RDIMS No .: 18147872
Date (Y-M-D) : 2021-12-13
This bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin no. 04/2019.
This bulletin applies to Canadian vessels that are of
- more than 15 gross tonnage; or
- 15 gross tonnage or less and carrying more than 12 passengers.
The VFSR set out requirements that must be met for hydrostatic testing of pressure containers (cylinders), such as fire-extinguishing agent bottles.
Section 1.49 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) outlines the pressure cylinder marking and product approval requirements for transportation of pressure cylinders to shore facilities for refilling, exchanging or requalification from a Canadian-flagged vessel.
Part 1 or Part 2 Vessels
Vessels must meet the operational readiness and maintenance requirements of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Chapter II-2, including all guidelines and recommendations.
The VFSR also require grandfathered vessels that are subject to the Fire Detection and Extinguishing Equipment Regulations to comply with the same operational readiness and maintenance requirements. Consult subsection 106(3) of the VFSR.
Consult the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Revised Guidelines on Maintenance and Inspection of Fire Protection Systems and Appliances (MSC.1/Circ.1432). The document’s annex contains hydrostatic testing requirements for
- fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems, other than carbon dioxide (CO₂) systems (section 10.1);
- water mist, water spray and sprinkler systems (section 10.2);
- fixed dry chemical powder systems (section 10.3);
- wheeled (mobile) fire extinguishers (section 10.5); and
- breathing apparatus (section 9.4).
Consult IMO’s Revised Guidelines for the Maintenance and Inspections of Fixed Carbon Dioxide Fire-Extinguishing Systems (MSC.1/Circ.1318/Rev.1). Note that the revision, issued on 25 May 2021, modifies paragraph 6.1.2 of the annex to introduce changes to the hydrostatic testing intervals for fixed CO₂ fire-extinguishing systems, the most important information to note as follow:
At the 10-year inspection, at least 10% of the total number provided should be subjected to an internal inspection and hydrostatic test. If one or more cylinders fail, a total of 50% of the onboard cylinders should be tested. If further cylinders fail, all cylinders should be tested. Before the 20-year anniversary and every 10-year anniversary thereafter, all cylinders should be subjected to a hydrostatic test.
Consult IMO’s Improved Guidelines for Marine Portable Fire Extinguishers (Resolution A.951 (23)). The annex contains the hydrostatic testing requirements for portable fire extinguishers.
Cylinders for fixed fire-extinguishing systems must meet the marking requirements of the standards referred to in section 124 of the VFSR. The TDGR include an exemption for the transportation of cylinders used in fixed fire-extinguishing systems on board vessels, for the purpose of refilling, exchanging or requalification. Vessels must meet the conditions of section 1.49 of the TDGR to benefit from that exemption.
Part 3 Vessels
Vessels must maintain their pressure containers in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the standards to which the system is certified or approved.
Fixed carbon dioxide (CO₂) fire-extinguishing systems
- are subject to subsection 345(1) of the VFSR;
- are required under the Standard on Carbon Dioxide Extinguishing Systems (NFPA 12) to be hydrostatic tested
- after 12 years of service; and
- before recharging if 5 years have passed after the last test date.
Fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems (other than carbon dioxide systems)
- are required to be tested by following the requirements of the TDGRFootnote 1 and must meet either
Where test intervals differ between the TDGR, the National Fire Protection Association or the manufacturer’s requirements, you must use the most frequent interval.
Cylinders for fixed fire-extinguishing systems must meet the marking requirements of the standards referred to in subsection 339(3) of the VFSR. The TDGR include an exemption for the transportation of cylinders used in fixed fire-extinguishing systems on board vessels, for the purpose of refilling, exchanging or requalification. Vessels must meet the conditions of section 1.49 of the TDGR to benefit from that exemption.
1. Hydrostatic testing
2. Vessel Fire Safety Regulations
3. Pressure container
Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8
Contact us at: Email: email@example.com or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).