Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1 to OAN 127

Draft Letter from (Main) MCA Marine Office handling company vessels


  This Directive places responsibility on port (host) states to undertake a mandatory survey of the above vessels and to seek certain verifications from the operator. "Specific surveys", as the Directive terms it, replace the expanded inspection previously applied under Port State Control arrangements but with some additions:

    —  Verification from operators and their flag state that they meet the requirements set out in the Directive.

    —  Agreement that the host state, and substantially interested member states, can investigate casualties

    —  Owners may ask that the Flag State is invited to attend the mandatory survey.

  This Marine Office will continue to be your point of contact in taking these matters forward and as with PSC inspection there will be no charge for these mandatory surveys.

  In this connection you will wish to be aware, that in accordance with the requirements of Article 6 and 8 of Council Directive 1999/35/EC and Regulation 6 and 8 of the Merchant Shipping (Mandatory Surveys for Ro-Ro Ferry and High Speed Passenger Craft) Regulations 2001 vessels on current services require to be inspected by host States prior to 1 December 2001.

  Prior to this initial specific survey, companies are required to confirm full compliance with these requirements to the MCA (and the competent authorities of other states which the vessel will visit ie other host states). A pro forma letter for this purpose is contained in MGN 171 which was issued with the above regulations. In order to avoid any delays in confirming compliance this letter should be forwarded to this office at least one month before the initial specific survey is required.

  If a vessel is newly introduced to a route the same notice will apply (although other arrangements may apply where a ferry has to be introduced rapidly to ensure continuity of service). Vessels which are transferring to another route may not need re-survey if all host states agree that the route characteristics remain the same. To this end operators may wish to seek agreement with MC (and other host states) in advance as to which routes can be considered similar. If a vessel switches to a route which host states have not agreed as similar then each host state should be informed as indicated above.

  The initial specific survey will be repeated annually. Ideally the timing of the initial and annual specific survey thereafter should coincide with the survey for the Passenger Certificate. However, the need to carry out joint surveys with other host states and witness drills may not always make this practicable. Operators should give at least five days notice of availability of the vessel for survey (this is longer then three days notice normally required in order to liaise with other host states).

  In addition an in-service survey is required by the Directive. This survey is carried out during a regular service and is unannounced but the MCA will where possible seek to take into account the operational characteristics of each vessel prior to survey.

  Where the circumstances of any vessel change during the course of a year, for example change of flag, class or management or any major repairs are undertaken, a new specific survey may be required and MCA (and other host states) should be advised of any changes. However host states will take into account any verifications and specific survey previously carried out elsewhere in the EU.

  Our records show that your company operates the following vessels and that you are required to confirm compliance with these requirements in accordance with MGN 171.

Vessel Name


[      ]

[      ]

  I should be grateful for your confirmation of:

    —  names of your vessels and the routes they cover;

    —  the expiry dates of their Passenger Certificates; and

    —  your letter of confirmation prior to initial survey.

  All enquiries should be forwarded to the contact details below.

MCA Marine Office



  In accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Mandatory Surveys or Ro-Ro Ferry and High Speed Passenger Craft) Regulations 2001.

Name of Ship








Place of Survey


Date of Survey


Name & Address of Company


INITIAL/VERIFICATIONS (Article 4 of Directive 1999/35/EC of 29 April 1999)





Certificates: carries all valid certificates, issued by flag or recognised organisations on its behalf (Complete on Form MSF 1602)



Surveys: In accordance with Guidelines annexed to IMO Resolution A.746(18) under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification



Class Rules: Complies with classification society rules or equivalent for construction and maintenance of hull, machinery, electrical and control installations



VDR: Fitted with Voyage Data Recorder, in compliance with Article 4(d)
(NB: Not required by the directive until 31 Jan 2003)



Stability: Complies with regional specific stability requirements (eg Stockholm Agreement)







Shore Based Navigational Guidance Systems: Is the Master provided with appropriate information before the vessel sails (MSI, Navtex, VTS etc), and does he make use of the navigational guidance and information schemes provided?



Passenger Safety Instruction: Are the relevant provisions of the revised guidelines for passenger safety instruction (para 2-6 of MSC Circ 699) applied?



Shipboard Working Arrangements (STCW): Is there posted in an easily accessible place a table showing shipboard working arrangements and the maximum hours of work and minimum hours of rest required for watchkeeping personnel? (eg STCW (Chap VIII) requires 10 hours of rest in any 24 hour period, divided in no more than two periods, one of which shall be at least 6 hours).



Master's Authority: Has the Company ensured that the Master is not constrained from taking any decision, which in his professional judgement is necessary for safe navigation and operation, particularly in severe weather and heavy seas?



Navigation Records: Does the Master maintain a record navigational activities and incidents which are of importance to safety of navigation?



Reports to Flag/Host States: Are deficiencies, damage, permanent deflection etc. of shell doors, associated hull plating and securing devices promptly reported to both flag and host states and are they promptly repaired to the satisfaction of these administrations?



Voyage Plans: is an up to date voyage plan, prepared and available before departure of the vessel? (taking account of relevant guidelines eg MGN 72, IMO Resolution A.893(21)—due to be issued in MGN 166).



Information for the Disabled: Is the on board information about the services and assistance available to elderly and disabled persons made known to the passengers and is it available in formats suitable for people with impaired sight?


Artle 5(1)(b)

Company Agreement on Casualty Investigation: Has company agreed in advance that host states and any substantially interested member state may participate fully or co-operate with any investigation of marine casualty and give access to information retrieved from the VDR.


Artle (5)(2)

Flag State Agreement: That where the craft is flying the flag of other than that of a member state, that flag state has accepted the Company's commitment indicated above.


Name of duly authorised Inspector Signature


Name of Ship








Place of Survey


Date of Survey


Name & Address of Company



  1.  The specific survey should ensure that the vessel complies with statutory requirements, in particular those for construction, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations, loading, stability, fire protection, maximum number of passengers, LSA, carriage of dangerous goods, radio communications and navigation. The survey should at least verify the following items:




Starting of emergency generator



Inspection of emergency lighting



Inspection of emergency source of power supply for radio installations



Test the public address system



Fire drill, inlcude using fireman's outfit



Operation of emergency fire pump with two charged hoses



Test of remote stops for fuel supply & vent fans



Test of remote/local control of fire dampers



Test of fire detection/alarm system



Test of closure of fire doors



Operation of bilge pumps



Test local & remote closing of WTD's



Demonstration of familiarity with Damage Control Plan by key crew members



Lower at least one Lifeboat & one Rescue boat to the water. Start & test
propulsion/steering systems. Recovery to stowed position



Check of L/boat & R/Boat inventory



Test of steering gear (& aux. Gear)


  2.  Verify that a planned maintenance system is in place on board    

  3.  Verify that crewmembers are familiar with and competent in carrying out the following:

Safety and Emergency procedures


Maintenance and Work Practices


The safety of passengers


Bridge procedures


Cargo and Vehicles operations


  4.  The common working language recorded in the ship's logbook understood by all crew  Yes/No

  5.  Verify that relevant crewmembers have successfully completed the required special training in:

Crowd management training


Familiarisation training


Crisis management/human behaviour training    Yes/No

Safety training for personnel providing direct assistance to passengers in an emergency      Yes/No

  6.  Roster patterns do not cause unreasonable fatigue, especially for watchkeeping personnel Yes/No

  7.  Verify that Certificates of competency issued by third states, comply with

Regulation 1/10 of STCW Convention              Yes/No

  SAR Plans: Has a copy of the Search and Rescue Plan been agreed and lodged with

local Coastguard Rescue Centre                Yes/No

Deficiencies Rectified by.....................................

Confirmation Received ........................................

Prevention of Operation Notice Served? (Y/N)........................................

Name of duly authorised Inspector..................................................... Signature .................

Name of Ship








Place of Survey


Date of Survey


Name & Address of Company


D. UNSCHEDULED SURVEYS DURING REGULAR CROSSING (Extracted from Annex IV Directive 1999/35/EC "Indicative Guidelines for Qualified Inspectors when carrying out Unscheduled Surveys During a Regular Crossing" refer to full text in Annex IV as necessary)



Key Points to Check



Passenger Information

Passenger numbers and counting procedures comply with the regulations



Loading and stability information

Where applicable reliable draught gauges are fitted and in use. Procedures to ensure adequate stability; ship not overloaded or loadline submerged, goods, vehicles and other cargo weighed. Damage Control Plans exhibited and booklets provided for the ship's officers



Security for sea

Procedures to ensure ship is secured before leaving the berth; reporting procedures for closing watertight doors, bow visor etc



Safety announcements

Announcement takes place and is audible and comprehensible



Log book entries

Entries to include closing of watertight doors, drills, stability, testing of steering gear, working language of crew etc



Dangerous goods

Carriage is in accordance with regulations; stowage plan, properly marked, notification and emergency procedures etc



Securing freight vehicles

Cargo Securing Manual, arrangements for securing vehicles



Vehicle decks

Whether special category and ro-ro cargo spaces patrolled or monitored, unauthorised access prevented



Closure of watertight doors

Adherence to policy laid down in ship's operational instructions for sub-division, drills, doors closed in hazardous and restricted visibility situations



Fire patrols

Fire patrols, including special category spaces where fixed fire detection and alarm system not fitted



Communications in an emergency

Sufficient crew numbers to assist passengers and communicate in a language appropriate to principal nationalities of passengers carried, provision of passenger safety instructions



Common working language between crew members

Establishment of common working language, recording of this language in ship's logbook



Safety equipment

Maintenance and readiness of fire protection and LSA, fire control plans



Navigational and radio equipment

Navigational and radio communications are operational



Supplementary emergency lighting

Fitted where required, record of deficiencies kept



Means of escape

Exits are marked, illuminated and free of obstruction



Operations book

Provided for Master and senior officers and available for crew



Engine room cleanliness

Maintained and in clean condition



Garbage disposal

Satisfactory arrangements for handling and disposal



Planned maintenance

Existence of planned maintenance system for all safety related areas



Making a voyage

Existence of overcrowding, blocking escapes, passengers vacated and restricted access to vehicle deck


*  Enter either "satisfactory" and/or comments.

Name of duly authorised Inspector    Signature


  The new normative listing of flag States provides an independent categorisation that has been prepared on the basis of Paris MOU port State inspection results. Compared to the calculation method of previous year, this system has the advantage of providing an excess percentage that is significant and also reviewing the number of inspections and detentions over a three year period at the same time, based on binomial calculus.

  The performance of each flag State is calculated using a standard formula for statistical calculations in which certain values have been fixed in accordance with agreed Paris MOU policy. Two limits have been included in the new system, the "black to grey" and the "grey to white" limit, each with its own specific formula:



  In the formula "N" is the number of inspections, "p" is the allowable detention limit (yardstick), set to 7 per cent by the Paris MOU Port State Control Committee, and "z" is the significance requested (z = 1.645 for a statistically acceptable certainty level of 95 per cent). The result "u" is the allowed number of detentions for either the black or white list. The "u" results can be found in the table as the "black to grey" or the "grey to white" limit. A number of detentions above this "black to grey" limit means significantly worse than average, where a number of detentions below the "grey to white" limit means significantly better than average. When the amount of detentions for a particular flag State is positioned between the two, the flag State will find itself on the grey list. The formula is applicable for sample sizes of 30 or more inspections.

  To sort results on the black or white list, simply alter the target and repeat the calculation. Flags which are still significantly above this second target, are worse than the flags which are not. This process can be repeated, to create as many refinements as desired. (Of course the maximum detention rate remains 100 per cent! To make the flags' performance comparable, the excess factor (EF) is introduced. Each incremental or decremental step corresponds with one whole EF-point of difference. Thus the excess factor EF is an indication for the number of times the yardstick has to be altered and recalculated. Once the excess factor is determined for all flags, the flags can be ordered by EF. The excess factor can be found in the last column the black, grey or white list. The target (yardstick) has been set on 7 per cent and the size of the increment and decrement on 3 per cent. The Black/Grey/White lists have been calculated in accordance with the above principles.

  The graphical representation of the system, below, is showing the direct relations between the number of inspected ships and the number of detentions. Both axis have a logarithmic character. A more detailed article is available at


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