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Maritime Logistics Professional

March 12, 2021

RightShip Expands Its Vetting Criteria

© Idanupong / Adobe Stock

© Idanupong / Adobe Stock

Risk assessment and due diligence firm RightShip said it has expanded its vetting criteria from 20 to 50 assessment factors, in a move aimed at improving consistency as well as industry safety standards.

"We have drilled down further in terms of incidents and PSC performance and looked at operator performance in more detail. While the vetting standards have been refreshed consistently in the past 10-12 years, this is a significant expansion," RightShip said. The company has added separate and brand-new sections for flag and class, ship structures, engineering, and a comprehensive section on human rights.

Binary failings have also been made clearer, with the new standard removing any grey areas and enhancing communication of acceptable levels for recommendation, and improved social responsibility measures were also taken. RightShip has included the following binary criterion: “Any vessel Flagged with a country that has not adopted and ratified the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention and without an equivalent level of compliance (for example a valid ITF Agreement).”

RightShip, which vets more than 40,000 vessels a year, powered by a global team of vetting superintendents, said the dry cargo trade will now have MLC checks in place, with its vetting superintendents providing recommendations based on international maritime law and agreements with trade unions.

In writing the new standard, the team listened and learned from the practices seen by our vetting teams, chartering customers and vessel managers RightShip has worked to consolidate the trends found from RightShip’s proprietary vessel vetting service, cleansed incident database and close out reports with the latest industry requirements, to better frame acceptability.  

General additions to the new criteria are as follows: 

  • The new criteria extends beyond the previous standard from 20 assessment items to 50 items, including new sections for flag and class, ship structures, mechanics, and human rights. 
  • A comprehensive review of incidents, PSC performance and operator performance in more detail.
  • Clearer binary failings. If a vet fails on one of these hurdles, the vessel cannot be recommended at all. 
  • The new criteria removes the grey areas and explains more about the standard of where an owner needs their ships to be in order to be eligible for recommendation. Where appropriate, customers can add more stringent safety or additional geographical criteria on top of RightShip’s standard.
  • However, the new criteria provides greater clarity around the specific items that cover safety, the environment, human rights, operational excellence with the aim of having a unified standard for the industry. 

All vessels will be reviewed and receive an “acceptable” recommendation when they get a positive outcome from this criteria review. This delivers more scrutiny and less room for confusion regarding safety, sustainability and social welfare practices.

Steen Lund, CEO, RightShip, said, “The new standard provides far more consistency for all of our chartering customers. We have listened to feedback to ensure it is a unified standard which will be used by all hundreds of chartering customers. This is a positive step forwards in safety standards for the industry.”

“We have seen an increased focus on social welfare for a vessel’s crew during 2020. In response, we’ve added in clear expectations regarding human rights, which were not part of the last version. This ensures that all charterers now take social welfare and the rights of our seafarers into consideration every time they select a vessel for a voyage,” he added.

The new vetting criteria will be applied from June 30, 2021, though charterers may choose to adopt the new standards early.