3.6pc fail in opening ISM code campaign

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 November, 1998, 12:00am

Asian port authorities detained 67 of 1,847 vessels inspected for non-compliance with the International Maritime Organisation's international safety management (ISM) code during a three-month inspection campaign.

This represents an average 3.6 per cent detention of vessels inspected during the July 1-September 30 campaign to help enforce the ISM code, which became mandatory from July 1.

The Asia-Pacific region port-state control (PSC) committee said: 'While it may be still too early to assess the success of the ISM code through this campaign, it is a positive sign that there was not a large number of ships detained for ISM code non-compliance.' Of the 67 vessels detained, only 22 did not have appropriate ISM code certification on board, while the remaining offenders did not conform to the safety management system.

The committee said the real test would be whether the implementation of safety management systems on ships was being maintained in the long term.

The PSC committee said that during the recent campaign, vessels were detained by classification societies on behalf of flag states if they did not have proper ISM code certification or had serious non-conformities in safety management systems.

In all, 16 per cent of non-conformities involved officers being unable to identify designated people on vessels for specific tasks, while 14 per cent involved the vessel's master being unable to provide documented proof of responsibility and authority, which had to include the overriding authority.

Another 13.8 per cent involved unavailability of programmes for emergency action drills and exercises on vessels, 12.9 per cent concerned certificates and particulars which were not in order, and 11.2 per cent involved unavailability of maintenance routine and records.

In Hong Kong, the Marine Department detained 1.6 per cent of the vessels inspected, compared with 21.2 per cent vessel detentions at St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, the flag state with the highest percentage of detentions.