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Quality Assurance Systems
Flag State Quality Control System

1. To discharge the obligations under the international maritime conventions, the Marine Department has implemented the Flag State Quality Control (FSQC) system since 1999 to monitor and upkeep the quality of Hong Kong registered cargo ships. The FSQC system consists the following features :-
(a) quality assessment;
(b) quality assurance inspections; and
(c) monitoring the performance of Recognized Organizations (ROs).
Quality Assessment

2. The quality of every Hong Kong registered cargo ship is assessed twice a year by a computerized FSQC management information system (FSQCMIS) which takes into account the following factors:
(a) ship type;
(b) age;
(c) PSC inspection performance;
(d) Classification society survey and audit reports;
(e) Accident and incident records; and
(f) Performance of management company.
The assessment will short-list the ships the quality of which is considered doubtful, less satisfactory or showing signs of deterioration. These short-listed ships will be subject to FSQC inspections.

Quality Assurance Inspections

3. The FSQC inspections serves to verify the condition of the short listed ships and to identify the underlying causes of their deterioration of standards. All FSQC inspections are followed up in great details with the companies and the ROs concerned. If the FSQC inspection indicates deficiencies in the management of a ship, a FSQC audit of the company will be carried out to address the problem. In general, all FSQC inspections and company audits are free of charge initially, but the company will be charged if the situation of the ship warrants a subsequent re-inspection.

4. If a Hong Kong registered ship is detained abroad with serious deficiencies under port State control inspection or subjected to a serious accident, the Director of Marine may require a FSQC inspection to be conducted on the ship by a HKMD surveyor. If the serious deficiencies or accident are found to be the result of a deficient ship management system, the concerned company may also be audited to verify if their safety management system in compliance with ISM Code. A fee will be charged for such FSQC inspections and company audits.

Monitoring the Performance of ROs

5. Nine ROs have been authorized to carry out surveys and certification for Hong Kong registered cargo ships. This Department continuously monitor the performance of ROs through careful vetting of all survey and audit reports, participation in DOC audits and/or SMC audits, evaluation of RO's responsibility for the detention of Hong Kong registered ships under port State control, etc. The report of ROs' performance is published annually on the website of this Department.

Pre-Registration Quality Control System

6. The Pre-Registration Quality Control (PRQC) System was introduced in 2004 to ensure ships joining the Hong Kong Shipping Register complying with all applicable safety and pollution prevention standards of the relevant international conventions at the time of entry. On receiving notice that a ship has applied to join the Register, HKMD will assess the conditions of the vessel taking into account the ship age, ship type, number of PSC detention, number of PSC deficiencies, existing flag, existing classification society and accident records of the ship, etc. to determine if the ship warrants a PRQC inspection. A fee will be chargeable for such inspection. All critical deficiencies detected during the inspection must be rectified before the Certificate of Registration can be issued.

7. In case that the condition of a ship is found unacceptable, registration would be refused under the power vested upon the Director of Marine as stipulated in the Merchant Shipping (Registration) Ordinance.

Inquiries

Any inquiries relating to the PRQC and FSQC matters should be directed to the Senior Surveyor/Security & Quality Assurance, Tel. No. (852) 852 4503, Fax No. (852) 2545 0556 during office hour or via e-mail message to sqa@mardep.gov.hk