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World Shipping Council welcomes new IMO Regulations on Mandatory Reporting for Containers Lost at Sea

The World Shipping Council (WSC) has applauded the recent adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108).

Starting January 1, 2026, these amendments will require mandatory reporting of all containers lost at sea, setting a new standard for maritime safety and environmental protection.

“The new regulations, specifically amending SOLAS Chapter V Regulations 31 and 32, mark a significant advancement in maritime safety and environmental protection. By ensuring prompt and detailed reporting of lost and drifting containers, these amendments will enhance navigational safety, facilitate swift response actions, and mitigate potential environmental hazards,” says Lars Kjaer, SVP Safety & Security for WSC.

Key Provisions of the New Regulations

Regulation 31 – Reporting by the Master of the Ship:

  • The Master of a ship involved in the loss of containers must immediately and thoroughly report specific details to nearby ships, the nearest coastal state, and the flag State.
  • The flag State will then pass this information to the IMO via a new module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).
  • Masters of ships that observe drifting containers must report it to nearby ships and the nearest coastal state.

Regulation 32 – Reporting Details:

For Containers Lost at Sea:

  • Reports must be made ASAP, with updates as more information becomes available.
  • A final count of lost containers must be confirmed after a thorough inspection.
  • Mandatory details include the position of the lost containers, the total number lost, and if any contained dangerous goods. Additional descriptive info is required if possible.
  • Masters can also share voluntary details about the cargo, sea conditions, and more.

For Drifting Containers Observed:

  • Reports must include the position and total number of containers spotted drifting.
  • Additional voluntary details similar to those for lost containers can be provided if available.

 (Photo of November 2023 impact of severe storm in the Pacific Ocean on ONE Apus containership)