TRANSACTIONS ON MARITIME SCIENCE-TOMS, vol.10, no.1, pp.224-246, 2021 (ESCI)
The Port State Control (PSC) was established to control ships entering ports or coastal facilities under its jurisdiction, with inspections by PSC officers aiming to determine whether ships meet safety and pollution prevention requirements and comply with the standards prescribed under the relevant international conventions. Annual reports based on PSC's inspection reports are published under each memorandum of understanding (MoU) regime. The detailed inspection reports within the scope of the PSC, that contain a variety of information about vessels, and the processing and sharing of such information with other regional MoUs are intended to reduce the number of non-conforming practices in the global maritime system. In addition, PSCs publish lists of black, gray and white (BGW) flags, with the classification depending on the number of ship deficiencies and detentions. The classification is an indication of the quality of national flags. When a ship is found to have deficiencies, the inspection takes longer, and when the deficiencies are serious, the vessel is detained. Detention periods mean financial losses for the operator and loss of reputation for the flag state. Hence, the lists of black, gray and white flags published by the regional regimes are important in terms of reflecting the reputation of different countries. For these purposes, in this study, the inspections and detentions under the Paris MoU in 2019 have been examined and analyzed by countries and regions. Countries are categorized by UN geographical regions. In particular, the goal of the study was to identify the flag countries of the most frequently inspected and detained ships in 2019, as well as to determine the strategic measures developed by the countries and establish their differences and similarities compared to inspections and detentions in 2018. In addition, the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 had a lockdown effect in the maritime domain and a profound effect on society, economy and health worldwide. The result of this study is the prediction of PSC efficiency in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of the pandemic on the order of countries in the flag lists.