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focus on passenger ship safety in 2013

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Richard Schiferli

The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) held its 45th Committee meeting in Riga, Latvia, from 7 – 11 May 2012.

The Committee agreed that the first year of the new inspection regime (NIR) has been largely successful. An important goal of the NIR is to concentrate inspection efforts on high risk ships and reward quality shipping with a reduced inspection burden. The NIR makes use of company performance and the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) for identifying the risk profile of ships together with the performance of the flag State and the recognised organisation. The inspection history of the ship as well as the ship’s age and ship type influences the targeting. The information system THETIS is hosted and managed by EMSA and the Committee thanked them and the European Commission for their significant contribution.

Mr. Hogan, the Chairman, stated: “The detention rate increased for the first time in years, although less inspections were carried out in the Paris MoU-region, this shows that the NIR is achieving its objective”. 

High importance was given to Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CICs). A CIC on fire safety systems has been scheduled from September to November this year, a CIC on Propulsion and Auxiliary Machinery in 2013 and a CIC focussing on hours of work and rest in 2014. The campaigns will be carried out jointly with the Tokyo MoU. In addition the Committee considered a number of options for other joint CICs with the Tokyo MoU for 2014 and beyond. The report of the CIC on structural safety and the Load Line Convention, carried out in September, October and November of 2011, was presented to PSCC45 and the results will be published and submitted to the IMO next year.

The Committee recognised the need to focus on passenger ship safety and agreed to do so in the form of a Harmonized Verification Programme (HAVEP) on operational controls on passenger ships in 2013. The HAVEP will run for a period of twelve months, during which period PSCOs focus their attention on compliance with regulations concerning operational ermergency drills. The Committee noted that the detention rate of passenger ships increased in 2011 to 4, 4% compared with 1, 6% in 2010 and 2009.

Mr. Schiferli, the Secretary General, stated: “The HAVEP should provide valuable information on operational safety of passenger ships and results could be compared with a similar programme carried out earlier by the Paris MoU.”

Since the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) is expected to enter into force in 2013, the Committee agreed in principle on amendments to the Paris MoU text, introducing the MLC 2006 as a relevant instrument.

The Committee adopted the 2011 Annual Report, including the new White, Grey and Black List and the performance list of Recognised Organisations. This year Faroe Islands, Vanuatu, Latvia and Iran moved from the “Grey List” to the “White List”. The lists will be published early June and used for targeting purposes starting 1st July 2012. The Annual Report will be published by the end of July this year.

On behalf of the Member States, Mr Hogan concluded the meeting by thanking Latvia, and in particular the Maritime Administration, for the excellent arrangements they made for this Committee meeting in Riga.

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