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Certain vessels were given an MCA dispensation from ISM Compliance because they were built under the 1969 rules and when the conversion from GRT to GT took place, they fell above the 500 GT line. Do they have to comply?

No. If an administration recognises the old tonnage (as the MCA Does) then it is applicable to apply compliance requirements for the old tonnage. So in this case the ship need not comply. The proviso is that the administration should issue the ship with a letter or some other form of authority to continue using the old tonnage.
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