INTERTANKO raises members’ concerns at EQUASIS Editorial Board meeting

At last week’s meeting in London of the editorial board of EQUASIS, INTERTANKO raised various issues of concern to its members. These again included the need to have a prompt record of the close-out of deficiencies noted by a Port State Control inspection, which currently remain on the database as noted deficiencies until the next Port State visit although routinely closed-out within a very short period of time.

This issue is presently also under review by the Paris MoU and INTERTANKO’s Vetting Committee, and it is hoped that a resolution to this problem will be found very soon and that it will be applied for all port state inspections.

INTERTANKO also raised concerns over the recording formats for class and flag statutory surveys, which are to be introduced in to the EQUASIS record later this year, and inconsistencies in the detail of information in the databases of the classification societies to which deep hyper-links are being provided through EQUASIS from July. Other discussions included confirmation that the name of the charterer(s) at the time of any detention within the Paris MoU would be recorded in EQUASIS.

The opportunity was also taken to raise with the several Port State representatives present, and other European bodies, INTERTANKO’s observations about the practicalities and several concerns – not least on safety grounds - regarding the EU requirement for an expanded inspection regime of ballast tanks by Port States (see our article in Weekly NEWS No. 10  of 7 March 2003 –  Ballast Tank inspections - European Port State Control Directive). These were met with understanding and sympathy and the acknowledgement that within the Paris MoU there were similar concerns. There was, however, general frustration that the EU Ports Directive provided little leeway for changes.

Usage of EQUASIS continues to grow and on any working day there are typically in excess of 7,000 hits by PortState officials, charterers, brokers, the press, other industry parties and others. The number of complaints on the accuracy of the database has declined, with the majority now related to details of names and addresses, vessel deletions, etc. Members are, however, still encouraged to check the records of their companies and their ships on a regular basis and to advise of any errors or necessary corrections.

Contact: Peter Swift