A growing offshore renewable energy sector (e.g. wind farms) has increased demand for ships which may combine transportation and accommodation of industrial personnel working offshore.

There are currently no international regulations for cargo ships carrying more than 12 personnel who are not engaged on board. Today, ships carrying more than 12 persons, not engaged on board, would be considered passenger ships under the SOLAS Convention. The non-mandatory SPS Code has, however, frequently been accepted by flag administrations for such vessels, instead of full passenger ship compliance, although the SPS Code is explicitly not intended to enable carrying persons not working on board. Furthermore, the SPS Code is not accepted by all flag administrations. These regulatory gaps have resulted in inconsistent application of requirements by the various flag administrations, and a confusing compliance regime for shipowners and operators.

The IMO has developed a new SOLAS Chapter XV and a related mandatory new IP Code for the carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on cargo ships and high-speed cargo craft. The IP Code will intentionally fill and clarify the regulatory gap between SOLAS cargo ships and SOLAS passenger ships.


The new SOLAS Chapter XV and the IP Code were adopted in November 2022, and are entering into force on 1 July 2024.

IMO IP Code - Milestones (image)

Please read more about the applicability and implications for Existing ships and New ships using these links, or use the menu at the top or bottom of this page for the same topics.



The IP Code is to a large extent based on the Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (2008 SPS Code), with a few adaptations:

  • Training: Requirements to the industrial personnel (age, fitness, language, training and familiarization)
  • Safe transfer: Requirements to the arrangement for the safe transfer of personnel
  • Life-saving appliances: For HSC cargo crafts, illuminated or luminous notices or video information system(s) are to be provided for the IP personnel and a safety equipment sub-centre for the crew
  • Dangerous goods: If simultaneously carrying dangerous liquid chemicals and/or liquified gases as cargo in bulk and industrial personnel, be certified in accordance with SOLAS VII Part B or C or comply and be certified in accordance with the OSV Chemical Code (Resolution A.1122(30)) or a standard not inferior to it. Ships carrying toxic products, low-flashpoint products and acids are not allowed to have more than 60 persons on board in total.

New International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel

Read our Technical and Regulatory News from 12 Dec 2022