IMO & MED
In the text below, an explanation is given about the fire resistance and what the certificates regarding this topic actually entail. The text below is informative, and no rights can be derived from this document.
IMO Res. Part. 3
IMO stands for International Maritime Organization. IMO is one of the most important international treaties in the area of vessel safety. To have it Internationally structured, the IMO has come up with a system called: International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures.
Res. stands for Resolution. The resolution is a procedure which is used to test products. This procedure is indicated with a code such as: A.754(18). You can find exactly which test are performed, and how they are measured (source).
Part 3 stands for the specific test that is done. There are a total of 11 tests that can be performed in the area of fire-safety. The full list with all 11 part can be found here. IMO Res. Part 3. implies thus that is is tested on: Testing of Vertical and Horizontal Divisions, Classes A, B and F.
When is something B-15?
B-15 is a characteristic of panels that have a met the requirements of a certain fire resistant test. The B-Class is a category of materials which are: bulkheads, decks, ceilings and flooring. In order to meet the B-Class requirements, these test must have been passed according to the IMO:
They shall be so constructed as to be capable of preventing the passage of flame to the end of the first one-half hour of the standard fire test;
they shall have an insulation value such that the average temperature of the unexposed aide will not rise more than 139°c (250°F) above the original temperature, nor will the temperature at any one point, including any joint, rise more than 225°c (405°F) above the original temperature, within the time listed below:
- Class B-15 – 15+ minutes
- Class B-0 – 0-15 minutes
They shall be constructed of approved non-combustible materials and all materials entering into the construction and erection of “B” Class divisions shall be non-combustible, except where in accordance with Part C and D, which can be found in this document on page 6.
IMO Res. A. 653 (16) – (IMO FTPC Part 5)
IMO Res. A. 653 (16) is a name for a particular procedure for testing products. This procedure is different from the IMO FTPC Part 3-IMO A.754(18) of WAROTEC B-15. The IMO Res. 653 (16) test the surface flammability. Or the literal explanation: Resolution A.653(16) – Recommendation on improved fire test procedures for surface flammability of bulkhead, ceiling and deck finish materials. The total heat that the surface might have is <2.0MJ. The test takes 40 minutes (source).
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Scope MED A.1/3.11b
Scope is a short introductory word to address that it is about a certain category in fire resistance.
MED shows that this test is done with the regulations of the MED, just like IMO..
Wat is MED?
MED stands for Marine Equipment Directive. It is an organization that writes regulations and amendments in the name of the EU. It is aimed at the equipment requirements that will be installed in a new or existing ship/vessel. You can recognize the certificates by the logo with the weel: “the Wheel Mark”.
This is issued by ABS Europe Ltd. They can approve material and issue EC Type-Examination (Module B), and issue Quality Assurance/Product Verification (Modules D or E/F) or Unit Verification (Module G) certificates. Don’t let the modules (B, D, etc.) confuse you. This is a reference to sections in legal documents. These indicate where you should look and can find what applies to you.
This means that there is a difference between MED and IMO (source).
Marine Equipment Directive (MED) are requirements that are regulated by the IMO for equipment of seagoing vessels.
Back to the code: Scope MED A.1/3.11b. A.1 (abbreviation for Annex 1) stands for the version of the amendment and 3.11b is the test that this panel has succeeded on. So basically it’s a structured way of noting in order to find the 3.11b as quickly as possible. All MED A.1 codes can be found here.
A short overview of all codes/chapters:
- Life-saving appliances
- Marine pollution prevention
- Fire protection equipment
- Navigation equipment
- Radiocommunication equipment
- Equipment required under COLREG 72 (Navigation lights)
- Equipment under SOLAS Chapter II-1 (Water level detectors)
Point 3 is about fire resistance. That is why its 3.11b.
In general, Annex 1 is updated once a year with new products and test standards.
Important developments (2020)
An important part of the old 1996 MED is Annex A. This lists the rules and test standards that apply to each type of product. This annex has also been given a major overhaul. Naturally, it also has a new name: Annex A will henceforth be called “Implementing Regulation”. Over the years much has been said about the old annex. All these points have been taken into account as much as possible in the design of the new Implementing Regulation. For example, the new Regulation specifies the dates until which old, and from which new standards are valid and from and to which equipment may be placed on board. NMT was also closely involved in this revision. The Implementing Regulation has been put into effect since March 2017 and the full text of the Implementing Regulation can be found here.
For a short overview of the NMT, you can click here.
The source of the Implementing Regulation is very important. This is because at point 3 you can find all the rules about fire safety. From helmets to fire extinguishers etc. 3.11b is about Class B products. And 3.13 is about the non-combustible products. In these chapters, you can find all the approval and performance requirements.