Paris MoU 57th Committee meets in Madrid, Spain

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The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) held its 57th Committee meeting in Madrid, Spain from 6 to 10 May 2024. The meeting was formally opened by Mr. Benito Núñez Quintanilla, Secretary-General of Maritime and Air Transport, and chaired by Mr. Brian Hogan.

The Paris MoU Committee discussed the results of the Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Fire Safety, held from 1 September to 30 November 2023. Overall, compliance appeared to be satisfactory. The result was less favourable on two specific topics; maintenance of fire doors (9.3 % non-compliance) and performing fire drills (9.2% non-compliance). The Paris MoU expects the industry to give these issues the necessary attention.

Future CICs will cover Crew Wages and Seafarer Employment Agreements under MLC (2024), Ballast Water Management (2025) and Cargo Securing (2026).

During 2023, the Paris MoU conducted, on a trial basis, Focused Inspection Campaigns (FICs) aimed at improving the effectiveness of inspection campaigns. These focused inspections have now been carried out on Pilot Transfer Arrangements, Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (ECDIS) and on the Galley. The Paris MoU will continue to implement these FICs, announced and unannounced.

The Committee also discussed new developments on several topics. One of these was the approval of the new port State control instruction for the inspection of ships carrying Industrial Personnel (IP Code). This new Code has been developed by the
IMO and will enter into force from the 1st of July 2025 and will facilitate the development of offshore renewable energy projects.

Another instruction that was approved was a new training policy regarding Port State Control Officers (PSCOs). This training policy has been revised to align training efforts with developments within and beyond the Paris MoU and thereby maintain a sustainable level of qualified PSCOs.

Several recent developments have raised some concerns for the Paris MoU, including apparent attempts by some flag States to conclude bilateral agreements with port States to avoid detentions. The Paris MoU Committee stressed that such attempts are not acceptable.

Another concern discussed was the occurrence of fraudulent seafarer certificates. The Paris MoU Committee urged members to continue to pay attention to this issue in order to uphold safety at sea. The Committee also called on the shipping industry itself to keep a close eye on the matter.

The Paris MoU Committee also discussed the integration of fisheries control within the framework of port State control and noted the importance of keeping safety considerations separate from fisheries to ensure the effectiveness of port State control.

Related to the statistics published in the 2023 Annual Report, the Committee considered it important to monitor the continuously higher level of the detention percentage (3.81%).

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