020/14 USCG issues Marine Inspection re Caribbean PSC regimes (USCG MI Notice 01-14)

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The Maritime Authorities of the Caribbean Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control (PSC) will launch a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) with the purpose of ensuring compliance with SOLAS Chapter II-2 and the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS).

The CIC is further designed to ensure that the firefighting equipment is readily available and maintained at all times; that the master, officers, and crew are familiar with the equipment and have received training in carrying out their duties; and to raise awareness of fire safety related issues. This inspection campaign will be held for three months, 1 September 2014 through 30 November 2014.

Owners and operators of U.S. flag vessels should expect that during regular PSC inspections selected items will be inspected in more detail for compliance with SOLAS Chapter II-2 and the FSS Code, including; the fire safety plan, fire control measures, drills, crew awareness, and other applicable documentation. Port State Control Officers will apply the enclosed questionnaire of 11 selected items relating to documentation, equipment, and crew familiarization.

When deficiencies are found, actions by the Port State may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain period to detaining the vessel until serious deficiencies have been rectified. Additionally, U.S. vessel detentions may result in a follow-up inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard and/or the authorized classification society if applicable. The results of the campaign will be analyzed and findings will be presented to the governing bodies of the MoUs for submission to the IMO.

U.S.-flag vessel owners and operators are encouraged to take the steps necessary to become familiar with the CIC criteria prior to the campaign. Verifying that vessels meet applicable requirements under SOLAS in advance of foreign voyages and port calls can go a long way toward facilitating PSC inspections.

Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMIs) are requested to facilitate wide distribution of this Notice to vessel operators that could be affected. The Coast Guard stands ready to assist vessels owners and operators in this compliance effort. Please contact your OCMI with questions.

Source: USCG

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Thank you & Best Regards,

Eng. Dimitrios Nikolaos Spanos
Lead Maritime Auditor / Principal Surveyor
Member of IRCA, IIMS, ELINT, HELMEPA & Nautical Institute

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