Explained: what is flag state control and port state control.

Flag State Control (ESC):

  • In relation to a ship, the country in which it is registered is the Flag state. It is the duty of the flag state to ensure that the ship entitled to fly its flag is safely constructed, equipped and subsequently properly maintained and manned as per regulation based on the international Convention developed by IMO for this purpose.
  • when a country exercises control over a ship that is registered in that country such control is called Flag State control.
  • The Flag State carries out survey and inspection on the vessel for issuance of various statutory certificates.
  • Flag State Control is limited to ensure that valid certificates are onboard (Statutory Certificates).

Port State Control (PSC):

  • The country visited by a ship other than the flag state that is port of registry is "Port state".
  • Ship trade internationally and have to call at various ports of the world. Many ships may not call at any of their home ports for a considerable period of time and it is possible that during a certain period of time ship's certificate may not have been renewed or maintained. Therefore it is important that ships must be inspected at various ports to ensure compliance with rule requirement as regards safety, maintenance and manning etc. When such control is exercised on a ship by a country other than Flag state is called "Port State Control".

FSC and PSC are similar and the aim is to ensure safe, secure and efficient shipping on a clean ocean as parameters by IMO.

The authority to excise PSC is is contained within the provision of the various IMO conventions:
  • SOLAS 1974 convention chapter 1 regulation 19 and chapter 9 regulation 4.
  • MARPOL 73/78 convention.
  • International convention on load line 1966, Article-21.
  • Convention on international regulation for preventing collision at sea 1972 (COLREG).
  • STCW Convention 1978.
  • ILO Convention no.147.

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