What is port State control?

You are eligible for port State control (PSC) at any Australian port.

If your ship is in working order, compliant with all legislation and safe, you will be complying with PSC requirements. If your ship is not, you may not pass a PSC inspection, may be required to pay fees for a more detailed inspection and/or you may be detained. The shipowners and flag States are responsible for the safety and operation of a ship, we use PSC as a method of checking that you comply.

Why is port State control required?

PSC is important in Australia because of the important role shipping has in Australia's trade.

International conventions and the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) give responsibilities to Australia (and other flag States) to check and control ships in our waters so that they do not pose threats to ship and crew safety or to the marine environment.

The most common conventions we work to include:

  • International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • International Convention on Load Lines
  • International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)
  • Maritime Labour Convention 2006

Port State control in Australia

We employ approximately 60 marine surveyors at 16 Australian ports. Our surveyors carry out PSC inspections as well as:

  • flag State inspections
  • marine surveys
  • cargo related inspections
  • marine qualification duties.

All our marine surveyors have a Ships master, Chief engineer qualifications, and/or a related degree. All surveyors must pass comprehensive training in our ship inspection procedures before becoming an inspector. They also act as examiners, auditors and investigators when required. Surveyors are regularly audited as required by our:

  • ISO accreditation for Quality Management (AS/NZ ISO 9001:208)
  • environmental management (AS/NZ ISO 14001:2004), and
  • workplace health and safety (AS/NZ 4801:2001).

Pre-Port State control inspections in Australia

AMSA does not accredit 'pre PSC inspectors services in Australia. If ship owners and/or operators wish to utilise the services of an individual or organisation to carry our pre-PSC inspections on their vessels, the onus is on them to ensure the individual or organisation has the capability to provide that service. The results of any pre-PSC inspection are not considered by a port State control officer.

Last updated: 1 February 2024