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What are “Clear Grounds” for an expanded PSC inspection ?

When a PSCO inspects a foreign ship which is required to hold a convention certificate, and which is in a port or an offshore terminal under the jurisdiction of the port State, any such inspection should be limited to verifying that there are on board valid certificates and other relevant documentation and the PSCO forming an impression of the overall condition of the ship, its equipment and its crew, unless there are "clear grounds" for
believing that the condition of the ship or its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of the certificates.

"Clear grounds" to conduct a more detailed inspection:
1. the absence of principal equipment or arrangements required by      the applicable conventions;
2. evidence from a review of the ship's certificates that a certificate      or certificates are clearly invalid;
3. evidence that documentation required by the applicable                    conventions is not on board, incomplete, not maintained or              falsely maintained;
4. evidence from the PSCO's general impressions and observations      that serious hull or structural deterioration or deficiencies exist        that may place at risk the structural, watertight or weather-tight        integrity of the ship;
5. evidence from the PSCO's general impressions or observations        that serious deficiencies exist in the safety, pollution prevention        or navigational equipment;
6. information or evidence that the master or crew is not familiar          with essential shipboard operations relating to the safety of ships      or the prevention of pollution, or that such operations have not        been carried out;
7. indications that key crew members may not be able to                      communicate with each other or with other persons on board;
8. the emission of false distress alerts not followed by proper                cancellation procedures; and
9. receipt of a report or complaint containing information that a            ship appears to be substandard.

If a PSCO decides that “clear grounds”are present he may :
• In areas where “clear grounds ”has been established, a more detail
  inspection may be conducted
• Carry out more detailed inspection in other areas at random
• Include further checking of compliance with operational                  equipment on-board.

Certain types or categories of vessels are automatically subject to “expanded inspections” such as in Paris MoU:
• Oil Tankers
• Bulk Carriers older than 12 years
• Passenger vessels
• Gas / Chemical Tankers older than 10 years


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