- Inspections undertaken by Port State control officers are becoming more and more stringent and overall count of deficiencies is found increasing. It is imperative that companies utilize their resources effectively during such inspections and shows substantial compliance, so that vessels, flags and class societies do not come under targeted list.
- Port state Control inspections are carried out as per guidelines of IMO assembly resolution A.1190 (30) & ILO guidelines under Maritime Labour Convention 2006.
- Companies are required to understand the importance of maintaining vessels by keeping them manned with trained crew, well maintained equipment and machineries, adequately supplied stores and complied with MLC regulations in order to minimize the deficiencies.
- It is essential that Master and the crew members are familiar with the above procedures and are confident during inspections. Ship officers having professional approach and thorough knowledge of onboard equipment can give first good impression during such inspections.
- It is important to establish professional working relation with PSCO and provide the necessary support during inspection. Satisfactory initial inspection will prevent more detailed inspection and in-turn will reduce the time and cost to the ship owners/operators and also reduce any chances of undue delays of port stay.
- Compliance to reporting requirements prior arrival to port, of any known failure or breakdown of equipment including ongoing repairs and corrective action or any dispensation obtained from the flag administration may trigger PSC inspection of the vessel. Under such circumstances vessel may be prepared in advance by crew for detailed inspection by Port State Control officer.
- More number of deficiencies during PSC inspections, usually lead to recommendation by PSCO for additional ISM audit, based on the conclusion that implementation of SMS in not effective. In view of the same, companies are urged to ensure that SMS also addresses, the procedure to deal with PSC inspections.
- To achieve improvement in fleet quality continuous efforts are required in following areas:
- Upkeep of documents and records,
- Crew familiarization and training,
- General housekeeping and upkeep of the vessel,
- Routine inspections and timely corrective actions,
- Emergency preparedness in terms of equipment as well as crew awareness,
- Compliance with statutory requirements especially for MLC 2006 & local port regulations,
- Timely informing to authorities of the defects so as to obtain necessary dispensation,
- Monitoring mechanism to ensure effective implementation of onboard SMS.
- To assist Ship owners and Vessel Managers; IRS has developed PSC checklist which may be useful for vessel’s preparedness for inspections. Also compilation of PSC deficiencies is available on IR Class webpage, which is categorized as per countrywise and ports wise. Links for same are provided below:
- Similar circulars on guidelines and reporting requirements on Port State Control Inspections are also provided by various flags, which are listed as below.
a. Information Bulletin No. 85 dated 15th May 2018. (The Bahamas Maritime Authority)
b. Guidance on Port State Control Inspections dated 17th October 2012 (The Republic Of Liberia)
c. Information Bulletin No. 270 – Port State Control Inspection Management (Barbados Maritime)
d. Marine Guideline - Guidelines for Undergoing a Port State Control Inspection (Republic of Marshall Islands)
e. Engineering Circ. 5 of 2017 - Port State Control Inspections of Indian Flag Vessels: Reporting, Corrective and Preventive Action (Govt. of India)
f. Merchant Marine Circular No. 172 - Correction of Deficiencies found in PSC Inspections (Panama Maritime Authority)`
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.