AMSA continues to use a dynamic risk profiling system to assist in allocating inspection resources in the most effective manner. The risk factor does not mean the ship is a high risk as such, it is simply a statistical tool to prioritise inspections. AMSA’s risk calculation uses multiple criteria to categorise ships into four priority groups, to calculate a risk factor for the ‘probability of detention’. Each group has a specific target inspection rate as shown below.

Table 17—Target inspection rate

Priority groupRisk factor (probability of detention)Target inspection rate
Priority 16 or higher80%
Priority 24 or 560%
Priority 32 or 340%
Priority 40 or 120%

The risk profile of ships visiting Australian ports shows an increase in unique arrivals of priority two, three and four ships and a decrease in the unique arrivals of priority one ships. Table 18 shows that AMSA achieved targeted inspection rates in all priority groups with an overall inspection rate of 43.8 per cent. This was achieved despite the challenges of COVID-19 due to early implementation of precautionary measures to protect AMSA inspectors and ship's crew during inspections.

Table 18 shows the number of inspections where no deficiencies were recorded. The data for 2020 indicates that 48.1 per cent of all inspections (1453 out of 3021 PSC inspections) resulted in no deficiencies being issued.

The fact that risk factor is not representative of the level of risk posed by all ships in a particular group is reflected in the proportion of ships in P1 and P2 where no deficiencies were identified.

Table 18—Unique foreign-flagged ships – by priority group

Inspection priorityShip arrivalsEligible shipsShips inspectedInspection rateInspections with no deficiencies
Priority 163161343139739333491.4%84.1%194 39.7%152 40.2%
Priority 266069445346732931572.6%67.5%164 46.1%134
Priority 320222,1521686177784585050.1%47.8%467 51.4%404
Priority 439393,961388338981366136735.2%35.1%907 61.8%763
Totals:72527,42064536,53929332,86645.5%43.8%1732 53.8%1453

Note: ship numbers may not match if a ship arrives multiple times over the year and the priority changes.

Number of deficiencies by ship Priority Group

Priority groupDeficienciesDeficiencies per inspectionDeficienciesDeficiencies per inspection
Priority 112852.612363.3
Priority 27042.08172.4
Priority 315801.719152.1
Priority 417121.224191.7

Figure 5 – Risk factor (RF) of arrivals – foreign-flagged ships

figure 5

It is evident that the number of ships, of all risk factors, remained relatively consistent in 2020, compared with the results in 2019.