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Cyprus Reaches White List Of Paris MOU

by Lorys Charalambous, for, Cyprus

16 May 2006

The Executive Committee of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on port state control (the Paris MOU) decided last week to admit Cyprus to its White List, recognizing the significant improvement Cyprus has achieved concerning security standards of the Cyprus Registry and the drastic reduction of detentions of Cyprus ships.

The Committee also decided that Cyprus will be from now on a regular member of the Paris MOU. ''This fact consists an independent evidence and supports even more the picture of Cyprus as a serious and reliable navigational country,'' said the announcement.

The Paris MOU, which originated in 1982, consists of 22 participating maritime Administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe. It aims at eliminating the operation of sub-standard ships through a harmonized system of port State control.

Annually over 18,000 inspections take place on board foreign ships in the Paris MOU ports, ensuring that these ships meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew members have adequate living and working conditions.

The MOU, as it is known, compiles three lists, White, Black and Grey. Over the last few years Cyprus has moved rapidly up through the ranks of the Grey List. The 31 White List members, who include the UK, Sweden, the US and Germany, record the lowest rates of detention of inspected ships, and incur fewer inspections in MOU ports.

Port State control is carried out by properly qualified Port State Control Officers (PSCO’s), acting under the responsibility of the maritime authority. The Port State Control Committee is the executive body of the Paris MOU. A Port State control visit on board will normally start with verification of certificates and documents. Documentation of crew members has to comply with international and flag State standards. When serious deficiencies are found, a ship is detained. The captain is instructed to rectify the deficiencies before departure.

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