Port State Control

All vessels operating in and from Jamaican waters are subject to inspection in accordance with the “Shipping Act”, 1998, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Port State Control in the Caribbean Region and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Procedures on Port State Control, as amended.

The MAJ employs Inspectors who are assigned Port State Control inspection responsibilities. PSC is the inspection of foreign ships visiting Jamaican seaports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of the IMO technical conventions. Jamaica is signature to a regional Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, which ensures inspections are closely coordinated with other regional member States to eliminate the operation of substandard ships within the Caribbean.

The Port State Control system exists to ensure foreign ships coming to Jamaican ports comply with requirements set down in international conventions and law in particular as it pertains to the following areas:

  • Safety
  • Security
  • Environmental protection
  • Crew welfare

The safety and operation of a vessel is the responsibility of the ship’s owner and Flag State (the country where the ship is registered). The PSC system supplements this responsibility.

Globally, Port State Control has the following aims:

  • Reducing the number of substandard vessels travelling around the world;
  • Facilitating trade in a way that ensures safety, security, environmental protection, and crew welfare are maintained.

The implementation of PSC activities in Jamaica is coordinated by the Caribbean MOU on Port State Control and has contributed to a steady decrease in the number of substandard vessels operating in the Caribbean region.


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