The MSC adopted a new Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (Casualty Investigation Code) in May 2008. Relevant amendments to SOLAS Chapter XI-1 were also adopted, to make parts I and II of the Code mandatory from 1 January 2010. Part III of the Code contains related guidance and explanatory material.
The Code requires a marine safety investigation to be conducted into every “very serious marine casualty”, which is defined as a marine casualty involving the total loss of the ship or a death or severe damage to the environment.
The Code also recommends an investigation into other marine casualties and incidents, by the flag State of a ship involved, if it is considered likely that it would provide information that could be used to prevent future accidents.
The new regulations expand on SOLAS Regulation I/21, which requires Administrations to undertake to conduct an investigation of any casualty occurring to any of its ships “when it judges that such an investigation may assist in determining what changes in the present regulations might be desirable”.