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Top 7 Port State Control (PSC) Inspection Checklists

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What is the Port State Control Inspection?

The Port State Control (PSC) Inspection is the regulatory procedure that verifies if ships in foreign ports comply with international maritime conventions such as the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) standardized PSC Inspections for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. Port State Control Officers can detain substandard ships, regardless of their scheduled departure time. Unrectified deficiencies can result in paying avoidable fees, delaying shipping operations, and losing loyal and potential customers.

What is a Port State Control Inspection Checklist?

A port state control inspection checklist is used by the Captain (or Master) and officers on board to easily identify deficiencies, implement corrective actions, and demonstrate the compliant condition, operation, and manning of the ship. This article features:

  1. 3 prevalent deficiencies you should rectify prior to port state control inspections;
  2. powerful mobile inspection app to easily identify detainable deficiencies; and
  3. free PSC inspection checklists you can download, customize, and use.

Top 3 PSC Inspection Detainable Deficiencies

Each of the nine regional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) websites displays inspection results deficiencies, monthly detention lists, and blacklisted ships of current member States. Over a three-year rolling period, annual reports on Port State Control indicate the following as the top 3 detainable deficiencies:

1. International Safety Management (ISM)

ISM-related deficiencies in the maintenance of the ship and equipment, emergency preparedness, and communication systems inevitably lead to detention. Every year, Port State Control Officers perform Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CICs) where high levels of deficiencies have been identified. Use a PSC Checklist for Emergency Systems and Procedures to adequately prepare for the 2019 CIC from September to November.

2. Fire Safety

Last July 1, an explosion from a fire that broke out in the Italian-flagged Synzania killed a crew member and injured 15 others. The Captain and officers on board should rectify deficiencies in fire doors/openings in fire-resisting divisions, fire detection and alarm systems, and fire-fighting equipment and appliances to reinforce fire safety and avoid similar incidents.

3. Certificate and Documentation

One of the most prevalent PSC inspection deficiencies is due to non-professionalism and negligence e.g., the Oil Record Book (ORB) is not on board or properly filled out. Keep an eye out for these commonly misplaced, invalid, or unavailable certificates and documents by category:

  • Crew Certificates – Seafarer’s Employment Agreement (SEA), endorsement by the flag State, Minimum Safe Manning Document
  • Documents – Records of seafarer’s daily hours of work or rest, Garbage Record Book, cargo information
  • Ship Certificates – Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR), Safety Management Certificate (SMC), International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC)

PSC Inspection App

The Captain and officers on board can easily pass Port State Control inspections by successfully harnessing new technology. iAuditor, the world’s most powerful inspection software, can help your crew rectify detainable deficiencies, prove the seaworthiness of the ship, and prevent costly delays. Empower your officers to:


Shine Colcol

SafetyCulture staff writer

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.