Safe mooring operations

Safe mooring operations

At the 102nd session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC102), were adopted the following:

  • IMO Res. MSC.474(102)/SOLAS II-1/3-8, “Towing and mooring equipment”
  • Amendments to SOLAS II-1/3-8 and “Revised Guidance on Shipboard Towing and Mooring Equipment” (MSC.1/Circ.1175/Rev.1)
  • “Guidelines on the Design of Mooring Arrangements and the Selection of Appropriate Mooring equipment and Fittings for Safe Mooring” (MSC.1/Circ.1619) and “Guidelines for Inspection and Maintenance of mooring Equipment Including Lines” (MSC.1/Circ.1620), were approved.
  • 1/Circ.1362/Rev.2 – the interpretation approved by the IMO; includes several interpretations relevant to the new requirements.

The amendments to SOLAS II-1/3-8 will come into force on 1 January 2024.



The following apply to ships of 500 gross tonnage and above engaged in international voyages.


New ships

  • New ships (SOLAS II-1/3-8 Para.7 or 8);
  • For new ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and above falling under 1.1 (SOLAS II-1/3-8 Para.7);
  • For new ships with a gross tonnage less than 3,000 tons (SOLAS II-1/3-8 Para.8).

All ships (SOLAS II-1/3-8 Para.9)

  • All ships (both new and existing ships) are subject to compliance with MSC.1/Circ.1620.

Additional new requirements

New ships

  • The selection of mooring lines (MSC.1/Circ.1619 Para.5.2.3)
  • The selection of mooring winches (MSC.1/Circ.1619 Para.5.2.4)
  • The selection of mooring equipment and capstans (MSC.1/Circ.1619 Para.5.2.2)
  • Technical specification documents for mooring lines

All ships

  • Management plans for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment (including mooring lines) (MSC.1/Circ.1620)

Since 1 January 2024, all ships are required to keep the management plans on board based on MSC.1/Circ.1620. The management plans shall include the following (1) to (6) contents. (The numbers in parentheses refer to the paragraph numbers of MSC.1/Circ.1620:


(1)    Procedures for mooring operations, inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment, including mooring lines (3.1)

(2)    Procedures to allow the identification and management of mooring lines, tails and associated attachments (3.3)

(3)    Manufacturers’ criteria for mooring line replacement (4.3.1)

(4)    Records of mooring equipment inspections and maintenance, and mooring line inspections and replacement. (4.4.3 and 6.1)

(5)    Manufacturers’ test certificates for mooring lines, joining shackles and synthetic tails (6.2) (6) Records of the original mooring design concepts, equipment, arrangements and specifications (4.4.4)




The following are the necessary actions that shipowners and management companies need to take:

  • Preparation of management plans for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment (including mooring lines)
  • All relevant parties, including shipowners and management companies, should obtain the information required from the manufacturers regarding mooring lines, mooring equipment, and winches. Utilize and refer to existing SMS manuals and procedures while preparing the management plans.
  • Records of inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment and inspection and replacement of mooring lines shall be retained on board. Such records shall be kept for a period determined by the Company, but in any event the records shall be kept until completion of the next annual survey.
  • When replacing mooring lines, it is necessary to consider the compatibility with the mooring equipment on board, as indicated in “Towing and mooring arrangements plan” and ensure that the replacement aligns with the original design concept specified in the management plans. If replacing mooring lines with LDBF (Line Design Break Force) exceeding 105% of MBLsd and deviating from the original design specifications, re-evaluation of mooring equipment and supporting structures may be required.

Survey Requirements

For existing ships, the following actions are required concerning the management plans by the first periodical survey of the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate on or after 1 January 2024.


  • Refer to the MSC.474(102)
  • Survey to verify management plans onboard (Related to 1.2 and 2.2) (MSC.1/Circ.1362/Rev.2)
  • During the first periodical survey (annual survey, intermediate survey or renewal survey) of the Safety Construction Certificate on or after 1 January 2024, the surveyors will verify that the management plan specified in 2.2.1 is available onboard.
  • Note that since the approval of the management plan is not required by MSC.1/Circ.1620, only compliance verification through the onboard survey is conducted.
  • To inform shipowners and management companies of the survey status, a related Note will be set out in the Survey Status.
  • Towing and mooring arrangements plan

This plan presents specific information regarding the towing and mooring fittings aboard the vessel, the mooring lines, as well as the arrangement of mooring lines and the acceptable environmental conditions for mooring.

For ships, the keel of which is laid o n or after 1 January 2007, this plan is required to be kept onboard for the guidance of the Master in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1175.


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