US Coast Guard introduces new examinations for foreign ships calling US ports


BIMCO has received information about changes made by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to its Port State Control (PSC) boarding matrix. 

The new programme introduces three types of PSC examinations.

  • PSC A – a more detailed examination with increased scope beyond a standard examination which includes operational tests of equipment and witnessing crew performance of drills.
  • PSC B – this is the standard examination which includes a document check with a deck and engine room walk through; may include limited tests of equipment and systems and/or assessment of crew performance of drills.
  • PSC C – a random examination or examination based on reports or credible information that a potential non-compliance may exist; ships subject to PSC C are not targeted for a standard examination.

It is important to note that a lesser detailed examination may be expanded to a more detailed examination if the boarding officer finds it necessary based on the results of the lesser detailed examination.

Targeting decisions for a particular ship are based on defined criteria which include US examination history, flag state, ship management entity (owner, operator, charterer, or managing operator), recognized organization, ship particulars (ship class and age) and the ship’s compliance history including major control actions in the US, foreign detentions (new criteria), US deficiency history, COTP orders, and reportable marine casualties/violations.

The type of examination and timing of PSC inspections are left to the discretion of the Captain of the Port (COTP) or Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI) and may include inspections of ships offshore, at anchorage or after dark.

Ship examinations may be also be conducted after marine casualties to determine the cause of the casualty, extent of damage and to mitigate the risk to the ship, port and US waters.  A post-casualty examination may be expanded in scope to PSC A or PSC B if the inspector becomes aware of a non-compliance during the post-casualty examination.


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    Targeting of foreign vessels for Port State Control (PSC) examination issued 13 January 2020 0.3 MB

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Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK


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