Chain register/cargo gear register:
The chain register is the register in which
data concerning a ship’s lifting gear must be recorded. The term ‘lifting gear’ includes derricks and cranes
for the handling of stores, and also lifting gearused in the engineroom, and it is important that all such items of equipment should be properly tested, certified,marked and maintained.The greatest practical importance of the chain register for a geared bulk carrier is as a register of all items of cargo-handling equipment. Such items, whether derricks or cranes, are used by stevedores for the loading and discharge ofthe cargo. Stevedores will expect to find that the equipment works efficiently and safely, and will, with good reason,complain about any defect in the equipment they are required to use. If they have any doubts about the condition ofthe equipment they will demand to inspect the chain register and it is vital that the register be kept fully and correctlyup-to-date. In countries such as Australia and Canada union inspectors are likely to carry out spot checks aboard aship to ensure that all the gear is safe, and also to verify that all items of gear are clearly marked and that testcertificates can be readily located. Failure to have the chain register kept properly up-to-date can result in stoppage ofwork until matters have been put right, and the vessel will be put off hire in these circumstances.There are two reasons for maintaining a chain register: it may be a requirement of the country with which the ship isregistered and it may be a requirement of the country in which the ship is loading or discharging cargo. In theory achain register issued in the form approved by any national authority or classification society will be acceptable in allcountries which call for a register. In practice this is generally true, particularly when the ship is well maintained, butthere are exceptions.The chain register of one country is not always accepted at a local level in another country and some ship operatorsput aboard their ships chain registers from a number of the countries where difficulties are experienced in the ports.Thus a Liberian-
registered ship may carry chain registers from Lloyd’s Register and from the governments of
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. Each country has its own requirements regarding frequency of inspectionand these requirements differ one from another.
Some national administrations accept the chief officer as a ‘competent person’ whose signature for annual surveys i
acceptable, but other countries such as India and Pakistan will accept a chief officer’s signature only when he has a
certificate issued by the government of the state whose flag the ship flies, stating that he has the authority to sign.The Panamanian register requires all surveys to be verified by a classification society surveyor.Any chain register which the ship carries must be properly kept up to date. Before the register can be signed thefollowing requirements must be satisfied.
Every item of cargo gear must be of sufficient safe working load (SWL), and suitable design.
Every item of cargo gear must be marked with a unique identifying number.
There must be a certificate, in an approved form, for each item of cargo gear, identified by its unique number.
A system must exist to produce the certificate for any item of cargo gear promptly.
Every item of cargo gear must be in sound condition, and well maintained.
Thorough inspections of the cargo gear must be carried out at the required intervals (annually for most authorities,but three-monthly for Australia).When the inspections have been carried out the register must be signed in the appropriate places. Registers are