Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 as amended. (SOLAS PROT)

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 01/05/1981


Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Maritime transport



What is it about?

The 1978 SOLAS Protocol was adopted at the International Conference on Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention, which was convened in response to a spate of tanker accidents in 1976-1977. The Protocol made a number of important changes to Chapter I, including the introduction of unscheduled inspections and/or mandatory annual surveys and the strengthening of port State control requirements. Chapter II-1, Chapter II-2 and Chapter V were also improved by further enhancing safety measures, including the required implementation of inert gas systems and extra precautionary measures relating to the steering and radar systems.

Why is it relevant?

The Protocol raises the safety standards set in the parent SOLAS Convention in a reaction to accidents that occurred previously. The reoccurrence of similar events should now be avoidable through compliance with the current amendments.

Additional Information

The International Conference on Tanker Safety adopted measures affecting tanker design and operation, which were incorporated into both the SOLAS Protocol of 1978 as well as the Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1978 MARPOL Protocol). In December 2007, 111 states had ratified the Protocol, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute approximately 96% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet.


Country ratifications

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