Equasis Editorial Board meeting

The meeting of the 8th Equasis Editorial Board Meeting was held this week in INTERTANKO / INTERCARGO's offices in London, attended by over 20 industry representatives from the IMO, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), International Group of P & I Clubs (IG), U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Port State Control (PSC) France, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO and Green Award. 

The Equasis Management Unit reported that there are now 14,900 active users of the system, and a new and improved interface for Equasis is being developed.  

The proposal to produce periodic statistics from the Equasis database, as submitted by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), was discussed at length by the Editorial Board, and in view of the number of inputs received from the members during the meeting, it was agreed that members would be given the opportunity to submit their input and comments in detail to the Management Unit by 31 January 2006. 

A positive feedback was reported by the Management Unit with regard to the Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) information being provided to Equasis through a link to the Q88 website. This was implemented in July 2005. At last year's 7th Equasis Editorial Board Meeting, INTERTANKO proposed that the Editorial Board consider linking Equasis to the Q88 website, as the revised Questionnaire 88 (Q88) includes a question relevant to CAS, which asks whether the vessel has a statement of compliance issued under the CAS provision relevant to MARPOL. This, INTERTANKO believes, will be of immense value to port state control officers and other industry bodies. 

INTERTANKO has again voiced its concern with regard to the "closing-out" of deficiencies. Currently, deficiencies raised by Port State Control are entered into the Equasis web site against the relevant vessel, but unfortunately, any subsequent appropriate corrective action taken by the owner to close-out the deficiency is not recorded. 

INTERTANKO also expressed concern regarding the absence of a methodology whereby a responsible owner could demonstrate to the relevant port state that correct and adequate measures have been taken to rectify a deficiency within the time frame required, and that a deficiency has been closed out. INTERTANKO highlighted that there have been negative consequences for shipowners, particularly with the increasing number of users of Equasis' data. INTERTANKO suggested two options for the Board to review. 

The Editorial Board has noted these concerns and has requested the Equasis Management Unit, and in particular the Paris MoU, to examine mechanisms to close out deficiencies and appropriately record their having been closed out in the Equasis website. 

Contact: Minerva Alfonso