ABS updates rules on Ro-Ro vessels in response to fires

The Japanese-owned vehicle carrier Felicity Ace shortly after it caught fire while underway off Portugal's Azores region on February 16, 2022 (Photo: Portuguese Navy)
The Japanese-owned vehicle carrier Felicity Ace shortly after it caught fire while underway off Portugal's Azores region on February 16, 2022 (Photo: Portuguese Navy)

ABS has responded to industry concerns with an update to its rules addressing electric vehicles on board Ro-Ro vessels in the wake of recent incidents of fire on such vessels carrying vehicles.

Following more than a year of work with leading industry experts including Ro-Ro operators, ABS has introduced new requirements within its Marine Vessel Rules.

These requirements include supplemental fire detection, alarms, and firefighting equipment as well as provisions associated with vehicle recharging.

ABS said it is the first classification organisation to adapt its rules to account for the specific challenges presented by increasing volumes of battery-operated vehicles transported by sea.

The updated requirements can be found here and here. The requirements become effective for newbuild vessels on July 1, 2022.

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