As inspection declines 13.2%

By Godwin Oritse

THE Abuja Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, in its 2020 financial year recorded a massive 57 per cent drop in the detention of vessels as only nine vessels were detained in 2020 as against 21 in 2019.

Also the group reported 13.2 per cent drop in the number of vessels inspected through its Port State Control Mechanism. The report shows 2,332 vessels were inspected last year compared to 2,695 in 2019.

Abuja MoU, is a regional organisation that controls Port State Control for West and Central African Region and is one of the 9 Regional  MoUs  and 1 national  MoU  established pursuant to IMO Resolution A. 682(17) of 1991. 

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According to the Acting Director General of the group, Captain Sunday Umoren, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on global shipping industry hence the drop in Vessel inspection and detention.

But they recorded a slight increase in the number of vessels that sailed in the region from 50,328 in 2019 to 52,182 in    2020.

The increase in the number of vessels calling at the region, Umoren said,  did not directly translate to increase in the inspection rate due to the direct impact of COVID-19 on physical visitation as noted by all the regions and maritime nations.

Part of the report reads: “In spite of the pandemic, fourteen (14) Member States in Abuja MoU region submitted PSC inspection reports namely: Benin-191, Republic of Congo -320, Democratic Republic of Congo-13, Cote d’Ivoire-166, Gabon-247, Gambia-39,  Ghana-156, Guinea-107,  Liberia-21, Nigeria-634,  Senegal-202, Sierra Leone-6, South Africa-154, and Togo-81. As in the last nine years, the PSC inspection statistical data in this report were generated from the computerized central database of Abuja MoU Information System, AMIS.

“In summary, a total of 2,337 inspections were carried out on 2,164 individual ships. Nine (9) of these vessels were detained for deficiencies during the year, resulting in a 57% decrease in the number of detentions below 2019 figures of 21 detentions. 

“The detention percentage per inspection of 0.39% in 2020 gives a 50% decrease below the 0.78% recorded in 2019. The spread of one deficiency for every 3.8 inspections in 2019 decreased to 2.5 inspections per deficiency in 2020. The region recorded a 13.3% decrease in inspection from 2,695 in 2019.

“The same number of Administrations, which are fourteen (14), submitted inspection reports in the year under review as in 2019. The total ship calls to the fourteen (14) member States that carried out PSC inspections are 50,328 and 52,182 in 2019 and 2020 respectively. While the total inspections carried out by these fourteen (14) member States are 2,695 and 2,337 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

“Therefore, percentage inspections per ship calls in the region are 5.36% and 4.15% in 2019 and 2020 respectively. A total of 937 deficiencies were recorded which is higher than the 2019 figure of 719. Correspondingly, the total number of 252 inspections-with-deficiencies is higher than the 222 figures of 2019.

“The percentage inspections with-deficiencies of 10.8 in 2020 is 31.1% increased above the 2019 figures of 8.24. The analysis of this result could be a combination of many factors including the fact that our Port State Officers are more thorough and have improved their inspection skills, as well as the frightful observation that performances of seafarers took a dive due to COVID-19. 

However, the actual reasons can only be determined if a survey is carried out. With respect to the categories of deficiencies, the most deficiencies were recorded on Ship’s certificates and documents 121 (12.91%) Living and Working conditions 109 (11.63%) Propulsion and Auxiliary Machinery 99 (10.57%).”

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