6th of December 2023

Focused Inspection Campaign on Pilot Transfer Arrangements

From 10 July to 9 August 2023 the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control conducted a Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) on Pilot Transfer Arrangements (PTAs). 

The Paris MoU is trialling an alternative approach to the regular Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CICs) by conducting several short targeted inspection campaigns referred to as Focused Inspection Campaigns (FICs). In the coming months more such FICs are scheduled. After completion of the trials, the results, ease of implementation and effectiveness will be assessed and, on this basis, further decisions will be made on inspection campaigns and their format. Part of the trial also involves assessing with whether or not to pre-announce the inspection campaign.

The first FIC was carried out on PTAs. This subject was chosen as several incidents during pilot transfer, within the Paris MoU region and beyond, occurred which warranted carrying out this campaign. Most of the time pilot transfers are carried out safely, but the potential consequences of a person falling from a ladder can be fatal and the high-risk embarkation and disembarkation of the pilot by ladder requires constant management and supervision. 

The purpose of the campaign was to verify whether the PTAs on board the ships inspected were fulfilling the SOLAS requirements. A total of 1262 Port State Control inspections were carried out,  during which 100 ships were found with one or more deficiencies with the PTA. Deficiencies found indicated that: 

  • - when requested by Port State Control Officers to demonstrate, pilot ladders were not properly rigged to allow pilots to embark and disembark safely. On several occasions it was found that the weight of the ladder was not taken by its strongest point but, for example, by the steps;
  • - pilot ladders were damaged and/or not properly maintained;
  • - identification of ladders and record keeping of surveys and repairs were missing.

Please read full press release below