RSI Annual Report for 2021

RSI inspections identified several areas for improvement

The cross-sector Responsible Shipping Initiative (RSI) is continuing its efforts to promote responsible shipping. Despite the pandemic, 17 vessels were inspected in 2021 and defects related to issues such as voyage planning and alcohol policy were identified.   

“2021 was a challenging year because the pandemic made it difficult to carry out inspections, especially during the first half of the year. We still managed to inspect 17 vessels during the year, however. It is vital that we continuously inspect the vessels that we use so that we can work together with our suppliers and partners to continue raising the standards of maritime safety, work environment  and working conditions and environmental performance on board,” said Rebecka Nyholm, Strategic Purchaser at Södra.


Potential areas for improvement

RSI began inspecting vessels at the end of 2019 and the inspections have identified several areas for improvement every year.

“Dry cargo vessels are not normally inspected by customers and that is why it’s so noticeable that an RSI inspector can make such a difference on board,” said one of RSI’s inspectors.

The average number of areas for improvement per vessel increased slightly compared with 2020. That shows the importance of being able to carry out RSI’s inspections according to plan. The more inspections that are carried out, the faster the standards in the industry can be raised, which will probably lead to fewer observations over time. Some of the observations that were made this year were also recorded in 2020. The most common observations were related to voyage planning or to alcohol policy, routine testing and testing devices.

“We will be monitoring these areas more closely in the future. For example, we are planning to inform shipping companies about the defects that often recur, so the industry becomes aware of the areas that are important to work with. It’s concerning when vessels don’t have a correct voyage plan or carry approved navigational charts, for example, since these are essential for safe navigation,” said Linda Leifsdotter, Sustainability Specialist at Stockholm Exergi.


Continued forward focus

The result of RSI’s inspections show why continued efforts to monitor and promote responsible shipping are so important.

“It’s a great advantage that we can work together and carry out inspections based on a joint standard. The shipping companies know what we think they should have in place and be working with, and we can inspect more vessels than an individual freight buyer can do on their own. It’s easier to make a difference by working together. Efforts to improve the monitoring process will continue in 2022 and now that the pandemic has subsided, opportunities for carrying out more inspections are increasing,” said Peter Löfgren, Senior Manager Strategic Logistics at BillerudKorsnäs.

Some of the most common observations in 2021 were:

  1. Voyage planning

Several inspections found that voyage planning did not comply with international regulations and the applicable guidelines. For example, the voyage had not been planned with account for the limitations of the vessel in terms of depth and clearance, or that there was only a partial plan, or no plan at all, for the voyage.

On several occasions, non-standard electronic navigational charts had been installed on board and were used for voyage planning and navigation. In many cases, the charts had not been updated and were incorrect.

  1. Alcohol policy, routine testing and testing devices

All of the inspected shipping companies had an alcohol policy in place but, in some cases, the policy was inadequate or unclear. Another common observation was that there were no records of alcohol tests for crew members, despite the fact that testing devices were often available on board. In some cases, there were no testing devices on board, despite the fact that testing was mandatory under the alcohol policy.

  1. Mooring equipment

Unsound mooring equipment was a recurring area for improvement. The most common defect was poor maintenance of deck equipment, which led to unnecessary wear of mooring lines. Other defects included lack of maximum load labelling on the mooring equipment and, in some cases, improper mooring practices.

  1. Stability information

The Commanding Officer must always have control over the stability of the vessel. The stability and structure of the vessel determine how it can be loaded and unloaded. Many inspections identified the absence of stability documentation, which is required to verify that loading and unloading have followed approved procedures.


Read more at or contact:

Sebastian Tamm,

Logistics Manager at EFO

Tel: +46 8 24 90 58


About RSI

The Responsible Shipping Initiative (RSI) is a non-profit organisation with the purpose of promoting responsible shipping in the Baltic and North Seas.

RSI performs regular onboard inspections of dry cargo vessels based on a joint standard. The aim is to work together with shipping companies to improve working conditions, health and safety on board the vessels, and to reduce the environmental impact of the vessels.

The organisation was founded in 2019 and now consists of BillerudKorsnäs, EFO, Lantmännen, SSAB, Stockholm Exergi and Södra.


Posted by: Sebastian Tamm