AUSTRALIA’S maritime safety regulator has announced it will be targeting livestock expect vessels in a six month long ‘focused inspection campaign’.
“From 1 March to 31 August 2021, we will undertake a focused inspection campaign on livestock ships departing Australian ports,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in a statement issued on Monday.
The regulator says the purpose of the focused inspection campaign is “to ascertain the level of compliance with the maintenance and repair requirements of International Conventions”.
It will also check the familiarity of the Master and officers to assess the stability of their ship in differing conditions.
AMSA said it had implemented the FIC as a result of recent incidents involving livestock ships in Australia.
“On January 7, 2021, AMSA banned the Barkly Pearl from entering Australian ports for a period of 24 months due to substantiated concerns relating to the structural integrity of the ship, the potential threat of pollution to the marine environment and the immediate risk to the seafarer’s safety,” the statement said.
“This banning illustrates that AMSA has a zero-tolerance approach to ships that are poorly maintained, and that the Australian community expects that any ship operating or travelling throughout our waters is seaworthy. “
AMSA said its inspectors will be looking closely at the maintenance and repair requirements of livestock ships in relation to International Conventions, the ships crews’ familiarity with determining the ship’s stability, the use of accurate information for the livestock cargo carried when calculating stability and to check that livestock ships operating from Australia continue to comply with the specific requirements of Marine Order 43—Cargo and cargo handling—livestock.
It has also published a checklist with further detail on the questions inspectors will be asking which can be viewed here.
The regulator said the results of its focused inspection campaign will be analysed at the conclusion of the campaign, and a report will be published on its website.
In a response to a Parliamentary Inquiry last year AMSA said it carries out focused inspection campaigns to target specific areas that have been identified as “requiring increased attention”. Reports from previous focused inspection campaigns conducted by AMSA can be viewed on its website here.
Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chief executive officer Mark Harvey-Sutton said AMSA’s role as the regulator was supported by the livestock export industry and it was appropriate that all shipping be regulated effectively.
“I think the outcomes of this review are going to be very positive for the industry,” he said.
“We’re happy to work constructively with AMSA in any processes they wish to undertake but it is important that not only industry is transparent but also that AMSA is very transparent in the processes they’re undertaking, that would be our expectation.
“My hope is that this is routine and it is not being driven by other occurrences.”