2008 Annual Report on Port State Control

The average detention percentage appears to have stabilized over the past four years at around 5%. A serious matter: in 1 out of every 20 inspections a ship is not allowed to proceed to sea.

More worrying is an increasing trend in the number of deficiencies between 2005 and 2008 of 34%. This implies that on average the condition of ships is deteriorating rapidly. Nearly 60% of inspections result in 6 deficiencies on average and 458 inspections revealed more than 20 deficiencies in 2008.

The 2008 “Black Grey and White List” only underscores this development with more flags in tthe very high risk and high-risk categories. With the global economic recession gaining momentum at the end of 2008 the prospects for 2009 are worrying. Commercial shipping operators, as in other industries, are seeking to reduce costs. If wrong choices are made this could impact on the safety of shipping. There is some concern that a relaxation in the regulatory regime by some flag States and some recognised organizations could impact negatively on shipping.

In reviewing the 2008 figures it appears that ships older than 15 years account for 75% of all eficiencies. There is a concern that with the economic downturn that ships working lives will be extended which could result in greater levels of deficiencies with a resulting decrease in safety. The New Inspection Regime project of the Paris MoU approaching to its final stage of development received political support (from Europe) and the Paris MoU starts concentrating on putting the details into place. While low-risk ships will be rewarded with a 24 to 36 month inspection interval, the high-risk ships will be subject to a more rigorous inspection regime with an inspection every 6 months. Banning measures will be extended to all ship types and apply to flags on the “Black List” and “Grey List”. This should have an effect on a large number of ships, which manage to continue trading in the area after multiple detentions. They will no longer be welcome in Paris MoU ports after 2011.

The 27 members of the agreement have carried out 24,647 inspections in 2008. The number of detentions has dropped slightly from 1,250 in 2007 to 1,220 in 2008. Over the period 2006-2008 ships flying a “black listed flag” have the highest detention rate.

With 16,070 inspections and 1,906 detentions they score a detention rate of 11.86 %. For ships flying a “grey listed flag” the detention rate is 6.30% (3,319 inspections, 209 detentions) and ships flying a “white listed flag” 3% (49,330 inspections and 1,478 detentions). In 2008 a total of 19 ships were banned. From these ships 18 were flying a “black listed flag” at the time of the banning.

While detention percentages of most ship types have decreased in 2008, the record for gas carriers and tankers has increased. An area of concern, which needs to be closely monitored. Certain areas of deficiencies also show a concerning increase compared with 2007:

Safety of navigation (29.19%)
MARPOL Annex IV, V, VI (17,12%)
Security (22.71%)
Equipment and machinery (19,48%)
Stability and structure (19.41%)
Working and living conditions (17,67%)

Between the 1st of September and 30th of November 2008 a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on “Safety of Navigation” was carried out. Port State control focussed on compliance with SOLAS Chapter V requirements. The results from this campaign show that one out of every five inspections revealed navigation deficiencies during the CIC. A total of 5,809 inspections have been carried out on 5,470 ships. Several ships were inspected more than once.

During the campaign 1,872 “Safety of Navigation” related deficiencies were recorded. 81 inspections (1.39%) resulted in a detention where one or more SOLAS Chapter V detainable deficiencies were found. The most commonly found detainable deficiencies were related to “Charts”, “Nautical Publications” and “Voyage Data Recorder”.

The full report will soon be available on the Paris MoU web site: www.parismou.org.