IMO’s adoption of the ISO 24409 – 2: 2014 graphical symbols

On the 25th of November 2016, IMO issued the MSC.1/Circ.1553 on Shipboard Escape Route Signs and Emergency Equipment Location Markings. This announcement is expected to result on changes on graphical symbols in the safety signs used onboard.

The Maritime Safety Committee had previously acknowledged that ISO was developing a new ISO standard for shipboard signage and life-saving equipment and means of escape stating that once this standard was published it could be considered during the revision on Resolution A.760(18). With the MSC.1/Circ.1553 it can be assumed that the adoption of ISO 24409 – 2: 2014 is now underway as the document states the following: "The Committee, having noted that ISO had published its standard ISO 24409-2:2014, Design, location and use of shipboard safety signs, safety-related signs, safety notices and safety markings – Part 2: Catalogue, which generally conforms to the corresponding symbols set out in the annex to resolution A.760(18), as amended, and the annex to resolution A.952(23), decided that the ISO standard 24409 series should be brought to the attention of Member States.

It is the intention of the Committee to prepare a revision of resolution A.760(18), which will incorporate the graphical symbols contained in the above-mentioned ISO standard, without any changes, for adoption by the Committee at its ninety-ninth session in 2018.”

Even though more and more shipboard safety signage project specifications require compliance with ISO 24409, for the time being it is likely that there will be a transition period where as MSC.1/Circ.1553 also states:

"Member States are invited to bring the ISO standard 24409 series to the attention of ship designers, shipbuilders, shipowners, ship operators, ship masters, shore-based firefighting personnel and other parties concerned, so that they may use it, on a voluntary basis, for shipboard signage, in compliance with the relevant requirements of SOLAS chapters II-2 and III, pending the adoption of the revised resolution.”

The announcement also reveals the intention of the Committee of revising Resolution A.760(18) in order to integrate ISO 24409 graphical symbols which will likely be considered for adoption in 2018.

Regarding the application of these guidelines on existing vessels, IMO MSC.1/Circ.1553 refers that: "Member States are also invited to note that existing ships may still use resolution A.760(18), as amended, for shipboard signage."

The images below illustrate some of the graphical changes that have been introduced by ISO 24409:

In order to assure compliance with the latest Standards and Regulations, Everlux safety signs have now been updated in compliance with ISO 24409 and are now featured in the revised catalogue which also makes use of several best practice installation examples.

Everlux had previously addressed the publication of ISO 24409 and if you would like to learn more about this standard, which is divided in three different parts, its concepts, definitions and requirements, we draw your attention to an article of a previous newsletter where it was all summarized in an organized and easy to read manner: Marine Safety Signs – Design and Installation Code of Practice in Compliance with ISO 24409.