European ports and waters remain critical to global infrastructure and International Registries, Inc.’s (IRI’s) Roosendaal office has remained focused on keeping Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) flagged vessels traveling and trading in Europe even during the most restrictive COVID-19 limitations. The RMI received its best ranking on the most recent Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) white list, showing the strong and improving reputation of the RMI flag.
“COVID-19 restrictions significantly impacted the ability of port State control (PSC) authorities to conduct physical inspections and as such vessel risk profiles gained importance in prioritizing which vessels to inspect. Knowing that our flag is being recognized for its quality, assists this risk profile,” said Chris van Tiel, Deputy Fleet Operations Manager, IRI Roosendaal.
Chris reports that avoiding deficiencies and detentions in the era of COVID-19 looks different than before. In fact, several Paris MoU member states are increasing their focus on crew contract issues with less lenience for COVID-19 excuses, which may lead to deficiencies and possibly to detentions.
“We strongly encourage all owners and operators to look at the RMI’s Marine Safety Advisory on crew contracts and seek support and advice from the Registry before arriving in European ports if they have been unable to facilitate crew changes,” said Chris. “Crew change remains challenging, and in situations where it has been impossible, it is crucial to have appropriate documentation for PSC authorities to prove it has not been possible. Flag representatives can provide advice and support the collection of the documentation.”
To further facilitate inspections, the Roosendaal office has also spearheaded the development of a mobile inspection application for inspectors to use on board. The inspection application functions on mobile devices and tablets as an electronic Report of Operational Safety Inspection (MSD 252), allowing inspectors to collect and transmit data without exchanging USB sticks, reducing the risk of a cyber security breach. As inspections begin to transition from remote to in person, clients should expect to see this application used worldwide.