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 pass the above criteria to determine whether the ship is substandard and/or not fit for service.
Grounds for a PSC inspectors carrying out a detailed inspection:
In many instances, the problems noted by the PSC are rectified while the inspector is still aboard and allowed to leave the port on schedule. Other deficiencies require further action to rectify and the ship is detained.
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 track owners who are running substandard vessels. Based on the number of times an owner has been entered into the database, it may be targeted as a substandard vessel, with no regard to the severity of the infraction.
The most active Port Authorities in 2017 were USA, China, Australia, Russia, Canada and Brazil.
Additionally, a PSC may target specific ship types and ages.