Our data this year shows the number of detentions related to firefighting systems and safety management systems remained similar to the past few years while MARPOL Annex I deficiencies decreased to their lowest levels. In addition, the number of recognized organizations that were associated with detentions increased from three in 2017 to twelve in 2018,

...said Rear Admiral John P. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, USCG.


Key points

-Vessel Arrivals Increased with Exams Yielding Slight Detention Increase: 

  • In 2018, a total of 10,418 individual vessels, from 84 different flag administrations, made 84,141 port calls to the U.S.
  • The Coast Guard conducted 9,025 SOLAS safety exams and 8,819 ISPS exams on these vessels.
  • These exam numbers are close to the 2017 totals of 9,105 SOLAS and 8,793 ISPS.
  • The total number of ships detained in 2018 for environmental protection and safety related deficiencies increased from 90 to 105 though there are still 11 merit appeals undergoing the review process.
  • The total number of ships detained in 2018 for security-related deficiencies increased from six to eight.

-Flag Administration Safety and Security Performance: 

  • Flag administration safety performance for 2018 decreased slightly with the overall annual detention rate increasing from 0.98% to 1.16%.
  • However, the three-year rolling detention ratio decreased from 1.39% to 1.06%. T
  • he flag administration of Thailand was the only administration removed from Targeted Flag List for 2018.
  • Flag administration security performance for 2018 decreased slightly resulting in the annual Control Action Ratio (CAR) increasing from 0.06% to 0.09%.
  • The three-year rolling average CAR has dropped from 0.10% to 0.08%.
  • Additionally, for the third straight year, there were no flag administrations listed on our ISPS/MTSA targeted matrix.

-Detention and Association Appeals:

  • In 2018, the Coast Guard received a total of 36 appeals.
  • 21 appeals were submitted challenging the overall merits of the detention.
  • For those merit appeals that have been finalized, three were granted and seven were denied.
  • There are currently 11 merit appeals still under consideration.
  • In addition to receiving appeals contesting the overall merits of a detention, USCG also receives appeals requesting the removal of a party’s association to a detention. For those parties appealing their association with a detention, 15 total were received.
  • Of those fifteen, three were denied and nine were granted.
  • Three are still under consideration.

-QUALSHIP 21 and E-Zero Programs: 

  • The QUALSHIP 21 (QS21) program ended calendar year 2018 with an impressive 2,213 vessels enrolled.
  • In 2017, USCG had 4 flag administrations lose their QS21 eligibility.
  • For 2018, despite the increase in detentions, only one flag administration lost their eligibility while 9 additional flags became eligible.

We welcome the flag administrations of China, Croatia, Curacao, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Norway, Taiwan, and Thailand to QS21.


Overview of detainable deficiencies 2018

-Fire Protection Systems and Equipment: During one exam, the PSCO discovered the fire detection system throughout the entire ship was not connected to a fire control panel, this prevented the crew from being alerted of potential fire. Additionally, the PSCO discovered the ship’s secondary fire control panel, located in the engine control room, was disconnected from the electrical power source rendering the entire system inoperable. On another ship, there were severely wasted ventilation ducts found throughout the main machinery space which compromised the fire division of its engine room. Furthermore, PSCOs are still finding smoke detectors covered with plastic bags, and standard battery operated household smoke detectors were found as the only source for fire detection in the accommodation spaces.

-Safety Management Systems (SMS): Instances where the ship or company failed to implement the SMS as evidenced by multiple uncorrected material and/or operational deficiencies were the most common. In one case, the ship had correctly reported a serious issue with its fuel system and requested parts for permanent repairs, however the company delayed processing, taking several months to provide parts to the ship. Once the parts were finally received, the crew took no action towards making permanent repairs.

We also had several SMS-related detentions resulting from the failure of the master and/or crew to properly report non-conformities and take corrective actions in accordance with their SMS. In most of these cases, the ship was not only detained, but an external audit of the SMS was recommended.

-Lifesaving Equipment: Several detentions were issued for improper installation of lifesaving appliances. In those cases, either the hydrostatic releases or the painter lines were installed in such a way as to prevent the appliance from floating free. PSCOs found primary life rafts tied down with ratcheting straps. Additionally, there were several instances of failures in the rescue boat or lifeboat launching mechanisms and instances where engines could not be started.

-Safety in General: In one case, the PSCO observed several interconnected extensions cords supplying power to several state rooms from the emergency power on the bridge. Holes were also drilled through the exterior superstructure to facilitate the extension cords passage from the bridge. This highlights only a small fraction of the detainable deficiencies discovered in 2018.

The Coast Guard stresses that if any ship’s system required by international conventions is not in working condition, the master and crew should take necessary actions to remedy the situation in accordance with their SMS before the ship enters port and report any unresolved issues on the advance notice of arrival in accordance with 33 CFR § 160.216 - Notice of Hazardous Conditions.


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