Paris MoU launches Harmonised Verification Programme (HAVEP)
on passenger ships

26 November 2012

The 27 member States of the Paris MoU will focus their attention on passenger ship safety in 2013. In May 2012 the Paris MoU Port State Control Committee agreed to organise a Harmonized Verification Programme (HAVEP) on operational controls on passenger ships. The HAVEP will last for twelve months, commencing on 1 January 2013 and ending on 31 December 2013.

During the HAVEP, Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) will witness an operational control comprising a standard emergency scenario which will include a simulated machinery space fire, a passenger evacuation and muster drill and an abandon ship drill which will include lowering of lifeboats to the water and taken away under power. During the inspection attention will also be given to the on-board decision support system, ship/shore communications, SAR plans, records of crew training, supply of emergency power and operation of watertight doors.

The main purpose of the HAVEP is to verify that:

• In the event of a shipboard emergency the crew can organise themselves into an effective team to tackle the emergency;

• The officers and crew can communicate effectively with each other and with shore based support and rescue services;

• The Master is in control and information is flowing to/from the command centre; and

• In the event of the situation getting out of hand the crew and passengers can safely abandon the ship.

PSCOs will use a questionnaire listing a number of items to be covered during the HAVEP. All items will be verified in more detail for compliance with related items in SOLAS Chapters II, III and V.

The PSCOS will require to:

• Witness the testing of emergency power, which will include simulating failure of the main power supply and automatic starting and loading of the Emergency Generator. Testing of emergency batteries under load;

• Verify operation of watertight doors including remote closing of all doors from the bridge and manual closing of selected doors locally and from above the bulkhead deck;

The HAVEP will be time consuming and will involve the majority of the crew for part of the day. In order to provide some flexibility owner/operators may liaise with the Paris MoU regarding their cruise schedule to determine a suitable port to carry out the HAVEP, bearing in mind operational considerations such as passenger turn around.

When deficiencies are found, actions by the port State may vary from, recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain period, to detaining the ship until serious deficiencies have been rectified. In the case of detention, publication in the monthly detention list of the Paris MoU web site will take place. It is expected that the Paris MoU will carry out approximately 500 inspections during the HAVEP.

The results of the campaign will be analysed and findings will be presented to the governing bodies of the MoU for submission to the IMO.

Regional Port State Control was initiated in 1982 when fourteen European countries agreed to coordinate their port State inspection effort under a voluntary agreement known as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MOU). Currently 27 countries are member of the Paris MOU. The European Commission, although not a signatory to the Paris MOU, is also a member of the Committee.

The Paris MoU is supported by a central database THETIS hosted and operated by the European Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon. Inspection results are available for search and daily updating by MoU Members. Inspection results can be consulted on the Paris MoU public website and are published on the Equasis public website.

The Secretariat of the MoU is provided by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and located in The Hague.

Port State Control is a check on visiting foreign ships to verify their compliance with international rules on safety, pollution prevention and seafarers living and working conditions. It is a means of enforcing compliance in cases where the owner and flag State have failed in their responsibility to implement or ensure compliance. The port State can require defects to be put right, and detain the ship for this purpose if necessary. It is therefore also a port State’s defence against visiting substandard shipping.

A Harmonized Verification Programme (HAVEP) on passenger ships1 will take place from 01 January to 31 December 2013.

Passenger ferries and passenger high-speed craft are excluded from the HAVEP. The HAVEP will be conducted on ships eligible for inspection under the targeting system during the period of the HAVEP.

Prior to arrival, the ship will be informed that an operational drill, including lowering of lifeboats, has to be performed and that all responsible crew should be available.

The HAVEP will concentrate on operational controls2 related to:

1. fire drill;
2. passenger muster and evacuation;
3. abandon ship drill;
4. testing the emergency source of power
5. operation of watertight doors.

The PSCO will wish to see the Decision Support System and the SAR Co-operation Plan.

The passengers and crew should be informed in advance that an operational drill will be taking place.

The report of inspection and the HAVEP will be entered into Paris MoU information system THETIS. Deficiencies, if any, will be indicated on PSC inspection report.

The master may be provided with a copy of the HAVEP questionnaire when completed.

1 A passenger ship is a ship certificated to carry more than 12 passengers.

2 An operational control is one carried out in accordance with Annex 9 of the Memorandum of Understanding (paragraphs 5 and 9)

Upon arrival on board the ship, the master will be informed about the purpose of the visit and the extent of the control. The master should have received prior notification of the HAVEP.

At the beginning of the operational control, the master should present evidence of the crew’s last participation in emergency drills on board. The master will be asked to produce documentary evidence of the crewmembers familiarisation and Basic Training. (Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Elementary First Aid, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, crowd management, safety training , crisis management and human behaviour). It will be taken into account collection of these documents, can take some time.

At the master’s discretion the areas of the engine room and accommodation for the fire drill and methods of operational control will be agreed upon. The master will be instructed not to inform the crew about the areas of operational control, this could lead to a distorted picture of the crew’s performance in an emergency situation. To ensure a safe execution of the operational control, the sequence of operational controls will be arranged with the master and the senior officers. To be able to properly assess the process the master should explain to the PSCO the way emergency response is organised on board, according to Company procedures, before the operational control is executed.

During the operational control, the PSCO(s) will question the crewmembers, particularly those assigned to assist passengers, in order to get an impression of the safety awareness on board the ship.

The main point of the HAVEP is to ensure that:

• In the event of a shipboard emergency the crew can organise themselves into an effective team to tackle the emergency;

• The officers and crew can communicate effectively with each other and with shore based support and rescue services;

• The Master is in control and information is flowing to/from the command centre; and

• In the event of the situation getting out of hand the crew and passengers can safely abandon the ship.

The PSCO will clearly explain to the Master exactly what is required and expected during the drill, bearing in mind there may be language difficulties. PSCOs will not interfere during the drill, (unless they witness an action which is clearly unsafe or dangerous at which point the PSCO will stop the drill. The Master will be requested to ask the local Coastguard / Coast Radio station to participate in the drill by setting up radio communications. It must be made clear to both the Master and the Coastguard that this is for exercise purpose only. The Master may also be requested to make contact with the Company, for exercise, if this is included in the Decision Support System of the ship. During the HAVEP one standard scenario will be followed. A fire drill, followed by a passenger evacuation and abandon ship drill should be carried out.

The scenario will comprise:

1. Incident Stage: A report or alarm received on the bridge and acted upon by an incident party.

2. Escalation stage: The incident progresses to a major fire which requires the ship to deploy fire, boundary cooling, casualties of passenger and /or crew, evacuation and closing down parties, as appropriate.

3. Muster stage - Personnel should be mustered at some time to be determined by the master, lifeboats should be prepared.

4. Abandon Ship stage – The fire fighters should withdraw and the crew/passengers abandon ship. Lifeboats should be lowered and sent away, provided it is safe to do so.

If passengers are onboard it is up to the discretion of the master whether they should be encouraged to attend the passenger muster and abandon ship drill. Note: There is NO intention that passengers actually embark the lifeboats. If passengers take part it should made clear to them that they must follow Instructions from the crew to go to their muster station, put on their lifejacket, remain calm and listen for instruction and take no active part of the drill.

During the inspection the PSCO’s will observe whether or not all crewmembers can communicate with each other and with passengers, especially in emergency situations.

The PSCO will check that the requirement for at least one person to be assigned to perform only radio communication duties during a distress incident is being complied with. That officer’s position should be clearly shown on the muster list and they should have no additional duties assigned to them during the incident. The ability of the radio communications officer to understand and be understood by the Coastguard/rescue services should be observed.

Please find Questionaire at:

Paris MoU press release