40 Ship Certificates and Documents that are Checked in a Port State Control (PSC) Survey

A Port State Control (PSC) survey is a general practice that is followed by port authorities around the world to ensure that the foreign ships coming to their ports is in proper condition and complies by the standards put forth by international maritime authorities.

In case a foreign going vessel doesn’t satisfy all the maritime conventions for operating in international waters, then the Port State Control (PSC) has all the rights to detain the substandard ship.

A Port State Control (PSC) survey not only includes inspection of machinery, equipment, and ship’s structure, but also involves verifying of several ship certificates and documents.

Life raft
Representation Image – Credits: lr.org

In this article there are forty important documents provided which can be checked by the Port State Control (PSC) Authority. Kindly note that this is not an exhaustive list; but a general list of important shipping certificates and documents (for all types of vessels) which are often checked during a PSC survey.

  • Cargo Record Book
  • Oil Record Book
  • International tonnage certificate
  • Minimum safe manning document certificate
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Compliance and Safety Management Certificate (ISM Code)
  • International Load Line Certificate

  • International load line exemption certificate
  • Dangerous Cargo Carrying Certificate
  • International Oil Prevention certificate
  • Cargo ship safety radiotelegraphy and radiotelephony certificates or GMDSS
  • Certificate of fitness for carriage of liquefied gases in bulk
  • Certificate of fitness for carriage of noxious liquid substances in bulk
  • Passenger ship safety certificate
  • Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan
  • Cargo Securing Manual
  • Cargo loading and unloading plans
  • Document of operational limitations in case of passenger ships
  • Muster List
  • Reports on previous surveys apart from PSC
  • Documents
  • Fire control and safety plan
  • Special purpose ship safety certificate
  • Engine room and deck log book
  • A/A Max Certificate for Ro-Ro Ships
  • Records of tests and drills
  • bHigh Speed Craft Safety and Operational Certificate in case of high speed craft
  • Certificate of Ship’s hull strength and machinery installation issued by the classification society
  • Ship crew’s certificate of competency for dangerous goods endorsement
  • Certificate for carrying of dangerous chemicals in bulk
  • Cargo ship safety certificate
  • Intact stability booklet with damage calculations
  • Stowage plan
  • Record of oil discharge monitoring and control system for oil tankers
  • Mobile offshore drilling safety certificate for offshore drilling vessels
  • Documentation of authorization for carrying of particular cargo
  • SAR Cooperation plan for passenger ships
  • Cargo Ship safety certificate for ship’s construction and equipment

Do you know any other important certificate or documents that are checked during a port state control survey?

Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

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About Author

An ardent sailor and a techie, Anish Wankhede has voyaged on a number of ships as a marine engineer officer. He loves multitasking, networking, and troubleshooting. He is the one behind the unique creativity and aesthetics at Marine Insight.


  1. I think you may want to not call it a ‘survey’ but a PSC ‘Inspection’. There are differences between surveys and inspections.
    PSC do not hold surveys per se.

  2. International tonnage cert.
    International loading cert.
    International oil pollution prevention cert.
    International air pollution prevention cert.
    International sewage pollution prevention cert.
    Certificate of Registry .
    Certificate of class.
    Minimum shipmanning cert.
    Continuous synopsis record.
    Cargo ship safety cert.
    Cargo ship safety construction cert.
    Cargo Ship safety equipment cert.
    Cargo Ship safety radio cert.
    Shore-based maintenance.
    Document of compliance.
    International Ship security cert.
    International ship management cert.
    De-rating or de-rating exemption cert.
    Maritime labour cert

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