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IMO Holds Seminar On Port State Control

Sep 9, 2009, 7:17 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

The International Maritime Organisation under the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme, in collaboration with the government of The Gambia through the Gambia Ports Authority on Monday began a five-day seminar on Port State Control, aimed at equipping surveyors and inspectors, as well as shipping agencies within the Maritime Administration.

The seminar, among others, seeks to enhance their performance in the inspection of ships at the Port of Banjul, while harmonising worldwide inspection with other ports state control systems. It is also meant to provide update information on responsibilities of flag states, under the relevant international conventions and provide specific advice as may be needed to enhance the implementation of international conventions by The Gambia.

In his opening statement, Hon Lamin Bojang, the Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure, said the world depends heavily on shipping as the case of the past.

"It is the prime mover of goods, providing cost effective means to carry raw materials, finished goods, foodstuff, humanitarian aid and fuel from one part of the world to the other for the good of humankind," he stated.

According to him, "port state control means the deliberate assertion of sovereign rights full and complete, by a port state by subjecting them to a through inspection of foreign ships entering its territorial waters or ports to ascertain that the conditions of the ship, its equipment and crew comply with the requirements of applicable international maritime conventions".

The sole aim, he further stated, is to help provide safer shipping and clean oceans.

NA Van Niekerk, who stood in for the Secretary-General of IMO, said inspection by port states as a centre means to access compliance by foreign flag ships with the requirements contained in applicable international instruments.

"It should be noted that the primary responsibility for ensuring ship compliance will always rest with the flag states themselves," he concluded.