What is a deficiency?

The IMO defines a deficiency as ‘a condition found not to be in compliance with the requirements of the relevant convention’. Serious deficiencies contribute to the ship being substandard or unseaworthy. AMSA will issue a ship with a deficiency if it is determined, or reasonably suspected, that the condition of a ship, its equipment, or performance of its crew does not comply with the requirements of relevant international conventions.

There was a slight decrease in the number of deficiencies issued in 2021 (6,242) compared to 2020 (6,387), corresponding with the decrease in PSC inspections from 3,021 to 2,820. The deficiency rate increased slightly from 2.1 in 2020 to 2.2 in 2021.

As shown later in Table 10, the rate of deficiencies per inspection by category increased for structure/equipment, human factors and MLC. The deficiency rate for the categories of operational and ISM remained unchanged.

Deficiencies by category and ship type

For reporting purposes, deficiencies have been categorised into groups that identify key areas of non-compliance, being structural/equipment, operational, human factors, ISM and MLC. Table 8 identifies the number of deficiencies by category along with a comparison of the deficiency rates to those in 2020.

If the number of deficiencies is considered in isolation, as depicted in Table 8, the majority of deficiencies were issued to bulk carriers. However, this is not surprising given bulk carriers accounted for 56 per cent of ship arrivals and 61 per cent of all inspections. To assess the performance of ship types, it is necessary to compare the deficiencies per inspection for each category as provided in table 9.

Top five deficiencies per inspection by ship type 2021

A total of 6242 deficiencies were issued in 2021 with the average deficiencies per inspection being 2.21 Ship type (deficiencies per inspection)
1. Container ship – 3.53
2. Heavy Load Carrier – 2.96
3. Woodchip carrier – 2.68
4. Bulk carrier – 2.37
5. General cargo/multi-purpose ship – 2.27

Note: only ship types that had 10 or more inspections are included.

Table 8 – Deficiencies by category and ship type

Ship type Structural/ equipment Operational Human factor ISM MLC PSC inspections
Bulk carrier 2,027 593 558 217 656 1,712
Chemical tanker 81 16 10 6 18 191
Combination Carrier 1 0 0 0 0 4
Commercial Yacht 0 0 0 0 0 1
Container ship 414 172 87 40 128 238
Gas carrier 9 2 3 0 7 24
General cargo/multi-purpose ship 165 59 70 14 46 156
Heavy load carrier 37 16 11 5 11 27
Livestock carrier 35 5 7 3 14 36
NLS tanker 18 3 2 1 5 27
Offshore service vessel 6 4 1 0 1 10
Oil tanker 79 13 22 6 12 124
Oil tanker/chemical tanker 16 2 1 1 0 16
Oil tanker/NLS tanker 6 0 0 0 5 1
Other types of ship 25 20 2 1 2 26
Passenger ship 10 0 3 0 0 2
Refrigerated cargo ship 10 10 6 1 6 4
Ro-ro cargo ship 8 3 2 1 4 4
Special purpose ship 2 0 2 0 0 5
Tugboat 17 7 2 1 2 18
Vehicle carrier 85 28 30 12 19 129
Wood-chip carrier 74 32 23 9 36 65
Totals for 2021 3,125 985 842 318 972 2,820
2021 category deficiency rates 1.1 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.3 2.2
Totals for 2020 3,237 970 840 304 1,036 3,021
2020 category deficiency rates 1.1 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.3 2.1

Table 9 – Rate of deficiencies per inspection by category and ship type

  Structural / Equipment Operational Human Factor ISM MLC Total inspections Total
Deficiencies

 
Deficiency
rate

 
Number of Detentions Detention Rate
Bulk carrier 1.18 0.35 0.33 0.13 0.38 1,712 4,051 2.37 105 6.1%
Chemical tanker 0.42 0.08 0.05 0.03 0.09 191 131 0.69 3 1.6%
Combination carrier 0.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 4 1 1.25 0 0.0%
Commercial Yacht 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1 0 0.00 0 0.0%
Container ship 1.74 0.72 0.37 0.17 0.54 238 841 3.53 18 7.6%
Gas carrier 0.38 0.08 0.13 0.00 0.29 24 21 0.88 1 4.2%
General cargo/ multi-purpose ship 1.06 0.38 0.45 0.09 0.29 156 354 2.27 12 7.7
Heavy load carrier 1.37 0.59 0.41 0.19 0.41 27 80 2.96 4 14.8%
Livestock carrier 0.97 0.14 0.19 0.08 0.39 36 64 1.78 2 5.6%
NLS tanker 0.67 0.11 0.07 0.04 0.19 27 29 1.07 1 3.7%
Offshore service
vessel
0.60 0.40 0.10 0.00 0.10 10 12 1.20 0 0.0%
Oil tanker 0.64 0.10 0.18 0.05 0.10 124 132 1.06 2 1.6%
Oil tanker/ chemical tanker 1.00 0.13 0.06 0.06 0.00 16 20 1.25 1 6.3%
Oil tanker/NLS tanker 6.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.00 1 11 11.00 0 0.0%
Other types of ship 0.96 0.77 0.08 0.04 0.08 26 50 1.92 0 0.0%
Passenger ship 5.00 0.00 1.50 0.00 0.00 2 13 6.50 1 50.0%
Refrigerated cargo ship 2.50 2.50 1.50 0.25 1.50 4 33 8.25 1 25.0%
Ro-ro cargo ship 2.00 0.75 0.50 0.25 1.00 4 18 4.50 1 25.0%
Special purpose ship 0.40 0.00 0.40 0.00 0.00 5 4 0.80 0 0.0%
Tugboat 0.94 0.39 0.11 0.06 0.11 18 29 1.61 1 5.6%
Vehicle carrier 0.66 0.22 0.23 0.09 0.15 129 174 1.35 4 3.1%
Wood-chip carrier 1.14 0.49 0.35 0.14 0.55 65 174 2.68 2 3.1%
Total 3125 985 842 318 972 2,820 6,242 2.21 159 5.6%
Category deficiency rates 1.11 0.35 0.30 0.11 0.34

Figures in bold are the top five in each category; Figures in italics are above average.

Table 10 – Change in deficiency rate per inspection by category only

Deficiency 2020 2021 Trend
Structure/equipment 1.07 1.11
Operational 0.32 0.35
Human factors 0.28 0.30
ISM 0.10 0.11
MLC 0.34 0.34 -