Technical Circular No. 67 | 2016

Subject: Flag State and Port State Control Inspections on Sri Lankan Flagged Ships.

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  • Sri Lankan Marine Administration has issued Merchant Shipping Notice No. 07/2016-Revised (copy attached) describing procedures wrt Flag State Inspection and Port State Control Inspections on Sri Lankan flagged vessels of 500 GT and above engaged in international trade.
  • Types of flag state inspections:
    • Pre-Registration Inspection – carried out on all types of vessels of 20 years of age and above that has applied for registration to assess the general condition of the vessel and its ability to meet the Administration’s standard of quality and compliance.
    • Flag State Inspections - conducted within 5 year period to verify a vessel is being maintained in compliance with all applicable national and international regulations.
    • Special Safety Inspections – In addition to the above, a special safety inspection may be required by the Administration;
      • Prior to resuming service at the end of an official lay-up period in excess of six (6) months or
      • Following any substantial structural alteration.
    • Follow-up Inspection – An inspection that is conducted to follow-up on a previously issued deficiency or item that may require a physical inspection or check on the corrective action.
  • The ship owners/ operators and ship masters are required to make their vessels available for inspection by the Administration.
  • Windows for vessel inspections are as follows;
    • Flag State Inspections: The inspection date is set 5 yearly from the date the initial inspection was completed with a window period of + or – three (3) months.
    • Vessels not inspected by the due date to be considered as “overdue” and follow up procedures will be initiated by the Administration. This may include an additional DOC and/or SMS audit.
    • Vessels continuously engaged in foreign trade and do not visit Sri Lankan Ports during 5 year period shall be subject to Flag State Inspection to the discretion of the Director General of Merchant Shipping.
  • Flag State Inspection Report to be retained on board. Masters and management companies are required to ensure that the deficiencies are closed to the satisfaction of the Administration within 30 days from the date of inspection and major safety deficiencies to be rectified before departure. Corrective actions are to be reported to the Administration.
  • Port State Control Detention of a Sri Lankan Flagged Ship:


  • The Company is required to immediately notify the following organizations by means of a facsimile or an email when a Sri Lankan ship is detained by a PSC.
    • The Administration.
    • The issuing RO of the affected certificate, if applicable.
  • In addition the company may be required to invite the RO on board to assist in clearing up the deficiencies, unless otherwise advised by the Administration.
  • The initial report to the Administration should include;
  1. A full copy of the PSC report Form A and B)
  2. A copy of the detention notice.
  3. Confirmation of notification to the RO as applicable.
  4. Advice of actions taken or planned to rectify all deficiencies at the earliest opportunity.
  • Process after a detention:
  • The companies are required to perform a root cause analysis within 30 days of the detention and take the appropriate corrective actions to prevent similar deficiencies arising in the future. The relevant documents to be submitted to the Administration after the completion of the analysis.
  • The Administration will determine the scope and extent of additional inspections, surveys or audits of shipboard and shore based safety management systems of a company when significant proportion of the company’s fleet has been justifiably detained by PSC.
  • First detention in a 24 months period: One or more of the following shall be required by the Merchant Shipping Secretariat (MSS) prior to departure from the port of detention depending on the number and nature of the deficiencies.

          a. Additional external ISM audit or

          b. Additional ISPS audit

  • Second detention in a 24 month period: If a ship has been detained twice within a period of 24 months, the following to be completed at the next convenient port.

          a. An additional ISM SMC audit to ascertain the effectiveness of the Safety Management System on board;

          b. An additional ISM DOC audit not later than 30 days from the date of the detention;

          c. If the date of detention falls within the +/- 3 month window period for annual statutory surveys, such  surveys to be conducted at the next convenient port.

  • Third detention in a 24 month period: If a ship has been justifiably detained three times within a period of 24 months, all statutory certificates to be suspended.

          In order to reinstate the suspended statutory certificates, the following will be required.

          a. FSI by the MSS;

          b. An additional ISM SMC audit;

          c. An additional ISM DOC audit not later than 30 days from the date of detention.

  • Fourth detention in a 24 month period: If a ship, in the opinion of the MSS, is justifiably detained for a fourth time within a period of 24 months, the ship will be deleted from the Sri Lankan Register.

          The DOC of the Company will be re-examined and further surveys, inspections and audits of the Company and/or its ships may be required for re-admitting the vessel.

  • Recognized Organizations shall take into account all deficiencies noted in the course of the PSC inspections while conducting ISM audits.
  • Ship owners/ managers and masters are advised to be guided by above.



  1. Sri Lankan Merchant Shipping Notice No. MSN 07/2016- Revised.


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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