A guide to prepare vessel for port state control inspections
The below mentioned list is not exhaustive
1. Prepare well in time.
2. Use the appropriate PSC checklist.( Checklists prepared by Lloyd’s Register, USCG, various classification authorities or by the Company).
3. Carryout correct self inspection by various ship departments and IDENTIFY ALL DEFICIENCIES. Keep an additional officer to assist you as he can be an additional eye.
4. Pay particular attention to detainable deficiencies. List of detainable deficiencies are maintained by Company’s technical departments, flag states, various port state control authorities and classification authorities. A list of detainable deficiencies can be very helpful in carrying out preparations for port state control inspection.
5. Inform owners/managers regarding any deficiencies well in time. Send your urgent requisitions well in time if required for a PSC inspection.
6. Start from scratch, checking all Certificates, Documents, Files, Manuals (Be very fanatic and avoid underestimating any short comings). Pay attention to the last inspection reports of various surveys, not to miss any pending requirements and recommendations in these reports. These reports and findings may be a year old and there are chances that some requirements are still pending and not attended.
7. Check of all requirements of Statutory Certificates; Loadlines, Safety equipment, Safety Construction, IOPP, IAPP, Safety Management System, ISPS. Proper records of all maintenance checks carried out must be entered in PMS systems and required log entries must be maintained.
8. STCW,MLC 2006 requirements and checks to be carried out and maintained. Records of hours of rest must comply with MLC 2006 and STCW requirements. Daily update of rest hours must be maintained. Crew must have access to check their rest hours.
9. Ship sanitation and hygiene requirements according MLC 2006 to be carried out and maintained. Special consideration should be given to food preparation and handling areas.
10. If vessel is preparing to USCG port state control inspection, requirements of CFR, Vessel General Permit(VGP), VGP log book, Non tank vessel response plans, Biofouling management plans, Ballast water management plan, Ship Security Plan, Oil record book, Garbage Management Plan must be taken seriously. Questions asked by USCG Port state inspectors to the Ship Security Officer and Crew with regard to Ship security are available on USCG Foreign Vessel MTSA/ISPS Code Exam Booklet. Various FAQ’s with regard to VGP may be obtained from the respective Qualified Individual as they are very helpful in maintaining the VGP and VGP log book.
11. Cosmetic Upgradation of vessel. Main deck, superstructure and interior (very Important).
12. Keep repeating safety drills and trainings until the desired outcome is met (Log down all what you have done. Keep photographic evidence). Confidence build up will not be achieved unless the crew undergoes repeated drills and trainings.
13. Keep your documentation, files neat, clean and very systematic. Remember, the PSC inspector is a stranger and human, he does not need to get irritated or frustrated when he checks your documentation. Use sticky notes, highlighters in your documents if practicable. Prove that you read and follow requirements. Files should have file separators and in correct order. Remember, Permit to work checklists need not be clean and typed. They are to be hand written and not to be very tidy as you are completing the checklist on work site such as entry into enclosed spaces.
14. Keep vessel in an extreme neat and pristine condition. Oil and grease stains on decks if any should be continuously attended.
15. Garbage storage area, bins should be kept in a very hygienic condition. No odor should exist. View the garbage storage area as a “HOSPITAL CLEAN AREA”, then only the hygiene standard can be achieved. Overfilled bins not to be allowed, lids should be closed tight. Food waste must not leak into the bins (this usually happens with food cultures of Asia, Africa where food contains lot of liquid such as curries). Use double bags, but do not let it leak. Make arrangements to land garbage if excess garbage is expected.
16. Maintain photographic evidence of all activities on board including maintenance, PSC preparations, drills and trainings.
17. Pay particular attention to the storage of paints and chemicals. Paints and Chemicals must be kept with the required PPE and MSDS sheets. Chemicals must be segregated according to the class. Chemicals should not be kept in any location such as crane houses on deck which are used by stevedores. Lighting used in chemical storage areas should be type approved.
18. Carryout frequent checks and maintain the vessel for PSC inspection
19. Offer full cooperation and to the Port State Control inspectors during inspections