Inspectors taking closer look at yachts
Up until last year most cruising yachts visiting Europe attracted little attention from Port State Control authorities. Vessel inspections were rare. Now all of that has changed as maritime administrations place all vessels under greater scrutiny.
Members of the Paris MoU (Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control), an organization of 27 participating maritime administrations has revised its inspection regime to include visiting cruising yachts. The organization includes European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe.
All visiting yachts, regardless of size are now subject to inspection by Port State Control authorities. Previously cruising yachts have been considered a low priority for inspection. Now, any vessel that does not have an inspection history is automatically assigned a “Priority 1: (Unknown Ship)” status almost guaranteeing it rigorous inspection when entering a Paris MoU region regardless of flag, classification society or management company.
Both private and commercial yachts are subject to inspection with inspectors focused on safety equipment, charts, publications and voyage plans. Safety gear of primary concern is lifesaving and firefighting equipment. Inspectors will be particularly interested in the expiration of equipment such as flares, rescue devices, etc.
Charts, publications and voyage plans will also be scrutinized and will include currency of electronic charts as well as paper. Inspectors will also look at crew licensing requirements as dictated by the vessel’s flag state.
In 2011, more than 12 yachts were detained due to deficiencies. For more information visit www.parismou.org.