The General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP) has commenced a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on safety of navigation to ensure that ships within Bahrain’s ports or territorial waters comply with the requirements of the international convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The three month campaign which began earlier this month is being conducted in line with the Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding (R-MoU) which aims to achieve safe, secure and efficient shipping in maritime jurisdictions in the Gulf region.
This decision to conduct the CIC was taken during the recent Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding (R-MoU) Committee meeting of the six GCC member nations held in Bahrain in June this year.
The CIC will be conducted by the GOP Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) to verify that ships are in compliance with the requirements for navigational equipment and ensure that the Master and Watch-keeping officers are familiar with the onboard equipment. As part of the inspection, validity of the statutory certificates together with relevant record and approval of equipment will be checked by the PSCOs. The CIC will focus on all elements which are covered under SOLAS Chapter V relating to the safety of navigation including adequacy and up-to-date nautical charts and publications necessary for the intended voyages.
Commenting on the importance of CIC, Mr Hassan Al Majed, Director General of GOP said: “The commencement of Concentrated Inspection Campaign in Bahrain reinforces GOP’s commitment to promoting maritime safety and protecting the marine environment in the Kingdom. Campaigns such as this help GOP to effectively examine safety onboard ships in Bahrain’s territorial waters and ensure that vessels trading in the region’s common waters comply with requirements of international maritime conventions. By adhering to the highest international standards of safety, protection of marine environment and security, GOP aims to continuously improve the overall safety standards on vessels, both in and around Bahrain.”
As part of the inspection, the GOP has requested all concerned ship owners and operators to cooperate and adhere to the actual provisions as specified in SOLAS Chapter V in order to avoid any delay or detention of vessels. If deficiencies are found during inspection, the Port State Control Officers will conduct an in depth inspection which may lead to detention of the vessel. The results of the campaign will be analysed and a report on the findings will be submitted to the committee of the R-MoU.
The effective implementation of the Riyadh MoU is part of GOP’s overall strategy to enhance the Kingdom’s maritime capabilities. By inspecting foreign ships to check if they comply with international rules on safety, pollution prevention and seafarers working conditions. GOP continues to ensure the Kingdom’s maritime safety and security. The Organisation remains committed to demonstrating the professional excellence of the national maritime industry and offering quality services to meet the needs of users, stakeholders as well as the public perceptions and expectations.