The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued its third ban from Australian waters to a Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co ship this year.
AMSA issued the 90-day ban to the Antigua & Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship BBC Jade, after inspectors in Port Alma found 57 tons of explosive substances had been incorrectly stowed on board the vessel during transit.
The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code outlines the minimum international standards for the maritime transport of dangerous goods, in order to ensure their safe carriage and to prevent potential pollution incidents.
In June, AMSA issued the BBC Weser with a 90-day ban after AMSA inspectors determined the vessel was in an unsafe and unseaworthy condition.
The BBC Pearl was banned for 180 days the following month for multiple failures of its safety management system.
Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co has a history of poor performance, and AMSA has issued multiple warnings that future safety violations would lead to strict enforcement action.
Acting AMSA Executive Director of Operations Evan Boyle said that this breach, coupled with the ongoing poor performance of the operator, meant that a ban was necessary.
“Seafarers, and the Australian community, should feel confident that explosive substances are transported safely,” he said.
“Australian companies which are shipping dangerous cargos such as explosives to Australia may wish to exercise further diligence in whose vessels they engage to carry them.
“This is a serious maritime safety issue, as well as a major environmental concern, and not something that should be taken lightly.
“I hope this ban sends the message that Australia takes the IMDG Code very seriously.”
Mr Boyle said the repeated safety concerns on board Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co vessels were alarming.
“Australia will not tolerate this ongoing and blatant disregard for maritime safety,” he said.
“We take our role as a regulator seriously, and we expect operators to take their obligations seriously, as well.
“We will not hesitate to take tough enforcement action to keep our seas, and seafarers, safe.”
Additional safety violations on board the BBC Jade had also been identified by Antigua & Barbuda Flag State Control and are currently in the process of being rectified.
Australia strongly supports flag states proactively ensuring their ships are safe and meet the minimum international standards.
For a full list of ships AMSA has banned, visit: Refusal of access list and letters of warning list (amsa.gov.au)
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