1. The Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China has recently formulated and issued “The Provisions on the Supervision and Administration of Vessels under Special Follow-up" which is effective from December 1, 2023.
2. These Provisions are applicable to Chinese vessels and foreign vessels navigating, berthing or operating in the waters under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China and are not applicable to military vessels, fishery vessels, and sports vessels.
3. The following vessels will be listed under “special follow-up vessels”:
a. Chinese vessels that have been detained twice following vessel safety inspections (including the overseas Port State Control inspections) in a consecutive 12-month period.
b. Foreign vessels that have been detained twice following Port State Control inspections in a consecutive 12-month period.
(PSC detention mentioned is not only limited to the detention by the Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China, but also included detention in any other Port State Control inspections)
c. Vessels that have been imposed twice administrative penalties by the Maritime Safety Administration in a consecutive 12-month period, due to their serious illegal acts such as: inadequate manning, malicious shutdown of AIS, willful and illegal discharge of pollutants, overloading, inland river vessels engaging in sea transportation, etc.
d. Vessels that refuse to accept or escape from handling after the occurrence of maritime administrative violations.
e. Vessels that have forged, altered, transferred, traded, or leased vessel certificates or vessels that carry out major conversion without inspection and authorization of the relevant Organizations.
f. Vessels that have caused relatively large or higher level water traffic accidents and bear equal or higher level responsibilities.
g. Vessels that are managed by shipping companies under Special Follow-Up.
h. Vessels listed under Special Follow-Up pursuant to the “Provisions on the Administration of Maritime Law Enforcement Assistance in Investigation”.
i. Vessels that require Special Follow-Up as designated by the Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China.
4. As provided in the Circular, the inspection conducted by the Maritime Safety Administration on vessels under special follow-up shall not be affected by such factors as sailing schedule, cargo loading and unloading and where conditions permit, such inspection will be conducted at each port and will be more detailed in nature.
5. Removing from the List of Vessels under Special Follow-up:
a. As for a Chinese vessel listed under Special Follow-Up, the shipping company may, after three months from the date of listing, file an application for removing the vessel from the list of vessels under Special Follow-Up with the Maritime Safety Administration at the place where the vessel's port of registry is located, together with the shipping company's report on corrective actions along with relevant evidence. Where the Maritime Safety Administration is assured, following assessment of the submission, that the technical safety of the vessel is adequate, Special Follow-Up may be removed.
b. Where a foreign vessel under Special Follow-Up has zero deficiencies in a Port State Control inspection conducted by the Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China after three months from the date of listing, the Maritime Safety Administration of the inspection port, shall file an application to remove the vessel from the list of vessels under Special Follow-Up along with other relevant material. The vessel shall be removed from the list following review and approval.
6. During the period when the vessel is listed under Special Follow-Up, for each recurrence of the above reasons for listing, the date for application for removal from the list will be extended by 3 months, counted from the previous date of permitted application for removing from the list.
7. Owners/ operators and masters of vessels to take note of above and accordingly in order to avoid the vessel getting listed under ‘special follow-up vessels’ as per the new provisions of the Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China, are advised to ensure strict compliance to applicable International Conventions and local regulations.
8. Further, before entering a port, vessels under the guidance of their management company are advised to conduct comprehensive self-examination on the following aspects including but not limited to vessel certificates, vessel structure, firefighting and lifesaving equipment, pollution prevention equipment and operation records, emergency equipment, emergency drills, crew member’s working environment, catering and accommodation facilities etc. and make full preparations for Port State Control inspection.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.