The urgent need to develop the flag state implementation in Tunisia
Bizerte port in Tunisia

The urgent need to develop the flag state implementation in Tunisia

The Paris Memorandum of Understanding issued its annual evaluation in which the countries that ships carry their flags and visited European ports during the last twelve months were classified according to the port of registration and the flags of ships.

Port state control, which is the state’s authority to inspect ships in accordance with regional rules and procedures regulated by international conventions and regional memoranda of understanding to which the state has acceded, with the aim of standardizing the method of inspecting the competence of ships regionally to exclude ships below the level from the world maritime fleet, and to take the necessary measures against ships that are not bound, where this inspection conduct by port state control inspectors and they must conduct investigations to ensure that the ship adheres to the terms of international conventions, such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the MARPOL Convention, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the Maritime Labor Convention. Inspectors can verify that the vessel is equipped with the crew and operate in accordance with applicable international law, and the capacity, condition, and equipment of the vessel’s captain and officers.

Tunisia has listed at the top of countries with the worst record for assessing the application of Port State Control standards, as this evaluation reflects the failure of these ships to comply with the unified standards and requirements issued by the International Maritime Organization, the leniency of workers in the Tunisian Maritime Administration and the leniency of the flag state in periodic inspection Emphasis on the ships registered with it and work to periodically follow up the performance of the supervision and classification societies approved by the Maritime Administration, which necessitates adopting a more stringent policy in training the maritime cadre working in the Maritime Administration to prepare a more effective strategy towards the ships registered under the Tunisian flag and establish a mechanism Periodic inspection and close follow-up of the condition of ships and ensuring their compliance with the latest developments and laws issued by the International Maritime Organization, which have been ratified by Tunisia.

Therefore, we emphasize here the close relationship and link between the work of each of the flag state control and the port state, but an important role has become complementary to the other, where the flag state control system, which is responsible for inspecting local ships, is responsible for the efficiency of those ships that are inspected in all other ports of the world. Through the port state control system for other countries, and it is responsible for the possibility of the continuation of the local maritime fleet or its departure from the global maritime fleet, and accordingly, the responsibility of the flag state control system remains the basis for assessing the efficiency of the local fleet, and its powers remain limited to the state’s authorities on its ships.

The Tunisian Ministry of Transport and Logistics said in a statement that Tunisian commercial ships are subject to regular monitoring and inspections and carry out the annual maintenance required under the supervision and guarantee of international companies that manufacture engines, navigation equipment, and control and monitoring devices.

She indicated that the classification of maritime fleets by the control structures of foreign countries, which are usually taken according to a regional memorandum of understanding, is based on the results of monitoring operations for ships anchoring in their ports, and it is a mobile classification that is updated periodically as the deterioration of the classification of the Tunisian commercial marine fleet is mainly due to the aging of the fleet units. Which exceeded 20 years except for the TANIT ship, and the frequency of defects and the readiness of the human element. The Ministry of Transport and Logistics stressed that to remedy this situation, it prepared a program that is mainly:

  • Continuous follow-up of the state of the Tunisian commercial marine fleet and inviting maritime transport companies to carry out regular maintenance of their ships and adhere to continuous compliance with safety rules;
  • Strengthening the human capabilities in training and dispatch for the navigators, as well as the maritime authority experts in charge of safety inspections;
  • The implementation of the program of investment in new ships and the loss of ships which have become a problem in terms of maintenance and compliance.