New international safety standard for ships carrying offshore personnel

Published 22-03-2024

On 1 July 2024, the International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel (the IP Code) will enter into force. The IP code is a mandatory set of regulations aimed at ensuring the safety of personnel who are transported to and from work at offshore facilities.

The expanding offshore renewable energy sector, including wind farms, has increased demand for vessels that both transport and provide accommodations for industrial personnel working offshore. To address a lack of international regulations for cargo ships transporting more than 12 personnel who do not work on board the vessel, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the new SOLAS Chapter XV, in November 2022, which implements the IP Code. The SOLAS amendments and the IP Code will come into force on 1 July 2024.

The IP Code is applicable to ships above 500 GT operating internationally that carry at least one Industrial Personnel among a total of more than 12 individuals, including Industrial Personnel, Special Personnel, and passengers.

Transitional scheme for existing ships

Existing ships may only benefit from the IP Code's grandfathering provisions if they received authorization from their flag administration to carry Industrial Personnel before the IP Code's implementation date. Ships without such prior authorization must fully comply with the IP Code before they can transport more than 12 Industrial Personnel after 1 July 2024.

Danish existing vessels must hold an "IP Code Statement of Compliance – To Whom It May Concern" in order to be eligible for the grandfathering provisions. Companies operating ships that already carry Industrial Personnel must submit an application for the IP Code Statement of Compliance before the new regulations come into effect on 1st July 2024. Applications received after this date will not be eligible for the grandfathering clause, requiring such ships to fully adhere to the IP Code and obtain the necessary certification before carrying industrial personnel.

The application process requires companies to submit relevant documentation to the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), including:

  • A copy of the Special Purpose Ship Safety Certificate, in accordance with the SPS Code 2008.
  • Documentation that confirm, that the ship has implemented a system to check that the Industrial Personnel meet the requirements in item 4 in Resolution MSC.418(97); Interim recommendations on the safe carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages.

Compliance for existing ships, verified through the issuance of an IP Code Statement of Compliance, will be reflected on the IP Code certificate. Such ships must meet the IP Code's requirements on industrial personnel, safe transfer, lifesaving appliances, and dangerous goods by the third annual survey or the first renewal survey following 1 July 2024, whichever comes first.

For Danish ships, the Recognized Organization will be responsible for verifying compliance with requirements on industrial personnel, safe transfer, lifesaving appliances and dangerous goods of the IP Code and issuing the IP Code certificate.


Danish Maritime Authority