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Displaying items by tag: Paris Memorandum of Understanding

The Minister for Transport Mr Noel Dempsey T.D today welcomed the confirmation from the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (PMoU), on port state control that Irish flagged ships can qualify for the first time as "low risk ships" under a new international maritime inspection regime introduced from 1 January 2011.

Speaking this afternoon Minister Dempsey said; "This new low risk status will deliver very real benefits to Irish registered ships in the international maritime transport sector. It will mean significantly less inspections and greater advantages in the charter market for Irish flagged ships. It will also have the impact of greatly enhancing the maritime reputation of Ireland and will save seafarers time and money. I am pleased that the international maritime regulators have recognised the quality of Irish registered ships and their associated companies. This status was gained as a result of very significant efforts on the part of the Irish shipping industry, Irish seafarers and by officials in the Department of Transport."

Minister Dempsey added; "Last year Ireland jumped 11 places in the International Maritime Organisation's "White List" of international shipping nations to 8th position. This put us in the top tier of maritime countries worldwide. The confirmation now that Irish registered ships are classed as "low risk" further enhances our international reputation."

Under a new inspection regime international ships are now classed as low risk, standard risk or high-risk. This classification will result in ships being targeted for safety inspections. Low risk ships will be rewarded with longer inspection intervals of up to three years. Standard risk ships will be inspected every year and high risk ships will be subject to expanded inspections every 6 months. Ships with 3 or more detentions will be banned from entering ports for a minimum period of 3 months. Ships with consistently poor performance will be permanently banned.

In order for a ship to be regarded as "low risk" a key criterion is that it must fly the flag of a "White Listed" State and that the flag State must also have completed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) audit. During 2010 Ireland moved up to eight position on the "White List" and Ireland has now successfully completed the IMO Audit. These developments together have now allowed Irish flagged ships to be classified as "low risk" for the first time. By 1 January 2011 only 22 States out of a possible 169 States have attained this status worldwide.

On 1 January 2011 Ireland also implemented THETIS - the new international information system that manages ship inspections. THETIS is linked into SafeSeasIreland and since 1 January 2011 all ships have a statutory obligation to report their pre-arrival information into SafeSeasIreland. The Minister has now signed the new regulations SI No. 656 of 2010 giving effect to the new inspection regime.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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