This year's summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June 2018 and ships entering Qingdao waters between mid-April and mid-June must prepare for enhanced security inspections.
Gard’s correspondent in China, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd., advises that, for a limited period starting 20 April 2018 until mid-June 2018, the China Maritime Safety Agency (MSA) will conduct special security inspections onboard ships entering Qingdao waters. As part of the announced inspection campaign, vessels intending to enter Qingdao waters during this period must also submit a ‘special information report’ to the MSA prior to arrival in Qingdao. Although not explicitly stated, it seems likely that the enhanced security inspections relate to the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which is scheduled to be held in Qingdao, Shandong province of China in June 2018.
The enhanced security inspection, which is likely to be carried out as part of any Port State Control (PSC) inspection, will typically focus on the ship security certificate as well as on relevant procedures and records documenting the implementation of onboard security control measures. According to the correspondent’s circular, the MSA is particularly concerned about the carriage of what it denotes as “low-slow and small aircrafts”. The Chinese authorities have prohibited bringing such aircrafts into Qingdao and if found onboard a ship, the MSA will require the aircraft to be disposed of immediately. For details, see the correspondents circular PNI1806 of 17 April 2018.
The interim security reporting and inspection requirements currently apply only to ships of Chinese nationality but will, as of 20 May 2018, apply also to ships of foreign nationality. All Members and clients with vessels trading to China should therefore ensure that Masters and crew are made aware of the enhanced security requirements applicable in Qingdao waters until mid-June 2018.
We are grateful to Gard’s correspondent Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd. for providing this information.