Port State Control Inspection is the process of inspecting foreign ships calling at a State’s territorial waters to ensure that such ships are in compliance with certain international conventions and domestic regulations. The purpose of the inspection is to determine the compliance level of the ships with relevant international conventions and codes governing maritime safety, marine pollution and the living and working conditions of seafarers on board ships.
Port State Control in its various forms seeks to eliminate ships which do not comply with internationally accepted standards and domestic regulations of the State concerned. When ships are not in substantial compliance, the relevant agency of the inspecting State may impose controls to ensure that they are brought into compliance. Port State inspections complements the efforts of flag State in compelling compliance of ships and encouraging effective implementation by flag States.
Inspection Target Factors
In targeting ships for inspection, the following are considered:
Ships visiting a port of a State, the Authority of which is a signatory to the Memorandum, for the first time or after an absence of 12 months or more;
Ships which have been permitted to leave the port of a State, the Authority of which is a signatory to the Memorandum, on the condition that the deficiencies noted must be rectified within a specified period, upon expiry of such period;
Ships which have been reported by pilots or port authorities as having deficiencies which may prejudice their safe navigation;
Ships whose statutory certificates on the ship’s construction and equipment, have not been issued in accordance with the relevant instruments;
Ships carrying dangerous or polluting goods, which have failed to report all relevant information concerning the ship’s particulars, the ship’s movements and concerning the dangerous or polluting goods being carried to the competent authority of the port and coastal state;
Ships, which have been suspended from their class for safety reasons in the course of the preceding six months.