that “a number” shall be interpreted as at least 1 % of the cabins. This corresponds to the number of places reserved for wheelchair users in paragraph 11.
    5. With regard to paragraph 16, the NMA does not enforce the requirement “the hand basin should be within reach from the toilet” if a lavatory is designed with at least 90 cm free space on each side of the toilet. The user’s organizations have informed us that it is more important to be able to enter the toilet from either side, than to reach the hand basin from the toilet.

With regard to the regulations under reference 5 above on the calculation of number of passengers and on passenger accommodation, etc. the NMA emphasises that these regulations apply to all Norwegian passenger ships. In particular, the NMA has observed that the requirements in subject regulation section 27 (sickbay) are not always complied with. Considering and having due regard to the area of operations, an RO may accept a request for exempting a ship from the requirement relating to the number of beds in the sickbay. The Class Agreement paragraph 3.3 applies.