According to Paris MOU, a "lack of maintenance and poor operational standards" are the "weak link in the safety chain of the shipping industry" and "may well have contributed" to recent disasters such as the sinking of the Erika oil tanker off France's Atlantic coast late last year (ENDS Daily 7 January). "Ship owners and flag states should recognise the seriousness of these figures," the group said. Last month, it announced a programme of heightened checks on older oil tankers following the Erika (ENDS Daily 15 May).
* In a related development, Paris MOU recently publicised its latest "rustbucket of the month" on its internet pages, an oil tanker named Nunki. Started last July, the scheme highlights tankers detained because of significantly low safety standards. The Nunki was held in Amsterdam late last month. Like the Erika, it was registered in Malta - a flag state on Paris MOU's "black list" - and classed by Italian safety certification agency Rina.
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