Paris MOU: Ships' fire safety still a serious concern

schifferli Paris MOUFEBRUARY 26, 2013 — "Fire safety is clearly not top priority on every ship and that is a serious concern," says Richard Schiferli (left), Secretary General of the Paris MoU on port state control.

The Paris MOU Secretariat has just released preliminary results from a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Fire Safety Systems, carried out between September 1, 2012 and November 30, 2012 in the Paris MoU region.

  • 103 ships were detained over the 3 month period as a direct result of the CIC for deficiencies related to fire safety systems
  • 64 percent of all ships detained in the three month period were detained for fire safety related issues.

Problem areas included fire pumps and their pipes, fire fighting equipment and appliances, and the fire control plan.

The CIC questionnaire was completed during 4,014 inspections on 3,985 individual ships. A total of 1,958 CIC-related deficiencies were recorded and 103 ships (2.6 percent) were detained as a direct result of the CIC; 64 percent of the detentions during the CIC-period were fire safety system related.

During the campaign most inspections concerned general cargo/multi-purpose ships with 1,347 (34 percent) inspections, followed by bulk carriers with 766 (19 percent) inspections, container ships with 422 (11 percent) inspections, chemical tankers with 343 (9 percent) inspections and oil tankers with 308 (8 percent) inspections.

Fifty nine (57 percent) of the detained ships were general cargo/multipurpose ships and 14 (14 percent) were bulk carriers. Among the other detained ships were nine container ships, four offshore supply ships and four RO/RO cargo ships. Fifty one percent of the detained ships were 25 years or older.

Analysis of the recorded deficiencies shows that most deficiencies relate to fire pumps and its pipes (13 percent), fire fighting equipment and appliances (11 percent), and the fire control plan (9 percent).

Most inspections were carried out on ships under the flags of Panama with 445 (11 percent) inspections, Liberia with 308 (8 percent) inspections, Malta with 306 (8 percent) inspections and Antigua and Barbuda with 282 (7 percent) inspections. The flags with the highest CIC-topic related detention rate were Dominica with 28,6 percent (2 CIC-topic related detentions during 7 inspections), Sierra Leone with 21,2 percent (7 CIC-topic related detentions during 33 inspections) and Togo with 18,2 percent (4 CIC-topic related detentions during 22 inspections).

The background for this CIC was that, as an average for the last 8 years, deficiencies related to fire safety systems account for 14 percent of the total number of deficiencies within the Paris and Tokyo MoU. The CIC was a joint campaign with the Tokyo MoU. Other MOU's have followed the same routine during the campaign.

The detailed results of the campaign will be further analyzed and findings will be presented to the 46th meeting of the Port State Control Committee in May 2013, after which the report will be submitted to IMO

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