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Vietnamese fleet vows to escape from the black list   2012-07-20 - Lao dong

The Vietnam Maritime Bureau (Vinamarine) has committed to put the Vietnamese fleet off the foreign ports’ lists of the ships which cannot meet the safety standards. However, experts have warned that this would be a very difficult task.

Vietnamese ships prioritized to be examined at foreign ports

According to Vinamarine, in the first six months of 2012, only 30 Vietnamese ships were detained at foreign ports, or 14 ships lower than that of the same period of the last year. 457 defects of different kinds were discovered during the examination of the 30 said above detained ships, which include 92 serious defects, which led to the decisions to detain the ships.

Of these, 68.82 percent of defects related to the equipments and facilities of the ships, 15.05 percent related to papers and documents, and 16.13 percent related to the crew’s ship regulation.

Though the number of detained ships has decreased, the number of Vietnamese ships examined at the foreign ports has not decreased (434), according to Do Duc Tien, Deputy Head of Vinamarine.

This showed that the Vietnamese fleet remains the ones that come high in the list of priority ships for examination. Especially, Vietnamese ships were mostly examined at Chinese ports (87 ships examined, 18 detained) and Indonesian ports (101 and 6).

In other words, the Vietnamese fleet still has been named in the black list of the fleets that need to be examined at foreign ports.

The significant decrease of the detained ships has been explained by the tightened control by the state management agencies.

The Instruction No. 09 released by the Ministry of Transport in October 2011 emphasized the necessity of strengthening the measures to minimize the ships to be detained under the mode of PSC (Port State Control) at foreign ports.

The legal document stipulates that port authorities must examine 100 percent of the Vietnamese ships before they leave the ports for other countries. Especially, special attention should be paid to the ships which once underwent the PSC in the past.

However, experts believe that this is not the main reason behind the decrease, because the problems cannot be settled overnight.

Do Xuan Quynh, Secretary General of the Vietnam Shipowners’ Association, said that a lot of private and local ships, which are in high risks for PSC, have reduced their international transport activities due to the economic downturn.

The problem lies in the staff

Vinamarine has cited some reasons that lead to the Vietnamese ships to be detained. The short supply of spare parts and accessories for maintenance led to the fact that the ships’ technical conditions cannot meet the requirements.

Ship owners and crew have not been following the provisions of the International Safety Management Code (ISM) well. Meanwhile, since the crew does not get salaries on schedule, they work perfunctorily.

Do Xuan Quynh agreed, saying that the problem lies in the staff. “Some mariners, who have just finished schools, cannot launch lifebuoy, while chief engineer does not know where the exit is. Especially, some captains even do not know IMO (International Maritime Organization) convention.

“Vietnamese ships would still be detained in foreign countries until the problem of the labor force is settled,” he said.

Maritime is now checking the fire prevention systems at all the Vietnamese ships that operate on international routes. Problems would be fixed before Tokyo MOU and Paris MOU begin their checking slated for September 1 – November 31.

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