RINA Increases Access to PSC Detention Information

Friday, August 02, 2002
As part of a program designed to produce greater transparency and wider dissemination of information in the interests of improved safety, Italian classification society RINA has posted on its website details of its port state control performance (PSC). The information will be updated on a regular basis. Ugo Salerno, RINA CEO, says "We believe that transparency and honesty are vital to the success of port state control, and of the utmost importance in the drive to make shipping a safer industry. As such, we are happy to make available details of our port state control performance on the RINA website. We believe that analysis of the figures will help to validate RINA's ongoing quality strategy, which has significantly reduced PSC detention rates for classification deficiencies." Antonio Pingiori, Head of the RINA Marine Division, says, "RINA supports the aim of port state control authorities throughout the world to make shipping a safer and cleaner industry. It responds immediately to all requests for action and information relating to the detention of any RINA-classed ship. And it co-operates fully at all times with the authorities, including, where appropriate, in cases involving the detention of a RINA-classed vessel that is not related in any way to classification deficiencies." RINA's ongoing efforts in this regard reveal a very positive statistical trend, and a reduction in the total number of detentions affecting RINA-classed ships worldwide. In the United States, for instance, RINA has had only one class-related detention in the last three years. As a result, RINA is in the top group of best-performing IACS class societies as measured by the US Coast Guard, with a zero rating. RINA has also substantially improved its performance in the Paris MoU statistics during the past year. Its ratio of class-related detentions measured against the total number of inspections has fallen from 3.35 per cent in 2000 to 1.83 percent in 2001. The figures are even more encouraging for the first half of 2002, in terms of both total and class-related detentions. This positive trend in PSC statistics, particularly in the past year, confirms that initiatives taken by RINA have enhanced the performance of classed ships. A key factor is the implementation of a Special Surveillance Scheme, an internal procedure adopted by RINA in 2000 to monitor the performance of its classed fleet. Under the scheme, RINA reviews information in selected parameters, including the age and service of the ship, PSC detentions and deficiencies, statutory and class records, flag state records and shipmanagement history. Ships with poor records are subjected to special scrutiny. The manner of this scrutiny can take a variety of forms, including extending the scope of the next annual survey, limiting postponement of class condition surveys, or requesting an unscheduled survey and/or ISM audit. For serious deficiencies, immediate repairs are requested, pending suspension and possible withdrawal of class. Under the Special Surveillance Scheme, 312 ships aggregating 2.7 million gross tons have been withdrawn from class since January 2000 at RINA request. As a consequence, the total gross tonnage of RINA-classed ships has fallen in the last three years from about 18m gt to 15.6m gt at the end of 2001. These withdrawals from class, together with a large influx of newbuildings, have resulted in a significant reduction in the average age of RINA-classed ships, particularly tankers and bulk carriers. The posting of PSC detention performance information on RINA's website is only the first step in a program under which statistical data relating to class-related deficiencies on RINA-classed vessels will be made available, together with analysis of relevant survey reports, and appropriate corrective actions taken. Making such information available is expected to help managers and crew improve the performance of their ships in Port State Control inspections. Ugo Salerno says, "Objective quality performance indicators, such as statistical records on Port State Control performance, are now part of quality management reviews carried out individually and collectively within IACS. Such efforts are intended to further enhance the performance of surveys and other related activities, which are at the core of the classification business. "The statistical records published by port state MoUs are among the most important indicators for monitoring the performance of ships, operators, classification societies and flag states. It is to be hoped that, eventually, the extent to which relevant information on class-related and other detentions is exchanged between the various MoUs can be improved in order to provide objective performance indicators worldwide. For its part, RINA will co-operate in such efforts in every way possible." In another initiative designed to improve still further the quality of its classed fleet, RINA recently introduced PSC deficiency cards. These cards describe the most common deficiencies found during Port State Control inspections. Each card includes photographic evidence of deficiencies related to items inspected, together with a short description of the relevant equipment and applicable rules and regulations.

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