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Reporting of containers lost overboard mandatory from 2026

Photo: Twitter @nobuya0827 ONE apus with collapsed container stacks
The ONE Apus lost 1,816 containers overboard in 2020
The World Shipping Council welcomes new regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on reporting containers lost at sea.

Under recently adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108) the Master of a ship involved in the loss of containers will have to make a report immediately, starting from 1 January 2026.

The amendments were well received by liner shipping representative body the World Shipping Council (WSC).

“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,” said Lars Kjaer, SVP Safety & Security for WSC.

Under regulation 31 the immediate reporting by the Master must include specific details to nearby ships, the nearest coastal state, and the flag State. The flag state will then pass the information to the IMO via a new module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

Also Master that observe drifting containers are to report them to nearby ships and the coastal state.

Regulation 32 that covers reporting rule states that reports must be made ASAP, with updates as they become available ,and a final count of lost containers given through inspection.

Containers lost overboard hit the headlines in 2020 with the incident involving the ONE Apus. The ONE Apus saw 1,800 containers lost in severe weather and another weather event led to the loss of 750 containers for Maersk Essen in 2021.

TAGS: Regulation IMO