Inspection of foreign ships is carried out through port state
control. The exercise of port state control is regulated in the
port state control directive (2009/16/EC) and in the Paris
Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, the latter being
an international agreement between 27 countries. In accordance with
the port state control directive and the Paris MOU, Sweden, by way
of the Maritime Department of the Swedish Transport Agency, shall
undertake inspections of some ships flying foreign flags coming to
Among other things, Directive 2009/16/EC involves increased
reporting requirements for foreign ships. The single most important
change concerning reporting is the requirement to report actual
time of arrival (ATA) and actual time of departure (ATD). This
requirement means that the actual time of arrival/departure of a
foreign ship is to be reported each time the ship visits a Swedish
port. There is no exemption for ships in scheduled traffic or
similar, which means that passenger ferries must also report time
of arrival and departure. Reporting is to be done to FRS/SSNS and
may be managed by the master, the shipowner or a shipping agent.
The ultimate responsibility, however, rests with the master.
Reporting is to be done promptly.
Different risk criteria rule the selection of ships to be
inspected. The ships are classed into different groups (high,
normal and low risk) depending on:
• type of ship
• age of the ship
• level of performance of the flag state
• level of performance of the organization issuing
certificates for the ship
• level of performance of the company
• history of previous deficiencies and prohibitions of
These groups are subject to inspection at intervals ranging from 6
to 36 months.
Ships with a higher risk profile, passenger ships, oil tankers,
gas carriers, chemical tankers and bulk carriers shall be subjected
to an expanded inspection. It is compulsory for the master, or
person acting on behalf of the master, to report that an expanded
inspection shall be carried out. This reporting is to be done via
FRS/SafeSeaNet 72 hours before estimated arrival or, in case of
journeys shorter than 72 hours, before departure from the previous
For more information about how reporting is to be done, see the
website of the Swedish Maritime Administration.
A web tool for calculating the risk profile of a
ship can be found at Paris MOU website.