POST STATE CONTROL Archives - SHIP IP LTD

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Rod Johnson, a former Port State Control officer, laments news the Paris MoU is likely to make its data harder to access.

You can’t put it back in the tube.

I’ll declare straight away that I spent five happy years as a Port State Control officer. Although it was only a part of my job as a flag state surveyor for the UK, it was for me the most rewarding. I am reluctantly ashore so I enjoyed the ambience of shipboard life. Most of my inspections were routine. My rewards came from those few occasions when I made seafarer lives better by calling out sloppy and unsafe ship management. Many of the masters I had to break the news of a detention to were actually relieved that something was finally being done to extract them from an impossible position. Mind you, I was lucky to be working for the UK Flag. The UK approach to PSC has always been rooted in common sense and delivered by seasoned mariners with the odd naval architect thrown in (some of them were very odd). It made it easy to use my discretion to get a result that would actually achieve something.

PSC inspections have two valuable functions. By capturing the current documentary state of a ship they provide one source of validation of who owns and operates ships which at the shallower end of the gene pool can be a moveable feast. The other one is that they monitor the health of the world fleet, shipmanagement, classification society performance and crew competence and that monitoring evidences itself in the deficiencies identified onboard. Any ship is not just a ship, it’s a part of a system.

Those deficiencies form a valuable data set that has, over time, grown to the extent that viable insight can be drawn from it.

The first modern Port State Control organisation was the Paris MoU, and that body has set the international standard for state-based ship inspection that the rest of the world has emulated. The ethos of the Paris MoU was to drive substandard ships and shipowners out of European waters by exposing them. Paris has never been afraid to name and shame, and publishes all of their findings and insight on their very entertaining website. They even provide some analytical tools to help the reader understand the messages that the data set is sending. Even better than that and in a demonstration of what world leading transparency looks like, they provide their inspection data at source for other data providers to incorporate into their products, multiplying the positive impact of all those hard working Port State Control officers. These providers include well-known brands such as Rightship.

That might come to an end next March. Under pressure from shipowners, the Paris MoU member states have agreed to stop providing data at source to industry and publish only via parismou.org and equasis.org.

Why? Because ratings providers like RightShip are causing owners some difficulty with prospective charterers and traders. A poor vetting score can mean less work for the least well-run ships. Ironically, just as the Paris MoU has realised its original ambition to an extent incomprehensible before the Data Age, it plans to take a giant step backwards. It’s probably going to do this alone, as none of the other MoUs are indicating, at least privately, that they are going to follow the Paris example. The irony that the data shared at source between PSC MoUs is visible on Equasis to enhance its effectiveness has not been lost on me.

I can’t imagine why the Paris member states have signed up to this. Perhaps the residual oil pollution from the Erica and the Prestige is now outside the environment. Politicians have short attention spans and bureaucrats have no imagination, which may explain why this course of action has been agreed. In circumstances like this I favour Hanlon’s Razor, which states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

So if you are reading this in The Hague, here’s perspective on transparency. It was the right decision to provide PSC data at source to industry. Doing so pushed the Paris ethos further and faster than if this had never been done. Doing so multiplied the effect of thousands of inspections carried out by people who genuinely care about safety at sea and the lives of seafarers. If the unintended consequence was to create a ratings industry that is causing shipowners commercial difficulties then the solution is to engage with the ratings industry to help them use the data fairly. Shutting off the data feed whilst at the same time declaring that the Paris website and Equasis satisfy the transparency agenda is disingenuous. Worse than that, it’s selling out PSC inspectors, seafarers and the fine record of the Paris MoU by giving succour to a minority of shipowners who see safety as an overhead and not an enabler.

Source: splash247

 


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Britain has suspended checks on ships for compliance with low sulphur fuel regulations as part of wider measures that cut back on inspections to reduce the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on supply chains, the coastguard authority said on Friday.

The coronavirus has created growing logistical problems for freight as countries try to keep goods moving despite lockdown in many parts of the world.

At the start of the year, regulations came into effect – known as MARPOL Annex VI – that make it mandatory for ships to use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5%, down from 3.5% previously, or to install devices, known as scrubbers, that strip out the toxic pollutant.

Enforcement of the rules, which have shaken up oil and shipping markets, is up to port and flag states.

Britain’s suspension of the checks is one of first indications of the challenges in enforcing the IMO regulations posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), which is responsible for maritime regulation, safety and counter-pollution, said it has enacted measures to keep freight moving.

“In terms of enforcing IMO 2020 and ultimately MARPOL Annex VI requirements, as we have suspended port state control inspections, this also means that the checking of compliant fuel has been suspended,” an MCA spokeswoman said, referring to the regulations, which were enacted by United Nations shipping agency the IMO.

“However, as a responsible regulator, we are continuing to monitor vessels that call at UK ports. If, as a result of reviewing information sent to us, we think it’s appropriate, we will inspect those vessels.”

The MCA said it had suspended ship survey and inspection activity, and relaxed rules such as extensions on ship certificates – all needed to enter ports.

“While we can’t compromise on safety, there are a number of temporary measures we have and are taking to ensure shipping doesn’t come to a standstill and seafarers can keep working,” Katy Ware, MCA director of maritime safety and standards, said in a statement this week.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Barbara Lewis)


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The United States has a long history of holding companies and individuals accountable for violating environmental laws and regulations, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). With the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), which implements MARPOL, United States government agencies continue to prioritize the protection of oceans and waterways from pollution. Although the number of environmental enforcement actions initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) between 2006 and 2018 has steadily decreased, Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement actions, in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), have remained steady despite the current COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, not only has DOJ taken an active interest in prosecuting United States-based companies, but DOJ has also exercised its jurisdictional powers to prosecute foreign-flagged vessels, their operators, and in some cases, third-party vessel managers for violations of environmental laws and regulations.

The United States government continues to focus on Clean Water Act and APPS violations
As DOJ and other United States government agencies continue to focus on prosecuting individuals and companies taking shortcuts that pollute oceans and waterways, vessel owners and operators should be aware of the common criminal violations that are actively being pursued by DOJ and the USCG.

  • APPS violations (33 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.): DOJ often pursues violations of APPS, which prohibits the discharge of oil, oily water or garbage into the navigable waters of the United States. This statute requires companies, and their crew members, to maintain accurate log books and to record all transfers and overboard discharges of oil, oily water and garbage, regardless of where the transfers and discharges occurred. This, in turn, provides DOJ with a broad jurisdictional hook against all foreign vessel owners and operators who enter United States waters with record books that fail to disclose all transfers of oil and oily water on a vessel and all discharges of oil, oily water or garbage into the ocean. Companies should ensure that crew members are properly trained on how and when to record all such transfers and discharges, in addition to the consequences for intentionally omitting or failing to properly record accurate information in the log books.
  • Falsification of records (8 U.S.C. § 1519): If a company or its crew members knowingly alter, destroy, mutilate, conceal, cover up, falsify or make a false entry in any record, document or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct or influence an investigation, the company and/or its crew members could face criminal charges. This crime often involves companies, or its crew members, excluding—and often concealing—information or actions taken on a vessel. It often also involves companies, or its crew members, making false or inaccurate entries in records, log books or documents in order to conceal potentially illegal activity. To avoid liability, companies should ensure that crew members are properly trained to include all relevant information in all records, log books or any other documents and that crew members understand the consequences of improperly altering or concealing information.
  • False statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001): To the extent that any false statements are made to the USCG inspectors during a Port State Control Inspection or any other routine inspection, including concealing material information, a company and its crew members could face criminal charges for making these statements. Companies should ensure that crew members understand that making false statements during USCG inspections can result in criminal liability, even if the crew member making the false statement was not directly involved in the underlying potentially illegal conduct.
  • Obstruction of justice (8 U.S.C. § 1505): If a company, its employees or its crew members attempt to threaten, influence, obstruct or impede a USCG Port State Control Inspection or a government agency’s investigation, DOJ may consider charging the company, its employees and/or its crew members with obstruction of justice. This frequently arises when senior crew members direct others to provide false information to the USCG or to DOJ. Companies should ensure that crew members understand the importance of being cooperative during these investigations and that crew members avoid proactively concealing and/or destroying information, documentation and other evidence of potential wrongdoing.
  • Ports and Waterways Safety Act (46 U.S.C. § 70021 et seq.): DOJ has also focused on violations of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. Whenever there is a hazardous condition either on a vessel or caused by a vessel, the owner, agent, master, operator or person in charge must immediately notify the nearest USCG office and submit a written report. It is important to note that “hazardous condition” has been defined broadly. For example, where excessive amounts of oil or oily water have been found in a vessel’s machinery spaces, especially in areas that are populated with electrical wires, DOJ may consider this to be a hazardous condition that should be reported to the USCG. Companies should ensure that crew members are properly trained on what may constitute a “hazardous condition” and encourage reporting of such conditions to the USCG.
  • Clean Water Act violations (33 U.S.C. § 1321): Although less common, to the extent that a vessel is involved in the pollution of the navigable waters of the United States, the waters of the contiguous zone, or the ocean, DOJ may charge a company and its crew members, with a Clean Water Act violation. Of particular note, a company and its crew members may face criminal charges for misconduct that occurs within the 200-mile-wide exclusive economic zone. If a company pleads guilty for this violation, the company could potentially face additional enforcement actions with the EPA and debarment, including possible debarment from participating in certain government contracts. Because of the serious long-term implications of this charge, companies should ensure that all discharges of oil or oily water—even if the discharge is accidental—are properly reported to the relevant government agencies and properly recorded in the applicable log books.

Criminal liability is not limited to vessel owners
Current enforcement trends illustrate that vessel owners, operators, technical managers and individual crew members can be held liable for environmental crimes. Although a rarity, members of a company’s board of directors and officers can also be held liable for environmental crimes if the director and/or officer had knowledge of the violation, had the authority and capacity to prevent the violation based on their responsibilities and corporate positions, and failed to prevent the violation. It is also important to note that if the vessel’s owner is affiliated with a parent company, the parent company may also face criminal liability depending on the amount of control the parent company exercises in the operation of the vessel and the management of the crew members.

Notable recent environmental crime cases
Below are a few notable examples of recent environmental crime cases DOJ has actively pursued.

  • United States v. Interorient Marine Services Ltd., 18 Cr. 366 (W.D.L.A 2018): The defendant corporation, operator of the tanker Ridgebury Alexandra Z, was charged with APPS violations for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book and for bypassing the oily water separator (OWS), causing thousands of gallons of oily water to be discharged into the ocean. The company was fined $2 million and required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan during the four-year probation term. Of particular note, the owner of the vessel was not charged with any criminal violations because Interorient Marine Services Ltd. managed the vessel and the crew members. The company was also completely independent and not a part of the corporate structure of the ship owning company.
  • United States v. D’Amico Shipping Italia S.P.A., 19 Cr. 284 (D.N.J. 2019): The defendant company, owner of Cielo di Milano, an oil tanker, was charged with violating APPS for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book. Two of the crew members directed discharges of machinery space bilge water and oily mixtures directly into the ocean and knowingly included false entries in the log book in an attempt to conceal the discharges. The company was fined $4 million and required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan during the four-year probation term.
  • United States v. Chartworld Shipping Corporation, Nederland Shipping Corporation and Vasileios Mazarakis, 19 Cr. 58 (D. Del. 2019): The defendant companies, the owner and operator of the refrigerated cargo ship Nederland Reefer, were charged with an APPS violation for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book and a Ports and Waterways Safety Act violation for failing to notify the USCG of a hazardous condition on the vessel. The defendants were fined $1.8 million ($900,000 each) and required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan during the four-year term of probation. DOJ also brought charges against the chief engineer for his participation in bypassing the OWS, resulting in the discharge of oily bilge water into the ocean, and for his failure to accurately record the discharges in the oil record book. He received a one-year term of probation after pleading guilty to APPS violations.
  • United States v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., 16 Cr. 897 (S.D. Fla. 2019): In December 2016, the defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy, obstructing justice and APPS violations for deliberately dumping oil-contaminated waste from one of its vessels. The company was fined $40 million and required to implement an environmental compliance plan during the five-year term of probation. In June 2019, the defendant was fined an additional $20 million, and the probation term was extended three additional years after the defendant admitted to violating the probation terms.
  • United States v. Misuga Kaiun Co. Ltd., 20 Cr. 103 (M.D. Fla. 2020): The defendant company, the operator of the bulk carrier Diamond Queen, was charged with an APPS violation for failing to accurately record multiple overboard discharges of oily bilge water from April 2019 until May 2020. The company was fined $1.5 million and required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan during the four-year probation term. The government also brought a single APPS charge against the chief engineer for his failure to maintain an accurate oil record board. He was sentenced to a one-year term of probation after pleading guilty.

Robust compliance programs and proper training are key to avoiding liability
Companies are often content with implementing boilerplate compliance procedures and requiring seafarers to obtain training and proper licensure through third-party companies. As illustrated by recent DOJ enforcement actions, boilerplate compliance procedures do not necessarily shield a company, the operator of a vessel or crew members from criminal liability and massive fines. To limit risk exposure, it is imperative that companies recognize the importance of creating and implementing robust compliance programs and ensuring that all crew members receive proper training. Companies should consider the following when analyzing pre-existing compliance programs:

  • Equipment updates: Companies must ensure that all equipment, like the OWS, are functioning properly, maintained regularly and replaced when necessary. Companies must also ensure that crew members are properly trained on how to use the equipment and understand the consequences of discharging oil, oily water and garbage into the ocean.
  • Enhanced compliance training: Companies must ensure that all crew members are properly trained before crew members commence their duties onboard a vessel. Companies should consider developing and implementing shore-based training programs and onboard refresher training programs.
  • Increased shore-side oversight: Companies should implement a robust monitoring system, including internal audits, which will enable the company to detect gaps in the compliance program and to detect whether crew members are complying with environmental laws and regulations. Companies should also ensure that crew members are providing regular and accurate reports, especially reports relating to bilge water levels, incinerator usage, OWS usage and garbage storage levels and that crew members are recording accurate information in the vessel’s log books.
  • Whistleblower hotlines: Companies should ensure that there is a proper mechanism in place for individuals to report environmental crimes anonymously.

Looking forward
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted United States government investigations, the USCG has continued its inspections of vessels docking at United States ports. If a vessel and its crew members are detained, it is important to remember that (a) an attorney should be retained immediately; (b) all relevant documents and records should be preserved; (c) an internal investigation should be conducted; and (d) all crew members should be encouraged to cooperate and refrain from providing false information to the United States government. As the USCG continues to conduct inspections and potentially detain vessels and crew members in connection with suspected environmental crimes, it is imperative that companies, ship operators and ship managers proactively analyze preexisting compliance programs and ensure that crew members are adhering to all environmental laws and regulations in order to avoid costly mishaps, reputational harm and potential debarment.

Source: marinelink


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A 738-foot bulk carrier that ran aground near Sewell’s Point in Norfolk, Va. was refloated during high tide on Friday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

It took seven tugs to refloat the Panamanian flagged Hong Dai, which grounded late Wednesday night with 22 crewmembers aboard. The ship was said to be carrying a cargo of coal, as well as 188,000 gallons of low sulfur fuel oil, diesel and lube oil, collectively. No injuries, pollution or flooding concerns were reported.

The refloated ship remains at anchor under a Captain of the Port Order restricting its movement until an underwater survey can be conducted by the company and the vessel is deemed fully safe to sail by the officer in charge of marine inspections.

The response and refloating coordination was conducted through Coast Guard Sector Virginia’s prevention department utilizing teams of port state control officers, marine inspectors and marine investigators supported by a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth to ensure the safety and stability of the ship and identify any potential pollution threats. The Port of Virginia’s Maritime Incident Response Team also provided assistance.

“The key to this successful marine salvage operation is the coordination of multiple port partners coming together and working for the continued safety, security, and prosperity of the Port of Virginia,” said Cmdr. Dean Horton, prevention department head at Sector Virginia.

The 2010-built Hong Dai is operated by COSCO Shipping and arrived at Norfolk anchorage last Friday from Baltimore following a transatlantic voyage from San Ciprian, Spain.

Source: marinelink


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Port state control 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 conventions and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules. If your ship is detained or appears to be in the process of being detained or if you would like general advice on port state control issues, please contact your local Lloyd’s Register Group office.

Port state detention performance

We are committed to transparency of information where it may help improve fleet quality. For this reason, we publish information on the port state detention performance of the Lloyd’s Register classed fleet. This helps the industry to recognise recurring risks and improve safety by highlighting those items that are hazardous to operations, yet continually produce detentions.The detention performance information is real-time and is updated on a continuous basis and can be accessed via Class Direct. It not only details specific deficiencies and data on the number of detentions per ship (by month, quarter, year) but, importantly, includes statistical analysis on the entire Lloyd’s Register fleet. This helps to identify trends across the fleet, highlighting specific aspects which can be measured against prior performance, including:

  • detentions by ship type (oil tankers, bulk carriers, container, passenger, LNG, general cargo, etc)
  • detentions related to ship flag state
  • detentions by ship age and by detaining country
  • league tables of most prominent and recurring deficiency items

Source: lr.org


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If the PSC regime wishes to improve the industry further, it needs to win the hearts and minds of the seafarers and the shipowners, argues Captain Pradeep Chawla from Anglo-Eastern Ship Management.

Most people in the maritime industry will agree that, in general, the port state control regime has nearly succeeded in eliminating sub-standard ships.

A recent analysis of the latest annual reports, clearly indicates that only about 5% of the 80,599 inspections that were carried out worldwide had led to a detention.

The average number of deficiencies per inspection are below four deficiencies. Given the complexity of ships and considering that the ships are manned by barely 20 people onboard, the shipping community should certainly be proud of it.

This brings up the question as to what should be the role of PSC going into the future?

It is evident to most people in the industry, that to a large extent, PSC has now taken up the role of ‘quality assurance’ and aims to highlight even the minor deficiencies onboard the ships.

The goal is zero detention and zero deficiency!

However, the PSC regime has one drawback – a common seafarer still considers them as a police force. Due to the commercial impact of PSC detentions or deficiencies; especially in the tanker and bulk carrier industry, PSC inspections are looked upon as a punishment. Unfortunately, punishment drives a behaviour of hiding.

If the PSC regime wishes to improve the industry further, it needs to win the hearts and minds of the seafarers and the shipowners.

For driving transparency, it is essential that the PSC regime shows empathy and encouragement.

The PSC regime needs to be a ‘caring’ regime in order to become a positive force driving the change with all stakeholders including IMO, IACS, shipyards, charterers.

It is like policing by working together with the local community.

A natural question to follow would be on how this can be achieved? Here are a few ideas to start the discussions.

Target only the bad ships. A single worldwide PSC database can be made. The USCG Qualship 21 program should be replicated worldwide.

With the garbage regulations in place, ships often arrive in port with large amounts of garbage on deck- and food waste in freezers! Why not ensure that all ports have adequate reception facilities and make it mandatory to land garbage in every port? Similarly, why not make it mandatory for no ship to have more than 20% capacity of bilge holding tank at the time of departure?

Rest hours implementation is like the proverbial elephant in the room. Are seafarers really at fault? Or is it the minimum safe manning regulation? Is it difficult for each coastal state to identify the areas where the seafarers find it difficult to get sufficient rest? Instead of detaining the vessel, shouldn’t the PSC be giving a ‘restraint’ order to allow the ships’ crew in achieving their rest before sailing? I am sure the seafarers will appreciate that, rather than a detention, where they have to answer to the shipowner as to why they were unable to plan their activities better.

In a similar breath, there are a large number of deficiencies related to design of a ship, for example, distance between railings is incorrect; or distance of heat detector to the bulkhead inside crew pantry room less than 0.5 m; or horizontal bar of handrails on main deck not of proper height. Should these deficiencies be given to the ship or should they be sent to the class / IACS as the seafarer expects to be sailing on ship approved by the authorities?

We want to win the hearts and minds of the seafarers and not punish them!

There are many deficiencies related to ship operation that need to be treated with empathy such as deficiencies for drills, because most ports do not give permission to lower boats or deficiencies for unpainted draft marks, because most ports do not allow painting.

PSC could also help the seafarers in some area for example by informing the ship 48 hours before boarding so that master can plan other activities in port and can devote time to the PSC inspector, getting the port authorities to send the passage plan and berthing plan 48 hours before the ship arrives, so that the bridge team has studied the plan before arrival.

The master should be allowed to give his reasons for the deficiencies and if the reasons are genuine and correct, PSC should empathise and consider the deficiency giving more time to rectify it. Everything does not have to be a code 17!

Finally, an appeal process should not be considered as a challenge to the PSC. It should be considered as a tool for an improved relationship with the stakeholders.

We need to engage in such forums more often. Informal exchanges should be encouraged. The seafarers and shipowners want to work in cooperation with PSC to jointly achieve continuous improvement in the industry.

Source: splash247

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“Port State Control” (PSC) is the inspection activity carried out by maritime authorities on foreign ships arriving in ports, which is aimed at ascertaining their compliance with the rules established by international maritime authorities, with reference to the safety on board of ships and during navigation.

The “Port State Control” is carried out by specific “Port State Control Nuclei” departments.

Once deficiencies have been ascertained, a ship can be authorized to leave the port only on condition that it remedies them before departure or within 14 days.

 

Port state control: international legislation 

Port state control is concerned with verifying the compliance of ships with the minimum navigation and safety standards imposed by the international conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The IMO convention provides standards regarding the rules to prevent landings at sea, ship construction and compartmentalization, as well as equipment for firefighting, plant engineering, survival and rescue (SOLAS), training and certification of maritime personnel (STCW). In addition, the IMO defines the protocols for the investigation of maritime accidents followed by the transport safety authorities of the countries signatories to the convention on international civil navigation.

There is also the international agreement for the prevention of sea pollution, better known as “Marpol 73/7”, created with the aim of minimizing the pollution of the sea deriving from marine waste, hydrocarbons and exhaust gases.

Port state control: what is Port State Control (PSC) MOU? 

The checks that are carried out on ships that land in any EU port have been governed by the Directive 2009/16/Ce, relating to controls to be executed on ships landing in ports of EU countries.

Among the most important agreements is the Paris MOU, comprising rules to regulate the coordinated inspection of ships that dock at the ports of the Member States, to verify their compliance with international standards on safety, protection, environment and work.

27 European countries have joined the MOU.

The basic principle governing the MOU is that the main responsibility for compliance with the requirements established in international maritime conventions lies with the ship owner / operator. Responsibility for ensuring this compliance remains with the flag state.

Port state control: Sanctions and appeal procedure 

If foreign vessels do not comply with the maritime conventions necessary to operate in international waters, the Port State Control (PSC) can stop their navigation.

During the inspection, the outstanding deficiencies capable of justifying the detention of the ship can be grouped into the following categories:

– those relating to technical safety equipment;

– those attributable to the training of on board personnel.

If there is a risk of navigation, the ship will bestopped immediately after the first inspection, regardless of the length of time the ship remains in the port.

The detention order is not lifted until the danger has been eliminated or until the authority establishes that, under certain conditions, the ship can resume its navigation or the operation can be resumed without risks on the safety and the health of passengers or crew, without danger to other ships or without posing an unreasonable threat to the marine environment.

In the presence of more than three detentions, in accordance with the provisions of the Paris MOU, the “banning” occurs, that is, the ban on entering European ports.

The owner or operator of a ship or his representative in the Member State has the right to appeal against the detention or refusal of access ordered by the competent authority. The appeal does not suspend the stop order or refusal of access.

Have you experienced a ship detention for failure to comply with the Port State Control legislation? 

Many deficiencies under Port State Control inspections are found during inspections carried out by the Coast Guard in the various ports of Italy.

Many ship operators are often unprepared for an inspection of their ship. The most worrying fact is the number of outstanding deficiencies generally related to a lack of technical safety equipment or deficits in the training of on board personnel. These categories can lead to the detention of the ship.

The Arnone & Sicomo International Law Firm has a maritime and navigation law department. Our professionals actively collaborate with ship owners and ship operators so that they do not have to experience ship detention in Italian ports.

We advise the customer on Port State Control procedures in order to avoid that he incurs penalties and we take care of assisting them in any possible appeal.

We have offices in Naples, Rome, Palermo, Venice and Trento. We also have several foreign offices, such as in Luxembourg.

Source: arnonesicomo


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This quick reference guide and associated checklist are recommended to be used by the  crew in preparation of the  vessel’s arrival into port. It is designed to complement on-board routine maintenance programs as well as pre-port arrival and departure checks required by international regulations. If any of the items identified in this guide are not in satisfactory working condition, the crew should take appropriate actions to remedy the situation. If any identified deficiencies cannot be rectified, Port State Control should be notified prior to arrival.

The guide is organized according to major PSC categories and areas of concern. For each major category, the common deficiencies have been identified for your reference. Download and print the A4-sized PDF checklist or guidance brochure, which is designed to be used onboard.  For ongoing alerts and updates, please subscribe to ABS PSC updates and Chief Surveyor Alerts from our Preference Center.

Source: ww2.eagle


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The Black Sea MOU on Port State control is a system of harmonized inspection procedures designed to target sub-standards ships with the main objective being their eventual elimination. The information contained in the web-site is aimed to provide industry with a brief outline of port State control procedures under the Black Sea MOU. For particular procedures in force you are referred to the full text of the Black Sea MoU.

Port State Control

In accordance with the international regulations stipulated by International Conventions in the maritime field the main responsibility for ship safe condition is addressed to the flag State – the State under which flag the ship is registered. Port State control (PSC) comes into the scene when shipowners, classification societies and flag State administrations have failed to comply with the requirements of the international maritime conventions. Although it is well understood that the ultimate responsibility for implementing conventions is left to the flag States, port States are entitled to control foreign ships visiting their own ports to ensure that any deficiencies found are rectified before they are allowed to sail. Port State control is regarded as measures complementary to the flag State control. The rights for that control are provided by the conventions themselves.

In recent years, the importance of port State control has been widely recognized and there has been important movement in various regions toward establishing a harmonized approach to the effective implementation of the control provisions. Currently the following PSC regimes are established in the world:

The main ideas of establishment of a regional PSC regime may be summarized as:

  • each member Authority establishes PSC system on national level;
  • agreed relevant instruments are used for the control of ships;
  • common PSC procedures are applied during PSC inspections;
  • actions against substandard ships are harmonized and coordinated;
  • mutual comprehensive information exchange is provided.

Main Principles

In 2000 the Black Sea Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control was signed by 6 Black Sea countries with the common understanding of main principles for PSC.

PSCO
Port State control is carried out by properly qualified Port State Control Officers (PSCO), acting under the responsibility of the maritime authority.
Scope
The geographical scope of the Black Sea MOU region consists of ports located on Black Sea coastline.
Structure
The Port State Control Committee is the executive body of the Black Sea MOU. The Committee deals with matters of policy, finance and administration. Daily activity of the Black Sea MOU is supported by the permanent Secretariat located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Inspections
A port State control visit on board will normally start with verification of certificates and documents. When deficiencies are found or the ship is reportedly not complying with the regulations, a more detailed inspection is carried out.
Instruments
Only internationally accepted conventions shall be enforced during port State control inspections. These conventions are the so-called “relevant instruments”.
Non parties
Flag State which are not a Party to conventions shall receive no more favorable treatment.
Actions against substandard ships
When serious deficiencies are found, the ship shall be detained. The captain is instructed to rectify the deficiencies before departure.

Source: bsmou


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Port State Control (PSC) is a ship inspection program whereby foreign vessels entering a sovereign state’s waters are boarded and inspected to ensure compliance with various major international maritime conventions, namely: International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarer (STCW), Load Lines (LL), Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG) and International Labour Organization Convention No. 147 Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) (ILO 147).

PSC programs are of a regional nature; that is, several countries sharing common waters have grouped together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure that vessels trading in their area are not substandard.

Source: caribbeanmou


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