Port State Control (PSC) inspections are carried out under the authority of international conventions to verify that a vessel:
Initially, the PSC inspection generally consists of a visit on board to verify that necessary certificates and documents are valid. The initial visit also gives the inspector an opportunity to judge the general appearance and condition of the vessel.
Detailed inspections are warranted when the vessel does not satisfy the above criteria to determine whether the ship is substandard and/or not fit for service.
Grounds for PSC inspectors carrying out a detailed inspection:
In many instances, the deficiencies noted by the PSC inspector are rectified while the inspector is still aboard, and the vessel allowed to depart on schedule. Other deficiencies may require further action to rectify and the ship may be detained until satisfactorily resolved.
Once detained, inspectors verify deficiencies are rectified before the ship is allowed to proceed to sea. Additionally, the inspector may:
Numerous port authorities throughout the world have implemented port state control inspections and are maintaining databases to monitor owners who are operating substandard vessels. Vessels or owners may be targeted based on their PSC performance.
The most active Port Authorities in 2021 were United States, Australia, and Canada.
Additionally, PSC may carry-out concentrated inspection campaigns targeting specific focus areas.