(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) Australia has one of the largest mixed market economies and is the largest continental landmass in the world surrounded by water. Therefore, Australia’s national livelihood remains focused on ensuring maritime trade to and from the country remains safe, efficient and complies with all relevant international conventions. Australia relies on sea transport for 99 per cent of its exports, which equates to around 10 per cent of the world’s sea trade. Port State control (PSC) is an essential element in this process and Australia is renowned for having a rigorous and effective PSC control regime.
This report summarises the PSC activities of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and reports on the performance of commercial shipping companies, flag States and Classification Societies for the 2017 calendar year.
The PSC inspection results for 2017 indicated a significant fall in the detention rate to 5.3 per cent. This result is notable as it is the lowest since 2006—detention rate of 4.5 per cent with 138 detentions from 3080 inspections. This result is also reflected in the average number of deficiencies per inspection remaining at a low of 2.3. This outcome was last recorded in 2004. The decrease in the detention rate and low number of deficiencies per inspection emphasises the benefit in maintaining a consistent, firm, but fair, PSC inspection regime.
Ships and operators who consistently perform poorly can be banned from entering or using Australian ports under section 246 of the Navigation Act. In 2017 AMSA banned three ships for periods of 3–12 months. Two of the bans involved significant breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC). The PSC processes used for the MLC are well established as this convention has been in effect since 13 August 2013. It appears that the general understanding of what is expected with respect to MLC compliance has improved. This has resulted in a reduction in the total number of MLC deficiencies and deficiencies per inspection from 2014 to 2017. AMSA continues to focus on MLC in order to protect the welfare of seafarers and improve outcomes in this area.
2017 summary of PSC activity:
- During the calendar year there were:
–– 28,502 ship arrivals by 5873 foreign-flagged ships
–– 3128 PSC inspections
–– 165 ship detentions.
- Bulk carriers accounted for 50.3 per cent of ship arrivals and 55.4 per cent of PSC inspections.
- PSC inspections were carried out in 54 Australian ports.
- The average gross tonnage per visit was 51,612 GT compared to 50,505 GT in 2016.
- The average age of vessels in 2017 was nine years, compared to nine in 2016 and 10 in 2015.
- AMSA surveyors conducted 7230 inspections of all types in 2017 compared to 8576 in 2016.
This decrease was achieved through better targeting of ships to focus on higher risk vessels.
- The number of initial inspections continued to decrease in 2017.
- In 2017, the number of foreign-flagged arrivals increased by 985 (3.6 per cent) to 28,502 arrivals by 5873 individual ships. This reflected a marked increase in the growth in foreign flagged arrivals compared to the low growth in 2016 (0.6 per cent) and 2015 (1.5 per cent).
- The number of PSC inspections conducted during 2017 decreased by 547 (14.9 per cent) to 3128 inspections.
- Ships performed better in 2017. There was a 20.8 per cent decrease in the number of deficiencies―from 8942 deficiencies in 2016 to 7084 deficiencies in 2017. There was also a 37.8 per cent decrease in the number of detainable deficiencies from 353 detainable deficiencies in 2016 to 219 detainable deficiencies in 2017.
- The number of detained vessels was 165—81 fewer (-32.7 per cent) than the 246 detentions recorded in 2016. This is the lowest number of detentions since 2007.
- There was also a slight decrease in the average number of deficiencies per inspection from 2.4 in 2016 to 2.3 in 2017, with the detention rate decreasing from 6.7 per cent in 2016 to 5.3 per cent in 2017. This is the lowest detention rate in 12 years.
The deficiencies per inspection and detention rate are both at record lows over the last decade. The overall picture indicates that AMSA’s PSC regime exerts a positive influence on the quality of ships arriving in Australia.
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