Guidance to Ensure Positive Port State Control Inspections
To all Shipowners, Ship Managers, Masters and Crew
This bulletin serves to remind all ship operators and crew of the ongoing requirement to help maintain a ship in good, safe and seaworthy condition. COVID-19 has added considerably to the difficulties faced by all seafarers and ship operators, but is not an excuse for allowing standards to slip. The guidance below has been issued previously but remains valid today.
Guidance to ensure Positive Port State Control Inspections
“A clean, orderly ship, with a trained and confident crew will ensure a positive PSC Inspection” (Ex-PSC Inspector)
- It is essential that the conduct of the Master and crew be professional. A Port State Control Officer’s first impression of an orderly ship decreases the risk of an expanded inspection:
- The Master’s office shall be presentable and the records organized and available and
- Standards of dress shall be high. The vessel’s topside and engine room shall be clean and orderly.
- Meet PSCO(s) at embarkation and ask for identification (ISPS Code) and escort to the Master’s office
- Require an opening meeting – even if not offered. Ensure a suitable business like atmosphere. All key staff should be present unless duty requires otherwise, in which case this should be explained.
- Properly introduce key officers/personnel who will assist in key elements of the inspection and request same courtesy from the lead PSC officer, if more than one in the PSC party.
- The inspection procedure to be undertaken by the PSCO should be explained. If not, ask for an explanation.
- Inform the PSCO of any problems with required equipment, including repairs and corrective action that is ongoing and/or dispensations that have been issued by the flag Administration, to allow time needed to effect repairs.
- Ship’s escorting officers should act professionally and be knowledgeable of ship’s equipment and keep notes on deficiencies
- Request notification of irregularities as soon as possible in order to effect corrections ‘on the spot’.
- Never intentionally mislead or misrepresent a condition to the PSCO.
- Insist on a closing meeting – even if one is not offered.
- Listen to what the senior boarding officer says about the boarding results
- Compare it with what he writes – ask for clarification/corrections if necessary
- Ensure by direct question “We see nothing here suggesting a detention”
- If the vessel is detained, notify the company immediately in accordance with company procedures. The flag Administration should also be notified as soon as possible.
- Ensure the inspection team is escorted at disembarkation.
- Be aware of cultural differences
Even when there are defects it is possible to prevent a detention. However the Crew, Company, Recognized Organization and Flag must be proactive and show that they have identified the defect and are taking appropriate corrective action.
When equipment is not functioning as required and cannot be repaired prior to arrival in a port, it is essential to report these to the Company DPA in accordance with the vessel’s Safety Management System. A report should also be made to the Barbados Maritime Administration, prior to arrival. The Administration will issue a dispensation, if additional time is needed to effect permanent repair, and this may avoid a possible detention.