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Investigation uncovers fake pilot ladders with falsified certification

Photo: AMSA AMSA suspected non-compliant pilot ladder
We’ve all heard of copy watches and fake designer handbags, but it seems counterfeiting even extends to ship’s pilot ladders.

Investigations into non-compliant pilot ladders by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) found in some instances that the equipment was not made the company it claimed to be from and its certification was also fake.

In a Pilot Advisory Note the Australian authority highlighted the existence of counterfeit pilot ladders to coastal pilots and pilotage providers.

An inspection in March 2019 found a pilot ladder that appeared to be non-compliant for transfer requirement and inspection certificate, which turned out to be fake, said the ladder was made by Qingdao Good Brother Marine Life-Saving Appliance Co. Ltd.

Details were passed by AMSA to China Classification Society (CCS) who subsequently carried out an investigation. This investigation found that another company had purchased ladders from Qingdao Good Brother Marine Life-Saving Appliance Co. Ltd and then copied the equipment producing a fake version. The counterfeit ladders were sold to customers who believed they were buying the genuine item.

Following the investigations the note from AMSA said Qingdao Good Brother Marine Life-Saving Appliance Co. Ltd had taken legal action against Shenzhen Import & Export Company Ltd. For producing and selling fake versions of their products.

To check a product is genuine from Qingdao Good Brother Marine Life-Saving Appliance Co. Ltd it comes fitted with a compliance plate which references a Type Approval Certificate issued by CCS.

AMSA advised pilots that suspects or identifies a non-compliant ladder, particularly counterfeit or with fake certification should inform the authority.

Pilot ladder safety has been increasingly in the spotlight in recent years. A Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) on Pilot Transfer Arrangements (PTAs) by the Paris MoU on Port State Control between 10 July and 9 August last year found that out of 1,262 ships inspected 100 had one or more deficiency to the pilot ladder.

TAGS: Asia Ports