Paris MoU 2023 CIC On Fire Safety

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The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MoU) on Port State Control (PSC) carried out a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Fire Safety in collaboration with the Tokyo MOU from 1 September to 30 November 2023.

During the CIC, member Authorities focused on compliance with areas specified by the CIC during PSC inspections.

A CIC questionnaire was devised and approved by the Paris MoU Port State Control Committee. The intention of the questionnaire was to provide a supplementary series of questions to the regular inspection process to specifically address areas where there are reoccurring deficiencies with respect to fire safety.

The questions provided additional guidance to Port State Control Officers (PSCO) to help:

  • determine if ships meet the mandatory requirements for fire safety prescribed in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code); and
  • foster consistent and harmonized inspection and implementation of the requirements by all PSCOs.

The objective of the CIC was to verify the level of compliance and create awareness with the requirements of Fire Safety. Fire Safety is considered an inspection item for PSC inspections. During the CIC, a total of 3856 inspections were carried out with the questionnaire. The CIC-topic detention rate in the period was 3.9% (151 ships were detained)

Scope of CIC

The CIC was to be applied to all ships targeted for inspection within the Paris MoU Region between 1 September to 30 November 2023. The CIC was designed to offer additional focus on areas where a number of detainable deficiencies remain high as it relates to fire safety and not intended to detract from the normal coverage of PSC inspections. It was conducted in conjunction with the regular PSC targeting and inspection activities.

Paris MoU member Authorities were provided with a standardized questionnaire format to record and report their results against the 10 targeted questions that comprised the CIC. PSCOs were required to indicate if the ship was detained as a result of the CIC. For each “No” answer, PSCOs were directed to document the deficiency using the appropriate deficiency code on Form B of the PSC inspection report. Further, PSCOs were directed to use “N/A” should the question not be applicable to the ship and consequently the question could not be answered.

Paris MoU 2023 CIC on Fire Safety

Paris MoU 2023 CIC on Fire Safety

Specification of CIC-topic related deficiencies

Paris MoU 2023 CIC on Fire Safety

Conclusions

The results show that there is generally a good level of compliance, however this should be considered in the context that the shipping industry were informed well in advance of the intention to carry out a CIC in this area. The majority of the questions asked during the CIC already form part of an initial inspection and are checked each time an inspection is carried out.

In conclusion, the examination of CIC results highlights concerns regarding fire safety compliance, notably with Questions 2 and 10. Question 2, addressing the upkeep of fire doors, revealed a non-compliance rate of 9.3%, indicating a notable proportion of vessels where fire doors may not be adequately maintained. Similarly, Question 10, assessing the satisfactory execution of witnessed fire drills, demonstrated a noncompliance rate of 9.2%.

The identified non-compliance in these critical areas raises potential risks for maritime safety. In the case of fire doors, inadequately maintained barriers could compromise the containment of fire, posing a threat to both crew and vessel integrity. Additionally, Lack of familiarity of the crew with fire drills undermines the readiness of the crew in responding effectively to fire emergencies. Based on this CIC exercise, an issue remains with respect to Fire Drill performance, similar to the results of the CIC on fire Safety completed in 2012.

Recommendations

To mitigate risks related to the fire doors and fire drills, it is imperative for stakeholders to take proactive measures. Implementing stringent maintenance protocols for fire doors and conducting regular, realistic fire drills are essential.

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Source: Paris MOU