MCA Inflatable Non-SOLAS liferafts and life-saving appliances guidance updated to incorporate ISO 9650-1-2022
1 May 2024

The MCA has updated and published MGN 553 (now amendment 1) - Inflatable Non-SOLAS liferafts and life-saving appliances. This MGN states the MCA’s policy for acceptable standards of non-SOLAS inflatable life-saving appliances, this amendment incorporates the changes in the rationalised ISO 9650-1-2022, and completion of phase out of ORC liferafts.

British Marine project led the revision of ISO 9650-1-2022 at industry's request, which was completed and published in 2022. The main reason for the revision was to increase the liferaft capacity allowed under the ISO standard from 12 to 16. This then allows small commercial craft which have up to 12 passengers + crew to now have only one life raft for the capacity of the craft potentially saving the small commercial and charter industry both on initial purchase costs but also on servicing costs of the liferafts.

The key amendments within this MGN for non-SOLAS inflatable LSA are that: 

  • Non-SOLAS liferafts marketed as compliant with ISO 9650 may now be marked for a capacity of 4 to 16 persons.   

  • Non-SOLAS liferafts built to comply with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) standard previously accepted on UK commercial vessels are now phased out of service in accordance with the arrangements detailed in the previous MGN 553.


The MGN can be downloaded in full here - MGN 553 Amendment 1(M+F): Inflatable Non-SOLAS liferafts and life-saving appliances - GOV.UK (