IMO has prohibited new Halon installations from 1994, but accepts existing Halon systems installed prior to that date. Phase out of Halon is consequently an issue for each Flag State, with the phase out for EU flagged ships as the most notable programme.
While the majority of Flag States accept Halon to be used as fire extinguishing system onboard their vessel, EU (including NOR / NIS vessels) has banned use of this agent from end of 2003. A new approved fire extinguishing system should then be installed (except for areas not required to be protected) whereas the Halon containers should be transported to a deposit.
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
The Montreal Protocol of 1987 (with amendments) is an international treaty for
the protection of the ozone layer. The means used are to restrict and eventually
prohibit the production of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and control
distribution of ODS. All ODS produced are, in this context, considered lost to
atmosphere, hence the protocol does not discuss collection and controlled
destruction of ODS.
European Community Regulations
The purpose of these Regulations is to agree on how the intention of the
Montreal Protocol can be met for the geographical area of the parties assigned
as members of the European Community (EC). This is done by a set of EC
Regulations concerning production, distribution, use and eventually decommissioning
and destruction of OSD in order to meet the targets set by the EC.
EC Regulation No.093/94 gave detailed means for controlling and phasing out
the different ODS. However, this is replaced by EC Regulation No. 2037/2000,
which was signed by the concerned parties on 29.06.2000 and entered into force
on 1.10.2000. The Regulation in question will also cover the EEA area (Norway,
Existing Halon fire extinguishing systems may be used and re-filled/topped up
with re-cycled Halon until 31.12.2002. After this date any re-filling or use of
Halon as a fire-extinguishing medium will be prohibited. By 31.12.2003, fire
protection systems and fire extinguishers containing Halons shall have been
decommissioned and Halons shall have been recovered as regulated by EC
Regulation No. 2037/2000.
Gielle interprets that this means that Halons shall not be utilised as
fire extinguishing mediums after 31.12.2002 and as a consequence, alternative
fire extinguishing systems and extinguishers shall be available on board prior to
this date. This Paper does not address the implementation of the EU directive
into national legislation. This may delay the process, but owners should not rely
on that. The directive should not have an effect on non-EU flagged vessels
entering EU ports.
Countries, which have signed the Montreal Protocol (more than 160 countries),
may in addition have developed their own national regulations.
Please check with the Flag State in question.
International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
The IMO under UN is the major organisation taking care of regulations applicable
for ships and floating units in international trade or operation. Taking into account
the Montreal Protocol and concern for environmental protection, IMO discussed
the measures that may be considered practical for international trade at sea.
New installations of fixed fire extinguishing systems and portable fire extinguishers
using Halon were prohibited from 1.1.1994 on board all ships and
floating units. IMO considers that the shore-based regulations on Halons will
govern the phasing out of existing installations, as the availability of Halons
decreases. IMO has thus not defined any target date for the phasing out of
The scope of work, when acting on behalf of Flag Administrations, is to see that
the intention of IMO and possible additional regulations enforced by the Flag
Administrations are put into effect. Hence, the major classification societies and
the International Association for Classification Societies (IACS) will follow IMO
and have subsequently enforced that new installations of halogenated hydrocarbon
systems were prohibited on all new ships and floating units from 1.1.1994.
Use of Halon on Board Ships and Floating Units (MOUs)
For vessels flying the flag of Administrations that have ratified IMO regulations
The installation of new fixed fire extinguishing systems and portable fire extinguishers
with Halon on board ships and floating units is prohibited. A phase out
scheme for existing installations has not been established.
For vessels flying the flag of countries assigned as member states in EC
The Administrations of these countries may enforce EC regulation No.
2037/2000, which allows use and re-filling of Halon until 31.12.2002 and
requires decommissioning of fire extinguishing systems with Halon by 31.12.2003.
ALTERNATIVE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS
Commercial ships are in general to comply with SOLAS Ch. II-2 and Flag State
requirements. The Flag State requirements are often identical to SOLAS with
minor additions and interpretations. Some alternative chemical gases have been
proposed banned under national legislation.
SOLAS Ch. II-2, Reg.7 requires all machinery spaces with power output exceeding
375 kW (510 hp), all oil-fired boiler rooms and purifier rooms to be provided
with a fixed extinguishing system. Some of the existing Halon installations
have been installed as an additional safety measure in spaces not required to be
protected and may normally be decommissioned without replacement.
SOLAS Ch. II-2, Reg.7 basically identifies three options for extinguishing systems
for the spaces to be protected:
I. Water spray systems (SOLAS Ch.II-2, Reg.10)
II. CO2 extinguishing systems (SOLAS Ch.II-2, Reg.5)
III. High expansion foam systems (SOLAS Ch.II-2, Reg.9)
In addition to the above systems, alternative and equivalent systems have later
been developed and acceptance criteria established in IMO Circulars referred
to in Amendments to SOLAS 1974. The equivalent systems are subject to fullscale
prototype testing, including fire extinguishing tests and mechanical testing
of components. The systems can be categorised as follows:
IV. Water mist systems equivalent to SOLAS Ch.II-2, Reg.10 (equivalent standard:
IMO MSC/Circ. 668/728)
V. Alternative gas extinguishing systems (equivalent standard: IMO Circ. 776)
VI. Inside air high expansion foam systems (equivalent standard: IMO
One of the above systems I-VI is to be installed. Systems designed according to
above item I are to be reviewed on a case by case basis. For systems II through
VI, references to type approved products have been included in appendix A.
HALON BANKING AND RECEPTION FACILITIES
1 The Sub-Committee on Fire Protection, at its fortieth session (17 to 21 July 1995), having
noted that, under the 1992 amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention (resolution MSC.27(61)),
new installations of halon fire-extinguishing systems had been prohibited as from 1 October 1994,
recalled its previous decision that, for the time being and until appropriate halon banking facilities
were established, halons need not be withdrawn from existing systems.
2 The Sub-Committee considered it useful that information on the availability of halons at
various ports of the world be circulated, as existing halon systems may need to be recharged with
recycled halons to comply with the relevant requirements of the 1974 SOLAS Convention.
4 The attached annex contains the revised listing of halon banking and reception facilities
based on information received by the Secretariat during 2008, which supersedes that annexed
System design, installation, service
Gielle provide the
services (design and
installation, retrofit, recharge, and maintenance)
necessary to keep your Gielle system functioning
properly and in compliance with Marine fire protection
Immediate free quote
Contact us for an immediate free quote.
Our quality is certified
Gielle makes its products inaccordance with UNI EN ISO 9001, UNI EN ISO 14001,
SA8000:2001 certified quality standards
In accordance with established maritime standards
Gielle’s systems solutions have been tested and approved by marine regulatory agencies throughout the world.
Worldwide installation and service.
No matter where your vessel puts into port. From
New York to Dubai, we perform whatever service is necessary including installation,
retrofit, recharge, maintenance and
It's our global commitment to keeping your Gielle systems functioning perfectly and in
accordance with applicable Marine fire protection regulations.
The right approvals and certifications.
Gielle Fire Systems' products carry an impressive range of Type
Approvals and Flag Administration Approvals.
System design, installation & service
Gielle can provide the services (design and installation, retrofit, recharge,
an d maintenance) necessary to keep your system functioning
properly and in compliance with all applicable
Marine fire protection regulations.
We provide complete stationary and mobile fire
protection solutions from risk analysis via technical design to
Gielle is the leading fullservice
provider for fire protection in Europe and one of
the leading companies worldwide.
Marine, naval and offshore fire protection
Products from the Gielle Fire Suppression have been
developed to meet not only the needs of today, but to also
comply with evolving marine requirements, including
environmental issues, local regulations and more. To every
extent possible, we engineer the ability to upgrade our
equipment directly into our product lines. In many cases, this
gives owners the ability to avoid entire system replacements
when conditions change. Each design innovation is supported
by such important services as ongoing safety documentation.
Immediate free quote
Contact us for an immediate free quote.