The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has released its Port State Control (PSC) Annual Report for 2021, which shows that detention and deficiency rates per inspection have continued to remain low. AMSA Executive Director of Operations, Michael Drake, said the authority’s reputation for having a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance with internationally agreed standards, continued to have a positive influence on the quality of ships being brought to Australia.
26,400 ship arrivals by 6,170 foreign-flagged ships
2,820 PSC inspections
159 ship detentions.
Bulk carriers accounted for 56.1 per cent of ship arrivals and 60.7 per cent of PSC inspections.
Port State Control inspections were carried out at 53 Australian ports.
The average gross tonnage per visit was 54,015 GT compared to 54,318 GT in 2020.
The average age of ships calling Australian ports remained at 11 years, the same as 2020.
The 2021 detention rate sat at just 5.6%, down slightly from the 2020 detention rate of 5.9%. The 2021 deficiency rate per inspection was just 2.2, almost on par with the 2020 rate of 2.1.
Despite a full year of COVID-19 restrictions, AMSA inspectors undertook 2,820 PSC inspections during 2021, a 6.65 per cent drop in the inspection rate from 2020 (3,021 PSC inspections). This was due to the continuation of procedures put in place in 2020 to protect both inspectors and crew from possible transmission of COVID-19 infection during inspections.
The PSC inspection results for 2021 saw a slight decrease in the detention rate of ships from 5.9 per cent in 2020 to 5.6 per cent (the peak in 2011 was 9.2 per cent).
The average deficiency rate remained relatively constant, increasing slightly from 2.1 deficiencies per inspection in 2020 to 2.2 deficiencies per inspection in 2021.
Inspections by ship type
In 2021, AMSA inspectors carried out 2,820 initial PSC inspections and 1,455 follow up inspections. AMSA inspectors are now able to conduct remote follow up inspections in accordance with Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding guidelines, 35 of the follow up inspections in 2021 were conducted remotely.
The most inspections took place onboard bulk carriers, with 1,712, followed by container ships and chemical tankers.
A total of 6242 deficiencies were issued in 2021 with the average deficiencies per inspection being 2.21. The majority of deficiencies were issued to bulk carriers. However, this is not surprising given bulk carriers accounted for 56 per cent of ship arrivals and 61 per cent of all inspections.
Detainable deficiencies relating to the category of ISM remained the highest, though decreasing in share in 2021 (24 per cent of detainable deficiencies) as compared to 2020 (28.1 per cent of detainable deficiencies). The relatively high proportion of detainable deficiencies attributed in the ISM category suggests that safety management systems (SMS) are not properly and effectively implemented onboard.
Along with ISM, the categories of fire safety, emergency systems, lifesaving appliances and water/weather-tight conditions were the top five categories of detainable deficiencies. The proportion of MLC-related detentions remained the 7th highest category.
Click here to read the analysis of 2021 inspection reports.