Port State CICs to Focus on Seafarers’ Rights, Enclosed Space Entry

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Gard Alert: Port state CICs in 2016

Port state authorities have announced the following CICs, lasting three months from 1 September to 30 November 2016:

Port

Paris MoU

Their CIC for 2016 is aimed at verifying compliance with relevant parts of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) and the campaign demonstrates the importance of decent working and living conditions onboard ships, as well as ensuring that seafarers’ rights are respected.

The MLC entered into force on 20 August 2013 and sets out the obligations of shipowners and operators with respect to seafarers’ contractual arrangements, working hours, accommodation and recreational facilities, catering standards and their health and safety. Although the Convention has not been ratified worldwide, it has widespread effect because of its “no more favourable treatment” clause which ensures that no advantage is to be gained from registering a ship in a state that is not a party to the Convention.

According to Paris MoU’s annual report for 2015, approximately 15 per cent of all registered deficiencies in the region in 2015 were related to working and living conditions on board ships. Most deficiencies were found in the areas of health and safety and accident prevention (41%), food and catering (17%), hours of work and rest (12%), accommodation (9%) and seafarers’ employment agreements (6%).

The Paris MoU press release dated 28 July 2016, includes a questionnaire containing 12 selected items to be used by Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) during their regular inspections.

Tokyo, Black Sea, Indian Ocean and Viña del Mar MoUs

Their CICs for 2016 are aimed at verifying compliance with the relevant parts of SOLAS and related guidelines concerning procedures and measures in place for the safe stowage and securing of cargo.  The CICs will also be important in light of the mandatory container weighing requirements that came into force on 1 July 2016.

In accordance with SOLAS Chapters VI/VII and the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code), cargo units, including containers, shall be stowed and secured throughout the voyage in accordance with an approved Cargo Securing Manual.  The Cargo Securing Manual is mandatory on all types of ships engaged in the carriage of all cargoes other than solid and liquid bulk cargoes.  Guidelines for the preparation of the Cargo Securing Manual is available through MSC.1/Circ.1353/Rev.1.

It is important that securing devices meet the accepted functional and strength criteria applicable to the ship and its cargo.  It is also important that officers on board are aware of the magnitude and direction of the forces involved and the correct application and limitations of the cargo securing devices.  The crew and other persons employed for the securing of cargoes should be instructed in the correct application and use of the cargo securing devices on board the ship.

The Tokyo MoU press release dated 1 August 2016, contains a questionnaire with 10 selected items to be used by PSCOs during their regular inspections.  Similar questionnaires are likely to be used by attending PSCOs in all the MoU regions.

Caribbean MoU

Their CIC for 2016 focusses on crew familiarisation for entry into enclosed spaces and is aimed at verifying compliance with the applicable requirements of the SOLAS, STCW, MLC and ILO Conventions.

Accidents in enclosed spaces onboard ships have long been a source of serious injuries and fatalities and a requirement to carry out enclosed space entry and rescue drills became mandatory in January 2015 (SOLAS Reg.III/19).  The purpose of the CIC is therefore to ensure that Masters, officers and crew members are familiar with the relevant equipment and have received training in carrying out their duties; raise safety awareness among crew serving on board; and ensure that ships have effective procedures and measures in place to safeguard seafarers when entering and working in enclosed spaces onboard.

As far as Gard is aware, no specific questionnaire has to date been released by the Caribbean MoU, however, the questionnaire used by Paris and Tokyo MoUs during their joint CIC in 2015 is available here for guidance.

Riyadh MoU

This CIC focusses on pilot transfer arrangements and is aimed at verifying compliance with the applicable requirements of SOLAS and related guidelines as detailed in the Annex to IMO Resolution A.1045(27), e.g. the condition of the ladder and ropes and the familiarity of the Master and crew with pilot transfer arrangements.  Reference is also made to the IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1428 pilot boarding arrangements.

The Riyadh MOU has released a questionnaire with 12 selected items to be used by PSCOs during their regular inspections.

Recommendations

Gard’s Members and clients are encouraged to become familiar with the CIC criteria prior to the commencement of the campaigns.  As most of the Maritime Administrations have delegated the certification of ships under IMO Conventions and Codes to the classification societies, we also recommend contacting ships’ classification societies to obtain more detailed information on typical survey procedures related to the announced CICs.

A self-inspection/assessment on board is recommended and all crew members should be provided with training prior to entering the port of inspection during the CIC period.

When deficiencies are found, actions by the port state may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the Master to rectify it within a certain period of time, to detaining the ship until serious deficiencies have been rectified.  The results of the CICs will be analysed and findings will be presented to the governing body of the MoUs for submission to the IMO.

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Source: Gard

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