Surveys

P & I Clubs are now conducting their own independent condition surveys of vessels over 10 years old entered with them.  They have no power to stop the vessel, but should they note any deficiencies they will limit the vessel’s P & I Cover until the deficiency is corrected.  For example; if they note that the vessel’s hatches are not very watertight they will limit the cover for cargo claims until  the hatches are repaired. Increasingly in recent years Charterers are requiring their own inspections to be carried out which extend far beyond the more customary hold or tank inspections. This is particularly the case with the major oil companies. There are a number of other surveys that are connected with the commercial operation of the vessel. On and off hire surveys – When a vessel is operating on time charter the owner and charterer will wish to agree the extent of any damage particularly in the cargo areas at the time of commencement and again on completion of the charter. Bunker surveys – Also in the case of time charter the owners and charterers must agree the quantity of bunkers on board. Pre-loading surveys – All Voyage charters require the vessel to be in a clean condition to receive the cargo but many charters today provide that this shall be to the Charterers Surveyors satisfaction. Safety  and efficiency must be at the top of a professional ship owner’s list of priorities.  The condition of a ship will reflect the manager’s attitude to these important factors.  A ship manager should treat all surveys and inspections as an opportunity of showing how careful and attentive he is to the needs of running a safe ship and not as a game of wits to see how much he can hide from a surveyor and get away with.  Likewise, a professional ship manager should lose no opportunity to motivate the crews in the constant battle to maintain the very highest degree of safety.