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Paris MoU: Safety Detentions Remain High Compared to Pre-Pandemic Era

Garbage on deck
Image courtesy Paris MoU

Published Jul 1, 2024 11:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

European marine inspectors continue to find detention-worthy deficiencies aboard visiting ships at a higher rate than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Paris MoU on Port State Control's annual report.

In 2023, the average detention rate across the group's member states came to 3.8 percent - slightly less than in 2022, but much higher than the 2.9 percent rate in 2019, the last year before COVID-19. The number of outright ship bans has declined compared to the pre-COVID period.

The evaluation and ranking of the world's flag states - the Paris MoU's best-known product - remains similar to last year, with the largest open registries ranked in the middle of the "white" and "gray" lists. Denmark leads the pack with a detention rate of just under one percent, and Cameroon ranks last at 28 percent, sharing the bottom-most designation of "very high risk" with Tanzania. 

The newly-emerging flag of Gabon - a registry that has been discovered by the Russian "shadow fleet" and has attracted considerable attention - has had too few inspections in Europe to be ranked this year. About thirty others fall in the same category, like Mongolia, Nigeria, Tuvalu and Equatorial Guinea.  

The Paris MoU noted one important change for 2023: Montenegro's maritime authority has joined the PSC consortium at last, closing a potential loophole for substandard shipping to enter European waters. "Ships with cargo destined for mainland Europe now have virtually no choice but to discharge that cargo in a port falling within the scope of the Paris MoU. This means that these ships are subject to the risk-based inspection methodology of the Paris MoU," the organization said.