PSC regimes to boost collaboration

Nov 10 2017

Port State Control (PSC) regimes have pledged to strengthen their collaboration with the IMO and amongst themselves.

At a workshop held last month involving PSC MoU/agreement secretaries and database managers and IMO member states saw participants share experiences, highlighted new projects and approved a wide range of recommendations, which are aimed at further collaboration, harmonisation and information sharing, the IMO said, which hosted the meeting

The recommendations will be forwarded for review by IMO and the regional governing bodies of PSC regimes.

At the workshop, the growing number of PSC regimes implementing targeted inspections mechanisms was noted, as well as incentive schemes, so that ships found in compliance with international standards are subject to fewer inspections, while sub-standard 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 (CICs) are reported to the IMO sub-committee on the implementation of IMO instruments. Furthermore, data exchange agreements enable a PSC module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) to be populated.

Among the 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. They also agreed to consider moving away from ‘black/grey/white lists’ towards expanding an individual ship risk profile approach.

As a potential step towards mutual recognition of other regimes’ activities, the PSC regimes agreed to convey to their regional governing bodies the recommended use of the results of interregional information exchanges in their internal procedures, including their targeting systems.

The workshop recommended that PSC regimes consider developing and maintaining, in their information systems, a co-ordinated 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.

Also considered was the possibility of establishing an outreach partnership between IMO and PSC regimes, the objectives of which would be to disseminate the outcome of the work of IMO; to collect first-hand feedback on implementation; and to develop technical co-operation and capacity building activities. Appropriate fora at IMO and in PSC regimes will be invited to consider this matter.

Existing technical co-operation activities, partially supported by IMO in order to encourage the sharing of expertise among PSC regimes, should be enhanced under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).

Recognising the need for training of new entrants in PSC and flag state personnel, the workshop recommended that IMO consider developing a harmonised 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 asked 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.

The workshop considered the simplification of reporting procedures for port states, in the context of practical data management, involving both IMO and the ILO. The meeting requested the two secretariats to liaise, with a view to establishing a ‘single window’ system, through GISIS.

Finally, the meeting recommended that future workshops be held every two years. The agenda should include discussion on the use of body cameras by PSC officers. 

The meeting was chaired by Dr Vitaly Klyuev (Russian Federation), and Ms Carien Droppers (Paris MoU) was vice chair.

In a comment, Panos Kirnidis, CEO of PISR (Palau Registry) responded positively; “I have spent the last 12 months on behalf of Palau registry highlighting how the Paris MoU Blacklist is stopping the growth of new registries, is anti-competitive and has become a vicious circle.

“Along with the calls I and other registries have made for more common standards it is now very encouraging to see that the industry is starting to appreciate how vital it is for the world’s shipping industry to be unified and working for the benefit of everyone, not just the leading players.

“Currently Port State Control Officers don’t work to a common standard for PSC inspections and the mathematical formula used is biased against smaller registries. I am very pleased to see that the IMO workshop recommended that PSC regimes consider developing and maintaining a co-ordinated list of under-performing ships. This focus on individual ships will give us greater flexibility and enable the smaller and newer registries to concentrate on raising the standards and their own performance. This is precisely what I have been asking for over the past 12 months. “

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