Improving regional cooperation and compliance with IMO conventions | 10 December 2019
Senior port officials from numerous member states of the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU) on Port State Control are participating in the seventh seminar for Port State Control Officers (PSCOs), at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort.
The five-day seminar, organised by IOMOU in association with the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), aims to group together senior port officials from the region to discuss further solutions to control the plying of sub-standard ships in the region in accordance with regulations and conventions drawn up by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules.
During the opening ceremony yesterday morning, director general of SMSA, Captain Joachim Valmont, noted that the seminar is an opportunity for PSCOs from the region to work together to share their experiences and expertise, as well as expand their knowledge.
“The seminar seeks to increase cooperation between member countries of the Indian Ocean and educate all state control officers on how to abide by relevant IMO instruments that their respective countries has ratified or acceded to.
“It is especially mindful to the IMO regulation A. 682 (17) concerning regional cooperation in the control of ships and discharges. This five-day seminar is a perfect opportunity for all participants to upgrade their knowledge, share their experiences and expertise on this particular field so as to promote closer collaboration and harmonisation of port state control, throughout the region,” Captain Valmont noted.
Over the course of the five days, PSCOs will be engaged in discussions about the different guidelines on the different Annexes under the MARPOL convention, International Safety Management (ISM), life-saving appliances and fire fighting appliances and the procedures for operational procedures, among others.
Conventions which the countries have acceded to will also be explored in detail, as well as the amendments to others including the 2014 amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
“For the time being, I am proud to say, Seychelles is very compliant to the IMO conventions. As you know, two weeks ago, we acceded to four Marpol Annexes, an international marine environment convention. IMO was recommending that member states adopt the annexes and Seychelles managed to do this. I can also say that in the region, when it comes to port state control, Seychelles is ahead of a lot of countries in the region,” Captain Valmont noted, highlighting the great strides made by Seychelles to be compliant to the Conventions and regulations.
Speaking of the important role of PSCOs, secretariat of the IOMOU, Dilip Mehrotra, explained that the main deficiencies which in sub-standard vessels relate to navigation and fire safety, urging all stakeholders to work together towards a common vision.
He proposed that more regional seminars are held regularly, to build the capacity of PSCOs in the region, on account that the region is lagging behind the other eight regions who have signed MoU’s on state port control.
Twenty-two countries form part of the MoU, namely, Australia, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Comoros, Mozambique, Djibouti, Myanmar, Eritrea, Oman, Ethiopia, Seychelles, France (La Reunion), South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Iran, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Maldives and Yemen.