Q. Explain the term “port state control” (PSC) Inspection. Underline its authority and the basis of such inspections. Enumerate the relevant regulations and annexes of SOLAS 74, LOADLINE 66, MARPOL 73/78, STCW 78 and TONNAGE 69, which forms the provisions for PSC. What is understood by Concentrated Inspection Campaign?



  • It is an inspection program under which all countries work together to ensure that all vessels entering their water are in compliance with strict international safety and antipollution standards.
  • All countries share their findings with each other and the ships that are found to be in violation of laid down standards are detained in port, until their deficiencies are rectified

PSC inspection:

  • All ships in commercial trading need to be registered on country which identifies its owners. The country of registration is called as flag state it is the duty of the flag state to assure all its ships flying their flag is safely constructed, equipped & maintained as per the relevant regulations of the IMO & ILO.
  • But the ship trade internationally & have to call at various ports all over the world & many ships may not call their flag state ports, so it makes inspection of the ships by the flag state to assure compliance with the rules regarding safety, maintenance, manning etc impossible so it is important that the ships must be inspected at various ports to assure compliance. This is termed as the port state control (PSC).
  • All countries involved in inspecting the ships will share their findings with each other. The ships that are found to be in violation of the prescribed standards are detained in the port, until their deficiencies have been rectified.

The objective of the PSC

  • Is to detect & discourage owners from operating substandard ships that endanger not only the ship’s crew & the port, but also to the environment.
  • PSC inspection helps to minimize the threat to the life, properly & the environment by not allowing substandard shipping.
  • The fundamental motive of the PSC is to supplement the inspections by the flag state & eliminate sub-standard ships in order to assure safer ships & cleaner oceans it includes boarding, inspection, remedial action & possible detention under the applicable conventions.
  • Port state control can be applied not only to those countries, who are party to the convention but also to the ships that fly the flag of a state that has not rectified the convention. Thus no ships are exempted from the inspection because the principle of no more favourable treatment applies.
  • Any state may also in act its own domestic laws & enforce additional national rules & regulations on the foreign ships entering its water


  • Ensuring compliance with international rules regarding safety, marine pollution & threat to working environment.
  • Detaining substandard vessel till all the deficiencies are rectified.
  • Implementing an initially agreed figure of annually inspecting the minimum number.
  • Applying a targeting system. Selection is such that well run ships are not harassed whereas blacklisted ships will not be allowed to operate.
  • Harmonizing & strengthening to the greater extent PSC’s authority to perform better surveillance.
  • Providing technical assistance & training, where the need is identified.


1) SOLAS 1974

  • Regulation I /19 ( chapter 1, regulation 19) – General provision/ control
  • Chapter IX, regulation 6 — Management of safe operation ship
  • Chapter XI-1 , regulation 4—special measures to enhance maritime safety
  • Chapter XI-2, regulation 9 – special measures to enhance maritime security.

2) MARPOL 73/ 78

  • Article 5 – Certificate & special rules on inspection of ships
  • Article 6—Detection of violation and enforcement of convention
  • Regulation 11 of annex 1 – PSC on operational requirement
  • Regulation 16 of annex II — PSC on operational requirement
  • Regulation 8 of annex III — PSC on operational requirement
  • Regulation 13 of annex IV – PSC on operational requirement
  • Regulation 8 of annex V — PSC on operational requirement
  • Regulation 10 of annex V I– PSC on operational requirement


Article 21:- Limitation of the draught, to which a ship on its international voyage is to be loaded i.e Max Freeboard

4) STCW 1978

  • Article X – control regulation ( Rights of PSCO to assure all the seafarers have appropriate certificates)
  • Regulation ¼ — control procedure

5) TONNAGE 1969

  • Article 12 – verification of tonnage certificate
  • Although Tonnage convention is not a safety convention, the revision A787 (19) has laid down the guidelines for PSC. However the control provision of the article 12 of TONNAGE 1969 does not include the provision for detention of the vessels.

6) MLC 2006

  • Regulation 5.2 on port State control,
  • inspections would deal only with the relevant requirements of this Convention (Articles, Regulations and the Standards in Part A)
  • A Member may be the subject of inspection in compliance with paragraph 4 of Article V for the purpose of reviewing compliance with the requirements of this Convention


  • Concentrated Inspection Campaign are designed by the several MOU members to alert owners visiting their ports in order to promote specific compliance with a convention. The purpose of this joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign is to assure compliance with rules & regulations under various conventions.
  • Every year a PSC Concentrated Inspection Campaign on an agreed topic by the major MOUs is done. In practice, the Concentrated Inspection Campaign means that during a regular port State control inspection the arrangements, maintenance records & other applicable documentation related to agreed topics will be verified in more detail for the compliance.

These campaigns normally last a period of 3 months and focus on a specific area of the ship. Eg.

  • CIC on Propulsion and Auxiliary Machinery,
  • CIC on Hours of Work and Rest,
  • CIC on Fire Safety Systems,
  • CIC on structural safety and the international conventions on load line
  • CIC Lifeboat Launching Arrangements
  • CIC to verify Safety of Navigation in compliance with SOLAS Chapter V