Port state control

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 Sweden.

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 use.
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 port.

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.