254 - 07/02 - Port State Control Crackdown on ISM

Date: 30/06/2002
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As part of a worldwide crackdown on substandard shipping, Beijing has announced a three-month concentrated inspection campaign to ‘guarantee that operational safety and environmental standards are enforced’. This year's campaign ends on September 30th. This concentrated campaign is being mirrored by all 18 member states of the Tokyo MOU.

At the same time, the Paris MOU committee have confirmed that there will be no extensions granted to those ships that became ISM compliant on July 1st 2002.

China's 753 general cargo vessels of 500gt or more had a July 1st deadline to comply with the ISM Code. Any cargo vessel, domestic or foreign, of 500gt or more, will be detained if it fails to comply, China Maritime Safety Administration officials announced on Monday. Under the ISM Code, a ship must have on board a valid Safety Management System Certificate and a copy of its company's Document of Compliance.

China launched a similar concentrated inspection campaign on July 1st, 1998, when implementation of the ISM Code was made mandatory for all passenger ships, tankers, chemical carriers and gas and bulk carriers weighing more than 500gt. In the three months following that deadline, China checked 421 foreign ships of which 312 ships, or 74%, were found to be compliant. China detained 32 foreign ships for failing to comply with the code or for other safety management defect. Leading up to the final deadline, all Chinese companies and vessels were audited to be in compliance with the ISM standards by July 2000 and were issued with Documents of Compliance and Safety Management Certificates.

The chairman of the Paris MOU Committee reported recently that the increasing trend in operational deficiencies related to safety procedures was still continuing at an alarming rate. Since 1999, there had been an increase of 29% in such deficiencies. At the same time, safety management defects had risen by 150% with ships older than 15 years showing 14 times as many non-conformities as ships less than 5 years old.

Source of Information:   External / Loss Prevention Dept.

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