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IMO has just published Procedures for Port State Control, 2012 Edition, which replaces the previous edition published in 2000.
Port State Control involves the inspection of foreign ships in port areas to verify that the ship’s condition and operation comply with international regulations. It is the responsibility of flag states (i.e., the nation with which a vessel is registered) to enforce global maritime standards. However, some flag states fail to enforce such standards. For that reason, national authorities have a right—by way of mutual agreement between the nation and the flag state—to inspect foreign-flagged vessels to ensure compliance when the vessels are in a port under that nation’s jurisdiction.
IMO publishes Procedures for Port State Control as a framework to promote the global harmonization and co-ordination of Port State Control activities. Thus it is not law, but a set of common standards and procedures that nations may implement as the basis for their Port State Control activities.
Procedures for Port State Control (PSC) was first published as IMO resolution A.787(19) in 1995. It was then amended in 1999 by resolution A.882(21) to account for changes to various other regulations on which PSC relies.
In November 2011, IMO adopted resolution A.1052(27) which again accounts for changes to the various regulations on which PSC relies. There has been a wholesale update to the text (as opposed to insertions and deletions used in resolution A.882(21)), including major organizational changes.
Procedures for Port State Control, 2012 Edition now represents a consolidated framework for the implementation of Port State Control.
The English hardcopy of Procedures for Port State Control, 2012 Edition is expected to be available in July 2012, with French and Spanish translations to follow soon after. An English e-Book version is available now, and French and Spanish e-Books are to be released soon.