The International Maritime Organization (IMO) appointed a group of experts very soon after the accident. The group drafted a proposal for security improvements to ro-ro passenger ships as well as other passenger ships. The expert group’s proposal was presented to the committee on safe seas, which continued the work and prepared a SOLAS Conference. At the time of the conference, which was held in 1995, SOLAS underwent a number of changes, most of which came into force on 1 July 1997. The most important requirements were obviously the technical design of bow doors and ro-ro ship stability, above all that ships must be able to withstand a free liquid surface on the vehicle deck. A variety of other improvements were also decided.
Requirements that were introduced included:
• Certain watertight doors must be kept closed when sailing.
• Indicator lamps for all ports in the shell plating must be installed on the bridge.
• TV monitoring and systems for the detection of water leaks must be located on the bridge and in the engine control room. It also introduced requirements for the improvement of evacuation routes. Requirements for ”fast rescue boats” were introduced, as well as life jackets being equipped with lamps. Work within the IMO was extensive and was carried out very quickly. The overwhelming number of rules decided on also applied to existing ships, not only for newly built ships.