MOSS consultation

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 40, June 2012

MNZ has completed a further round of consultation on the maritime rules that make up MOSS (Maritime Operator Safety System), the proposed new safety system for New Zealand’s domestic commercial maritime sector.

Consultation on Maritime Rule Parts 19 and 44 was held in 2010 and extensive changes made as a result of the submissions received.

During the latest consultation round, key issues raised included concerns around the costs of the new system and continuing interest in improving and maintaining high survey standards. This issue was raised by many submitters during the 2010 consultation process, and was the subject of considerable work during the revision of the rules taken out for consultation this year.

Once submissions from the latest consultation round have been considered, the redrafted rules are expected to be sent for ministerial sign-off later this year, with the aim of having MOSS in force by mid-2013.

MOSS programme manager John Oldroyd is pleased with the response to the latest consultation round, and the level of understanding shown by the industry. “Operators know their own operations – the risks and problem areas – better than anyone else,” he says. “And they are legally responsible for making sure that they have thought about those risks – and done something about them.

“The proposed maritime rules that create the MOSS framework will tell operators what’s expected of them, and give them the flexibility to develop a safety system that fits their operation.”

The MOSS framework is still being developed and will be finalised once the consultation process is complete and the rules have been signed by the Minister of Transport. The following information reflects the proposed maritime rules.

Who is covered by MOSS?

MOSS is designed to cover most commercial operations in New Zealand’s waters, including those using barges, fishing ships, rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIBs), large vessels, foreign charter fishing vessels, and non-SOLAS foreign-flagged vessels that operate in New Zealand waters. If an operation is not in SOP (Safe Operational Plan), Safety Case or ISM (International Safety Management), it will be covered by MOSS.

What is an ‘operator’?

Legally, the ‘operator’ is the person who takes overall responsibility for a maritime transport operation – making the big decisions about planning, allocating resources, and making sure the operation meets all legal obligations.

For much of New Zealand’s domestic commercial fleet, this is likely to be the person behind the wheel of the vessel.

In larger operations, this might be an owner or senior managers closely involved in day-to-day operations – but the person behind the wheel will always have a key role in making sure the safety system is put into practice.

How does an operator get into MOSS?

On day one of MOSS, if an operator is in SSM, they will be covered by MOSS.

They won’t have to do anything at that stage – as long as they:

  • continue to be a fit and proper person
  • follow their safety system
  • keep their vessel safe.

Their SSM Certificate will be considered to be an MTOC (Maritime Transport Operator Certificate), while the procedures and vessel, staff, and company details already in their SSM manual will be considered to be their MTOP (Maritime Transport Operator Plan).

These documents will remain valid until the expiry date on the SSM Certificate. At that stage, to remain in MOSS, an operator must:

  • prove they have a safe vessel
  • prove they have a tailored, documented safety system
  • apply for an MTOC.

Operators with more than one vessel must follow the MOSS entry process on the day their first SSM Certificate expires.

MOSS entry process

What’s an MTOP?

The Maritime Transport Operator Plan (MTOP) is the heart of a safety system under MOSS. It includes:

  • the key people in an operation
  • vessel details (including survey certificates and reports)
  • survey and maintenance plans
  • safety equipment and spare parts lists
  • safe operating procedures.

The proposed Part 19 has a list of headings to think about when developing SOPs:

  • Have I identified all possible hazards and emergencies?
  • Do my procedures and emergency responses relate to my operation? Will they be effective? Are they easy to understand and communicate?
  • Do all relevant staff understand and follow the procedures?

What’s an MTOC?

Under MOSS, a Maritime Transport Operator Certificate (MTOC) is required for anyone who wants to run a maritime transport operation. An MTOC is valid for 10 years – and remains valid as long as the vessel(s) has a valid survey certifi cate, the operation has an approved MTOP and the operator remains a fit and proper person.

What’s MNZ’s role in MOSS?

MNZ will:

  • make sure that, as an operator, you’re the right sort of person to be in that position of responsibility (MTOC, fit and proper person)
  • give you guidance and help to develop your safety system (seminars, workshops, industry liaison visits, publications, DVDs, material on our website)
  • check that the safety system you’ve developed (MTOP) is right for your operation
  • make sure your vessel is fit for purpose (survey reports, surveyor training, support and oversight)
  • keep an eye on your operation over time to make sure you keep your system up to date, and that you and your staff follow it (audit).

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