Paris MOU to focus on passenger ship safety

Written by Nick Blenkey

costa concordiaThe Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) held its 45th Committee meeting in Riga, Latvia, May 7 – 11, 2012. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the impact of the Costa Concordia tragedy, the Committee recognized the need to focus on passenger ship safety and agreed to do so in the form of a Harmonized Verification Program (HAVEP) on operational controls on passenger ships in 2013. The HAVEP will run for a period of twelve months, during which period port state control organizations will focus their attention on compliance with regulations concerning operational emergency drills. The Committee noted that the detention rate of passenger ships increased in 2011 to 4.4 percent compared with 1.6 percent in 2010 and 2009.

Richard 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 program carried out earlier by the Paris MoU.”

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 recognized organization. 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.

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, said the Commitee chairman,

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 focusing 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 PSCC4 percent and the results will be published and submitted to the IMO next year.

As the Maritime Labor 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, Gray and Black List and the performance list of Recognized Organizations. This year Faroe Islands, Vanuatu, Latvia and Iran moved from the “Gray List” to the “White List”. The lists will be published early June and used for targeting purposes starting July 1, 2012. The Annual Report will be published by the end of July this year.

May 14, 2012

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