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Ship Cargo Safety
The National Maritime Safety Authority Act (2003) established the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) and specified its functions, including (a) “to perform the functions and exercise the powers as are conferred on it by this Act or any other law.” The Act then contained a number of specific functions dealing with matters such as maritime safety, marine pollution prevention and search and rescue. This section concluded with “generally to do such supplementary, incidental or consequential things as are necessary or convenient for carrying out its functions.”
2. The Present Situation
The NMSA requires regulatory authority to introduce internationally-accepted ship cargo safety standards in the area of the:
These internationally-accepted provisions are contained in three IMO Conventions:
3. The Proposed Regulations
Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Regulation
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea Chapter VII - Carriage of Dangerous Goods - contains provisions relating to dangerous goods in three parts. This Regulation deals only with Part A: - the Carriage of Dangerous Goods in Packaged Form – which includes provisions for the classification, packing, marking, labelling and placarding, documentation and stowage of dangerous goods. Contracting Governments are required to issue instructions at the national level. Amendments to the SOLAS Convention in May 2002, which entered into force on 1 January 2004, made the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) Code mandatory. The Code is constantly updated to accommodate new dangerous goods and to supplement or revise existing provisions.
The proposed Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Regulation prescribes responsibilities and gives authority to the National Maritime Safety Authority and all other parties involved in the transport of dangerous goods.
This Regulation implements Papua New Guinea's obligations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1972, incorporated by reference into the law of Papua New Guinea by the Merchant Shipping Act (Chapter No. 242).
The proposed Regulation states that, “Except as otherwise provided in this Regulation, no person may offer or accept dangerous goods for transport unless those goods are properly classified, packaged, marked, labelled, placarded, described and certified on a transport document, and are otherwise in a condition for transport as required by this Regulation.”
The authority for making this Regulation is found in Sections 89and 279 of the Merchant Shipping Act (Chapter No. 242).
Merchant Shipping (Deck Cargoes) Regulation The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) (Chapter VI - Carriage of Cargoes) was amended in 1991, which amendments included the re-titling of the chapter to “Carriage of Cargoes”, and entered into force on 1 January 1994 The text was shorter, but the Chapter was backed up by a Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing. New amendments entered into force on 1 July 1996 whereby the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing was made mandatory. The amendments made it compulsory to provide the cargo information required by the Code and for cargo units, including containers, to be loaded, stowed and secured in accordance with a manual that must be at least equivalent to the Code. The Code was made mandatory under Chapter VII (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) as well.
Papua New Guinea is a Party to the International Convention on Load Lines 1966 but is not a Party to the Protocol of 1988 in respect of the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification. It is recommended that consideration be given to acceding to the 1988 Protocol at some date in the future. Amendments made to the 1988 Protocol, which entered into force on 1 January 2005, include a number of important revisions - in particular to regulations concerning: strength and intact stability of ships; definitions; superstructure and bulkheads; doors; position of hatchways, doorways and ventilators; hatchway coamings; hatch covers; machinery space openings; miscellaneous openings in freeboard and superstructure decks; cargo ports and other similar openings; spurling pipes and cable lockers; side scuttles; windows and skylights; calculation of freeing ports; protection of the crew and means of safe passage for crew; calculation of freeboard; sheer; minimum bow height and reserve buoyancy; and others. These measures have an impact on the carriage of deck cargoes.
The proposed Merchant Shipping (Deck Cargo) Regulation states as follows:
The Authority may issue either single voyage deck cargo permits; or annual deck cargo licences authorising any ship to carry deck cargo.
The authority for making these Regulations is found in Sections 89, 93 and 279 of the Act.
Merchant Shipping (Safe Containers) Regulation
The International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC) has two goals:
The requirements of the Convention apply to the great majority of freight containers used internationally, except those designed specially for carriage by air. As it was not intended that all containers or reusable packing boxes should be affected, the scope of the Convention is limited to containers of a prescribed minimum size having corner fittings devices which permit handling, securing or stacking.
The Convention includes two Annexes:
Annex I includes Regulations for the testing, inspection, approval and maintenance of containers
Annex II covers structural safety requirements and tests, including details of test procedures.
Annex I sets out procedures whereby containers used in international transport must be safety-approved by an Administration of a Contracting State or by an organization acting on its behalf.
The National Maritime Safety Authority or its authorized representative (a Recognised Organisation, usually an IACS Member) will authorize the manufacturer to affix to approved containers a safety approval plate containing the relevant technical data.
The approval, evidenced by the safety approval plate granted by one Contracting State, should be recognized by other Contracting States. This principle of reciprocal acceptance of safety-approved containers is the cornerstone of the Convention; and once approved and plated it is expected that containers will move in international transport with the minimum of safety control formalities.
The subsequent maintenance of a safety-approved container is the responsibility of the owner, who is required to have the container periodically examined.
The Convention specifically requires that the container be subjected to various tests which represent a combination of safety requirements of maritime transport.
Papua New Guinea is not a Party to the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC). It is recommended that consideration be given to acceding to the Convention at some date in the future.
The proposed Merchant Shipping (Safe Containers) Regulation requires that an aapplication for approval of a container shall be made by the manufacturer to the Authority; that the Authority may, in writing, delegate the approval of containers to an Recognised Organisation; and that a Recognised Organisation may, in accordance with this Regulation, approve a container that complies with the requirements of Annex II of the Convention. Two categories of approval are allowed, (a) Design type approval; and (b) Individual container approval.
The proposed Regulation implements Papua New Guinea's obligations under the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC) in respect of its own domestic cargo containers and for cargo containers aboard any foreign ship in Papua New Guinea waters or at a Papua New Guinea port.
The authority for making this Regulation is found in Sections 89 and 279 of the Merchant Shipping Act (Chapter No. 242).