Technical Circular No. 65 | 2017

Subject : DGS M.S. Notice No. 4 of 2017 Regarding Flag State Inspection of Indian Vessels.

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  1. The DGS has issued Merchant Shipping Notice No. 4 of 2017 dated 18th May 2017 (copy attached) providing Administration’s revised policy towards Flag State Inspection of Indian flagged vessels. This notice supersedes MS Notice No. 19 of 2013.
  1. The Notice is applicable to all vessels (including River Sea Vessels as per DGS Order 18 of 2013 and Indian Coastal Vessels as per DGS Order 1 of 2014) registered under MS Act 1958, as amended and is applicable wef 18th May 2017.
  1. Salient points of MS Notice No 04 of 2017 are mentioned below.

A. Scheduled Flag State Inspections:

i. Shipping companies are required that vessels under their ownership/management be offered for a scheduled Flag State Inspection to the nearest Mercantile Marine Department, at a minimum frequency as mentioned below:

Schedule for Flag State Inspection

Sr. No.

Type and Age of Ship

Frequency of Flag State Inspection


Passenger Ship

Every calendar year, after 3 months of Passenger Ship Safety Certificate survey, but before 3 months of the date of expiry of the same.


Cargo Ship (0-5

years of age)

One inspection between 1 - 3 months after the completion of 1st complete Intermediate Statutory surveys.


Cargo Ship

(5-15 years of age)

Once in 2 years, that is, between 1-3 months after completion of every alternate annual/intermediate/renewal statutory survey as the case may be.


Cargo Ship

(15 years and above)

Every year and between 1-3 months after

completion of annual/intermediate/renewal

statutory survey as the case may be.


ii. Time gap between two FSI is linked to every alternate annual/intermediate/renewal survey for Cargo ship (5-15 years of age) and every annual/intermediate/renewal statutory survey for cargo ship (15 years and above) and may exceed stipulated 2 years and 1 year respectively, but the FSI in no case should be carried out before/after 1-3 months of the completion of concerned annual/intermediate/special survey as the case may be.

iii. Indian Flag vessels trading abroad and have completed annual/intermediate/renewal statutory surveys as the case may be in foreign shores and is not scheduled to touch Indian shores between 1-3 months after the said survey shall undergo a “General Examination” equivalent to an Annual survey. The frequency of such general examination is to be not less than that of Flag State Inspections.

(However, in case of port state detention, the frequency of flag state inspection / general examination of said/ all vessels managed/owned by the detained vessel’s Company may be increased by the Directorate).

iv. In case the vessel is dual classed, General Examination is to be carried out by RO that has not carried out the last statutory survey of the vessel. General examination of vessel which are not dual class, can be done through any of the Recognized Organization of GOI as per choice of the owner.

v. Indian vessels which have satisfactorily undergone all PSC inspection (since last general examination or Flag State Inspection) under Paris MOU, USCG or in countries such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Canada (under Tokyo MOU), without any detainable deficiency and total number of deficiencies not exceeding five (5), are exempted from next FSI/General Examination.

vi. The Flag State Inspection and General Examination unlike the port State inspection, should be a comprehensive and detailed inspection, covering all aspects of the Statutory Certificates issued to the vessel irrespective of the presence/absence of clear grounds.

 vii. If any serious deficiencies are observed during general examination, which in the judgment of surveyor may affect the safety of the vessel, crew or marine environment, same is to be informed to the Port State Control cell of the Directorate for initiating suitable action, before the vessel is allowed to leave the port.

B. Un Scheduled Flag State Inspections:

i. Notwithstanding the above, the present regime of carrying out “FSI by surprise inspection” by Flag State will continue as it is.

ii. Any FSI undertaken as part of surprise inspection is not to be taken into consideration for the purpose of minimum number of scheduled FSI referred under section A(i) above, unless after a review of inspection report by the concerned Principal Officer, a suitable recommendation is made to the Directorate.

C. Reporting, Verification and Monitoring:

i. Companies, ROs and MMDs are required to upload all the inspection reports under the General examination and FSI to the DGS web-based centralized computer information system within 2 working days of the inspection/examination.

ii. It is the company responsibility to ensure that the general examination initial and rectification (follow up) report is uploaded by the recognized organization on the Flag State Computerized Information System (FSCIS) within the stipulated time period.

iii. The compliance of this notice will be verified during the annual DOC audit of the company and any non-compliance may be notified as Non-Conformity to be completed within a period of 1 Month.

iv. The company should initiate procedures to comply with this notice after the next due annual/intermediate/renewal statutory surveys.

 4. Ship Owners / operators and masters of Indian flagged vessels are advised to be guided by above and the attached MS Notice 4 of 2017.


  1. DGS M.S.Notice No.4 of 2017.


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person.
While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.


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