Tokyo MOU observed a drop in APAC port-state control inspections
The Tokyo MOU is one of the most active regional Port State Control (PSC) organisations in the world. Authorities representing the organisation said that COVID-19 restrictions in force resulted in many inspectors unable to access the vessels.
COVID-19 restrictions thwarted inspections
Established in April 1994, the MOU provides an effective port state control regime in the Asia-Pacific region. It comprises 21 member governments, and aims to eradicate substandard shipping through increased cooperation of their members and harmonisation of their activities. The MOU also promotes maritime safety and ensures the protection of the marine environment in the Asia-Pacific.
In a recently released statement, the Tokyo MOU, said: “Strict restrictions on ship-shore interactions and large-scale lockdowns were adopted in many parts of the region – which resulted in a significant decrease in inspections.” With such a steep fall for vessels arriving and departing out of these 21 member states, concerns are mounting in the maritime world regarding the safety and welfare of the ships as well as the crew onboard.
PSC inspections are instrumental in ensuring vessels’ compliance with Maritime Labour Convention’s concerns on crew welfare, and seafarers’ treatment onboard are aligned with ILO requirements. It also makes sure seafarers are paid timely and minimises mistreatment risks.
Safety is also a major concern. Inspections also ensure vessels operating in the Asia-Pacific meet IMO’s emission requirements, and adhere to safety guidelines. Neglected inspections will only subject the crew to more risks onboard.