Port state control authorities plan crackdown on ships' structural safety

Port state control authorities worldwide are planning a major crackdown to ensure ships are meeting structural safety and Load Line Convention requirements. Beginning September 1, a Concentrated Inspection Campaign  (CIC) will be mounted that will continue until November 30.

During the campaign port state control officers (PSCO's) will verify applicable documents and will look at such aspects of the ship as loading instruments, the protection of hatch openings, the vessel’s hull, bulkheads and deck and other features relating to the Load Line Convention and structural integrity in more detail.

The PSCO's will be guided by a questionnaire listing items to be covered during this concentrated inspection. The questionnaires will be published on the websites of Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU at the beginning of August.

Port state control authorities taking part in the crackdown are the 45 who are parties to the Paris MOU and Tokyo MOU. States that are parties to the Viña del Mar Agreement, the Indian Ocean MOU, the Mediterranean MOU and the Black Sea MOU will follow the same routine during the campaign.

When deficiencies are found, actions taken may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain period to detention of the ship until deficiencies have been rectified.

In case of detention, publication in the monthly list of detentions available on the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU web pages will take place.

The background for this CIC is that, on average for the last eight years, deficiencies related to structural safety and load lines have accounted for 15% of the total number of deficiencies found in port state control inspections. However, structural safety for ships other than bulkers and compliance with the Load Line Convention in general have never been addressed with the special attention typical for a CIC.

The results of the campaign will be analyzed and findings will be presented to the governing bodies of the MoUs’ for submission to the IMO.

July 21, 2011