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January 24 2006

Paris MOU in pollution prevention crack down

The twenty-two maritime authorities of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control are to start a concentrated inspection campaign focusing on how MARPOL73/78 Annex 1 requirements for preventing marine pollution from ships are being implemented.

The inspection campaign will last 3 months, ending on 30 April 2006.

During every port state control inspection within the Paris MOU region (EU Members plus Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation), the oil filtering equipment and record keeping will be verified in more detail for compliance with the international standards.

The campaign will be carried out in parallel with a similar campaign by the Tokyo MOU on Port State Control.

The inspections will mainly focus on the equipment located in the engine room on board. Inspections in the past have indicated that illegal by-passes of the oil filtering system (OFE) and illegal overboard connections from sludge tanks have been found regularly.

On many occasions oil record books were found to be not properly kept. In 2004 a total of 3,646 MARPOL Annex 1 deficiencies were found in during inspections.

During the campaign, port state control officers will use a list of 13 selected items for inspection, some of which are related to:

Alarm and automatic stopping devise of the oil filtering equipment
Discharge to reception facilities
Sludge capacity for intended voyage
Illegal by-passes or connections

If deficiencies are found, the Port State Control Officer will conduct an in depth investigation into other aspects of the MARPOL area, including operational performance by the responsible crew.

When deficiencies are found, sanctions by the port state may vary from recording the deficiency and instructing the master to rectify within 14 days to the detention of the ship until all deficiencies have been rectified.

In case of detention, the ship could face the risk of further inspections in other Paris MOU ports and publication in the monthly list of detentions issued by the Secretariat of the Paris MOU.

It is expected that approximately 4,500 inspections will be carried out during the campaign.

All inspections will be entered in the SIRENAC database of the Paris MOU and will be recorded on an evaluation form. The results of the campaign will be analyzed later this year and will be submitted to the Committee of the Paris MOU.

In 2007 the Paris MOU plans a concentrated inspection campaign that which will focus on the International Safety Management System--five years after its global implementation on board ships.