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The question of port state control inspections

port state

Did Panama’s recent topping the ship registry not sit well with other nations?

The Paris MoU approved its 2020 “White, Grey, and Black” lists for flag state performance, listing Panama as baring making the White list. It suggested Panama-flagged vessels have higher possibilities of deficiencies which warrant inspections. For a country that commands the world’s biggest ship registry, the findings do not to add up.

Is it the vessel or the crew?
Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify the vessel’s condition and equipment comply with international regulations. Many of International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) most important technical conventions contain provisions for ships to be inspected when they visit foreign ports to ensure that they meet IMO regulations.

Critics have never been supportive of Panama because of historical data. They have even gone as far as to assume the country would face an uphill battle to prove the world wrong in terms of its maritime compliance standards – after a “track record of corruption and malpractices”. Unfortunately, one would question if Panama’s recent announcement of topping the world’s ship registry list not sit well with other countries.

Panama quoted their stellar results from port state inspections, and Paris MoU’s findings opposed it in the pretext of the former having gone through 5,700 inspections during a three-year period. Hence, the next question is on what grounds is the Paris MoU challenging the findings and positioning Panama in a “not-so-good” light?

The whole idea of the port state control is to eradicate the sub-standard ships by inspections. However, a port deals with high volumes of vessels every day. There would be a shortage of manpower for inspection at some points. Taking it further, does a high volume of inspection imply vessel deficiencies? Or is there a concern with the crew before the vessel calls at the port? Till the MoU is officially released in July 2021, it is too quick a conclusion to pin on Panama “barely making the White list” label.

Crewing Online Media Team
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