Report shows zero-tolerance approach lifts shipping standards

Cargo ship


  • Stringent inspection regime continues to positively influence the quality of foreign ships brought to Australia. 
  • Zero-tolerance approach to sub-standard shipping continues to act as a deterrent to the owners and operators of sub-standard ships. 

Australia’s national regulator for shipping, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), has released its Port State Control (PSC) Annual Report for 2021 – highlighting the positive effect that a consistent, zero-tolerance approach can have on the quality of foreign ships entering its waters.  

AMSA’s latest PSC inspection regime findings show that detention and deficiency rates per inspection continued to remain low in 2021, at just 5.6 per cent and 2.2 respectively compared to 2020, which had 5.9 per cent and 2.1. 

AMSA Executive Director of Operations, Michael Drake, said the regulator was widely reputed for having one of the most stringent inspection regimes in the world. 

“Ships that fail to meet international standards represent an unacceptable risk to the safety of seafarers, Australia’s precious marine environments and coastal communities,” Mr Drake said. 

“Our mission is to ensure safe ship operations and combat marine pollution from shipping. 

“We achieve that by taking a zero-tolerance approach during our inspections and by working collaboratively with our regional partners through intelligence sharing, concentrated inspection campaigns and awareness raising with industry. 

“These combined efforts have a positive influence on the quality of ships that enter our waters – it is a deterrent to the owners and operators of sub-standard ships which is why we continue to see low detention and deficiency rates.” 

Mr Drake said the 2021 inspection regime findings also helped refine the authority’s compliance focus areas for the year ahead, as published in the authority’s National Compliance Plan for 22/23

“We’ve identified trends in recent years relating to detainable deficiencies for ineffective implementation of safety management systems, fire safety and water/weather tight integrity, and we will be sharpening our compliance focus on these areas for the coming year,” Mr Drake said. 


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