April 5, 2024
Pictured: a ship underway. Credit: Rinson Chory via Unsplash.

Ship detention rates fall, AMSA reports

By Shipping Australia

Maritime Labour Convention-related detainable ship deficiencies have fallen from 7.3 per cent in 2022 to 4.2 per cent in 2023, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in its March 2024 “Maritime Safety Awareness Bulletin”.

“This reduction is likely due to a focus by some flag states on vessels coming to Australia and the return to pre-pandemic repatriation throughout 2023,” AMSA has stated.

MLC PSC deficiency rates per inspection remained static between 2022 and 2023 at 0.4 MLC deficiencies per PSC inspection, the Authority also noted.

Digging into the general AMSA data (so non-MLC-specific) on inspections, deficiencies and detentions reveals some interesting facts.

For instance, there was a 7.43% increase in ship arrivals – that’s an extra 1,989 ships – from 2022 to 2023, so that Australia saw 28,763 ship arrivals last year. There were also more individual ships – up just over 3% in 2023 compared to 2022.

It’s even more noteworthy, when it is considered that there was also an increase in inspections – AMSA carried out 16.3% more inspections in 2023 when compared to 2022.

This is really excellent news:  despite more ships, more port calls, and more inspections, the MLC-deficiency rates were “static” and MLC-detentions fell!

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the Indian Ocean MoU have announced a concentrated inspection campaign focusing on seafarers’ employment conditions. An MoU in this context is an agreement between groups of Port State Control Authorities to co-ordinate their actions, and share data. Australia is a member both of the Tokyo and the Indian Ocean MoUs.

The newly-announced concentrated inspection campaign will check that shipping companies are fulfilling their obligations in accordance with the relevant provisions of the MLC, such as providing financial security, repatriation of seafarers and wages. AMSA intends to launch this CIC from 1 September 2024 to 30 November 2024.

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