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Port State Control – Be prepared for new campaigns and restrictions

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This news provides an overview of current developments in Port State Control (PSC) inspections and focus campaigns in China, Australia, and the USA. Special attention is being placed on the ongoing PSC focus campaign in China on machinery and electrical items.

he following are recent PSC developments for vessel owners/ managers and crews to be aware of:

The China Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA)

New targeting scheme

The China MSA has implemented a stricter monitoring of vessels meeting any of the following criteria:

  • Vessel has been detained twice within the last 12 months, irrespective of the place of detention.
  • Vessel has been penalized twice in 12 consecutive months for serious violations, such as:
  • Insufficient manning
  • Maliciously turning off the AIS system
  • Intentional illegal discharging of pollution
  • Overloading
  • Sea-related transportation by inland waterway vessels
  • Other reasons, such as evasion of penalty, unlawful certificates, major alterations without approval, etc.

Vessels included in the special follow-up are most likely subject to PSC inspection at every port call in China. In addition, all inspections performed on board those vessels are likely to be performed “in a detailed manner”.

To exclude a vessel from the scheme, the shipping company may apply to the China MSA administration after three months from the date of its inclusion. For details, please see “China MSA Circular – Issuing the Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Vessels under Special Follow-up”.

Focus on machinery/electrical systems

The China MSA has announced this additional “Special Campaign to Prevent Marine Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Failures”, to take place during normal PSC inspections in all Chinese ports. The focused inspection started on 7 April 2024 and will last until 31 October 2024.

The circular inter alia states the following:

  • Class societies in China shall strengthen the inspection and testing of newly built and rebuilt ships, with a focus on their mechanical and electrical equipment.
  • Ships’ crews shall report such failures to the local maritime administration and accept special safety inspections by the maritime administration as required.
  • Those who fail to proactively report mechanical and electrical equipment failures will be severely punished.
  • For ships that have experienced two or more mechanical and electrical equipment failures within 12 months, the maritime administration will require shipping companies and class societies to jointly conduct inspections and require the ships to submit failure analysis reports and measures to prevent mechanical and electrical equipment failures.

The circular also includes “Guidelines on Special Selfinspection for Preventing Marine Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Failures”.

Checklist published by the China MSA

To ensure safety and technical conditions as well as mechanical and electrical equipment are in accordance with relevant provisions of international conventions as well as Chinese laws and regulations, crews are asked to conduct self-inspection according to the above-mentioned guidelines on self-inspection. The detailed checklist can be found in Appendix 1 of the pdf.

How to prepare

The aim of the initiatives by the China, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Zhoushan MSAs is the prevention of propulsion and electrical power loss. The following checks are additionally recommended by DNV:

  • Maintenance records for both planned and corrective maintenance should be up-to-date and the description of performed maintenance should be sufficiently detailed.
  • For those cases where corrective maintenance (repair) has been required, it is recommended that a probable cause of the failure is identified, or at least an investigation initiated, and, where possible, maintenance routines are updated to prevent reoccurrence.
  • The condition of lubrication and fuel oil filters should be monitored and documented, e.g. last filter changeover/replacement, average number of cycles per hour for automatic filters, etc.
  • Testing of the emergency generator should be conducted and documented on a regular basis, including automatic connection to the emergency switchboard (ESB) and loading of the generator. Automatic starting of the ESB connected steering gear pump after loss of power should be included.
  • Starting of the standby generator, including any preferential trips, should be tested and documented in good time before arrival.
  • Any failures or damages that can be presumed to lead to a condition of class shall have been reported to class and records of the notification shall be available to PSC for inspection.

The Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA)

No remote survey for PSC rectification surveys

The AMSA announced that the PSC rectification survey performed after a detention in one of its ports must be carried out with physical attendance.

In the past, it was possible to perform remote surveys in very special cases (e.g. a detention in a remote port with a minor defect when no surveyor is available) and thus on a caseby-case basis. In any case, DNV will do its utmost to support with an attendance survey.

For further details, please review AMSA’s websites.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Focus on fire safety from 1 April until 30 June 2024

The USCG has announced an ongoing Enhanced Examination Program (EEP), which is similar to the Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CIC) performed by other PSC regimes.

For the three-month period of 1 April 2024 to 30 June 2024, the USCG PSC inspectors are directed to carry out an enhanced examination during regular USCG examinations on board cargo ships verifying fire safety in the engine room, focusing on the following items:

  • Proper operation of at least one fuel oil shutoff valve via remote operation (SOLAS II-2/
  • Proper operation of control of stopping power ventilation for machinery spaces from outside the machinery space (SOLAS II-2/
  • Presence and condition of protection against hot surfaces, i.e. lagging (SOLAS II-2/26.1).

It is important to note that PSC inspectors are instructed not to test the operation of fuel oil shutoff valves affecting the current operation of a ship’s machinery.

How to prepare

Crews are advised to verify the following:

  • Correct operation of remote and local control of fuel oil shutoff valves and functionality of power ventilation stopping arrangements.
  • Proper, uncontaminated lagging in the engine rooms and other machinery spaces, ensuring appropriate protection against hot surfaces.

Although the CIC on fire safety by the Paris and Tokyo MoUs in 2023 only partly overlap with this EEP, the DNV Technical and Regulatory News No. 20/2023 and the corresponding webinar contain relevant information.
Source: DNV,