- Resources & Information
Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment complies with the requirements of international regulations, and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules. Many of the IMO’s most important technical conventions contain provisions for ships to be inspected when they visit foreign ports to ensure that they meet IMO requirements. The responsibility for ships’ standards rests with owners, Class Societies and the Flag State – but Port State Control (PSC) provides a "safety net" to identify substandard ships which experience has shown to be extremely effective.
The first PSC agreement to identify and exclude substandard ships was drafted after the Amoco Cadiz incident in March 1978 and resulted in the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which came into effect in Europe in 1982. There are now nine regional agreements on Port State Control in effect, which cover Europe and the north Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); the Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); the Black Sea region (Black Sea MoU); the Mediterranean (Mediterranean MoU); the Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and the Persian Gulf (Riyadh MoU). The United States Coast Guard maintain the tenth PSC regime.
The shipping industry has made considerable progress and continues to do so, but incidents show that there are still ships that slip through the net. It is these ships that PSC targets through sharing of data and improved training of inspectors to strengthen their abilities and better direct their efforts.
INTERTANKO’s Membership has long recognised the value of well-operated and maintained tankers and has developed criteria to ensure its own quality standards. Alongside the Membership criteria, the Association and its Vetting Committee have supported owners through the production of a Guide to the Vetting Process which includes advice on both the PSC and commercial vetting processes for tankers.
Introduction, Scope and Background to PSC
Geographical Overview of the Port State Control Regions Overview of MoUs’ Activity and Procedures
Port State Control Inspections Types of Inspections Initial Inspection
More Detailed Inspections Expanded Inspection
Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) The PSC Inspections Process
The Port State Control Process PSC Inspection Reports Suspension of an Inspection
Professional Qualifications and Conduct of PSCOs
Deficiencies and Detentions Deficiencies Detentions
Various Categories of Deficiencies Recorded in Each Regional PSC MoUs
General Guide for Masters Preparation for a PSC Inspection The PSC Inspection Process Concluding an Inspection
A Guide for Masters – USCG Visits Certificate of Compliance Inspections QUALSHIP 21 and E-Zero Designation
Guidance for Companies Facilitation Payments OCIMF PSC Repository
Port State Control Inspection Feedback System Questionnaire Port State Control Inspection Feedback Forms
Selection of Ships for Port State Control
Targeting Factors Overriding Factors
Port State Control and Regional MoUs
Detention Appeal and Review Procedures Appendices
INTERTANKO Vessel & PSC Inspection Feedback Systems EQUASIS
Guidelines for Port State Control Related to the ISM Code PSC Codes for Deficiencies / Detentions
Port State Control and Regional MoUs
Report of Inspection in Accordance with IMO Port State Control Procedures (Form A)*
Report of Inspection in Accordance with IMO Port State Control Procedures (Form B)
Port State Control (PSC) plays a vital role in the maritime industry in ensuring that the condition of a ship, and its equipment, comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these instruments in an attempt to ensure safety, security and prevent pollution. Port States have the right to inspect ships coming into their waters and our industry should work with them to assist their inspections. The aim of this guide is to provide shipowners, managers and most importantly, seafarers with relevant information to work successfully alongside Port State Control Officers and make inspections as smooth and efficient as possible. While this guide has been written by INTERTANKO with tankers in mind, the information contained within it is applicable to all ships that undergo PSC inspections. All content in this guide is taken from the 14th edition of INTERTANKO’s Guide to the Vetting Process, a tanker- specific publication. As the PSC content applies to all vessels we decided to make it available as a standalone guide so those Members also operating non-tanker vessels can benefit from the PSC content without having to purchase the full Vetting Guide. It goes without saying that other non-tanker operators will also find this guide of use.
The PSC regime was first set up in the wake of several major accidents in the 1970s. The shipping industry has come a long way since then and today has an enviable safety record with INTERTANKO’s Members operating some of the best-performing ships in the world. It is consistently reported in the Equasis Annual Reports that ships under a trade association such as INTERTANKO or industry vetting programme were detained less often than those that were not Members.
The performance of INTERTANKO Member Companies has consistently outpaced other shipping sectors over the last decades and our aim continues to be zero detentions – and this is an achievable target.
INTERTANKO has always taken a lead in working with the various PSC regimes, offering advice and guidance to the industry and contributing to discussions at the International Maritime Organization. It is my privilege to chair the relevant committee in INTERTANKO, the Vetting Committee, which considers and reviews reports from PSC regimes in order to enable INTERTANKO to respond to issues that these bring up. It should be stressed that the vast majority of PSC inspections are carried out to the highest standards, but we do need to investigate those that do not reach that standard to ensure that the reputation of the PSC inspection regime as a whole is not damaged. In order to collect information on problems encountered, INTERTANKO welcomes feedback on inspections where an inspection is below the standard outlined in the IMO “Code of Good Practice for Port State Control Officers” as contained in document MSC-MEPC.4/Circ.2.
I would recommend all owners and operators respond directly to all PSC reports/deficiencies in the same manner as tanker operators currently respond to SIRE inspection reports – namely to identify root causes, corrective and preventive actions. Additionally, I would encourage all Members to deposit such reports into the recently launched OCIMF PSC repository, thus allowing energy companies the ability to access reports for vessel screening at any time and avoid the need for email exchanges.
Once again, I stress that this guide is suitable for all ships and not just tankers. By making managers, operators and seafarers, aware of the various requirements of the regimes, standards can be raised and detentions avoided. Increasing standards and reducing detentions is in the best interests of all stakeholders and for this reason I have no hesitation in recommending that this guide should be on board every ship.
Stefanos K. Stylianos
Minerva Marine Inc. / Minerva Gas Inc. Chairman, INTERTANKO Vetting Committee