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Marine Electronics & Communications

Marine Electronics & Communications

Shipowners beware: inspectors will focus on safe navigation

Mon 07 Aug 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Shipowners beware: inspectors will focus on safe navigation
Tokyo MOU inspectors receive training on what to look for in safe navigation equipment and charts

Port state control inspectors will start a concentrated inspection campaign covering the safety of ship navigation from the start of September.

Maritime authorities within the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding have agreed to concentrate on ensuring that ships are compliant with safety navigation requirements of the Solas convention.

Shipowners, managers and operators have been warned that inspectors will be examining navigation equipment and testing crew on their knowledge of electronic navigation systems on vessels they board. The concentrated inspection campaign will run for at least three months.

It coincides with the enforcement of new standards for ECDIS and electronic navigational charts (ENCs). These are used for planning routes and assisting navigation safety during voyages.

Marine Electronics & Communications has discussed the regulatory requirements of ECDIS and ENCs over different media platforms for many years, and especially this year to highlight the issues. It was most recently highlighted in last week’s editorial video comment.

Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to ship operators that they need to ensure their ships are compliant with the new standards from the International Hydrographic Organization and IMO.

Port State Control officers will use 12 questions to assure that navigation equipment carried onboard complies with the relevant statutory certificates. They will check that the master and navigation officers are qualified and familiar with operating the bridge equipment, especially ECDIS, and that navigation equipment is properly maintained and functioning.

The Paris and Tokyo MOU organisations have warned that if deficiencies are found, actions by the port state could ultimately end with a ship detention. The actions may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain time period to detaining the ship until serious deficiencies have been rectified.

Inspectors from the maritime authorities signed up to the Tokyo and Paris MOUs will carry out around 10,000 inspections during this concentrated inspection campaign.

The results of the campaign will be analysed and findings will be presented to the governing bodies of these MOUs for submission to IMO.

Deficiencies relating to navigation equipment contribute to around one-seventh of all deficiencies. From 2009 to 2016, 174,559 deficiencies concerning safety of navigation were recorded, representing around 15% of all deficiencies. 

Safety of navigation data

  • 1 September – enforcement of new IHO standards
  • 1 September to 31 November – concentrated inspection campaign
  • 12 – questions that inspectors will ask for navigation safety
  • 15% – ship deficiencies relating to navigation
  • 174,559 – deficiencies concerning safety of navigation (2009 to 2016)
  • 27 – members of Paris MOU
  • 19 – members of Tokyo MOU

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