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Appealing against Port State Control detention

It is not often we see a ship owner appealing against a PSC (Port Sate Control) detention order. Breaking the norm, owners of Cielo Di Monaco, took to court determined to have it overturned.

Vessel struck bottom leading to water ingress in bow area. Irish PSC boarded with a pre-prepared detention order that was issued after an inspection. The order was telegrammatic in nature and lacked details on grounds for detention. It was lifted 2 days after repairs were completed. Owners filed an appeal saying detention was unnecessary; had a negative effect on ship’s commercial exploitation; and failure to lift the order on time resulted in financial loss. As per them, damage was in a self-contained compartment, did not affect stability, posed no pollution or safety risk, and ship’s pumping system could handle the ingress. Lower court decided against PSC Office, who then appealed.

Appeal ct was tasked with deciphering EU directive on PSC insp. (specifically Art.19 & Ann.X). To assess whether the def. is sufficiently serious to merit detention, a criteria has been set out which cannot be ignored. A vsl cannot be detained if a risk to health, safety & env. can be managed safely – which was basically the case here. There was no basis to interfere with lower ct's decision.

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