What Has Changed?
Since 1st October 2012, MCA MGN 453 requires the following:
- Service Providers must be accredited and audited annually
- Service Providers must have Textile Expertise
- A Declaration of Conformity must be issued to the yacht and the Flag Administration
- In depth description of materials treated
- Product application process must be witnessed and approved by a Nominated Body
- Product application rates must be verified
- Product must be able to withstand pre-conditioning treatment
- Product manufacturing facilities must be audited
- Service Providers Quality Manual must be audited for traceability
- Service Providers must keep records of trained and certified personnel
- Vessel certification is recommended to be annual with a maximum of 2 years
The Detailed Changes
KEY POINTS FROM THE NEW CODE
The MCA Approval Procedures provide equivalence to inherently fire retardant materials used onboard vessels certified under the MCA Large Commercial Yacht Code. Inherently fire retardant materials must comply with the relevant 2010 IMO FTP code or be treated in accordance with the requirements of MGN 453. Any alternative approvals including, but not limited to, EN or BS standards are not considered as acceptable equivalent standards by the MCA.
An Application Date of 1 October 2012 applied for Service Providers to comply with these Procedures, after which date, the Service Provider of any fire retardant treatment used to protect floor coverings, suspended textile materials, upholstery materials and bedding components onboard United Kingdom or Red Ensign Group flag MCA Large Commercial Yacht Code certified vessels, must be approved, and certified in accordance with these Procedures.
The treatment process for Vertically Supported Textiles and Films, Upholstered Furniture and Bedding Components must meet the requirements of the appropriate Parts 7, 8 and 9 of the 2010 IMO FTP Code, including the specified pre-conditioning procedures.
Application of the fire retardant treatment product must be applied in accordance with the Service Providers written instruc-tions, and only applied by the Service Providers, or approved agents, trained and certified competent personnel.
For existing vessels, best efforts shall be made to identify the material specifications, for example, by contacting the ship-yard/material supplier or having a sample of material tested, as far as practical, or by having an expert in textile technology examine the materials.
The Service Provider shall provide a Declaration of Con-formity confirming that the specified materials and fabrics on board each individual vessel have been treated according to the approved and tested samples. At least 4 copies are to be signed; one for the customer (ship yard or owner), one to be kept onboard the vessel, one for the Flag Administration survey records, one for the Service Provider.
Date of re-treatment shall not exceed 24 months, and is to be specified on the Declaration of Conformity. However, if treated materials are regularly cleaned onboard, then more frequent retreatment may be required. Re-treatment every 12 months is recommended, or more frequently if advised by the Service Provider.