INTERCARGO PSC Benchmarking Briefing

Issue Summary

Intercargo supports accurate measurement of quality, the promotion of quality and the eradication of sub-standard shipping. Intercargo works with PSC interests to support :-

  • Harmonised standards and training of inspectors
  • Consistent interpretation on what constitutes clear grounds for inspection
  • The raising of standards of all MoUs to those of the global best.

Intercargo Policy

The function of port State control is to ensure that shipping conforms to the regulatory requirements of internationally agreed Conventions.   Of the 9 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) areas plus the US Coast Guard, almost all have publicly accessible targeting matrices, selecting vessels based on empirically defined risks associated with owners past performance, vessel type, flag, age, Classification Society etc.  In the overwhelming majority of cases, targeting and inspection is professionally undertaken leading to a safer and more environmentally friendly Industry.

Intercargo fully supports the enforcement of regulation through the PSC process. By making detailed information available to the PSC authorities and all other interested parties through our annual “Benchmarking” Report, Intercargo provides a transparent and statistically verifiable statement on the performance of various stakeholders including ships entered by Intercargo members, thereby encouraging continuous improvement. The strategic aim of Intercargo is therefore to "support the MoU policies of rewarding (through fewer inspections) the owners and operators of vessels that perform highly during PSC inspections and to target/improve the below average stakeholders".

Summary of Recent Developments

Asbestos inspections on foreign sea-going vessels

The Shipping Department of the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate of the Netherlands (ILT/Scheepvaart ) has announced that it will carry out asbestos inspections of foreign ships in Dutch ports, beginning in the 3rd/4th quarter of 2012.

According to the ILT/Scheepvaart website, the PSC inspector will be accompanied by an expert from an asbestos company who will take samples where necessary. These samples will be analysed and, if asbestos is found, the ship must immediately contact its own Flag State to request an exemption certificate in accordance with MSC.1/circ. 1374. For more information please visit The Shipping Department of the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate website at the following address:

Intercargo 2012-13 Benchmarking Report
The Report is produced using our own extensive dry bulk database incorporating PSC inspection and detention data drawn from publicly accessible websites. The data is analysed to give reports on the performance of stakeholders including owners, flag and class, with Deficiencies per Inspection (DPI) being used as the standard measure of PSC performance and overall quality.

Key findings from the 2011-12 Report

The quality of dry bulk shipping improved slightly during 2011 – as measured by a decrease in the number of detentions; In 2011, Intercargo entered ships had a better than average DPI rating of 1.60 (2010: 1.50;  2009: 1.59) whereas non-Intercargo entered ships had a DPI rating of 2.60 (2010: 2.59; 2009: 2.54). Crucially, Intercargo entered ships continue to outperform industry averages.

Inspections in individual ports – trends

Intercargo has scrutinised PSC inspection results of bulk carriers in the ports of the Paris MoU, Tokyo MoU, Indian Ocean and US Coast Guard areas of jurisdiction. The results continue to show distortion of results implying that the harmonisation of inspection regimes globally still has a long way to go.

Future Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CIC)

On 1 June, the Paris and the Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control advised that they would launch a joint CIC with the purpose to ensure compliance with SOLAS Chapter II-2/ Construction - fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction arrangements on board ships. The campaign was held for three months, commencing 1 September 2012 and ending on 30 November 2012. In practice, the CIC meant that during a regular port State control inspection conducted under the regional ship selection criteria within the Paris and Tokyo MoU regions, the fire safety arrangements, maintenance records and other applicable documentation would be verified in more detail for compliance with SOLAS Chapter II-2. Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) would use a list of twelve selected items to verify critical areas for the shipboard fire safety systems, some of which are related to documentation, equipment and crew familiarisation. For this purpose, PSCOs would apply a questionnaire listing a number of items to be covered during the concentrated inspection. This questionnaire is available on the Tokyo MoU website by clicking on the following link:

or by downloading the following pdf file:

Paris and Tokyo MoU Joint Press Release CIC on FSS

The results of the CIC on FSS, as mentioned in the recent press release from the Tokyo MoU, show that compliance with fire safety system requirements on board was found to be not satisfactory. For detailed information please dowload the following pdf file:

Press Release on the results of the latest CIC on FSS


In 2011, CICs targeted structural safety and loadlines. On 1 January 2011, the Paris MoU introduced a New Inspection Regime (NIR) which places more emphasis on company perfomance criteria for the previous 3-year period, when creating the 'Ship Risk Profile'.


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