A global supplier of marine distress signals has urged businesses to order pyrotechnic products ahead of their expiry dates, following the updated guidance of certification of goods for seafarers released by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

marine distress flare

WesCom Signal and Rescue has urged businesses to think about forward planning for products. Photo: WesCom Signal and Rescue

WesCom Signal and Rescue stressed the importance of forward planning for the ordering of pyrotechnics and other dated, mandated items, to mitigate any possible supply delays in the future.

Keith Bradford, product & customer service manager for WesCom Signal and Rescue, said: “We do not currently foresee any problems with availability, but due to the unknown climate we are all in, we strongly recommend working with customers to replace earlier than originally planned. Health and safety is, and will always be, of paramount importance to WesCom Signal and Recue and its suppliers around the world, and we urge seafarers to remain compliant at all times.”

Only where absolutely necessary, extensions to expiry dates of pyrotechnics will be made at the discretion of the local maritime authority and will only be considered where availability is a problem for a particular vessel, said WesCom Signal and Rescue. The extension may be granted for a month at a time to enable the vessel to reach a port where supply can be replenished; but not beyond four years after the date of manufacture, marked on the product.

The company advises seafarers to keep updated with current regulations to stay compliant, and only use quality suppliers and equipment, and certified service partners.

By Rebecca Jeffrey