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More Vietnamese ships detained in international waters
  • | | October 14, 2011 01:41 PM

Over 70 Vietnamese ships have been detained abroad so far this year, causing problems for local transport authorities.

More Vietnamese ships detained in international waters (Illustration photo)

Last year Vietnam was removed from the blacklist of the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding, an inter-governmental organisation for port State control (PSC) in the Asia-Pacific region, for the first time, as a result of a decreased number of detained vessels.

However, the situation has become worse. According to the Vietnam Register, in the first nine months of this year, 693 Vietnamese ships were inspected in foreign waters, 71 of which were detained.

In the whole of 2010 only 58 were detained.

Of those, 32 were detained by Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding, or MoU (which in maritime terms translates into an actual organisation that seeks to regulate substandard ships through a system of port control), 8 by Indian MoU and one by Paris MoU.

The Vietnam Register attributed the rise in detained sea vessels to substandard technology on Vietnamese ships as well as the inability of their crews to speak foreign languages. Many vessels do not meet the requirements set by the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention.

Also, the Vietnam Register’s management over registration process for ships and other certificates related to International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention remains lax.

Trinh The Cuong an official from the Vietnam Maritime Administration said, “Financial difficulties prevent many owners from upgrading their ships and providing the appropriate training needed for their staff."

“The detentions not only cause financial loss, they also affect the prestige of the Vietnamese shipping industry. This, in turn, affects the entire country\'s competitiveness in the industry,” Cuong added.

Trinh Ngoc Giao, Head of Vietnam Register, said Vietnamese ships are often out of date in comparison with foreign ones and their crews are not highly-trained. He added that the register will tighten control over registration process and cooperate with other agencies to offer training courses for crew.

The An Lu Transport Association has proposed that transport agencies update their information on international maritime convention, as well as the new polices of ports worldwide.

Dinh La Thang, Transport Minister, said the ministry will conduct a comprehensive inspection of Vietnamese maritime vessels.

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