The International Load line Convention
The requirements for an international load line certificate is quite interesting as it is really the starting point for all international safety certificates on commercial vessels as it applies to all vessels of over 24 m length that go to sea. It is perhaps one of the main reasons that there is quite a few 23.9 m small commercial vessels around. The requirement to have MARPOL certificates comes in at 400 GT and most of SOLAS at 500 GT unless they are passengers’ ships. This means that these regulations have a significant impact on quite small vessels with regard to construction and safety and some of these provisions will in turn have an impact on the amount of GHG emissions that the vessel produces. The International Load line regulations require that every ship is surveyed and issued with a Load line certificate every 5 years. The ship must also have an intermediate survey every 30 months with a 3 month windows either way. The ship must also have an annual inspection and both the inspections, and the intermediate survey must be stamped on the certificate. If the ship does not have its certificate up-to-date then it can be detained by the flag State or port State inspectors. The survey mainly consists of checking the vessel to ensure that the watertight integrity of the structure as a whole has been maintained. This will include watertight and weather tight doors, hatches, vents air pipes and any other opening to outside that the sea water could get in. The survey will also check that the ship’s draft marks and load lines are still in place and visible (MariEMS 2017).