India being a party to many International Maritime Organization (IMO)
treaties which empowers it to ensure that the sub-standard ships within
its territorial waters are targeted, inspected and allowed to leave the
port subject to the vessel's compliance with the applicable IMO
instruments. By virtue of this, India is also a member of Indian Ocean
Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU). The purpose of this body is to use a
co-operative approach of the members to prevent the operations of
sub-standard ships at sea. Recognizing these facts, India has a
responsibility to fulfill its obligation to inspect at least 25% of ships
calling Indian ports annually as per the terms and condition of the
2. There are over 12,000 ships of various nationalities calling
Indian major or non-major ports annually. It is, therefore, practically
not possible to verify the seaworthiness state of these vessels through
verification of certificates and physical inspection.
3. Of late, cases of sub-standard ships have been reported and
that has led to very serious shipping casualties in the main shipping
routes and ports on the coast of India. As the port authorities have to
handle the vessels arriving at their ports, their assistance in locating
sub-standard vessels will be of great help.
4. The Directorate is of the view that the port officials
especially the Pilot, Harbour Master and Deputy Conservator or such
officials who perform the function of advisor to the Master during the
ship maneuvers within the port jurisdiction can contribute by taking a
pro active action in conducting preliminary operational checks prior to
vessels entry into Indian port i.e. from Pilot embarkation points till the
berthing or anchoring of the vessel or vice a versa.
5. In view of this, the Directorate urges port authorities to
issue internal directives for such purpose. An outline procedure however
is given below for the guidance of such officials:
The Port authority
may contact the nearest Principal Officer or Surveyor- In-Charge of
MMD to notify serious deficiencies, including Master and crew competency,
observed immediately upon embarking the vessel for the
purpose of pilotage or otherwise.
The Port official may
also fill up Pilot Card which is the requirement of STCW Convention.
Modified format (showing a filled-up card) attached herewith.
any serious deficiencies is observed by the Port official which in his
judgement may affect the safety of the vessel, crew, port and preservation
of marine environment, inform the nearest MMD with a request to board the
vessel in port. The place of embarkation may be decided in consultation
with the Chairman of the concerned port.
considered necessary, based on the situation on board reported ship, the
port authorities may allow the ship to anchor in safe area within the port
limits. Accordingly, the port State control authority should be requested
to board the vessel for the purpose of such inspection without any delay.
6. Having regard to this fact,
the Directorate seeks the co-operation and support of shipping industry,
port and public authorities to control the threat created by such vessels
in our waters.
7. Co-operation of all concerned is solicited for the purpose of
saving life, ship, harbor works, installation in ports and protection of
8. In the event of failure to contact the Principal Officer or SIC of
MMD for some reason, the information should be communicated to the port
State control cell of the Directorate (stating the failure). Contact
details at the Directorate are :
Alternatively to the D.G. Comcentre,
7th Floor, Jahaz Bhaval, Walchand Hirachand Marg,
Ballard Estate, Mumbai - 400 001.
Tel: 91-22 - 2261 0606 Fax: 91-22 – 2261 3636/ 2261 4646
issues with the approval of the Director-General of Shipping & ex-officio
Addl. Secretary to The Govt. of India.
Engineer & Ship Surveyor-cum-DDG (Tech.)