For the first time, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has prohibited the entrance or port usage by any ship in Australia for the period of 12 months. The Indonesian flagged container ship Red Rover has received an order, banning the entrance or usage of Australian ports after being held in custody by AMSA three times since September 2014.

The most current holding in custody has happened on 28 January 2015 in Fremantle, Western Australia. All three detentions have outlined errors in the ship’s Safety Management System, for example a shortage of effective passage planning or lack of usage of suitable charts and publications.

This is the third vessel part of the PT Meratus Line which has been prevented from entering Australian ports for a certain period of time. All three of these ships have time and again showed that they were not acting or operating according to the accepted regulations in spite of the continuous AMSA recommendations to do their best to better their activities. The other two vessels that have received similar treatment from AMSA are the MV Meratus Sangatta –with banning this month and the Territory Trader -with banning from November last year. The ban’s period has been for three months.

Territory Trader

Territory Trader Image by: P Bakker

According to AMSA Chief Executive Officer, Mick Kinley, Australia is a contractor to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. That is why AMSA performs its obligations seriously to provide conformance to all international safety conventions. The dangerous activities of ships cause unbearable risk exposure to sailors and the environment. AMSA considers extremely grave any violation of the
international shipping standards.

For example the missing of effective passage planning is highly dangerous, especially in places like the Western Australia shore. Similarly to the Great Barrier Reef, the shore mentioned above is environmentally sensitive in places like the Ningaloo Reef and Houtman Abrolhos Islands. The Ningaloo Reef possesses International Maritime Organization approved ‘Area to be Avoided’ vessel travelling measures. However, the PT Meratus Line has treated as not worthy the international standards because it has made many violations. All vessels travelling under this company are now liable to observations during every port visit.

The Red Rover is the fourth ship to be prevented from entering Australian ports under the amended Navigation Act which came into operation in July 2013.