Port state control regimes globally plan to move away from black, gray and white performance lists. Instead, they will focus on expanding an individual ship risk profile approach.
The proposal came with a range of recommendations regarding harmonization and information sharing which were proposed at a recent workshop held at IMO headquarters.
The workshop recommended that port state control (PSC) regimes consider developing and maintaining a coordinated list of under-performing ships. The possible development of a common platform for interregional exchange to facilitate informal exchange among PSC regimes, as well as the development of joint working policies, were also recommended.
The workshop noted the growing number of PSC regimes implementing targeted inspections mechanisms, as well as incentive schemes, so that ships found in compliance with international standards are subject to fewer inspections, while substandard ships are targeted more.
The regimes feed the IMO with information which has potential significance to the IMO regulatory process. Specifically, annual reports on inspections and the outcome of concentrated inspection campaigns are reported to the IMO Sub-Committee on the Implementation of IMO Instruments (III). Additionally, data exchange agreements enable a PSC module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) to be populated.
Among the other recommendations made by the meeting, the PSC regimes agreed to explore the development of statistical output and to look into the compatibility of their systems.
The workshop considered the possibility of establishing an outreach partnership between the IMO and PSC regimes to disseminate the outcome of IMO work, to collect first-hand feedback on implementation and to develop technical cooperation.
Recognizing the need for training of new entrants in port state and flag state personnel, the workshop recommended that the IMO consider developing a harmonized training manual for use by flag state inspectors and PSC officers.
To support the implementation of the Code of Good Practice included in the IMO Procedures for PSC, the III Sub-committee will be invited to consider developing a format for a “PSC letter to the master.” This would set out how an inspection would be carried out and would be signed by both the PSC officer and the master. The workshop also recommended that a dedicated GISIS facility for complaints could be developed.
Since the first regional PSC agreement was signed in 1982 (the Paris MoU), the IMO has supported the establishment of eight other regional PSC regimes, achieving a global maritime network. The areas of responsibility of the nine regional regimes cover Europe and the north Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); Black Sea (Black Sea MoU); Mediterranean Sea (Mediterranean MoU); Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and Persian Gulf (Riyadh MoU). The United States Coast Guard maintains the tenth PSC regime.