Inspection of foreign ships calling at Lithuanian ports is carried out through the Port State Control. The sovereign right of a port State to inspect foreign ships is stated in various international conventions and regional agreements. Port State Control in the Republic of Lithuania is exercised by the Maritime Safety Division of the Lithuanian Maritime Safety Administration. The activity of the Subdivision is regulated by the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Maritime Safety.
Since 1 July 2006 Lithuania is a member of the regional organization – Paris MoU on Port State Control. On 1 January 2011 the New Inspection Regime (NIR) on Port State Control was adopted by the Paris MoU and EU member States. The harmonized inspection procedures of foreign ships are regulated by Directive 2009/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on port State control and Memorandum of Understanding of the Paris MoU. The NIR in Lithuanian is implemented through the Order of the Minister of Transport and Communications of 29 December 2010 No. 3-759, which amends the Order No. 3-23 of 15 January 2004 concerning the approval of the Regulations on port State control in ships registered abroad present in Lithuania seaports.
According to the NIR system periodic inspections of ship depends on the so-called “Ship Risk Profile” and are determined by the time window. The High Risk Ships (HRS) can be inspected after 5 months and shall be inspected after 6 months since the last inspection in the Paris MoU region or EU member State. The Standard Risk Ships (SRS) can be inspected after 10 months and shall be inspected after 12 months, and the Low Risk Ship (LRS) can be inspected after 24 months and shall be inspected after 36 months since last inspection in the Paris MoU region or EU member State. Besides periodic inspections ships are subject to additional inspections, which are triggered by overriding or unexpected factors depending on the severity of the occurrence. And the NIR does not limit the right of the State to carry out inspections of foreign ships in accordance with existing international conventions in force.
According to the NIR provisions, the operator, agent or master of the ship, which is High Risk Ship profile and each passenger ship, oil tanker, gas carrier, chemical tanker, bulk carrier older than 12 years eligible for an expanded inspection shall notify the administration of seaport or sea terminal of the Republic of Lithuania via port information system LUVIS about its arrival at least 72 hours before the expected time of arrival in the port of destination, terminal or anchorage or before the leaving the previous port or anchorage if the voyage is expected to take less than 72 hours, indicating: ship identification (name, flag, call sign IMO or MMSI number); port of destination; estimated time of arrival (ETA); estimated time of departure (ETD); planned duration of the call; planned operations at the port or anchorage of destination (loading, unloading, other); planned statutory survey inspections and substantial maintenance and repair work to be carried out whilst in the port of destination; date of last expanded inspection in the Paris MoU region. Additionally for tankers: configuration: single hull, single hull with SBT, double hull; condition of the cargo and ballast tanks: full, empty, inerted; volume and nature of cargo. Administration of seaport or sea terminal must provide this information to the Lithuanian Maritime Safety Administration through the National Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information system (NLESIS). All ships shall provide the administration of seaport or sea terminal of the Republic of Lithuania with the pre-arrival information at least 24 hours before the expected time of arrival (ETA) in the port of destination or terminal or before the leaving the previous port if the voyage is less than 24 hours.
Administration of seaport or sea terminal have to provide the SafeSeaNet system with an actual time of arrival (ATA) and departure (ATD) to seaport, sea terminal or anchor place and of leaving them.
The main purpose of the Port State Control is to determine, whether foreign ships in national ports are complying with requirements of international regulations on maritime safety, security, prevention of pollution from ships as well as the standards of shipboard living and working conditions. Should it be established upon having inspected a ship in a sea port of the Republic of Lithuania that it does not meet the maritime safety requirements and does not comply with the standards of shipboard living and working conditions and the ship is therefore detained in the port, the ship operator must compensate for the expenses of re-inspection according to the procedure established by the Government or the institution authorised by it.
The ship owner or the operator has a right to appeal against a decision of the institution to detain a ship. The following appeal procedures are determined in the Paris MoU region. If the detention of a ship is based on the unjustified decision of the Port State Control Officer, the damage suffered by ship owner is compensated according to national legislation of the Republic of Lithuania.NIR also provides that some banning measures may be imposed on certain types of ships to enter Paris MoU and EU ports and anchor places. List of ships may be found here.
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Maritime Safety Division, tel. (+370 46) 469 663