Port State Inspection

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Purpose

Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international rules and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules .

These inspections were originally intended to be a back up to flag State implementation, but experience has shown that they can be extremely effective .

A ship going to a port in one country will normally visit other countries in the region and it can, therefore, be more efficient if inspections can be closely coordinated in order to focus on substandard ships and to avoid multiple inspections. 

This ensures that as many ships as possible are inspected but at the same time prevents ships being delayed by unnecessary inspections. The primary responsibility for ships’ standards rests with the flag State – but port State control provides a “safety net” to catch substandard ships. 

Nine regional agreements on port State control  Memoranda of Understanding or MoUs – have been signed: 

Europe and the north Atlantic (Paris MoU); 

Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); 

Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); 

Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); 

West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); 

Black Sea region (Black Sea MoU); 

Mediterranean (Mediterranean MoU); 

Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); 

Riyadh MoU. 

The United States Coast Guard maintain the tenth PSC regime. 

AMSA INSPECTOR

Application

These Procedures apply to ships falling under the provisions of:

.1 the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS);

.2 the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS Protocol 1988);

.3 the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (Load Lines);

.4 the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (Load Lines Protocol 1988);

.5 the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocols of 1978 and 1997 relating thereto, as amended (MARPOL);

.6 the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW);

.7 the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Tonnage); and

.8 the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (AFS),

Ship Of Non Parties

As ships of non-Parties are not provided with SOLAS, Load Lines , MARPOL certificates, as applicable, or the crew members may not hold STCW certificates, the Port State Control Officer (PSCO), taking into account the principles established in these Procedures, should be satisfied that the ship and crew do not present a danger to those on board or an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment. If the ship or crew has some form of certification other than that required by a convention, the PSCO may take the form and content of this documentation into account in the evaluation of that ship. 

The conditions of and on such a ship and its equipment and the certification of the crew and the flag State’s minimum manning standard should be compatible with the aims of the provisions of the conventions; otherwise, the ship should be subject to such restrictions as are necessary to obtain a comparable level of safety and protection of the marine environment.

Definitions

Clear grounds: 

Evidence that the ship, its equipment, or its crew does not correspond substantially with the requirements of the relevant conventions or that the master or crew members are not familiar with essential shipboard procedures relating to the safety of ships or the prevention of pollution.

Deficiency: 

A condition found not to be in compliance with the requirements of the relevant convention.

Detention: 

Intervention action taken by the port State when the condition of the ship or its crew does not correspond substantially with the applicable conventions to ensure that the ship will not sail until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to the ship or persons on board, or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment, whether or not such action will affect the normal schedule of the departure of the ship.

More detailed inspection: 

An inspection conducted when there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the ship, its equipment or its crew does not correspond substantially to the particulars of the certificates.

Substandard ship: 

A ship whose hull, machinery, equipment or operational safety is substantially below the standards required by the relevant convention or whose crew is not in conformance with the safe manning document.

Initial Inspection

a) PSCO may proceed to the ship and, before boarding, gain, from its appearance in the water, an impression of its standard of maintenance from  such items as the condition of its paintwork, corrosion or pitting or unrepaired damage.

b) At the earliest possible opportunity, the PSCO will ascertain the type of ship, year of build and size of the ship for the purpose of determining which provisions of the conventions are applicable.

c) On boarding and introduction to the master or the responsible ship’s officer, the PSCO should examine the ship’s relevant certificates and documents.

d) If the certificates are valid and the PSCO’s general impression and visual observations on board confirm a good standard of maintenance, the PSCO should generally confine the inspection to reported or observed deficiencies.

e) PSCO will check both the validity of the relevant certificates and other documents and the overall condition of the ship, including its equipment, navigational bridge, decks including forecastle, cargo holds/areas, engine-room and pilot transfer arrangements.

f) If, however, the PSCO from general impression or observations on board has clear grounds for believing that the ship, its equipment or its crew do not substantially meet the requirements, the PSCO will proceed to a more detailed inspection.

Accidental Damage

Where the grounds for detention are the result of accidental damage suffered on the ship’s voyage to a port, no detention order should be issued, provided that:

a)  Due account has been given to the convention requirements regarding notification to the flag State Administration, the nominated surveyor or the recognized organization responsible for issuing the relevant certificate;

b) Prior to entering a port, the master or company has submitted to the port State Authority details of the circumstances of the accident and the damage suffered and information about the required notification of the flag State Administration;

c) Appropriate remedial action, to the satisfaction of the port State Authority, is being taken by the ship; and

d) The port State Authority has ensured, having been notified of the completion of the remedial action, that deficiencies which were clearly hazardous to safety, health or environment have been rectified.

Clear Grounds

When a PSCO inspects a foreign ship which is required to hold a convention

certificate, and which is in a port or an offshore terminal under the jurisdiction of the port State, any such inspection should be limited to verifying that there are on board valid certificates and other relevant documentation and the PSCO forming an impression of the overall condition of the ship, its equipment and its crew, unless there are “clear grounds” for believing that the condition of the ship or its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of the certificates.

“Clear grounds” to conduct a more detailed inspection include:

.1 the absence of principal equipment or arrangements required by the applicable conventions;

.2 evidence from a review of the ship’s certificates that a certificate or certificates are clearly invalid;

.3 evidence that documentation required by the applicable conventions is not on board, incomplete, not maintained or falsely maintained;

.4 evidence from the PSCO’s general impressions and observations that serious hull or structural deterioration or deficiencies exist that may place at risk the structural, watertight or weathertight integrity of the ship;

.5 evidence from the PSCO’s general impressions or observations that serious deficiencies exist in the safety, pollution prevention or navigational equipment;

.6 information or evidence that the master or crew is not familiar with essential shipboard operations relating to the safety of ships or the prevention of pollution, or that such operations have not been carried out;

.7 indications that key crew members may not be able to communicate with each other or with other persons on board;

.8 the emission of false distress alerts not followed by proper cancellation procedures; and

.9 receipt of a report or complaint containing information that a ship appears to be substandard.

More Detailed Inspection

a) If the ship does not carry valid certificates, or if the PSCO, from general impressions or observations on board, has clear grounds for believing that the condition of the ship or its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of the certificates or that the master or crew is not familiar with essential shipboard procedures, a more detailed inspection .

b) It is not envisaged that all of the equipment and procedures  would be checked during a single port State control inspection, unless the condition of the ship or the familiarity of the master or crew with essential shipboard procedures necessitates such a detailed inspection. 

Identification of Substandard Ship

In general, a ship is regarded as substandard if the hull, machinery, equipment or operational safety, is substantially below the standards required by the applicable conventions or if the crew is not in conformance with the safe manning document, owing to, inter alia:

a) The absence of principal equipment or arrangement required by the conventions;

b) Non-compliance of equipment or arrangement with relevant specifications of the conventions;

c) Substantial deterioration of the ship or its equipment, for example, because of poor maintenance;

d) Insufficiency of operational proficiency, or unfamiliarity of essential operational procedures by the crew; and

e) Insufficiency of manning or insufficiency of certification of seafarers.

Suspension Of Inspection

In exceptional circumstances where, as a result of a more detailed inspection, the overall condition of a ship and its equipment, also taking into account the crew conditions, are found to be obviously substandard, the PSCO may suspend an inspection.

a) Prior to suspending an inspection, the PSCO should have recorded detainable deficiencies .

b) The suspension of the inspection may continue until the responsible parties have taken the steps necessary to ensure that the ship complies with the requirements of the relevant instruments.

c) In cases where the ship is detained and an inspection is suspended, the port State Authority should notify the responsible parties without delay. The notification should include information about the detention, and state that the inspection is suspended until that authority has been informed that the ship complies with all relevant requirements.

Procedures For Rectification Of Deficiencies And Release

a) The PSCO should endeavour to secure the rectification of all deficiencies detected

b) In the case of deficiencies which are clearly hazardous to safety or the environment, the PSCO should, ensure that the hazard is removed before the ship is allowed to proceed to sea.

c) Where deficiencies which caused a detention, as referred to in paragraph cannot be remedied in the port of inspection, the port State Authority may allow the ship concerned to proceed to the nearest appropriate repair yard available, as chosen by the master and agreed to by that authority, provided that the conditions agreed between the port State Authority and the flag State are complied with. Such conditions will ensure that the ship should not sail until it can proceed without risk to the safety of the passengers or crew, or risk to other ships, or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment. Such conditions may include confirmation from the flag State that remedial action has been taken on the ship in question. In such circumstances the port State Authority should notify the authority of the ship’s next port of call . The authority receiving such notification should inform the notifying authority of action taken.

d) If a ship proceeds to sea without complying with the conditions agreed to by the Authority of the port of inspection that port State Authority should immediately alert the next port, if known, the flag State and all other authorities it considers appropriate.

e) If a ship  does not call at the nominated repair port, the port State Authority of the repair port should immediately alert the flag State and detaining port State, which may take appropriate action, and notify any other authority it considers appropriate.

Reporting Requirements

a) Port State authorities should ensure that, at the conclusion of an inspection, the master of the ship is provided with a document showing the results of the inspection, details of any action taken by the PSCO, and a list of any corrective action to be initiated by the master and/or company.

b) In the case of a detention, at least an initial notification should be made to the flag State Administration as soon as practicable . If such notification is made verbally, it should be subsequently confirmed in writing. As a minimum, the notification should include details of the ship’s name, the IMO number, copies of Forms A and B , time of detention and copies of any detention order.

Likewise, the recognized organizations which have issued the relevant certificates on behalf of the flag State should be notified, where appropriate. The parties above should also be notified in writing of the release of detention. As a minimum, this information should include the ship’s name, the IMO number, the date and time of release and a copy of Form B.

c) If the ship has been allowed to sail with known deficiencies, the authorities of the port State should communicate all the facts to the authorities of the country of the next appropriate port of call, to the flag State, and to the recognized organization,

Detainable Deficiency

LEAKING FIRE HYDRANT

Areas under SOLAS

1 Failure of proper operation of propulsion and other essential machinery, as well as electrical installations.

2 Insufficient cleanliness of engine-room, excess amount of oily-water mixture in bilges, insulation of piping including exhaust pipes in engine-room contaminated by oil, and improper operation of bilge pumping arrangements.

3 Failure of the proper operation of emergency generator, lighting, batteries and switches.

4 Failure of proper operation of the main and auxiliary steering gear.

5 Absence, insufficient capacity or serious deterioration of personal life-saving appliances, survival craft and launching and recovery arrangements.

6 Absence, non-compliance or substantial deterioration to the extent that it cannot comply with its intended use of fire detection system, fire alarms, fire-fighting equipment, fixed fire-extinguishing installation, ventilation valves, fire dampers, and quick-closing devices.

7 Absence, substantial deterioration or failure of proper operation of the cargo deck area fire protection on tankers.

8 Absence, non-compliance or serious deterioration of lights, shapes or sound signals. 

9 Absence or failure of the proper operation of the radio equipment for distress and safety communication.

10 Absence or failure of the proper operation of navigation equipment, taking the relevant provisions of SOLAS regulation V/16.2 into account.

11 Absence of corrected navigational charts, and/or all other relevant nautical publications necessary for the intended voyage, taking into account that electronic charts may be used as a substitute for the charts.

12 Absence of non-sparking exhaust ventilation for cargo pump-rooms.

13 Serious deficiency in the operational requirements .

14 Number, composition or certification of crew not corresponding with safe manning document.

15 Non-implementation or failure to carry out the enhanced survey programme in accordance with SOLAS regulation XI-1/2 and resolution A.744(18), as amended.

Areas under IBC Code

1 Transport of a substance not mentioned in the Certificate of Fitness or missing cargo information.

2 Missing or damaged high-pressure safety devices.

3 Electrical installations not intrinsically safe or not corresponding to the Code requirements.

4 Sources of ignition in hazardous locations.

5 Contravention of special requirements.

6 Exceeding of maximum allowable cargo quantity per tank.

7 Insufficient heat protection for sensitive products.

8 Pressure alarms for cargo tanks not operable.

9 Transport of substances to be inhibited without valid inhibitor certificate.

Areas under the IGC Code

1 Transport of a substance not mentioned in the Certificate of Fitness or missing cargo information.

2 Missing closing devices for accommodations or service spaces.

3 Bulkhead not gastight.

4 Defective air locks.

5 Missing or defective quick-closing valves.

6 Missing or defective safety valves.

7 Electrical installations not intrinsically safe or not corresponding to the Code requirements.

8 Ventilators in cargo area not operable.

9 Pressure alarms for cargo tanks not operable.

10 Gas detection plant and/or toxic gas detection plant defective.

11 Transport of substances to be inhibited without valid inhibitor certificate.

Areas under the Load Lines Convention

1 Significant areas of damage or corrosion, or pitting of plating and associated stiffening in decks and hull affecting seaworthiness or strength to take local loads, unless properly authorized temporary repairs for a voyage to a port for permanent repairs have been carried out.

2 A recognized case of insufficient stability.

3 The absence of sufficient and reliable information, in an approved form, which by rapid and simple means, enables the master to arrange for the loading and ballasting of the ship in such a way that a safe margin of stability is maintained at all stages and at varying conditions of the voyage, and that the creation of any unacceptable stresses in the ship’s structure are avoided.

4 Absence, substantial deterioration or defective closing devices, hatch closing arrangements and watertight/weathertight doors.

5 Overloading.

6 Absence of, or impossibility to read, draught marks and/or Load Line marks.

Areas under Marpol

Annex I

1 Absence, serious deterioration or failure of proper operation of the oily-water filtering equipment, the oil discharge monitoring and control system or the 15 ppm alarm arrangements.

2 Remaining capacity of slop and/or sludge tank insufficient for the intended voyage.

3 Oil Record Book not available.

4 Unauthorized discharge bypass fitted.

Annex II

1 Absence, serious deterioration or failure of proper operation of the oily-water filtering equipment, the oil discharge monitoring and control system or the 15 ppm alarm arrangements.

2 Remaining capacity of slop and/or sludge tank insufficient for the intended voyage.

3 Oil Record Book not available.

4 Unauthorized discharge bypass fitted.

Annex V

1 Absence of the garbage management plan.

2 No garbage record book available.

3 Ship’s personnel not familiar with disposal/discharge requirements of garbage management plan.

Annex VI

1 Absence of valid IAPP Certificate and where relevant EIAPP Certificates and Technical Files.

2 A marine diesel engine, with a power output of more than 130 kW, which is installed on board a ship constructed on or after 1 January 2000, or a marine diesel engine having undergone a major conversion on or after 1 January 2000, which does not comply with the NOx Technical Code 2008.

3 The sulphur content of any fuel oil used on board ships exceeds the following limits:

.1 4.5% m/m prior to 1 January 2012;

.2 3.5% m/m on and after 1 January 2012; and

.3 0.5% m/m on and after 1 January 2020*.

4 The sulphur content of any fuel used on board exceeds the following limits while operating within a SOx emission control area:

.1 1.0% m/m on and after 1 July 2010; and

.2 0.1% m/m on and after 1 January 2015,

respectively, as per the amendments adopted by resolution MEPC.176(58).

5 An incinerator installed on board the ship on or after 1 January 2000 does not comply with requirements contained in appendix IV to the Annex, or the standard specifications for shipboard incinerators developed by the Organization (resolutions MEPC.76(40) and MEPC.93(45)).

6 The master or crew are not familiar with essential procedures regarding the operation of air pollution prevention equipment.

Areas under STCW

1 Failure of seafarers to hold a certificate, to have an appropriate certificate, to have a valid dispensation or to provide documentary proof that an application for an endorsement has been submitted to the Administration

2 Failure to comply with the applicable safe manning requirements of the Administration.

3 Failure of navigational or engineering watch arrangements to conform to the requirements specified for the ship by the Administration.

4 Absence in a watch of a person qualified to operate equipment essential to safe navigation, safety radiocommunications or the prevention of marine pollution.

5 Inability to provide for the first watch at the commencement of a voyage and for subsequent relieving watches persons who are sufficiently rested and otherwise fit for duty.

6 Failure to provide proof of professional proficiency for the duties assigned to seafarers for the safety of the ship and the prevention of pollution.

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