MUMBAI: The Government has drafted new rules to ensure quality and safety of Indian-flag ships built or repaired at shipbuilding and repair yards (both local and overseas) while prescribing an age limit of 20 years for ships imported into India.
The new rules will also apply to equipment used on board Indian ships and their manufacturers and cover all Indian ships regardless of their size, nature of voyage or location of survey.
The ‘Procedures for Certification of Shipbuilding/Repair Yards, Material and Equipment Manufacturing Works and Products as a Quality Control measure for Indian Ships’ is proposed to be implemented from April 1, 2018, Pradeep Sudhakar K, a Ship Surveyor at the DG Shipping, wrote in a November 10 communication.
The 20-year age limit being set for import of second-hand/used ships into India will not impact the ability of local fleet owners to run their ships that are currently above this age. The current age limit prescribed by the DG Shipping is 20 years for single-hull oil and product tankers, 30 years for gas carriers and 25 years for all other cargo vessels.
Indian tonnage is 12.237 million gross tonnage (GT) comprising 1,361 ships.
The Shipping Ministry feels that the decision to build/repair/or to procure gears is governed by the price factor with less emphasis on quality.
Low-quality manufacturing during shipbuilding/repair results in substandard ship quality, barely meeting the minimum requirements, is jeopardising the strength and safety of the ship, it claimed.
The implementation of robust quality control measures will help reverse this trend and improve the overall quality of Indian ships.
Any yard intending to build or repair an Indian ship must be approved and certified by the Indian administration or by a nominated recognised organization (RO) as per the prescribed procedure.
Ships built for Indian flag will be classed with a recognised classification society – which verifies ships for seaworthiness.
Manufacturers of materials and equipment intended for installation on board Indian ships will be approved by the Indian administration or its nominated RO.