NEWS

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  • 24 Sep 2020 2:27 PM | Anonymous

    In blatant disregard for the Federal decision to keep shipping and cargo moving in Australia and despite having an exemption pass with a September 30 expiry date and authority to travel as an 'essential services worker' an AIMS cargo surveyor has this morning been detained in Queensland.

    We have been advised that QLD police contacted Maritime Safety Queensland to check if maritime workers and marine surveyors were considered essential and that Maritime Safety Queensland advised that marine surveyors were not considered 'essential'.

    Attempts at intervention from several agencies including the federal  Maritime and Shipping Branch of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications were unsuccessful this morning and Queensland authorities have refused to release the surveyor to undertake his duties. 

    All marine surveyors should be aware that Queensland 'will not budge' and that while shipping has been exempt in Queensland and all other States it appears that different QLD jurisdictions have their own rules. You can no longer rely on your exemption pass and there is little that  can be done to assist you.

    Please, all marine surveyors be very wary, do not travel to Queensland - contact us to help you find a surveyor in the area that you need your survey carried out. Do not rely on your exemption pass or authorisation to travel. 

  • 18 Sep 2020 2:42 PM | Stacey Taylor - General Manager (Administrator)


    The assistant director of the Department of Agriculture’s Grain and Seed Exports Program (Plant Division), Rachel Hayes, has recently clarified the required wording on Grain Fitness to Load Certificates.  Specifically, the guidelines for the inspection of empty bulk vessels states the following,

    “If a bulk vessel is intended to carry prescribed goods for consumption, a qualified marine surveyor must issue a certificate stating the relevant holds of the bulk vessel are suitable for loading the prescribed goods”.  

    We have had confirmation from the Department of Agriculture that either of the below certificates are compliant and acceptable Fitness to Load Certificates.  #certifiedmarinesurveyors #grain #exports

    Cert of Fitness to Load Grain - Version 1.pdf

    Cert of Fitness to Load Grain - Version 2.pdf

  • 13 Sep 2020 2:52 PM | Anonymous


    It’s that official time of year when our thoughts turn to boats, cruising, fishing, and all of the lovely experiences that come with getting out on the water on a nice fine day.

    Sadly though, accidents and tragedies do happen and they happen all too often! This year alone has seen several fatalities, near misses, and some very scary trips out on the water.

    The AIMS is standing up to be the ‘voice’ of the industry and, given that Spring is the start of the boating season we will be launching several different information campaigns that we hope will assist boat owners and new buyers to understand the need for a thorough survey by a professional Certified Surveyor with the right qualifications and experience.

    The AIMS has collated a wide range of information on boating incidents and evidence shows that the vast majority (over 78%) of the attended incidents are related to a lack of care and maintenance and, further,  while most people ensure that they get their car serviced regularly, boat owners neglect regular services and checks on their vessels, put them off if they can or believe that a recreational vessel doesn’t need a periodic survey to check the condition of the vessel.

    We know too that many boat owners believe that an insurance survey is all that is required when considering buying a new boat when what is actually required is good old fashioned safety and condition report. It can save you money and your life.

    Boat owners need to know that not all marine surveyors are created equal and that just because a person advertises themselves as such it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are qualified or experienced to survey the boat you have your eye on.

    Make sure that you get a qualified surveyor, preferably a Certified Surveyor, and that they are a listed AIMS member. Get help from us if you are unsure.

    Before taking your boat out – get a survey done.

    Before buying a boat – get the right survey done, by the right surveyor.

    Think safety first, enjoy the season and come home safely from a day on the water.


  • 13 Aug 2020 12:14 PM | The Institute (Administrator)

    Due to the current COVID-19 circumstances, all industry associations have been advised that they may conduct their AGM when restrictions are lifted or present 2020 financial information to members at the 2021 AGM.

    As the Executive team (at the advice of an overwhelming majority of members) considered that a leadership change in the face of a global and national pandemic crisis was not in the best interests of the AIMS it was agreed to defer nominations for President and Vice President until next year when a face to face AGM could be convened. 

    As there are no nominations and no resolutions to be resolved at this year’s AGM the meeting was expected to be largely a reporting exercise, and, as such, the Executive have officially deferred the Annual General Meeting for 2019/2020 until 2021.

    We would like to advise that our end of financial year reporting and auditing will continue to be finalised as planned and that all members, regardless of their membership level, will be provided with a digital copy of the Annual Report via email by close of business on Friday 28th August.

    The Executive encourages all members to read the report and to submit any queries, concerns or suggestions regarding the report to the Executive in writing via email to secretary@aimsurveyors.com.au

    Please be assured that any and all queries will be answered in writing to the member or members as the case may be. Although it is highly unlikely that any action would be required from member queries our advice is that, should the need arise we may conduct committee meetings, general meetings using technology and / or pass ordinary and special resolutions by either postal or electronic ballot. 

    Both the President and I thank our members for their wise advice and support during these very challenging times and hope that all members and especially our hard hit Victorian members are managing to keep afloat. If our head office team can be of any support or provide assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us.


    Susan Hull – CEO

  • 30 Jul 2020 10:38 PM | Anonymous

    The AMSA press release (22nd July) outlining their response to recent events where containers have been lost into the sea off the Australian Coast is welcomed wholeheartedly by the AIMS who support the move as long overdue.

    The recent container overboard events highlight the pressures on shippers and agents to keep costs down but at what price and who really pays? We know that these pressures are real but no ship should be allowed to depart our waters without a sign off from an independent qualified surveyor AND the Master prior to a container vessel sailing from a Port. 

    The new 3 month campaign will commence tomorrow (August 1st) and will focus on container stowage and lashing arrangements - a specialised field that few if any PSC inspectors are trained in or qualified to undertake.

    As noted in the new advice stowage and securing of unitised cargo is not considered to be the role of PSC inspectors and AMSA advice is that "wherever appropriate" surveyors will undertake these inspections in conjunction with normal PSC inspections and there is provision for inspections (surveys) to take place on any vessel regardless of whether the vessel is eligible for a PSC inspection.

    Lets hope it's always appropriate and that AMSA take advantage of a ready supply of Certified surveyors who can assist in advising mariners and on shore personnel to apply the standards required to protect vessels, seafarers and keep the marine environment safe.

    It's time to do something that's for sure and certainly time to legislate the need for a qualified surveyor.

    The full notice can be downloaded here

    AMSA - Cargo securing focused inspection campaign 1 August31 October 2020.pdf


  • 27 Jul 2020 10:00 AM | The Institute (Administrator)



    AIMS is pleased to announce a new partnership with a leading insurance and financial services provider, Austbrokers Countrywide. As a local Professional Risks specialist, Countrywide already look after Professional Indemnity policies for over 3,000 consultant professionals and have 80 staff located in Scoresby Victoria.


    A key to our partnership are rebates of up to 5% on insurance premiums for selected members. In the first year this rebate will be paid directly to members, and from 2021 additional incentives will help fund AIMS initiatives like risk management, legal advice, and other potential association opportunities.


    We have struck this agreement not only to help members access high quality Professional Indemnity Insurance at the best price, but also give AIMS members access to contract review and risk management services from the team at Countrywide.


    Countrywide utilise online professional indemnity proposals which they can pre- populate with all our existing details. This can be re-used every year making your renewal so much easier.


    Benefits to AIMS Members:


    • Up to 5% direct Rebate on your premium!
    • Pre-filled online proposal, no more blank forms or printed forms
    • Advice on Insurance and Industry Compliance – AMSA, Contract Reviews
    • Advice on Key Risks –Jurisdictional limits, Run-Off Cover and Subcontractor Errors
    • Risk Management with both technical articles and technical talks coming in 2020
    • Access to full Insurance Broking Services for both Business and Personal Insurance


    What next? Register your Interest:


    We know all members will have their insurance renewals at different points throughout the year, so to register your interest or gain advice immediately simply email Countrywide today with:


    • Your most recent Professional Indemnity Proposal
    • Your current Policy Schedule or Certificate of Currency


    Countrywide will review your policy and load up a pre-completed proposal form ready for your renewal date in 2020-21. This is an exciting new partnership for AIMS and we are looking forward to sharing the benefit with all members.

     

    Contact:

    Wade Cadman

    Account Manager - Professional Risks

    Email: wadec@abcountrywide.com.au Phone: (03) 9835 1379

    Visit the Austbrokers Countrywide Website to find out more!

    www.abcountrywide.com.au 

  • 18 Jul 2020 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    No need for any fanfare here as the recommendations that came from this review were as expected and fairly light on and reflect what AMSA has been trying to do for some time - especially in regard to grandfathered vessels.

    After reading the report its pretty clear that operator error is exactly that - operator error and AMSA cannot be responsible for every skipper and every DCV vessel out there. 

    The AIMS as the peak industry body has  repeatedly called for marine surveyors to be more involved in assisting vessel owners and crew to develop and implement appropriate safety management systems and in auditing those systems at the point of survey. 

    The Senate acknowledged that "Many submitters, while sympathetic to the challenges, were critical of AMSA's performance to date".

    Nothing new there either, all very easy to sit on the sidelines and be critical but the main goal should surely be collaboration with AMSA rather than whinging from the sidelines.

    The very straightforward report can be found here Performance-of-the-Australian-Maritime-Safety-Authority.pdf

  • 05 Jun 2020 3:36 PM | The Institute (Administrator)


    It's common place in the shipping world to get cargo and ships moving as quickly as possible and I understand that (especially in the maritime industry) time is money. 

    In these peculiar days there is more pressure for ships to load and depart as quickly as possible but seeing yet another load of containers being lost overboard in Australian waters makes my blood boil.

    Fierce weather makes any lashing and stowing, or indeed any marine survey task more complicated than normal but when it appears that poor maintenance such as heavily corroded securing points, failures in stowage planning and appropriate stack loadings were not picked up by a surveyor, (whether a professional private surveyor or a class surveyor) makes me wonder what is actually going on out there. How could such poor maintenance not be picked up somewhere?

    Now, I am not a marine surveyor and I do feel somewhat out of my depth here, but I am a business person with pretty solid qualifications and I can and do understand the importance of getting things moving quickly, but, as a professional you know that there is always a risk to be analysed when you decide to cut corners.

    It appears that with the APL England the vessels lashing equipment and lashing points on board were sub-standard and most likely the securing plan was not adhered to, and no doubt the vessel will now undergo a strict audit with a view to rectifying the underlying structural/procedural problems - in addition to removing the remaining toppled containers.  

    One of our surveyors at the AIMS told me that he has been on some container vessels that were in very poor condition on deck - with corroded structures and equipment and said that maintenance is difficult if not impossible and with freight rates being sub-zero only the bare minimum gets done but having said that, I have been on some pretty schmick ships as well where it is clear that the owners are aware of and protect the value of their asset. Ships are expensive monsters to run he said, but in comparison to the costs of clean up and damages, well that’s another story.

    The cost of engaging a professional marine surveyor would be a mere pittance against the costs incurred in this instance and the YM Efficiency debacle. 

    Twice in two years makes me wonder why a ship is allowed to depart our waters without a sign off from an independent surveyor, but then again, there is a lot about shipping in Australia that needs reform – at the very least, securing of deck containers needs to be signed off by a suitably qualified “independent third party” AND the Master prior to a container vessel sailing from a Port.

    Maybe the ship owners and agents think the cost of doing it cheap is worth the risk – who knows?

    The fact remains that someone will make a nice few dollars out of this and someone is going to lose a lot. Taxpayers too will no doubt be in for some of the clean-up cost.

    Time to get a bit more vocal on issues such as this!



    Susan Hull, CEO

    Photo credit: William Burton, AIMS

  • 18 May 2020 10:28 AM | The Institute (Administrator)

    We live in a country where the availability of necessities such as toilet paper has been taken for granted.  What’s more as a culture we have gazed curiously upon others who require face masks as personal protection as part of their daily lives.  

    Who would have thought in the year 2020 that Susan Hull, the CEO of the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS), while on the hunt for coveted toilet paper, would happen upon another equally fortuitous find, those illustrious highly sought after face masks.

    Marine Surveyors, who make up the membership of the AIMS, have continued to work to keep our country moving while much of the nation has come to a standstill.  

    Attending vessel surveys including essential travel, interspersed with bouts of self-isolation, has been an ongoing normal routine for these essential workers exposing themselves daily to many different people and situations.  PPE including face masks and gloves are donned as a part of their daily uniform and, like so many other frontline workers, they have found these requisite items have become very sparse on the ground.

    At first the find seemed too good to be true. More than once the questions arose; Is this genuine? Are we going to blow members money on a dicey deal? As it turned out we were further assured that the masks were a three layer procedural mask made of PFE99 Filter Materials which are anti-bacterial and anti-droplet proof and FDA approved. The leap of faith was made!

    We decided to charge only cost price plus postage, now was not the time to think about money, it was the time to chip in and support our surveyors any way we could.

    We ordered 10,000 masks straight away but waiting for the shipment was a nightmare.

    Our anxiety was relieved when, thankfully, the masks arrived and were exactly as we anticipated.  We took a leap of faith and it paid off.  In times when we are often warned of those using current circumstance to take advantage of the unsuspecting, it is reassuring to maintain our faith in others.

    As word was communicated to our members and industry colleagues the orders rolled in. Within a few days we had sold over 7,000 masks with orders coming from independent surveyors wanting a box of 50 to larger organisations taking up 1,000 at a time.  We were blown away by the response but heartened that we could do something to offer our support.   

    In no time, shipments were heading all over Australia to support those on the ground. The masks were sold to members at the institutes cost with the purpose of the exercise primarily one more small way we could support our members from our position in the background. In Susan’s own words “We didn’t set out to make a profit, we just had a bit of luck and wanted to share it within our industry.”

    While the restrictions within our states are easing, the battle is far from won. PPE such as face masks will become a norm within our industry for long time to come and we aim to be there backing our members wherever we can. It’s our small contribution, the little can do to keep them safe and the wheels of our industry turning.

    While most of the first order have sold out we are still holding a stock supply so if anyone from within the industry is needing a masks please contact us at info@aimsurveyors.com.au or phone 02 6232 6555.

  • 09 May 2020 1:39 PM | The Institute (Administrator)

    In an age where most industries are seeking a reduction in red (and green) tape, the marine survey sector of the maritime industry could use any left overs going around.

    Increasingly AIMS is receiving more and more consumer complaints related to what is termed in our industry as “shingle hangers” – to be more precise, marine surveyors doing slap happy surveys on recreational vessels.

    Luckily for us, the vast majority of complaints do not involve AIMS members and I can only assume our vigilance in ensuring our surveyors are qualified to do what they say they can and have an equal amount of experience goes some way to discouraging the less than qualified operators from applying for membership.

    For some time now we have tried to influence the regulators and State Governments to introduce ‘vessel registration’ at the point of sale or change of ownership of a recreational vessel. We argue that a registration process should involve what’s known as a Condition Survey by a qualified surveyor, and by ‘qualified’, we mean ‘qualified to be in business’ as well. Surveyors should hold appropriate insurance and a professional business structure and be accountable for the quality of their service.

    AIMS has transitioned the marine survey sector to a contemporary model that addresses consumer welfare in terms of the quality, price and standard of work they receive from marine surveyors and is striving to improve the professional standards of our marine surveyors and thereby protect consumers. 

    Road vehicles are regulated in terms of ‘roadworthiness’. In Queensland the rules are strict.  Vehicles being sold, deregistered vehicles or interstate vehicles must have a roadworthy certificate and it must be displayed once the vehicle goes on sale. Victoria and the ACT only enforces this at the point of sale to allow a transfer of registration, while NSW requires a blue slip for cars under 5 years old which confirms the condition, and includes confirming the vin and engine numbers. If the vehicle is over 5 years or selling or transferring interstate, a pink slip or e-safety check of the vehicle is required to renew registration. Western Australia doesn’t have any requirements for private vehicles unless imported or modified, and Tasmania, has what is known as the Defective Vehicle and Random Vehicle Inspection call-in scheme in place to check vehicles that may be considered un-roadworthy. Lastly, the Northern Territory requires that if a vehicle is under 3 years old and under 4.5 tonnes before it is registered, renewed or transferred from interstate, it must be inspected and issued with a compliance certificate.

    So why isn’t this happening with recreational vessels? The largest proportion of marine incidents occur in the recreational vessel sector. Every year we see incidents due to vessels in poor condition and alarmingly, vessels that don’t have the right safety equipment. They get in to trouble and then scream to be rescued – also expensive and exhausting on the State, AMSA or both. 

    Considering that tax payers fund the wages of maritime safety staff it’s hard to fathom why the lack of oversight is allowed to happen.

    Marine Insurers don’t assist either. They have a very rudimentary check list for surveyors to use for insurance purposes and most, if not all, don’t check that the surveyors they recommend are properly qualified. It appears to be a nice little club where its win/win for everyone except the vessel owner.

    Beware when shopping around for the cheapest surveyor because this is risky and while a good survey might seem expensive at the time, it’s certainly a whole lot cheaper than repairing a vessel after the fact or relying on your insurance broker to assist.

    State maritime safety agencies have the power to hold recreational vessel surveyors to account by regulating registration at the point of sale and insisting on a condition report. They just need to talk to us – we will help.

    If we can achieve a bit of red tape the shingle hangers will think twice before writing up a condition report that could be contested, surveyors will need insurance and vessel owners will not only have some peace of mind but that nice expensive boat that you want to take out on the water won’t be in dock getting repairs that should have been done BEFORE the purchase. 

    We are here to help you and protect good surveyors. We need numbers to help our lobbying effort. So if you are a vessel owner, prospective buyer, a marine surveyor or someone who thinks this is just plain common sense you can help us by liking or loving our post, retweeting or contributing with a reply!

    Safe boating! 

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