AMSA Bans Cargo Ship from Australian Ports

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Papua New Guinea-flagged cargo ship Kiunga Chief from entering or using Australian ports for three months.

The move comes after the 6,200 dwt ship was detained for a third time in less than 18 months due to the failure of its operators to “safely and effectively manage” the operations of the vessel.

AMSA issued an official direction banning Kiunga Chief from Australian ports to the master in the Port of Brisbane on June 5.

The 1999-built ship has now gone to an anchorage within the port to undergo an inspection by its class society before it continues its voyage.

As informed, the three-month-ban will take effect once the vessel leaves the port.

Kiunga Chief has been issued a total of 79 deficiencies between August 14, 2015, and May 29, 2017, according to AMSA.

These deficiencies include, but are not limited to, failure to maintain critical equipment such as the ship’s engines and fire extinguishing systems, inadequate food provisions, unsanitary living conditions including defective toilets and water leakage into cabins, inadequate training for crew and evidence of crew exceeding 72 hours of work in seven days and being underpaid, AMSA said.

“These are serious and systemic failures on behalf of the ship’s operator which have placed the safety and wellbeing of the crew and the health of Australia’s marine environment at risk,” Stephen Curry, AMSA’s Acting General Manager of Operations, pointed out.

“Despite numerous opportunities for improvement, the operator of Kiunga Chief has consistently failed to provide a safe workplace for crew or meet minimum applicable standards, and as such, this ship is unwelcome in Australian waters. Let this be a reminder that sub-standard ships will not be tolerated in Australia,” Curry concluded.

The general cargo vessel is owned by Papua New Guinea-based Consort Express Lines, VesselsValue’s data shows.