PSC inspection campaign on STCW

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Accident investigations continue to show that there is a clear link between fatigue and accidents at sea. Recent years have also seen growing concern about difficulties in implementing and enforcing working hours provisions. work and rest of seafarers and to fatigue. This year’s concentrated joint inspection campaign by the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control aims to raise awareness of the requirements of the STCW Convention and the principles of minimum safe manning. The campaign starts on September 1, 2022.

Vessels should always be operated and maintained in a way that ensures good working conditions, safe operations and smooth Port State Control (PSC) inspections. However, targeted PSC inspections announced in advance, such as annual Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CICs), focus on specific areas where a higher risk of accidents and/or non-compliance with international regulations regarding security might exist.

According to the joint press release of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding of 1 August 2022, this year’s joint CIC aims to raise awareness among shipowners, operators and crews of the specific requirements of the international convention on standards training, certification and monitoring for Seafarers (STCW Convention). The CIC, which will run from September 1 to November 30, 2022, applies to all types of vessels and aims to confirm that:
• the number of seafarers serving on board and their certificates comply with the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention and Code and applicable safe manning requirements, as determined by the flag State administration ;
• all seafarers serving on board, who must hold a certificate in accordance with the STCW Convention, hold an appropriate certificate or a valid waiver, or provide documentary evidence that an application for an endorsement has been submitted to the administration of the flag State;
• seafarers on board hold a valid medical certificate, as required by the STCW Convention;
• Shift schedules and hours of rest indicate compliance with the requirements of the STCW Convention and Code.

As always, the inspections will be carried out in conjunction with the regular CSP inspection. However, a vessel will only be subject to one inspection under this CIC during the campaign period. PSC officers will use a list of predefined questions during the CIC and a copy of the Paris MoU version of the questionnaire is available here.

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Source: Gard

Most other MoUs, such as Black Sea, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Riyadh and Vina del Mar MoUs should join this ICC and use questionnaires similar during their inspections.

Recommendations
In accordance with Appendix 11 of IMO Res. A.1155(32): Port State Control Procedures, 2021, an initial PSC inspection carried out during the CIC is likely to focus on the validity of relevant documents, such as seafarers’ certificates, document minimum safe manning, call list, watch schedule and record of daily off-duty hours. However, we strongly encourage members and customers to view this CIC as a reminder of the importance of ensuring that seafarers are fit for duty and able to maintain safe levels of alertness and performance.

Despite existing regulations, accident investigations and research continue to show that there is a clear link between fatigue and accidents at sea. Fatigue affects a person’s physical, cognitive and behavioral performance, such as ability to make decisions, response time, judgment, hand-eye coordination and other skills. And when fatigue impairment coincides with other hazards in the environment, incidents can occur.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the difficulties in implementing and enforcing provisions relating to seafarers’ hours of work and rest and fatigue. According to a report submitted to the IMO in July 2021, many seafarers tend to hide working time violations that are due to the imbalance between workload and manning levels. To avoid gaps and disruptions to ship operations related to inspections or audits, seafarers under-report their hours of work or adjust their hours of work/rest records, to facilitate compliance, says the report.

Although it is not possible for ship operators to regulate and monitor the sleep patterns of every sailor on every ship, they must recognize the dangers of fatigue and ensure that hours of rest are not qu an exercise on paper. A focus on mitigating the risk of fatigue through ship design, operational and manning policies will go a long way to ensuring safe operations and the well-being and health of seafarers. also the potential to reduce costs for ship operators by reducing injuries and downtime from accidents, as well as physical damage to high-value assets and the environment.
Source: Gard, https://www.gard.no/web/articles?documentId=34081148

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