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News: AMSA focused inspection campaign (FIC) on cargo securing arrangements (1 Aug - 31 Oct 2020)

28 July 2020

Members with ships calling at Australian ports are recommended to refer to the recent Marine Notice 5/2020 issued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on the Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) targeting cargo securing arrangements on container ships. The FIC will be conducted from 1 August 2020 to 31 October 2020.

This FIC has been initiated by AMSA in response to several incidents where containers have been lost into the sea or cases where container stacks collapsed, and the subsequent identification of inadequate cargo stowage and securing arrangements.

The intention of this FIC is to ensure that Masters are fulfilling their obligations under Regulation 5 of Chapter VI of SOLAS which relates to the stowage and securing of cargoes. In general, AMSA expects all cargo to be carried in full compliance with the vessel’s Cargo Securing Manual as approved under Regulation 5.6 of Chapter VI of SOLAS.

AMSA has provided a checklist that will be followed by inspectors when inspecting ships as part of this FIC.

It is most likely that the FIC will take place concurrent with routine Port State Control (PSC) inspections; however, standalone inspections may also take place where the vessel is not eligible for PSC inspection.

In cases where these standalone inspections are not a part of PSC, the data will not be transmitted to regional PSC databases. However, where a vessel is deemed non-compliant, and clear grounds exist, the AMSA inspector may proceed to a full PSC inspection.

Where non-compliances are found, AMSA will take the necessary steps to bring the ship into compliance. This may include carrying out remedial action for minor deficiencies within a time limit as set by the inspector. In the event of a serious deficiency, the vessel may be detained until it has been rectified to the satisfaction of the AMSA inspector.

As such, AMSA encourages ship owners and masters to familiarise themselves with the approved cargo securing manual for their vessel and Marine Order 42 which gives effect to Chapter VI of SOLAS in Australia.