SOLAS Amendment: Mandatory Reporting of All Lost Containers

Shipping containers falling off a container ship at sea
Updated Published

The World Shipping Council (WSC), representing the liner shipping industry, has expressed approval of the recent amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) adopted by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108).

These amendments, effective January 1, 2026, will make it mandatory to report all containers lost at sea.

Lars Kjaer, the senior vice president for safety and security at the WSC, stated, “The new regulations, specifically amending SOLAS Chapter V Regulations 31 and 32, mark a significant advancement in maritime safety and environmental protection. By ensuring prompt and detailed reporting of lost and drifting containers, these amendments will enhance navigational safety, facilitate swift response actions, and mitigate potential environmental hazards.”

Under the new regulations, the Master of a ship that loses containers must immediately and comprehensively report specific details to nearby ships, the nearest coastal state, and the flag state.

The flag state will then relay this information to the IMO through a new module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

Additionally, Masters of ships that encounter drifting containers must report them to nearby ships and the nearest coastal state.

In recent years, incidents of containers being lost at sea have increased, with the case of the ONE Apus being one of the most notable.