China: Launch of Concentrated Inspection Campaign on Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Failures


( The China Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA) has implemented a stricter monitoring of vessels meeting any of the following criteria:

  • Vessel has been detained twice within the last 12 months, irrespective of the place of detention.
  • Vessel has been penalized twice in 12 consecutive months for serious violations, such as:
    • Insufficient manning
    • Maliciously turning off the AIS system
      Intentional illegal discharging of pollution
    • Overloading
    • Sea-related transportation by inland waterway vessels
  • Other reasons, such as evasion of penalty, unlawful certificates, major alterations without approval, etc.

Vessels included in the special follow-up are most likely subject to PSC inspection at every port call in China. In addition, all inspections performed on board those vessels are likely to be performed “in a detailed manner”.

To exclude a vessel from the scheme, the shipping company may apply to the China MSA administration after three months from the date of its inclusion. For details, please see “China MSA Circular – Issuing the Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Vessels under Special Follow-up”.

Port State Control Focus on machinery/electrical systems

The China MSA has announced this additional “Special Campaign to Prevent Marine Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Failures”, to take place during normal PSC inspections in all Chinese ports. The focused inspection started on 7 April 2024 and will last until 31 October 2024.

The MSA circular states the following:

Class societies in China shall strengthen the inspection and testing of newly built and rebuilt ships, with a focus on their mechanical and electrical equipment. Ships’ crews shall report such failures to the local maritime administration and accept special safety inspections by the maritime administration as required.

Those who fail to proactively report mechanical and electrical equipment failures will be severely punished.

For ships that have experienced two or more mechanical and electrical equipment failures within 12 months, the maritime administration will require shipping companies and class societies to jointly conduct inspections and require the ships to submit failure analysis reports and measures to prevent mechanical and electrical equipment failures.

The circular also includes “Guidelines on Special Self inspection for Preventing Marine Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Failures”.

Checklist published by the China MSA

To ensure safety and technical conditions as well as mechanical and electrical equipment are in accordance with relevant provisions of international conventions as well as Chinese laws and regulations, crews are asked to conduct self-inspection according to the above-mentioned guidelines on self-inspection. The detailed checklist can be found below:

  1. Proper function of main propulsion unit (fuel system, communication and adjacent instruments, starting air, lube oil system, cooling water system, control air system, engine reversing measures).
  2. Proper function of safety, monitoring and remote control and other auxiliary devices of the main propulsion unit (all alarms in working condition oil mist concentration detector,
    no alarm records related to safety and automatic shutdown of engine).
  3. Ships steam boiler in order (water supply system, combustion system, safety system).
  4. Ships main power supply in order (sufficient capacity to account for generator failures, safety systems, switchboards and control panel, insulation monitoring).
  5. Emergency power supply in order (start and operation, starting device meets requirements, fuel reserves, switch to automatic mode, power to emergency systems after blackout within 45sec, emergency battery pack, quick closing valve, air supply, leakages).
  6. Steering gear in order (automatic start after power failure, backup power equipment, hydraulic oil storage tank, alarms, performance, communication facilities).
  7. Crew is competent and familiar with the operation of mechanical and electrical equipment within their duties (certificates, Communication, familiar with operation, testing and emergency procedures).
  8. System documents related to mechanical and electrical equipment are effectively implemented on board (shipping company support to master, qualified crew, communication, proper procedures, emergency response for equipment failure, maintenance plan implemented).
  9. Other issues that may cause marine mechanical and electrical failures (e.g maloperation of fuel oil quick closing valve, lack of protective facilities, failure of bilge water system, crew fatigue, etc.).:

Additional items recommended by DNV:

10. Maintenance records for both planned and corrective maintenance should be up-to-date and the description of performed maintenance should be sufficiently detailed.

11. For those cases where corrective maintenance (repair) has been required, it is recommended that a probable cause of the failure is identified, or at least an investigation initiated, and, where possible, maintenance routines are updated to
prevent reoccurrence.

12. The condition of lubrication and fuel oil filters should be monitored and documented, e.g. last filter changeover/replacement, average number of cycles per hour for automatic filters, etc.

13. Testing of the emergency generator should be conducted and documented on a regular basis, including automatic connection to the emergency switchboard (ESB) and loading of the generator. Automatic starting of the ESB connected steering gear pump after loss of power should be included.

14. Starting of the standby generator, including any preferential trips, should be tested and documented in good time before arrival.

15. Any failures or damages that can be presumed to lead to a condition of class shall have been reported to class and records of the notification shall be available to PSC for inspection.


Source: China MSA







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