Incident and inspection data on emerging risks to safety, continues to sharpen the compliance focus of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) with the release of its third consecutive National Compliance Plan on 1 July 2022.
AMSA Executive Director of Operations, Michael Drake, says the plan outlines the regulator’s compliance activities for the year to come, and its achievements for the previous year.
“We are very pleased to see that overall, deficiency and detention rates for foreign-flagged and regulated Australian vessels remain low and this is because we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to sub-standard shipping,” Mr Drake says.
“Despite this progress, there is always room for improvement which is why we have outlined a number of focus areas for compliance for the 2022-23 financial year.
“Data shows that in recent years there has been a steady rise in issues relating to planned maintenance like failures or defects in onboard critical equipment, vessel structure and fire safety around cargo operations on foreign-flagged and regulated Australian vessels.
“Water and weathertight integrity issues are also on the rise across these vessels, particularly on bulk carriers, after an increase in the proportion of all detainable deficiencies identified during inspections leaped from 4.1% in 2019 to 9% in 2021.
“On the domestic front, our data suggests that poor, ineffective or lack of adequate risk assessment continues to be identified as a safety issue.
“Inadequate risk assessments have been identified as a contributing factor in one-in-three marine incidents reported to AMSA to-date for domestic commercial vessels.”
Mr Drake says planned maintenance will also be a focus of AMSA’s compliance activities for domestic commercial vessels, as would risk assessments.
“For domestic commercial vessels, we have identified regional issues like passenger vessel fire safety in Queensland and tender operations in Western Australia and the Northern Territory,” Mr Drake says.
“In the 2021-22 financial year, we ran a successful and popular education campaign, featuring free workshops with industry focused on risk assessments for construction barges.
“We’ll be doing something similar this year with a focus on risk assessment for towage and vessel transfer operations in port limits.
“Our aim is to take a data-driven, risk-based approach to compliance and work with industry to improve operational safety.”
View the National Compliance Plan 2022-23 on AMSA’s website.