VANCOUVER, BC — Global leaders in marine shipping signed a new declaration that will protect our oceans and advance international ship safety at the Third Joint Ministerial Conference on Port State Control in Vancouver, BC. The Conference, held May 2-4th at the Vancouver Convention Centre, brought together Ministers and Heads of Delegation from Canada, as well as from 27 European and 23 Asia-Pacific countries.
Port State Control is an international program for inspecting foreign ships entering local waters. Port State Control inspections ensure that these ships meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew members have adequate living and working conditions.
The new Ministerial Declaration on Port State Control is a commitment by European and Pacific Rim countries to continue to eliminate substandard shipping practices that result in loss of life, damage to property and harm to marine environments. It will help create new global policies that advance this goal, putting pressure on administrations and owners of substandard ships to comply with international ship safety standards.
This event marks the third time Canada is hosting the Joint Ministerial Conference on Port State Control, which was also held in Vancouver in 1998 and 2004. The declarations signed at previous conferences have helped improve safe shipping and reduce the number of substandard ships operating worldwide.
Canada plays a leading role internationally on Port State Control initiatives. The Government of Canada has signed two Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control: the Paris memorandum, which consists of 27 European countries and Canada, and the Tokyo memorandum, which comprises 18 Asia-Pacific countries and Canada. These agreements set the standard to create the international Port State Control program for inspecting foreign ships.
Effective Port State Control is an integral part of Transport Canada’s Marine Safety Program. Inspections are conducted by Transport Canada’s Marine Safety Inspectors, who play an important role in enforcing regulatory requirements and detaining those vessels found to have a detainable deficiency.