The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has imposed a 90-day ban on the Antigua & Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship BBC Jade, operated by Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co. This marks the third ban issued by AMSA to a Briese Heavylift ship in the current year.
s informed, the ban was imposed after inspectors in Port Alma discovered that 57 tons of explosive substances were incorrectly stowed on board during transit. The BBC Pearl was banned for 180 days the following month for multiple failures of its safety management system.
In June, AMSA issued the BBC Weser with a 90-day ban after AMSA inspectors determined the vessel was in an unsafe and unseaworthy condition.
Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co has a history of poor performance, and AMSA has issued multiple warnings that future safety violations would lead to strict enforcement action.
Acting AMSA Executive Director of Operations Evan Boyle said that this breach, coupled with the ongoing poor performance of the operator, meant that a ban was necessary.
Seafarers, and the Australian community, should feel confident that explosive substances are transported safely. Australian companies which are shipping dangerous cargos such as explosives to Australia may wish to exercise further diligence in whose vessels they engage to carry them.
Additional safety violations on board the BBC Jade had also been identified by Antigua & Barbuda Flag State Control and are currently in the process of being rectified.
Australia strongly supports flag states proactively ensuring their ships are safe and meet the minimum international standards. The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which sets international standards for the safe transport of dangerous goods, is cited as a reference to ensure the proper carriage of such items and to prevent potential pollution incidents.