The number of ships detained in Australian ports increased by 15.5% in 2014, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Port State Control 2014 report released this month.
The authority detained 269 ships last year, up from 233 in 2013.
Along with the sharp increase in detentions, ship deficiencies rose 31.1% despite a modest 4.6% rise in ship arrivals. Port State Control ship inspections rose 12% for the year with 3,742 inspections, up by 400.
“While there have been modest improvements experienced across a number of areas, the overall picture indicates that the international community’s PSC (Port State Control)/ FSC (Flag State Control) efforts are not delivering lasting results,” AMSA said.
Flagged ships with the top detention rates were Indonesia (66.6%), Antigua and Barbuda (20.3%), Greece (14.1%), Malaysia (12.5%) and Cyprus (11.6%) registers. The average detention rate per flag was 7.2%.
However in sheer numbers the Panama registered ships clocked the biggest number of detentions, followed by Hong Kong, Liberia, and Singapore.
Most detentions were due to International Safety Management issues, fire safety, lifesaving appliances, and pollution prevention.
AMSA reported a major factor behind the spike in detentions was the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
In 2014 AMSA received 114 complaints relating to breaches in living and working conditions on board vessels visiting Australian ports and inspected MLC deficiencies on 56 vessels, with eight ships were detained. Most breaches (35%) were for underpayment of wages (25%), food and catering (20%), and breach of contract (10%).
Bulk carriers had the most deficiencies recorded (6,264) of which 222 were detainable and nine were due to breaches of the MLC.
However based on the average detention rate, it was general cargo ships, tugs, and livestock vessels that had the highest rate.