GCC panel discusses inspection of foreign ships, marine safety

MUSCAT: The 17th annual meeting of the committee entrusted with following up the Riyadh Ship Screening MoU concluded here on Thursday.
The three-day meeting brought together maritime administrations from GCC states.
The meeting discussed technical inspection activities on surveillance of foreign ships frequenting the seaports of member states, as well as steps to draft unified programmes to target non-abiding vessels that violate standard marine safety criteria. It also discussed the exchange of data and inspection statistics through the MoU’s Information Centre.
It was agreed during the meeting to use a smartphone application to directly process the data of screened ships and load them to the information centre, besides unifying inspection codes as per other regional memoranda.
The committee also agreed that its secretariat develops a programme to enhance the inspection process through a raft of proper measures to be used when ships violate the rules, thus linking each offence to the breach of a prescribed legal element stated in regional/international agreements.
Another outcome was the panel’s approval of distance learning programmes for inspectors in cooperation with Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU, besides approving a training plan for maritime inspectors.
Dr Rashid bin Mohamed al Kiyumi, Director-General of Maritime Affairs at the Ministry of Transport, was unanimously re-elected as Head of the Riyadh MoU’s Committee for the third time in a row. — ONA