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On December 5, 2017, IMO introduced a new resolution A1116 (30), namely “Escape Route Signs and Equipment Location Markings.” This recommends the adoption of new ISO signage, which will be required starting on January 1, 2019 for new vessels. In addition, these signs will be mandatory for all vessels that undergo repairs, modifications, outfitting or any kinds of alterations within the scope of SOLAS chapters II-2 and/or III after that date. It’s expected that existing IMO signage will be replaced at some point in the future. However, it’s important to note, these are recommendations ONLY and for existing ships, the present IMO version will remain valid for a numbers of years to come.
The difference between the two is minimal and the policy will ensure that if the older IMO and the new ISO signage are utilized on the same level, there can be no confusion to the crew or passengers.
The need for uniform international safety symbols is to indicate the location of emergency equipment as well as muster stations and that the Assembly had urged Contracting Governments to ensure that the symbols were used when appropriate and where appropriate.
All vessels constructed on or after January 1, 2019 and any existing vessels that undergo repairs, alterations, modifications, or outfitting within the scope of SOLAS chapters II-2 and/or III on or after that date are expected to comply with the new IMO resolution A1116 (30). The following signs are impacted: Life Saving Appliance symbols (with and without text), Direction signs, Fire Equipment signs, Prohibition signs, Hazard signs, Mandatory signs, and Space identification signs are to be used by the crew.
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