In response to the impact of the pandemic to PSC activities, Tokyo MoU decided to launch remote PSC inspections as a practical alternative in the interim, where and when a normal physical PSC inspection not feasible.
The decision was taken at the 31st meeting of the Tokyo MoU PSC Committee, which took place virtually in January 2021. This comes as the pandemic has caused a notable decrease of the number of inspections due to restrictions of ship-shore interaction.
The interim guidance relating to COVID-19 circumstances was unveiled earlier in March, in order to protect PSCOs and prevent spread of COVID-19 and for facilitating port State Authorities to apply pragmatic flexibility amid pandemic.
Although a remote PSC inspection may not be as fully effective as a physical PSC inspection, it would be the preferred option which could minimize the risk for both PSCOs and crew onboard. In this context, a guidance on remote PSC inspection has been developed and adopted in order to facilitate member Authorities and PSCOs to carry out remote PSC inspections in the effective and harmonized manner,
…Tokyo MoU explained.
Remote PSC inspection scheme will be implemented in accordance with the following guiding principles and procedures:
- Selection of a ship for a remote PSC inspection is at the discretion of the port State Authority in accordance with the existing inspection regime but not decided on requesting basis from the ship’s side. It would not be mandated for a ship to receive a remote PSC inspection. A remote PSC inspection would be carried out upon mutual agreement between the port State Authority and the ship.
- Remote PSC inspections would be applied only for initial inspection in principle. However, it does not preclude that a port State Authority may conduct more detailed inspection and/or order detention during the remote PSC inspection in accordance with their national legislation, the technical capabilities of the ship and the port concerned and other relevant circumstances.
- A ship would not be subject a repeated/consecutive remote PSC inspection generally. Record/report of remote PSC inspection would be distinguished from reports of normal physical inspection in the APCIS database.
Remote PSC inspection will be launched as from 1 April 2021.