Aging vessels face inspection clampdown.
AGING tonnage and ships with a high risk profile face an inspection clampdown in the European Union from next year, industry is being warned.
Any passengership, oil tanker, gas or chemical tanker older than 12 years can face expanded inspection under the new port state control regime due to be rolled out by Paris Memorandum of Understanding.
Operators of such vessels will from January 1 be required to notify national authorities at least 72 hours before a ship"s expected time of arrival.
The risk profile calculation is being changed to take into account not only the flag state but also the ship"s recognised organisation and the ship operator"s prior inspection record. The operator is taken to be the company mentioned on the International Safety Management certificate.
The Paris MoU rules will come into effect throughout the region, which goes as far as Russia and Canada, but will have added bite in the EU as the provisions have been made enforceable by law.
?The operator, agent or master of a ship which is subject to an expanded inspection shall notify its arrival at least 72 hours before the expected time of arrival in the port or anchorage or before leaving the previous port or anchorage if the voyage is expected to take less than 72 hours,? says advice to industry prepared by the European Maritime Safety Authority.
The expanded inspection regime typically involves two port state control officers and can last ?the best part of the day?, said Richard Schifferli, Paris MoU general secretary. The new regime is designed to reward quality operators with less frequent inspections while clamping down on riskier ships, Mr Schifferli said.
The standard pre-arrival notification period for ships not subject to expanded inspection is at least 24 hours. Notifications must include: ship identification; planned duration of the call; hull configuration and condition of ballast tanks (for tankers); planned operations in port (such as unloading); planned statutory survey inspections and maintenance or repair work; and the date of the last expanded inspection in the Paris MoU region.
Failure to report ?may cause a ship to be targeted for inspection? said Emsa. ?Penalties may be imposed for non-reporting by the national authorities as a result of breaches of national provisions.?
Emsa and the Paris MoU are to launch an awareness campaign to familiarise operators and owners with the new requirements. The rules on banning have also been changed.
Given local procedures for reporting may vary, operators are being advised to contact authorities so they can implement them ?in due time?.