Notice Board

The Genuine Article

April 28th, 2016 by

The following article has recently appeared in the 2016  spring edition of Shipping and Marine magazine. View the article here – “The Genuine Article”

Be Specific When Ordering Safety Products

September 15th, 2015 by



Counterfeiters could be taking advantage of the IMPA (International Marine Purchasing Association) catalogue to supply rogue products to unwary buyers warns ILAMA (International Life Saving Appliance Manufacturer’s Association). The organisation believes that not enough purchasers are aware that products listed in the IMPA catalogue are intended as generic examples of what the customer wants and are not necessarily the same as what might be delivered. This practice is followed as an aid to efficiency and works well in most cases as it enables an order to be completed when there may be little difference between the item listed and the product that is actually available. Buyers might not be too worried if a different brand of recognised good quality is delivered instead of the one they ordered but when safety critical components are involved the system can create opportunities for a possibly unapproved product to be substituted.

According to Kay Haffenden, managing executive of ILAMA, when buyers are ordering items of safety equipment they should ensure that the supplier knows that they require a specific product from a designated manufacturer. Failure to do so can result in an unwanted item being substituted in good faith.

“ILAMA is receiving increasingly frequent reports of inferior or incorrect items of safety equipment being delivered to buyers,” she said. “In the best cases costly and time consuming delays can result from unwanted purchases being returned to the supplier. In the worst cases lives may be put at risk when key components that fail to meet the purchaser’s necessary performance standards are supplied and fitted. To the casual observer they may appear comparable to the product intended but in practice they may fail to function in the way the purchaser expects, if at all, and this can have serious consequences when crew or passenger safety is at stake.”

Typical targets for unsafe product substitution are hydrostatic release units which are used extensively in liferafts, lifeboats and voyage data recorders. Although the buyer might have specified the exact item from the approved manufacturer when ordering electronically, unless they make their supplier aware of their specific requirements the IMPA system’s substitution policy can enable an alternate product to be delivered instead. This may be done with the best of intentions but it can mean that the item will not have the approvals and certification the purchaser requires for its life saving equipment.

“It is vital, therefore, that when buyers, purchasing managers and ships’ staff are placing an order they ensure that they use the correct IMPA reference code for the product they require and that they also make their specific requirements clear to their supplier,” said Kay Haffenden. “It then follows that when the order is delivered they should double check that they have received exactly what they asked for.”

The ILAMA organization represents the interests of its members who are all manufacturers of safety equipment used in the international maritime and offshore oil and gas industries. ILAMA members design, manufacture, inspect, repair, service and test a wide variety of certified life-saving equipment while meeting the appropriate national and international standards. The continuous development of products that enhance safety at sea also relies on ILAMA members maintaining contact with regulatory bodies to ensure that any proposals and requirements are practical and relevant to the industry. The association therefore monitors standards applicable to members’ activities and provides a forum for discussion of safety issues raised by them. By sharing members’ views, experiences and technical papers, ILAMA ensures that regulatory bodies and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are aware of their collective concerns and can be lobbied for action by appropriate authorities.

Press enquiries to; Paul Eastaugh
PEMS Marine & Offshore PR
Tel: +44 (0)118 934 1101 Mobile: +44 (0)7889 432014

Enquiries to; Kay Haffenden
International Life-saving Appliance Manufacturers’ Association (ILAMA)
PO Box 952
West Sussex
BN43 9EJ England

Telephone : +44 (0)1273 454187 Fax : +44 (0)1273 454260
Email :

April 2015

Code Confusion

January 21st, 2015 by


CODE CONFUSION – Always make sure that you receive
exactly what you have ordered!

The increase in internet and E-mail ordering, incorporating the use
of specific, original reference codes (such as those sanctioned by
IMPA), makes it very important that these codes refer to the actual
product that the customer wants to order. Any inaccuracy in the
use of product numbers and codes may cause buyers to run the
risk of receiving products they did not intend to buy.

It is vital therefore, that, when ordering products, buyers, purchasing
managers and ship’s staff, ensure that they use the correct
reference that applies to the actual product that they require.

ILAMA believes that the accurate use of international product
coding is the best way to ensure that the equipment, part or
service that is needed on board to ensure safety is up to the job.


For further information:



Counterfeit Products 2012

January 21st, 2015 by

‘Counterfeit Products – How they are affecting the safety of passengers and crew’ Presentation given by Jim Booth at the Passenger Ship Safety Conference in London (January 2012) Counterfeit products presentation.
Counterfeit products presentation

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