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Paris MOU could backtrack over withholding access to bulk data

Date: 27/12/2018

Hague-based organisation says it is ready to consider making exceptions to a decision to withdraw third-party access to its inspection information

Adam Corbett London  

The Paris MOU has said it could allow limited access to its data on port-state-control (PSC) inspections, despite previously deciding to deny it.

TradeWinds reported last week that the safety body had decided to end providing bulk data to the industry over the concerns of some member states on how the information was being used by commercial organisations.

The decision was controversial because the data forms a critical part of many of the industry’s automated risk assessment, vetting and safety tools, and the withdrawal of the data is being viewed by many organisations as a setback for safety.

However, in a response to TradeWinds’ story, Luc Smulders, Paris MOU’s recently appointed secretary general, said member states are ready to consider individual requests to be allowed access to information.

“We have been approached by various organisations indicating their need for data from the Paris MOU,” Smulders said. “And I think it is obvious that we will inform the member states of the arguments presented by these organisations at the next meeting of the [members] committee.”

MANUALLY AVAILABLE

He added the information is still available manually through the Paris MOU’s website. “The members of the Paris MOU will continue to provide public information on ships inspected, current detentions and current bannings on the website, as well as a monthly list of detentions,” he said.

It is unclear which parties have requested they continue to be allowed access to the Paris MOU information. So far, only the International Association of Classification Societies has confirmed it is asking the Paris MOU to review the decision.

However, a policy to allow only some parties access to the data could also prove controversial. Some organisations will argue they are being commercially disadvantaged if denied the data when others are can receive it.

Although classification societies are not-for-profit organisations, they often act in a commercial manner and have profit-making subsidiaries.

It is understood that the Paris MOU is only unhappy about how the information is used by five of 40 major subscribers.

“It seems unfair that the Paris MOU is punishing everyone just because it is unhappy with a few users of the data,” one source said. 

Another industry source said: “It also seems equally unfair if the Paris MOU decides to now allow access to a select few.”

Source: TradeWinds

 
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