The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has imposed a ban on the Liberian-flagged container ship, MSC Kymea II, for 90 days.

Operated by MSC Ship Management, the container ship has been served with a refusal of access direction notice from Australian ports.

The notice has been issued to MSC after months of sub-standard performance, including severe maintenance issues.

The AMSA has detained nine MSC ships in the last two years, with five being detained this year.

Most of the detentions were due to systemic sub-standard maintenance practices on board, stated the authority.

An inspection conducted by the authority detected 21 deficiencies on the MSC Kymea II vessel.

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The faults included a defective free-fall lifeboat steering system, defective fire safety systems and dangerously-stored flammable materials.

Another deficiency was several wasted or missing railing safety chains used to stop stevedores falling from heights when lashing cargo.

An inspection conducted two weeks ago on another MSC vessel identified a corroded fuel-oil tank air pipe.

Furthermore, according to the authority, evidence indicated that ‘the ship attempted to hide the seriousness of the defect from authorities by covering up the rusted pipe with canvas and painting over it’.

AMSA operations executive director Michael Drake stated that the agency’s inspection regime has demonstrated that MSC failed to meet its obligations to properly maintain its vessels.

Drake further added: “AMSA has zero-tolerance for sub-standard ships operating in Australian waters and we will not hesitate to ban vessels that fail to meet basic safety standards.”