Bulletin 051 – Laid up Vessel Requirements Rev.1.1

Barbados Maritime
  • Revision No:
  • 1.1
  • Issue Date:
  • 26 Feb. 24
  • Effective Date:
  • 24 Jan. 24

Notice to: Shipowners, Operators, Officers, Flag State Inspectors and Recognised Organisations.


1. References

a) Barbados Merchant Shipping Act (CAP 296).
b) IACS PR 1C “Procedure for Suspension and Reinstatement or Withdrawal of Class in Case of Surveys, Conditions of Class or Recommendations Going Overdue”.
c) International Safety Management Code (ISM Code).
d) International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).
e) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
f) Form 12 – Minimum Safe Manning Document Application.
g) Checklist 02 – Ship Registration.

2. Purpose

2.1 This Bulletin describes the requirements for lay-up of Barbadian vessels.

3. Application

3.1 This Bulletin applies to all vessels that are to be laid up temporarily and not in commercial operations for any reason.

4. General

4.1 The term laid up vessel refers to a vessel that is temporarily idle due to lack of cargo, or which are temporarily phased out of commercial operations.
4.2 There are two different ways to lay up vessels: “Hot lay-up” and “Cold lay-up”.
4.3 During “hot lay-up“ the vessel is idle but can be brought back into service at short notice. The machinery is kept in operation for the sake of fast re-commissioning, but measures may be taken to reduce various operational costs. Vessels should normally be laid-up without cargo. Adequate manning for the safe operation of the machinery should be kept.
4.4 During “Cold lay-up“ the vessel is taken out of service due to lack of employment and is moored or anchored at a safe place waiting for new employment. The machinery is taken out of service and the vessel is kept “electrically dead” with the exception of emergency power. Minimum manning covering fire, leakage, moorings and security watches should be kept. Power will be kept to minimum level to ensure emergency equipment and operation of windlass and mooring winch are operational.
4.5 Without a notification of lay-up, vessels are implied to be trading normally and maintaining a full regime of certification, surveys, and inspections, including normal manning for such operations. Therefore, Managers shall advise the BMSR when a vessel is in lay-up.
4.6 The BMSR only requires notification of the vessel being laid up. Failure to notify the BMSR and the relevant Recognised Organisation(s) (ROs) of the vessel entering lay-up and failure to maintain a safe lay-up, will be regarded as a Majon Non-Conformity (MNC) and might result in the vessel being deleted from the registry.
4.7 The Managers are to advise the BMSR of the proposed length of the lay-up and the state of readiness of the vessel to resume trade. The Company should take appropriate advice on lay-up procedures as necessary, including that of the ROs, insurers, and local authorities etc.

5. Statutory and Class Certification

5.1 Statutory certification is normally only required when vessels are trading, while class is to be maintained at all times, as a requirement for continuous registration.
5.2 However, Classification Societies have procedures for laying up vessels and class suspension, which are based on the IACS PR 1C.
5.3 Depending upon the proposed length of the lay-up and taking into account any requirements of the port or coastal State of the lay-up location, the Managers should consider whether to maintain or suspend the statutory and Class certification.
5.4 Any statutory and Class certificates, for which the periodical survey/audit/inspection window has expired during lay-up, is to be considered invalid.
5.5 The Managers and/or ROs shall notify BMSR of suspension or cancellation of class certificates after a decision has been taken by the RO on such suspension or withdrawal.

6. Suspending and Reinstating the Vessel during Lay-up

6.1 If any statutory and class certification are suspended as per above, then the vessel is also suspended from the registry.
6.2 During suspension, all flag certificates and permits issued by the BMSR will be automatically withdrawn and voided and the vessel is prohibited from proceeding to sea.
6.3 When a vessel is suspended from the registry due to lay up, the BMSR will issue the relevant suspension certificate and, for vessel which are required to hold a Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR), the BMSR will issue a CSR with laid up status where the date of entering laying up will be used a date of ceased registration with the BMSR.
6.4 At the end of the lay-up, recommissioning is generally a matter for the Company and the Recognised Organisation to consider. While recommissioning the vessel, the manning must be kept under review, taking into account the reactivation of machinery and equipment and the associated hazards, including potential fire risk.
6.5 All previously cancelled, suspended, or outdated certificates, audits and inspections are to be revalidated and the manning restored to that required by the Minimum SMD before the vessel sails from her port of lay-up.
6.6 The BMSR will re-issue all flag certificates upon submission of all relevant documents and statutory certificates, as applicable, listed in Checklist 02.

7. Safety Management Certificates (SMC)

7.1 If the care of a vessel during lay-up is handed over to an organisation which is not the ISM Manager (e.g. dedicated lay-up providers), the BMSR will accept the suspension of the ISM Code certification of the vessel provided that the company provides evidence that:
.1 all requirements of the coastal State are met;
.2 all requirements of the RO are met; and
.3 the contact details of the organisation that holds responsibility for the safety of the vessel during lay-up.
7.2 if the vessel has been laid up more than 6 months, the SMC becomes invalid and an interim verification audit will be required upon re-commissioning, with the vessel being treated as a new vessel to the company. Upon successful completion of the verification, an interim SMC will be issued.
7.3 If the lay-up period is less than 6 months, but the periodical audit window has expired during lay-up, the SMC will be considered invalid. The vessel will then be required to undergo an interim audit upon recommissioning and an interim SMC will be issued.
7.4 If the vessel has been laid up for less than 6 months and the periodical audit window has not expired, the SMC will still be valid.

8. International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC)

8.1 The continued validity of the vessel’s ISPS Code certification is an important element in the reactivation of the vessel. It is strongly recommended that the ISSC is maintained throughout lay-up and at least the Ship Security Plan (SSP) provisions related to security measures.
8.2 The SSP might need the addition of specific procedures depending upon the extent or “depth” of the lay-up. The Managers are to establish measures within the SSP to address risks associated with security breaches during vessel lay-up periods.
8.3 Where the circumstances described in Sec. 7.1 above, the company must communicate with the Recognised Security Organisation (RSO) to ensure that the SSP Plan covers that operation.
8.4 If the vessel is integrated into the port facility security system, the records of suspension and subsequent reactivation of the ISSC should clearly reflect that, to demonstrate continuity of security.
8.5 If the vessel has been laid up for more than 6 months, the ISSC becomes invalid. An interim verification will be required upon re-commissioning, with the vessel being treated as a new vessel to the company. Re-approval of SSP may be required. Upon successful completion of the verification, an interim ISSC will be issued.
8.6 If the lay-up period is less than 6 months, but the periodical audit window has expired during lay-up, the ISSC will be considered invalid. The vessel will then be required to undergo interim verification upon recommissioning.
8.7 If the vessel has been laid up less than 6 months and the periodical audit window has not expired, the ISSC will still be valid.

9. Maritime Labour Certificate (MLC)

9.1 The Company shall take into account any obligations for medical care and repatriation specified in the CAP 296 or Maritime Labour Convention.
9.2 Any failure to provide a basic level of welfare facilities will be regarded as a failure of the vessel Safety Management System and may lead to further measures by the BMSR, in addition to any action which may be taken by the port or coastal State.
9.3 For ships staying in lay-up more than 6 months, an additional MLC inspection is required on reactivation to confirm continued compliance with DMLC Part II with an additional endorsement.
9.4 If the lay-up period is less than 6 months, but the intermediate inspection window expires during lay-up, the MLC will be considered invalid. The vessel will then be required to undergo interim verification upon recommissioning and an interim MLC will be issued.
9.5 If the vessel has been laid up less than 6 months and the intermediate inspection has not expired the MLC will still be valid.

10. Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT)

10.1 Normal procedures for LRIT apply.
10.2 If the LRIT equipment is deactivated or switched off, the BMSR is to be advised so that reporting can be suspended correctly.

11. Insurance

11.1 Relevant hull and machinery underwriter and P&I club should be consulted for guidance prior to removal of the vessel from service.
11.2 P&I club rules for protection and indemnity cover will vary, but the owner may, upon negotiation, apply for lay-up return for certain idling period provided the vessel is declared safely laid up.
11.3 If the vessel is laid-up for an extended period of time, most P&I clubs will reserve the right to inspect the condition of the vessel on re-commissioning.
11.4 Most port authorities will require a letter from local P&I club representatives to confirm that the laid-up vessel is covered for port risks, e.g. oil pollution, wreck removal, salvage costs, etc.

12. Manning
12.1 The Minimum Safe Manning Document (SMD) does not apply to ships in lay-up.
12.2 When a vessel is laid up, normal manning may be reduced appropriate to the status and operational requirements of the vessel. Any reduction in manning should be considered in consultation with the relevant port or coastal State Authority.
12.3 If the managers and/or the port or coastal States wish to have a lay-up SMD issued by the BMSR, Form 12 is to be sent to registry@barbadosmaritime.com.
12.4 The BMSR recommends that a suitably qualified person should remain in charge of the vessel for the proposed lay-up period and that the manning available should include a sufficient number of trained persons to meet any emergency situation. In such circumstances, communication must be maintained with the local authorities so that further assistance may be immediately obtained when required.

13. Flag Inspections

13.1 If the duration of lay-up includes the window for the annual flag inspection, the anniversary date may be suspended until the vessel is being prepared for reactivation.



Revision No

Description Of Revision


First Issue


Amended Sec. 5.5