The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is highlighting to vessel operators the importance of planned maintenance in ensuring safe operation of ships, and says it will increase its focus on planned maintenance during Port State Control inspections.
Recent incidents have demonstrated the potentially serious consequences of a lack of effective maintenance of main engines and power generation systems that can pose serious risks to the safe and pollution-free operation of vessels.
In response to this, AMSA will immediately increase focus on planned maintenance during routine Port State Control inspections. During Port State Control inspections, AMSA will place a greater focus on planned maintenance of propulsion and auxiliary equipment and associated systems and will take necessary compliance actions to address any identified areas of concern. This may include the physical attendance of classification society surveyors to verify the condition of critical equipment and its suitability to continue to function under all voyage conditions to maintain safe operations.
Operators should note that this is not a Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) or Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) of limited duration. It is a sustained focus on an identified area of concern that is part of AMSA’s data driven and risk-based approach to our PSC inspection regime.
Maintenance of the ship and equipment is a requirement of the ISM Code, including that:
– Maintenance inspections are held at appropriate intervals;
– Any non-conformity is reported, with its possible cause, if known;
– Appropriate corrective action is taken;
– Records of these activities are maintained.
In relation to maintenance, the ISM Code specifically states that the vessel’s Safety Management System (SMS) should:
– Identify equipment and technical systems that would cause hazardous situations if they were to suddenly fail;
– Provide for specific measures (i.e. regular testing of all equipment including stand-by equipment or systems that are not in continuous use) to ensure the continued reliability of such equipment or systems.
Finally, maintenance activities need to be properly resourced, and procedures must be documented.