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Boost for Ireland as Irish Shipping Considered 'Highest Quality'

14th May 2010
Boost for Ireland as Irish Shipping Considered 'Highest Quality'

Irish ships will now be considered of the highest quality and will be subject to less inspections in ports throughout the region following an international meeting in Dublin today.

The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) held its 43rd Committee meeting in Dublin, Ireland from 10 - 14 May 2010. The meeting was held in the Dublin Castle Conference Centre and was opened by Minister of Transport Mr Noel Dempsey TD. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Brian Hogan (Chief Surveyor of the Marine Survey Office), at the Department of Transport.

The Paris MoU adopted the new "Black/Grey/White List" which is the international league table of maritime flag states. Ireland is on the white list of best performing States and moved from 19th on the list to 8th place this year. This means that Irish ships will now be considered of the highest quality and will be subject to less inspections in ports throughout the region. This will have positive financial consequences for the Irish shipping industry.

The meeting adopted the "New Inspection Regime" (NIR), which is a groundbreaking development in Port State Control. The New Inspection Regime, which will enter into force from 1 January 2011, and will replace the existing Port State Control system. The NIR was developed following a process of review of the existing Port State Control mechanism. The NIR is a significant departure as it is a risk based targeting mechanism, which will reward quality shipping with a smaller inspection burden and concentrate on high-risk ships, which will be subject to more in-depth and more frequent inspections. The NIR is based on the latest developments at the International Maritime Organization, IMO, and makes use of company performance and the IMO audit for identifying the risk profile of ships together with the performance of the flag State and the recognised organisation. The past inspection record of the ship as well as the ship's age and ship type will influence the targeting. Full implementation of the system will rely on collection of port call information. The NIR will be accompanied by a new information system "THETIS" which will replace the current SIReNaC information system.

The Committee looking ahead and recognising that the International Labour Organisation's Consolidated Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, MLC 2006, may enter into force from 2011 onwards considered draft guidelines for Port State Control Officers in respect of the implementation of the Port State Control requirements of the Convention. These guidelines will be based on the MLC 2006 and should become a practical tool for inspections on working and living conditions and will ensure that seafarers will be protected. The Committee also adopted new guidance on control of International Safety Management, ISM, Code requirements, taking into account experience gained since the entry into force of the ISM Code. The Committee continued to take actions in response to the 2nd Joint Paris/Tokyo MoU Ministerial Conference, held in Vancouver in 2004 and agreed that all actions have been completed or will be monitored on a continuous basis.

The results of the Concentrated Inspection Campaign on Lifeboat Launching Arrangements were considered by the Committee and it was agreed that the evaluation will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization in 2011. From September to November this year the Paris MoU will focus its campaign on damage stability of oil tankers, which is seen as an important issue and the results will be communicated to the international shipping community.

The Paris MoU has increasing relations with port State control regimes in other areas of the world. The meeting heard reports from the US Coast Guard, the Caribbean MoU, Black Sea MoU, Riyadh MoU and Tokyo MoU. The International Labour Organization was also represented and provided updates. Malta and Croatia will join the MoU Advisory Board (MAB) of the Paris MoU for the coming 3 years and the Committee thanked the outgoing MAB members Russian Federation and Sweden for their positive contributions over the past period.


Published in Ports & Shipping Team

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