At a forum discussion organized by DNV GL, some 70 shipowners and maritime industry players revealed that there are still many uncertainties regarding the kind of issues Port State Control inspectors focus on during inspections in different ports. DNV GL presented a portfolio of services the classification society is developing to meet these needs. It includes a new toolkit to help customers understand and anticipate Port State Control (PSC) criteria as well as the option to monitor the performance of their fleet and take action when a vessel is in danger of failing to meet PSC criteria.
Every merchant ship passing through foreign ports may be controlled by the national authorities to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations, and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules. The inspection is done by officers representing the national port authority in each country; their legal instruments are the international maritime conventions about safety, pollution prevention and working conditions on board a vessel. Non-compliance may lead to costly delays or even detention.
As a classification society DNV GL is involved in the technical aspects of PSC – the new toolkit offers a comprehensive overview of the issues Port State Control inspectors focus on most. Using the so called PSC Guide wizard software DNV GL can generate checklists that can be tailored to a customer’s fleet. “The PSC toolkit also contains a pocket-size booklet that can be used as guidance before entering ports. It can be kept on board vessels at all times and also be used for training on board,” says Hagen Kruse, Regional QHSE & Production Manager Germany at DNV GL.
“If problems occur during an inspection, it is important to inform the classification society immediately. Mouldy fire dampers that are stuck shut and dirty engine rooms are some of the most common issues during PSC inspections. But even minor things like a missing gangway net are important, as it’s the first impression that helps PSC decide how detailed an inspection is going to be,” says Karin Mikosch, Head of Department Chief Surveyor & Task Force and Head of Section Task Force at DNV GL.
In addition to the toolkit, DNV GL is working on a number of services linked to Port State Control, such as a PSC mobile app that is currently being developed for use on board. Customers can also order a company-specific PSC performance report that is based on information gathered from a growing pool of information from public databases for shipping and allows DNV GL to analyze its classed fleet in great detail. The report lists ships that are inspected very often, shows which ports are more challenging than others and benchmarks the customer’s vessels against the world fleet in the relevant segment. “Ship operators can present the report’s findings to their customers and gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. Ships that are not inspected often could get better charter rates,” says Hagen Kruse.
For further assistance in maintaining compliant operations, DNV GL offers PSC training courses for customers’ technical staff through the DNV GL Academy and on-board training courses for crews through the DNV GL Advisory Services.