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Shipping: Ferry Operators

Volume 712: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

Questions

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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 29 June (WA 23), what action the Maritime and Coastguard Agency took when it became aware that the MV “CANNA” did not have a valid passenger certificate between 1 September and 11 September 2008. [HL4698]

Further to my Answer of 29 June (Official Report, col. WA 23) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) investigated why the MV “CANNA” did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 and 11 September 2008. In this case, prosecution action was not considered necessary. The vessel had been satisfactorily surveyed within the previous year and the MCA accepted that there had been reasonable cause for misunderstanding about the period of validity of the previous passenger certificate. The MCA instructed the vessel owners to review their company safety management system to incorporate procedures and safeguards to ensure that all future statutory survey range dates are checked and that the related paperwork issued to them is correct.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government in how many cases since 1997 the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been made aware that passenger sea ferries have worked without valid passenger certificates for any length of time. [HL4699]

If the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is made aware of vessels trading without a valid passenger certificate, it will investigate and take the appropriate action. Of those cases referred to the MCA's enforcement unit since 2003 only one involved a passenger sea ferry and resulted in prosecution. Prior to 2003 the MCA did not record this information centrally.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 29 June (WA 23) indicating that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency became aware on 3 October 2008 that the MV “CANNA” did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 September 2008 and 11 September 2008, why the Agency issued a short-term passenger certificate to the ferry on 12 September 2008, as indicated in the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 17 June (WA 216–17). [HL4773]

Further to my Answers of 17 June (Official Report, cols. WA 216-17) and 29 June (Official Report, cols. WA 23) after a satisfactory in-water survey the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a short-term passenger certificate on 12 September because the operator of the MV “CANNA” was unable to arrange the passenger vessel's annual survey before 18 September. This was the date that the operator and the MCA both incorrectly believed was the end of the annual survey range date for the MV “CANNA”.