Inspection of Danish ships abroad expected to rise by 36% in 2017

Danish Maritime Authority aims to step up inspections of Danish-flagged ships in foreign waters.

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Updated on 13 Jan 2017 10:53 GMT

The Danish Maritime Authority says it expects the number of inspections of Danish ships abroad to increase by 36 percent to 60 in 2017.

Just before the end of 2016, the Danish Maritime Authority carried out a two-week campaign in the U.S. to promote Danish shipping. The campaign took place in Houston and New York and included surveys of Danish ships calling at the two ports during the period.

The surveys on four different shipowners focused on the work performed by classification societies on behalf of the Danish Maritime Authority, occupational health, the ships' safety level and general condition as well as forward-looking dialogues with the crews about how to perform well in future Port State Control (PSC) inspections.

Annemette Knagaard, chief ship surveyor at the Danish Maritime Authority, said: "The Danish Maritime Authority performs control inspections of Danish-flagged ships abroad in order to assist Danish shipowners so that they can improve their performance and get an idea of what other countries' Port State Control officers are looking for. The inspections are made in close cooperation with the shipowner and crew where the survey is carried out by means of a constructive and safety-promoting dialogue."

In 2016, the Danish Maritime Authority carried out similar inspection campaigns in Singapore, Gothenburg, Algeciras and Rotterdam, as well as in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Ningbo and Shenzhen. A total of 44 control inspections were made last year on board Danish ships abroad.

In November, Bunker Index reported that PSC authorities across 45 countries agreed to carry out a so-called 'Concentrated Inspection Campaign' (CIC) in 2018 that will focus on air pollution from ships. The initiative is based on a Danish/Dutch proposal.

Speaking at the time, Peter Krog-Meyer, Senior Adviser of the Danish Maritime Authority, said: "In Denmark, we have been striving to ensure stronger enforcement for years, and the 2018 inspection campaign is merely one element of much greater efforts that are already being made. And this process will be speeded up in 2017 after the IMO decision on a global sulphur limit in 2020."

Earlier this year, Bunker Index recounted how the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food - the Danish agency tasked with monitoring and restricting the regulation of emissions - reported five shipping firms to the police in order to investigate allegations of fuel sulphur content violations.

According to samples of fuel extracted from ships in Danish ports, some of the firms operating the vessels tested were reportedly burning fuel with a sulphur content that was between 20 percent to as much as nine times above the currently allowed limit.

Since January 2015, when MARPOL Emission Control Area (ECA) requirements for the Baltic and North Seas restricted sulphur levels in marine fuels for ships operating in the region, the Danish Maritime Authority has stepped up its inspection programmes.