Commercial yachts have only been eligible to Port State Control inspection since August 2013 by port State control and therefore fall into the same category as any other commercial vessels. Such implementation being so recent it is hard to have an accurate feedback. However, Port State Control have produced several documents.
Scope of application (Extract of Guidance on Eligibility of yachts to Port State Control) :
4. When to determine the status of a yacht
4.1 In order to determine whether a yacht is used for pleasure or commercially, PSCOs should be guided by the following:
4.1.1 Yachts may be operating as a pleasure yacht on a permanent basis. These yachts are not subject to port State control.
4.1.2 Yachts may be operating commercially on a permanent basis. These yachts are subject to port State control at all times.
4.1.3 Yachts which alternate in the use as commercial or for pleasure. The port State has to determine on a case-by-case basis if the yacht is subject to port State control or not.
4.2 Information on the arrival of yachts is made available through THETIS. Since some yachts may change status frequently, the information system may not be able to provide the most recent status. When a yacht is displayed as a pleasure yacht, it will not have a Ship risk profile. However, the yacht may also be operating commercially at the time of the port call and therefore the yacht could be subject to an inspection.
5.4 Even if a yacht has been issued with a Certificate of Registry by the flag State stating that it is a ‘pleasure yacht’ there may be indications that it is factually used commercially. Commercial use may be indicated by advertising around the port or on the internet stating that the yacht is available for charter.
As you can see, It is not relevant to the size or the number of crew on the vessel.
What would they be looking for ? (extract from Guidelines Port State inspections)
Regulation 3.2 – Food and catering (Appendix A5-III – Food and catering)
- Food and drinking water must be of appropriate quality, nutritional value and quantity, taking into account the requirements of the ship and the differing cultural and religious backgrounds of seafarers on the ship (Regulation 3.2, paragraph 1).
- Food is to be provided free of charge to seafarers during the period of engagement (Regulation 3.2, paragraph 2).
- Seafarers employed as ships’ cooks * with responsibility for preparing food must be trained and qualified for their positions (Standard A3.2, paragraph 3).
- Seafarers working as ships’ cooks must not be under the age of 18 (Standard A3.2, paragraph 8).
- Frequent and documented inspections of food, water and catering facilities must be carried out by the master or a designate (Standard A3.2, paragraph 7).* “Ships’ cook” means a seafarers with responsibility for food preparation (Regulation 3.2, paragraph 3; Standard A3.2, paragraphs 3 and 4).
Sources of information
Documents (see Regulation 1.1 on minimum age) to confirm that the ship’s cooks are 18 years old or older and that the ship’s cooks are trained, qualified and competent for their positions in accordance with national requirements. In cases where a fully qualified cook is not required, evidence that seafarers processing food in the galley are trained or instructed in food and personal hygiene and handling and storage of food on board ships.
- On-board records to confirm that frequent and documented inspections are made of:
- supplies of food and drinking water;
- spaces used for handling and storage of food;
- galleys and other equipment used in the preparation and service of meals.
- Visual observation of catering facilities, including galleys and storerooms, to check that they are hygienic and fit for purpose.
- Evidence concerning how drinking water quality is monitored and the results of such monitoring.
- Menu plans together with visual observation of food supplies and storage areas to ensure that the food supplied is of an appropriate quality (for example, not out of date) and quantity and nutritional value and is varied in nature.
- Interviews, in private, with a representative number of seafarers to ensure that seafarers are not charged for food and are provided with drinking water and that food and drinking water is of appropriate quality and quantity.
Examples of deficiencies
- Food and drinking water are not of appropriate quality, nutritional value and quantity, for the seafarers on the ship.
- Seafarer is charged for food and/or is not provided with drinking water.
- Seafarer who has responsibility for preparing food is untrained or not instructed as required.
- Ship’s cook is not trained and qualified. ( The general secretary of Paris MoU has confirmed that the qualification and training have to be in line with regulation 3.2 and guidelines A3.2.2 of the MLC 2006)
- Ship’s cook is under the age of 18.
- Frequent and documented inspections of the food or water, or of the preparation, storage or handling areas, are not being carried out.
- Catering facilities are not hygienic or are otherwise unfit for their purpose.
What are the risks ?The risks are potentially very important and it would have a major impact on a running charter. The vessel could remain to port until compliance or in the event of a non-conformity the vessel could be detained. Several items directly related to catering operation are listed as deficiencies :
MLC, 2006 Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering ( Extract from List of Paris MoU deficiency codes)
- Mess room and recreational facilities
- Galley, handling room (maintenance)
- Provisions quantity
- Provisions quality and nutritional value
- Water, pipes, tanks
- Food personal hygiene
- Food temperature
- Food segregation
- Record of inspection (food and catering)
- Cold room, cold room cleanliness, cold room temperature
- Training and qualification of ship’s cook ( The general secretary of Paris MoU has confirmed that the qualification and training have to be in line with regulation 3.2 and guidelines A3.2.2 of the MLC 2006)
- Laundry, Adequate Locker
- Ventilation (Working spaces)
- Record of inspection
Has anyone been notified of deficiencies relevant to catering operation yet ?
Yes, several commercial vessels have been inspected and notified for some of the reasons stated above, while one might think this is only relevant to merchant shipping, it is not, commercial yachts are falling exactly into the same category. Please see below a few examples.