The shipping industry seems to rapidly mobilizing to face the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR) will use RINA’s remote technology for inspections of Liberian flagged vessels and as announced, Shipowner d’Amico will take advantage of this facility in a pilot case on his fleet. It is anticipated that the decision of LISCR could shortly be followed by other Flag Administrations.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) provides information regarding the inspection protocols effective during the COVID-19 pandemic for RMI-flagged vessels, announcing that a Temporary Alternative Inspection Protocol (TAIP) will now meet the Administrator’s inspection requirements.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) published the “Coast Guard Regulated Facility Compliance Program Manual” to consolidate overarching guidance, policy, and doctrine for Coast Guard personnel responsible for the administration and performance of the regulated facility compliance program.
In 2019, USCG marine inspectors detained 41 towing vessels for Code 30 deficiencies, reflecting a vessel’s failure to implement a Towing Vessel Safety Management System or a lack of familiarity with a TSMS. Of those, 32% used the TSMS option and 68% used the Coast Guard option.
Operators with ships trading in Turkey should be aware of the recent increasing trend regarding sudden and unannounced inspections on ships by Turkish customs. Namely, several incidents have been reported where custom officials have boarded ships to check the ship’s actual fuel quantity against the one declared on arrival.
The Norwegian Maritime Authority conducted several inspections in 2019, analyzing sulphur content in bunkers and carrying environmental checks on cruise ships at the fjords to ensure that the regulations for environmental protection are being followed.
THETIS-Med is now online, in what is believed to be a milestone in the EU’s efforts to adopt regional cooperation among Mediterranean countries. This new information system supports the members of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Med MoU).
Paris and Tokyo MoUs announced that the awareness among ships’ crews regarding the 2020 sulphur cap proved to be high, so emphasis is now placed on the fuel carriage ban requirements entering into force on 1st March 2020. Both Memoranda agreed that the requirements will be applied without exception.
Concerning marine safety and the importance of it, Vice President of the Passenger Vessel Association, Colleen Stephens, testified before the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee last month at a hearing, commenting against third-party organization inspections.
Paris MoU aspires to balance its inspections and their outcome in line with the upcoming 2020 sulphur cap; Yet, Carien Droppers, Deputy Secretary General at Paris MoU commented to BIMCO that the inspections often face challenges in ensuring that the results are identical in every port.
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