M.S. Notice 22 of 2011
Subject: Flag State Inspection (FSI) and General Inspection (GI) of Indian flag vessels -reg.
2. In recent times, the Directorate has been receiving queries and objections from the stakeholders, with respect to the above referred M.S. Notices.
3. Informatively, the said M.S. Notices were issued on account of a spate of causalities, particularly related to vessels deployed in offshore activities and considering the seriousness of deficiencies that were revealed during the subsequent investigations. Lately, noticing that there has been a shift in the nature and extent of such causalities, the Directorate General of Shipping taking note of the aspirations of the maritime industry without diluting the upkeep of maritime safety and pollution prevention, has reviewed the said Notices and considered it necessary to instill a sense of accountability among:
3.1 The ship-owners/managers-by introducing a formal regime of "Self assessment" of the ships owned/managed by them.
3.2 The recognized organizations-by introducing a formal regime of GI, for vessels under their ambit.
It is expected that above inspection regime will enhance the safety culture among the ship owning companies and enable the Directorate to lighten the intensity of the FSI without diluting Safety Standards.
4. Now therefore in further elaboration of the sequencing of the self assessment, the General Inspection (GI) and the Flag State Inspection (FSI), following guidelines are introduced:
4.1 While self assessment and GI will be done every year on all ships, GI need not be carried out by the Recognized Organization in the year the FSI is carried out.
4.2 No GI is stipulated for passenger ships. For these ships the yearly self assessment will continue with current FSI regime.
4.3 For any non-passenger ship FSI will be done once in three years, unless the GI report warrants that FSI is required to be carried out. A decision to this effect will be taken by the Principal Officer, Mercantile Marine Department through a speaking order. Such additional FSI can also be carried out if there are bonafide complaints against the seaworthiness of the vessel or, particularly if, a Surveyor, a Pilot, a Harbor Master or a Deputy Conservator of a port, repots major deficiencies pertaining to a vessel.
4.4 For issuing/renewing the General Trading License (GTL), GI or FSI shall be considered acceptable, provided such inspections are completed, with no major deficiencies pending rectification.
4.5 Inspection related to GI and FSI must be carried out midway (i.e. 6 months from the anniversary date of the full term SAFCON certificate), with a window period of +1 month.
4.6 Self assessment reports shall be verified during FSI and GI, and irregularities if any are to be brought to the notice of the PSC cell of the Directorate. GI reports are required to be forwarded to the PSC cell of the Directorate. (FORMS A & B need only be sent. The detailed inspection reports are to be retained by the concerned RO unless specifically sought by the PSC cell of the Directorate).
4.7 The present regime of carrying out "FSIs by surprise inspection" and reporting thereto shall continue. However, any vessel which has been subjected to FSI or GI, need not be subjected to "FSIs by surprise inspection" within a period of 6 months from the date of such FSI or GI, unless the provisions of para 4.3(i.e., with respect to bonafide complaints), above are attracted.
4.8 A FG vessel, which has not called any Indian port for two consecutive years, must be subjected to an FSI without fail, on her first arrival at an Indian port, unless the ship-owning company requests for an FSI to be carried out at locations outside India at their cost through appropriate MMD Surveyor. In any case the Directorate may not be approached for any extension/relaxation of these requirements.
5. In the event, the above inspection regime is not adhered to or, if major deficiencies are detected during the FSI the following steps shall be taken by the Administration;
5.1 The general trading license (GTL) issued to the vessel is liable to be intervened with and/or,
5.2 The ISM certification of the vessel is liable to be intervened with, and,
5.3 The authority delegated to the RO is liable to be reviewed.
6. FSI and GI shall not be carried out in the same calendar year. For both FSI and GI the checklist for inspection is to be used as given in Annexure-4 in M.S. Notice 6 of 2011.
7. This circular does not absolve the responsibility of the owner to have inspections carried out for maintaining other class/statutory documents/certificates, as applicable.
8. Consistently good self assessment/GI track record of any company and RO would be suitably incentivised, while repeated lapse on deficiencies pertaining to ships looked after by one DPA or any RO may come for adverse view and if lapse persists imposition of suitable disincentives would be considered.
This issues with the approval of the Director-General of Shipping and ex-Officio Addl. Secretary to the Government of India.