Condition Surveys and Risk Management

Condition Survey Pic 32.5

As a mutual organisation, it is extremely important for the Club to manage the quality of entered tonnage in order to ensure that undue risk is not presented to the Membership as a whole by any particular entry. Consequently, and in line with practice within the International Group, it is the Club’s policy to undertake condition surveys on vessels presented for entry when they exceed certain age thresholds. Typically, pre-entry surveys are necessary for passenger vessels and tankers aged over 10 years, and for all other vessel types aged over 12 years.

The purpose of these surveys is to examine risk, not only from the perspective of the physical condition of the vessel, but also with reference to shipboard operation and management. A specimen of the format of the Club’s P&I Condition Survey can be dowloaded below. It can be seen from this that the scope of the inspection is comprehensive.

P&I Condition Surveys are always undertaken by independent surveyors, and in order to ensure the highest possible degree of consistency in the quality of reporting, a limited number of companies are used for this work. The role of the Loss Prevention Department in relation to Condition Surveys is to identify and instruct the most appropriate surveyor to inspect a vessel, and then to carefully review the findings of the survey in order to advise the Club’s underwriter with regard to issues that adversely affect risk. Thereafter the Loss Prevention Department will work with the shipowner or operator to ensure that any follow-up action that may be required to deal with deficiencies is implemented, thereby eliminating undue risk.

Whilst Pre-Entry Condition Surveys are those most commonly undertaken by the Club, a requirement for inspection can arise because of casualties or claims involving structural or operational issues, or as the result of events such as Port State Control detentions and suspensions or cancellations of Class. In the event of a vessel being reactivated from lay-up it may be necessary to undertake a reactivation survey. A specimen of the format of the Club’s P&I Reactivation Survey can be dowloaded below. In addition, the Club undertakes a number of programmed surveys each year with a view to either verifying that the selected vessels are in a satisfactory condition, or if they are not, to identifying and rectifying deficiencies before they have the opportunity to translate into claims.

Guidance Notes for Surveyors, together with the additional documents mentioned therein - the Summary Report and individual guidance documents on determining cargoworthiness specific to various vessel types - can also be downloaded below.