AMSA issued its 2020 Annual PSC report, recording a total of 3,021 PSC inspections and 178 ship detentions. The figures showed a slight increase in the detention rate of ships from 5.1% in 2019 to 5.9%, while the peak in 2011 was 9.2%.
nspectors undertook 3021 PSC inspections during 2020. While this is a reduction of 6.2% from 2019, it is only a slight reduction of 201 inspections over the full year or around 4 per week around the entire country. When compared against the number of arrivals, this outcome is a positive achievement as the 6.2% drop-in inspections occurred in a period where the total port arrivals decreased by 8.4% or 2,405 fewer arrivals.
The average deficiency rate also increased from 1.6 deficiencies per inspection in 2019 to 2.1 deficiencies per inspection in 2020. While an increase was observed, the deficiency rate has only been less than 2.1 twice in the last 10 years.
As noted in previous reports, from 2013 onwards, ships and operators with a record of poor performance can be refused access from entering or using Australian ports through a direction issued under section 246 of the Navigation Act 20121. In 2020, AMSA refused access to five ships for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months. Four of these directions were issued in response to significant breaches of MLC.
Key points 2020
- During the calendar year there were 26,179 ship arrivals by 6081 foreign-flagged ships, 3021 PSC inspections and 178 ship detentions.
- Bulk carriers accounted for 54.8% of ship arrivals and 60.9% of PSC inspections.
- In 2020, the number of foreign-flagged ship arrivals decreased by 2,405 (8.4%) to 26,179. The number of arrivals by individual ships increased by 100 to 6081 (up 1.7%).
- The number of initial PSC inspections conducted during 2020 decreased by 201 (6.2%) to 3021.
- The overall number of deficiencies increased to 6387 in 2020, compared to 5281 in 2019.
- The average number of deficiencies per inspection increased to 2.1 in 2020, compared to 1.6 in 2019.
- The number of detainable deficiencies increased to 270 in 2020, compared to 218 in 2019. The largest contributor to this was ISM detainable deficiencies increasing to 76 in 2020, compared to 52 in 2019.
- The number of detained ships increased to 178 in 2020, compared to 163 in 2019. The detention per inspection rate also increased to 5.9% in 2020, compared to 5.1% in 2019.
- The deficiencies per inspection remained relatively low in 2020, with only 2018 and 2019 having lower deficiency rates since AMSA first published its annual PSC reports in 1991. The quality of ships coming to Australia continues to be of a high standard.
Deficiencies by category and ship type
A total of 6377 deficiencies were issued in 2020 with the average deficiencies per inspection being 2.1
If the number of deficiencies is considered in isolation, the majority of deficiencies were issued to bulk carriers. However, this is not surprising given bulk carriers accounted for 55% of ship arrivals and 61% of all inspections.
Ship type (deficiencies per inspection):
1. Passenger ship – 3.6
2. Container ship – 3.3
3. Ro-ro cargo ship – 3.0
4. Woodchip carrier – 2.7
5. General cargo/multi-purpose ship – 2.5
Detainable deficiencies by category
- Detainable deficiencies relating to the category of ISM increased in 2020, while the categories of fire safety, emergency systems, lifesaving appliances and water/weather-tight conditions round out the top five categories of detainable deficiencies.
- The proportion of MLC-related detentions dropped to seventh place (previously in sixth place since 2014) but remains significant.
Flexibility and proactive work with industry, specifically around seafarer repatriation prevented a significant surge in detainable deficiencies relating to MLC.
- The relatively high proportion of detainable deficiencies attributed to the ISM category suggests that SMS are not properly and effectively implemented onboard as was intended. While the proportion may be considered to be a cause of concern history provides context. In 2013, the number of ISM detainable deficiencies peaked at 120 (31.2% share of detainable deficiencies), this number was 76 (28.1% share of detainable deficiencies) in 2020.
- Shipboard operations and maintenance were again the highest contributors to ISM detentions, followed by emergency preparedness. The implementation of SMS procedures relating to safety of navigation continued to make a relatively high contribution to shipboard operations ISM detentions in 2020.
- The poorest performing ship type was general cargo ships, followed by heavy load carriers and livestock carriers. General cargo ships have been in the top five poorest performing ship types for the past seven years while container ships have been in the top five for the past three years.
- Bulk carriers represented the largest number of PSC detentions. The bulk carrier detention rate increased to 6.6%, above the 5.9% average for all ships in 2020. This is a continuing trend as bulk carriers have exceeded the average detention rate for the last five years and are the fourth worst performing ship type in 2020.
Detention by ship type in 2020
- 1840 bulk carriers were inspected with 4105 deficiencies issued resulting in 121 detentions. The detention rate for bulk carriers increased to 6.6% from 5.9% in 2019.
- Offshore service vessels had zero detentions from 15 inspections compared to two detentions from 12 inspections in 2019.
- Tugboats had zero detentions from 26 inspections.
- General cargo ships had the highest detention rate at 10.4%, a 2.6% increase compared to 2019.
- Oil tankers had a detention rate of 3.2%, a 2.6% increase compared to 2019, but still well below the 2020 average of 5.9%.
- Heavy load carriers had the second-highest detention rate at 8.3%, a 1.7% decrease compared to 2019.
- General cargo ships and heavy load carriers had the top two highest detention rates in both 2019 and 2020.
Flag State (Detention Rate %)
- Denmark – 16.7%
- Antigua and Barbuda – 10.8%
- Taiwan, China – 10.0%
- Norway – 9.1%
- Netherlands – 8.7%