Maritime NZ wants industry input on possible changes

08 September 2022

Maritime NZ is seeking feedback from the sector and other interested parties on three key pieces of work.

Dialogue has been opened on Part 53, which relates to pilot transfers, and Part 23, which considers amendments to requirements for lifeboat drills.

Consultation has also begun on New Zealand’s work towards acceding to the Cape Town Agreement (CTA), an IMO convention dealing with design, construction and equipment standards for large fishing vessels.

About 24,000 people die each year in the global fishing industry, which currently has no mandatory international rules on fishing vessel safety. Vessels with poor safety standards and substandard working conditions are also often linked with illegal fishing practices and maritime pollution.

When it enters into force, the CTA will be an internationally binding instrument that will include compulsory requirements for stability and associated seaworthiness, machinery and electrical installations, life-saving appliances, communication equipment and fire safety, as well as fishing vessel construction.

New Zealand’s fishing safety standards and its commercial fleet are already largely aligned with the CTA requirements, but “acceding to the CTA will contribute to maritime safety in our region through the exercise of port state control”, says Andrew Bell, manager of Maritime NZ’s International team.

New Zealand is working towards acceding to the CTA later this year.

Maritime NZ is also consulting on the use of transport instruments that would come into effect alongside new proposed Rule Part 404, which was originally consulted on in 2020 and will underpin the CTA in New Zealand.

View the Part 404 consultation

In other key work, on both Parts 53 and 23, Maritime NZ is proposing to change the Maritime Rules to improve safety and better align with the international regulatory framework.

Rule 53.4(2)(a) requires pilots boarding or leaving a ship to not use a pilot-ladder if it’s deemed non-compliant. An exemption was issued by Maritime NZ from the rule following concerns from some ports and some maritime pilots. Maritime NZ is reviewing this rule.

The options are to revoke the rule and not remake the exemption, or to remake the exemption as an amendment to the rule.

Maritime NZ prefers the option to revoke the rule, with some other amendments added to improve safety and consistency, and it is keen to get industry feedback on this.

The organisation is looking at changing Part 23 to make it more consistent with international rules.

Current rules allow for crew to be aboard when lifeboats are launched during drills. That has caused injuries and even deaths, so Maritime NZ would like to change that so crew are not required.

View the Parts 53 and 23 consultation

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