A Call For Doubling Up On Port Inspectors

Thursday, July 13, 2000
The proposed blanket ban by the Commission on ships over 15 years old which have been detained twice over the preceding two years is also criticized by the AMRIE paper on the grounds that it would unfairly penalize many ships do not pose a risk. While the AMRIE report broadly welcomes the Commission's proposals on Port State Control, it would prefer to see a comprehensive examination on all ships which have been detained twice in two years, involving her flag state, her owners and the relevant classification society. This would require a radical increase in the number of qualified port state inspectors.

AMRIE argues that the present level of inspectors is unacceptable - there is only 250 inspectors across the entire European Union, 100 of which are in the U.K. alone.

The organization contends that more emphasis should be placed on higher risk categories of ship rather than on arbitrary age limits; 'an old ship is not necessarily a bad ship', says the paper. AMRIE is surprised that there has not been more emphasis on high-risk ships such as the elderly tankers under the MARPOL limit, carrying heated cargoes.

AMRIE has also called on the Commission to tackle related problems when it will announce further reform as later in the year, such as the question of 'ports of refuge', 'chartering agreements', 'transparency of ownership' and 'training initiatives'.

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