The below documents are the Coast Guard's Port State Control Annual Reports from 1998 to the present. They provide key statistics related to enforcement of the regulations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Ship & Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Any questions or comments should be directed to the points of contact on the back cover of the report.
Note: An error has been identified in the original 2013 PSC Annual Report that impacted the detention ratios of the Flag Administrations of the Cayman Islands and Tanzania. Corrections have been made to pages 7, 8, 10 and 12 of the original report to address the error. As a result of the error, the Cayman Islands has been removed from the list of targeted Flag Administrations and placed on the list of those Flag Administrations qualified for the U.S. Coast Guard Qualship 21 Program.
The following Flag Administrations were identified as having a detention ratio higher than the overall average and were associated with more than one detention in the previous three years. The detention ratios are based on data from the previous three years. The overall Flag Administration performance has risen slightly with the three-year running detention ratio decreasing slightly from 1.67% to 1.63%.
Targeted Flag Administrations:
* Administrations not targeted last year.
Flag Administrations Removed From The List:
This policy letter outlines Coast Guard procedures for denying entry of certain foreign flagged commercial vessels into any port or place in the United States due to their history of operating in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction in a substandard condition, outside acceptable standards.
The 2010 Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act amended 46 U.S.C. 3316(c). This statute requires that a Classification Society may not review, examine, survey, or certify the construction, repair, or alteration of a vessel in the United States unless it is:
1) Approved by the Coast Guard.
The following is quoted from the Act (with respect to the original language from the 2004 Authorization Act):
SEC. 622. Delegation of Authority
(b) REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY REQUIRED-Section 3316 (c) of Title 46, United States Code, is amended by striking so much as precedes paragraph (2) and inserting the following:
“(c)(1) A classification society (including an employee or agent of that Society) may not review, examine, survey or certify the construction, repair or alteration of a vessel in the United States unless the society has applied for approval under this subsection and the Secretary has reviewed and approved that society with respect to the conduct of that society under paragraph (2)."
Approved Classification Societies
For more information on approved class societies, please click here.
Archived Lists of IMO Reportable Detentions
All recognized organizations appealing their association with a vessel detention should contact:
Office of Foreign & Offshore Compliance Division (CG-CVC-2)
U.S. Coast Guard, Stop 7501
2703 Martin Luther King Jr Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20593-7501
This program has been established to allow vessels in a “large Fleet” to undergo additional IMO detention before being targeted by the Coast Guard. Ship management entities that have 25 or more individual vessels in their fleet, in which each one of those vessels have made at least one arrival to the U.S. in the past 12 months, are eligible to participate in this program.
The following list represents those Ship Management entities (owners, operators and charterers1) that are participating in the "Large Fleet" designation. Ship Management entities that have 25 or more individual vessels in their fleet, in which each one of those vessels have made at least one arrival within the past 12 months to the United States, are eligible to participate in this program. Members participating in the "Large Fleet" program are entitled to additional detention(s) before being targeted by the U.S. for Port State Control. This means that if a Large Fleet participant has been associated with 3 or more detentions3 (depending on size of fleet * see chart below) within a 12 month period, then that Ship Management entity will be targeted.
"Large Fleet" entities can participate in the program for 12 months, and then must reapply for each 12 month period thereafter. Organizations who feel that they qualify for eligibility to participate in this program may apply2 directly to the following email address CGCVC@uscg.mil. Faxed applications will no longer be accepted. When applying, applicants must state that the purpose of the e-mail is to apply for the Coast Guard's "Large Fleet" designation and use the Large Fleet Template.
As of July 1, 2010, the below detention figures that will trigger a Ship Management entity to be targeted, are as follows:
* Companies with pending legal action or currently under probation with the U.S. Government are not eligible to participate in the Large Fleet program.
Coast Guard Recognized Security Organization (RSO) Targeting Guidelines
A Recognized Security Organization (RSO) is an organization with appropriate expertise in security matters and with appropriate knowledge of ship and port operations authorized to carry out an assessment, or a verification, or an approval or a certification activity, required by Chapter XI-2 or by part A of the ISPS Code. The Coast Guard reviews every major control action involving an ISPS-related detention, expulsion, of denial of entry and determines whether the actions or inaction of the RSO contributed to the control action. If so, the Coast Guard attributes the control action to the RSO. U.S. Coast Guard Foreign & Offshore Vessel Compliance Division (CG-CVC-2) makes this determination using the guidelines outlined in the document titled "Recognized Security Organization Filtering Guidelines for Security," attached to the right.
RSOs will be targeted based on their total number of related major control actions accumulated during the previous 12-month period as determined by USCG HQ. The list of targeted RSO's (see attachment) will be updated and posted on a monthly basis. RSO's have the ability to appeal the determination made by the Coast Guard Office of Vessel Activities concerning their association with a major control action using the process outlined in the Appeal Guidelines document attached to the right.
The following is the point distribution for RSO targeting based on the number of RSO-related major control actions within the past 12-months:
MARPOL 73/78 consists of six separate Annexes, each set out regulations covering the various sources of ship-generated pollution. The following link contains information on each Annex:
The requirements for the submission of NOADs are detailed in 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 160. The following links provided additional information concerning questions and interpretations to the regulations.
The following contains links to the contact information for the Coast Guard’s PSC program Headquarters and Area/District staffs.
Additional links for Flag States, classification societies, and world wide Port State Control MoUs are included:
Ship Management and Vessels Prohibited From Carrying Government Impelled Cargo List and MARAD memo discussing Vessel, Owners, Operators prohibited from carrying government impelled cargo.
What is QUALSHIP 21?
Coast Guard efforts to eliminate substandard shipping have focused on improving methods to identify poor-quality vessels (targeting schemes). However, regardless of the score that a vessel receives in our targeting matrix, all foreign-flagged vessels are examined no less than once each year. This provides few incentives for the well run, quality ship. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of vessels are operated responsibly, and are typically found with few or no deficiencies. Under our current policies, vessels operating at a higher-quality share nearly the same examination intervals as those vessels operating at lower-quality standards. These high-quality vessels should be recognized and rewarded for their commitment to safety and quality. Therefore, on January 1, 2001, the Coast Guard implemented an initiative to identify high-quality ships, and provide incentives to encourage quality operations. This initiative is called QUALSHIP 21, quality shipping for the 21st century.
What is E-Zero?
Beginning July 1st, 2017, vessels enrolled in the QUALSHIP 21 program may also seek the E-Zero designation if they meet the requirements set forth below. The E-Zero program is a new addition to the existing QUALSHIP 21 program, and the intent of this program is to recognize those exemplary vessels that have consistently adhered to environmental compliance, while also demonstrating an immense commitment to environmental stewardship. These vessels will receive the E-Zero designation on their QUALSHIP 21 certificate.
The Qualship21 Program & E-Zero Designation
The Qualship21 pamphlet and frequently asked questions document provide a full overview of the program including incentives, eligibility requirements and application instructions.
Applying to Qualship21 & E-Zero
For those companies that believe their vessel(s) qualify for the USCG's QUALSHIP 21 Program or QUALSHIP 21 with E-Zero Designation applications must be made using the application below. For vessels with existing QUALSHIP 21 certificate desiring to add the E-Zero Designation, please use the second application located below. In order to receive the E-Zero designation, a vessel must be currently in QUALSHIP 21 and remained in the program for a minimum of the last three years to qualify. All applications should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualified Flag Administrations
The list of fully qualified flag administrations will be updated annually on June 30th. This date marks the beginning that any newly qualified flag administration's vessels may begin to enroll in the program and closes enrollment for vessels registered to flags that are no longer qualified. If a flag administration is no longer qualified for the program, any of their vessels currently enrolled in QUALSHIP 21 may remain in the program until their QUALSHIP 21 certificate expires.
The following flag administrations have met all the requirements for full participation in the QUALSHIP 21 program (Valid through the end of June 2018):
The following Flag Administrations have shown a commitment to excellence in their level of compliance with international standards but do not meet the full requirements for QUALSHIP 21 eligibility. Specifically, they have not met the requirement of at least 10 port state control examinations per calendar year for the previous three years. The list below contains Flag Administrations that have had at least three port state control safety examinations in each of the previous three years and have not been subject to any Port State Control detention in that same time period:
New Certification Numbers on QS21 Certificates:
In March 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard began issuing Qualship 21 Program certificates to Flag Administrations, companies and vessels with a unique identification number. You may note on our website that we have begun to include these numbers next to the associate party. Please note that we will not issue new certificates to vessels with these identification numbers until their next renewal. The lack of a identification number on an existing current certificate does not make the certificate invalid. It will take two or more years for all of the Qualship 21 certificates, without identification numbers, to be replaced. If there is ever any question on the validity of any certificate associated with our Qualship 21 Program, you should contact the Qualship 21 Program coordinator by phone at +1-202-372-1587 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The following Flag Administrations were identified as having a detention ratio higher than the overall average and were associated with more than one detention in the previous three years. The detention ratios are based on data from the previous three years (2009, 2010 and 2011).
At the conclusion of calendar year 2005, the targeting Control Action Ratios(CARs) for all Administrations was fixed at 1.50%. Flags over the targeting CAR receive 2 points on the ISPS/MTSA targeting matrix. Flag Administrations with a CAR at or above twice the targeted level receive 7 points on the ISPS/MTSA targeting matrix.
* Administrations not targeted last year.
Flag Administrations Removed From The List:
The following is the U.S. Coast Guard's list of ship managers (owners, operators and charterers) which have been associated with two or more safety detentions within the past twelve months. Placement on this list does not imply that all ships associated with the owner or operator are substandard.
The purpose of the enclosed information is to aid the Coast Guard in carrying out its port State responsibilities. The goal of the Port State Control Initiative is to identify substandard foreign flag vessels through boardings and examinations, and then to take the appropriate action to eliminate the threat that such vessels may pose to U.S. waters, ports, and citizens.
The Coast Guard's Port State Control examination program is designed to effectively direct its vessel inspection resources to those vessels which may pose greater risks. As a result, a vessel making a U.S. port call that is owned, operated or chartered by a person or entity that has had that vessel, or a different vessel, subject to more than one intervention action within the last twelve months is a higher priority for a Coast Guard Port State Control examination. However, the ship management is only one of several factors considered by the U.S. Coast Guard in deciding whether to actually examine a vessel.
Be advised that the Ship Management List is updated monthly. The revised version of the Ship Management List is sent to all Coast Guard Sectors and Port State Control Officers.
Charterers have been targeted by the U.S. Coast Guard since July 1, 2004. Background on the collection of charterer information and targeting can be found in a Final Rule published on August 19, 2002 under the Advanced Notice of Arrival Regulations in 33 CFR 160 [USCG-2001-8659]. The Coast Guard's goal is to target the individual or organization that contracts for the majority of the vessel's cargo carrying capacity. The chartering entity that contracts for the majority of cargo space has control over vessel selection and, therefore, the condition of the vessel they choose to hire. In some cases, charterers, such as some major oil conglomerates, will have detailed vetting processes that examine whether the vessel complies with international standards before they put a single drop of product on a vessel. Such efforts to ensure a vessel meets international standards before making a chartering decision assist Port State Control regimes in combating substandard practices in the safety and environmental protection realm. In the ISPS Code realm, the charterer may also vet a vessel's security compliance program before making the chartering decision. While the charterer does not have direct influence on the vessel's operation in all cases, charterers strongly influence the maritime industry by the choices they make in determining who to hire. This ultimately affects and changes the habits of substandard operators which is the ultimate goal of the Port State Control program.
Charterer targeting is divided into two categories; safety and ISPS/MTSA. These are two, distinct targeting methodologies that share certain characteristics. For example, the Coast Guard targets charterers as part of Ship Management in both targeting matrices, however, a safety detention associated with a charterer does not affect targeting for ISPS/MTSA security compliance examinations. Conversely, an ISPS detention associated with a charterer does not affect targeting for Port State Control safety examinations. In addition, a charterer must be associated with at least two safety detentions or two ISPS detentions, to be targeted under these targeting methodologies.