The port State control regimes which carry out inspections on ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations have pledged to strengthen their collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and amongst themselves.
A recent workshop (24-26 October) for port State control (PSC) MoU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers and Member States, the seventh of its kind, was held at IMO headquarters in London, United Kingdom. Participants shared experiences, highlighted new projects and approved a wide range of recommendations, which are aimed at further collaboration, harmonization and information sharing. The recommendations will be forwarded for review by IMO and the regional governing bodies of PSC regimes.
Since the first regional PSC agreement was signed in 1982 (the Paris MoU), 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 all (or part of) 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.
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 IMO with PSC information, which has potential significant relevance 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). Furthermore, data exchange agreements enable a PSC module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) to be populated.