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Australia Bans MSC Containership Over Safety Deficiencies

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 28, 2023

A Liberian-flagged containership operated by MSC Shipmanagement Ltd (MSC) has been banned from Australian ports for 90 days over a long list of safety failures and deficiencies, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.

AMSA said it issued a refusal of access direction notice to the MSC Kymea II following months of sub-standard performance from the ship’s operator, including critical maintenance issues.

The agency's inspection of the vessel found 21 deficiencies in total, including a defective free fall lifeboat steering system, defective fire safety systems, dangerously-stored flammable materials, and multiple wasted or missing railing safety chains used to prevent stevedores from falling from heights when lashing cargo.

AMSA said it has detained nine MSC ships over the past two years, including five ships in 2023 alone. Many of these detentions showed systemic substandard maintenance practices on board, the authority said.

Another MSC vessel inspected two weeks ago was found with a corroded fuel-oil tank air pipe, and the evidence suggests that the ship attempted to hide the seriousness of the defect from authorities by covering up the rusted pipe with canvas and painting over it.

AMSA Executive Director of Operations Michael Drake said the agency’s inspection regime has shown that MSC has failed to meet its obligations to properly maintain its vessels.

“AMSA has zero-tolerance for substandard ships operating in Australian waters and we will not hesitate to ban vessels that fail to meet basic safety standards,” he said.

“The Australian public has an expectation that ships operating in Australian waters meet or exceed the minimum international standards for safety and environmental protection. Ships should be on notice that this kind of repeated poor performance is not acceptable, and Australia will take action.”

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