High risk ships will continue to be targeted by PSC regimes

US Coast Guard inspects a ballast water sample. Credit: USCG
US Coast Guard inspects a ballast water sample. Credit: USCG

The ten port state control regimes (PSC) have stated that despite the reduction in number of physical on-board inspections carried out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they will continue to target high risk or substandard ships.

During an online meeting hosted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on 8 April, the PSC regimes, made up of the United States Coast Guard, the Viña del Mar Agreement, and the Abuja, Black Sea, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Paris, Riyadh and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding, agreed that to protect both PSC officers and seafarers, they will continue to focus on inspecting high risk ships.

The regimes also reported taking a more “pragmatic, practical and flexible” approach during the pandemic, recognising that exemptions, waivers and extensions to certificates have been granted by many flag states.

The regimes did however express a general desire for such practices and policies to be standardised and harmonised, to ensure a consistent approach around the world.

Certain PSC regimes have also issued guidance and information on conducting ship inspections during the crisis, which will be shared on the IMO website.