Foreign & Offshore Compliance Division (CG-CVC-2)

The Coast Guard’s port state control (PSC) program verifies that foreign flagged vessels operating in U.S. waters comply with applicable international conventions, U.S. laws, and U.S. regulations. In an effort to reduce deaths and injuries; loss of or damage to property or the marine environment; and disruptions to maritime commerce, PSC exams focus on those vessels most likely to be substandard, based on identified risk factors. When vessels that are not in substantial compliance with applicable laws or regulations are identified, the Coast Guard imposes controls until the substandard conditions have been rectified and the vessels are brought into compliance. The goal of the PSC program is to identify and eliminate substandard ships from U.S. waters.

(Please double click each section below to expand.)
Announcements and New Information

Published Rules:

Towing Vessel Firefighting Training - (FR, October, 2023)

In accordance with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C. § 1331 et. seq., and numerous Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Coast Guard promulgates and enforces safety and security regulations governing units, including vessels, facilities, fixed and floating production platforms, and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) when operating on the U.S. OCS.

(Please double click each section below to expand.)
Collapse All Expand All
 Annual Report (1998-Present)

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. 

Report Download
2016 Annual Report PDF
2015 Annual Report PDF
2014 Annual Report PDF
2013 Annual Report PDF
2012 Annual Report PDF
2011 Annual Report PDF
2010 Annual Report PDF
2009 Annual Report PDF
2008 Annual Report PDF
2007 Annual Report PDF
2006 Annual Report PDF
2005 Annual Report PDF
2004 Annual Report PDF
2003 Annual Report PDF
2002 Annual Report PDF
2001 Annual Report PDF
2000 Annual Report PDF
1999 Annual Report PDF
1998 Annual 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.

 Annual Targeted Flag List

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 (2013, 2014 and 2015). The 3-year overall average for this year's evaluation risen from last year 1.31% to 1.67%.

Targeted Flag Administrations:

7 Points 2 Points
Belize Antigua
Bolivia Cyprus
Honduras Greece*
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Malta
Samoa Panama
Taiwan Turkey
Tanzania* Vanuatu
Thailand* -----

* Administrations not targeted last year.

Flag Administrations Removed From The List:

Egypt Lithuania
Germany Mexico

** Administrations removed due to only having one safety-related detention in the previous three years.

 Banning of Foreign Vessels

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.
Related Documents:

 Classification Society Approvals


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)."
In order to provide Classification Societies with guidance on how they may apply for approval under this statute, the Coast Guard published a Notice of Policy in the Federal Register on November 2, 2004 (69 FR 63548). This Notice detailed the requirements that a Classification Society needs to meet in order to be approved in accordance with the statute. The Notice lists nine (9) specific items that should be included with each Classification Society's application.

    IACS Members

The following classification societies are full members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS):
  • American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
  • Bureau Veritas (BV)
  • China Classification Society (CCS)
  • Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
  • Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
  • Korean Register of Shipping (KRS)
  • Lloyd's Register of Shipping (LR)
  • Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK)
  • Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
  • Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)
  • Further information may be obtained from the IACS website.

    Approved Classification Societies

For more information on approved class societies, please click here.

 IMO Reportable Detentions

The table below contain the U.S Coast Guard's List of Ships Detained for safety related deficiencies. The purpose of publishing this information is to aid the Coast Guard in carrying out its Port State responsibilities. The worldwide goal of Port State Control is to identify substandard vessels not in compliance with International Conventions.

Month File
2017-10 (October) PDF
2017-09 (September) PDF
2017-08 (August) PDF
2017-07 (July) PDF
2017-06 (June) PDF
2017-05 (May) PDF
2017-04 (April) PDF
2017-03 (March) PDF
2017-02 (February) PDF
2017-01 (January) PDF
2016-12 (December) PDF
2016-11 (November) PDF

The List of Ships Detained includes the vessel name, IMO number, date of detention, ship type, port, flag, Recognized Organization (Only for Safety), Recognized Security Organization (Only for Security) and deficiency summary.

The detention lists are subject to change without notice based on appeals made by the owner, operator, and/or classification society, and will be updated as cases are validated. A detention decision may be appealed under the provisions of Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1.03. Furthermore, if a party believes they are not the owner, operator or managing operator of a vessel detained under the Coast Guard's Port State Control Authority, they should immediately provide the Port State Control Office with the documentation to substantiate their belief. However, all provisions of the detention will remain in effect while an appeal is pending. 

Archived Lists of IMO Reportable Detentions

Year File
2016 PDF


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

 Large Fleet Designation Program

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.

Program Details

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 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:

Fleet Size (U.S. District Arrivals) Detentions
25-199 3
200-332 4
333-399 5
400 or more 6

* Companies with pending legal action or currently under probation with the U.S. Government are not eligible to participate in the Large Fleet program.

1 For the purpose of the "Large Fleet" program the definition of charterer found in the Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations section 160.204 is used. Charterer means the person or organization that contracts for the majority of the carrying capacity of a ship for the transportation of cargo to a stated  port for specified period. This includes "time charterers" and "voyage charterers".

2 Since this is a voluntary program we ask that you make all applications in Microsoft® Excel© format and include the following fields. IMO Company ID Number, Company Name, Company's relation to vessel (Owner, Operator, Charterer), Vessel IMO Number, Vessel Name.

3 Fleet verification must be verified in the registration as show via IHS FAIRPLAY© database, vessel's continuous synopsis record and advanced notice of arrival information.


 List Of Targeted Recognized Security Organizations (RSO)

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:

Automatic ISPS I exam:
  • 3 or more
  • 5 Points: 2 or more
  • 2 Points: 1 or more
Priority 1 5 Points 2 Points 0 Points


Related Documents:
 MARPOL Requirements

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:

MARPOL 73/78

 Notice of Arrival and Departure (NOAD)

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.

Related Documents:
 Points Of Contact

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:
Related Documents:

Related PSC Memorandums of Understanding:

The following links provide guidance on the Coast Guard’s various policies for safety, security, and environmental protection:

 Prohibited Cargo

Ship Management and Vessels Prohibited From Carrying Government Impelled Cargo List and MARAD memo discussing Vessel, Owners, Operators prohibited from carrying government impelled cargo.

Related Documents:
 Qualship21 (QS21) Initiative

    What is QUALSHIP 21?

Coast Guard efforts to eliminate substandard shipping have focused on improving methods to identi
fy 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  


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):

Bahamas Belgium
Bermuda British Virgin Islands
Canada Cayman Islands
China Denmark
Germany Gibraltar
Hong Kong Isle of Man
Japan Marshall Islands
Mexico Philippines
Portugal Republic Of Korea
Singapore Switzerland
United Kingdom  

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:

Cook Islands Finland
Jamaica Luxembourg
Malaysia Spain

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

 Targeted Flag List For ISPS/MTSA

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.

Targeted Flag Administrations:
  • 3 or more
  • 5 Points: 2 or more
  • 2 Points: 1 or more
7 Points 2 Points
Egypt -----
Honduras* -----
Tanzania* -----

Administrations not targeted last year.

Flag Administrations Removed From The List:



 Targeted Ship Management & Charterers
U.S. Coast Guard Ship Management Filtering Guidelines

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.

Targeted Charterers
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.

Related Documents:

 Vessel Examination Job Aids
Job Aid Date Format
Freight Nov 2014 PDF
Chemical Aug 2014 PDF
MODU Aug 2014 PDF
Gas Aug 2014 PDF
Tank Nov 2014 PDF
PSCE Jul 2014 PDF
Collapse All Expand All
 CG Message Traffic    

Below you will find recent CG messages pertaining to operations, enforcement and policy on the OCS.

Related Documents:
 Dynamic Positioning

Dynamic Positioning systems consist of components and systems acting together to achieve reliable position keeping capability. The DP system includes the power system (power generation and power management), thruster system and DP control system.

Dynamic positioning systems have been installed on vessels used worldwide. Typical DP vessels include survey vessels, drilling ships, work boats, semi-submersible floating rigs, diving support vessels, cable layers, pipe-laying vessels, shuttle tankers, trenching and dredging vessels, supply vessels, and floating, production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs).

Class Requirements:
Based on International Maritime Organization (IMO) publication 645 the Classification Societies have issued rules for dynamically positioned ships described as Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3.
  • Equipment Class 1 has no redundancy. Loss of position may occur in the event of a single fault.
  • Equipment Class 2 has redundancy so that no single fault in an active system will cause the system to fail.
  • Equipment Class 3 which also has to withstand fire or flood in any one compartment without the system failing.
Related Documents:
 Job Aids

The below are job aids pertaining to OCS and MARPOL.

Related Documents:
Title Description
ADCI/USCG MTA for Marine Inspectors and Investigators Training This Mutual Training agreement between the Association of Diving Contractors International and the US Coast Guard signed on February 13, 2013, seeks to improve commercial dive safety by providing mutual training between the ADCI and US Coast Guard marine inspectors and investigators.
BSEE/USCG MOA OCS-03 for Oil Disch Planning The purpose of MOA OCS-03 between the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the US Coast Guard is to clarify the roles and responsibilities for each agency for oil discharge research, planning, preparedness, response, and abatement activities for offshore facilities and certain vessels that may be used for responding to discharges on the OCS.
BSEE/USCG MOA OCS-07 on SEMS-SMS The purpose of this MOA is to:

1. Establish a process to determine areas relevant to safety and environmental management within the shared USCG and BSEE regulatory space where joint policy or guidance is needed;

2. Ensure that any future OCS safety and environmental management regulations do not conflict; and

3. Foster a consistent and efficient shared approach and inform joint policy or guidance on safety and environmental management systems by BSEE and the Coast Guard.
BSEE/USCG MOA OCS-08 on MODUs The purpose of this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is to identify responsibilities of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) (together, participating agencies) for regulation, inspection, and oversight of systems and sub-systems on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs).
BSEE/USCG MOU for Outer Continental Shelf Activities This MOU was designed to promote interagency cooperation to improve safety and environmental protection in the offshore environment.
MMS(BSEE)/USCG MOA OCS-01 for Agency Responsibilities The purpose of MOA OCS-01between the Minerals Management Service (now Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) and the US Coast Guard is to identify responsibilities of each agency for systems and sub-systems on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs ) and fixed and floating offshore facilities and establish understandings related to civil penalties, accident investigations, and oil spill planning, preparedness and response.
MMS(BSEE)/USCG MOA OCS-02 for Civil Penalties The purpose of MOA OCS-02 between the Minerals Management Service (now Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) and the US Coast Guard is to identify responsibilities and provide guidance regarding the pursuit, assessment and collection of Civil Penalties. It replaces Section 2 (Civil Penalties) of MOA OCS-01 of 30Sep2004.
MMS(BSEE)/USCG MOA OCS-04 for Floating Offshore Facilities The purpose of MOA OCS-04 between the Minerals Management Service (now Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) and the US Coast Guard is to clarify the roles and responsibilities for each agency and provide guidance for the appropriate agency approval of systems and sub-systems for floating offshore facilities.
USCG/ADCI Quality Partnership MOU A Quality Partnership MOU was established between the Coast Guard and the Association of Diving Contractors International on 27Jun 2011 with the purpose of promoting safety within the commercial diving industry and protecting the marine environment.
 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA)

To provide for the jurisdiction of the United States over the submerged lands of the outer Continental Shelf, and to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease such lands for certain purposes.

Related Documents:
 Safe Port Act (2006)

To improve maritime and cargo security through enhanced layered defenses, and other purposes.

Related Documents: