HA NOI — The number of sub-standard ships from Viet Nam being suspended at foreign ports is generally higher than vessels from other countries.
|A ship is repaired by the Nghe An Shipbuilding Mechanical Joint Stock Co. Many vessels are suspended at foreign ports due to their substandard condition. — VNA/VNS Photo Lan Xuan
However, the number has fallen since last October when a directive was issued by the Transport Ministry's Department of Legal Affairs that all Vietnamese ships must be inspected and have any problems fixed before leaving Viet Nam for other countries.
According to the Viet Nam Maritime Administration, in the first half of this year, 32 Vietnamese ships were detained at foreign ports when undergoing Port State Control – the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with the new rules.
In the same period last year, the number of detained ships was 51.
In the first nine months of last year, 83 out of a total of 763 inspected Vietnamese ships were detained in foreign ports, or 10.8 per cent.
Vo Duy Thang, head of the Maritime Safety and Security Department under the Maritime Administration, said that in the Asia-Pacific region alone, the percentage in the first quarter of this year was reduced to 6.52 per cent and that of the second quarter was 5.88 per cent.
He noted that Viet Nam's rate of ships detained in the 18 nations in Asia and the Pacific was lower than that of Indonesia (11.47 per cent), Cambodia (9.67 per cent) and Thailand (9.19 per cent).
Deputy head of Transport Ministry's Department of Legal Affairs Nguyen Hoang said that the reduction proved the effectiveness of the ministry's directive.
He said that the directive forced all shipping companies, big and small, to pay more attention to ship safety, security and environmental pollution.
However, Hoang said it was difficult to inspect all ships departing for overseas because container ships entered and left ports so frequently, some staying only a few hours.
The Maritime Safety and Security Department has recommended that ships that fail to meet foreign port inspections be placed on a black list and be subjected to more frequent inspections when returning to home ports.
Transport deputy minister Nguyen Van Cong agreed with the recommendation, asking relevant agencies to improve the image of Vietnamese fleets without inconveniencing shipping companies that always operated within the guidelines.
The new inspection system is expected to reduce pressure on port authorities, inspectors and ship owners, especially companies with well manned-and-operated vessels. — VNS