Port State Control Regimes Consider Doing Away with Famous ‘White, Grey and Black Lists’

general cargo ship
Photo: by jdross75 / Shutterstock

The world’s Port State Control regimes are considering doing away with the famous white, grey and black lists for ranking flag states’ performance records from best to worst. 

The proposed change is among a handful of recommendations made as a result of a recent Port State Control workshop at IMO headquarters last month that aimed to strengthen collaboration among the various regimes and the IMO.

Port State Control regimes carry out inspections on ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations. Since the first regional PSC agreement was signed in 1982 (the Paris MoU), the IMO has since supported the establishment of a global network of eight additional regional PSC regimes.

The nine regimes now cover Europe and the North Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); Black Sea (Black Sea MoU); Mediterranean Sea (Mediterranean MoU); Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and Persian Gulf (Riyadh MoU). The United States Coast Guard maintains the tenth PSC regime.

During last month’s workshop, participants shared experiences, highlighted new projects and approved a wide range of recommendations aimed at further collaboration, harmonization and information sharing among the various regimes.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes coming from the workshop was an agreement to consider moving away from “black/grey/white lists”, and towards expanding an individual ship risk profile approach.

In particular, the workshop noted the growing number of PSC regimes implementing targeted inspections mechanisms, as well as incentive schemes, so that ships found in compliance with international standards are subject to fewer inspections, while substandard ships are targeted more.

Other recommendations included that PSC regimes consider developing and maintaining a coordinated list of under-performing ships and a common platform to better allow the exchange of information among PSC regimes.

You can find more about the outcome of the workshop on the IMO website

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