Article "ripped" from U.S.C.G.'s Website
On Port State Control
Executive Overview :
The CG regulates the safety of all types of vessels, including foreign ships, within the waters of the United States. Most of the ships in U.S. coastal ports, at any time, are foreign-flag ships and are required to comply with a comprehensive system of safety standards issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The CG imposes a system of port state control inspections to ensure sub-standard ships are denied the use of our waterways. CG Captains of the Port have the authority to board and examine vessels, to detain them in port, or to order them out of port, if necessary, to ensure safe operation within our waterways.
Objective : To eliminate substandard foreign-flagged vessels from U.S. waters.
Since the 1970's, the number of U.S-flagged vessels engaged in international trade has steadily decreased to approximately 400. Foreign-flagged vessels now carry more than 90% of the international commercial freight arriving in or departing from the U.S. Currently, over 8,000 foreign-flagged ships from more than 100 countries arrive in the U.S. every year. In the 1970s, the CG began an effort to improve international standards to level the playing field between U.S. ships, which met strict domestic regulations, and foreign ships, which were required to meet relatively weak international standards. While IMO standards have improved, not all flag states have enforced these standards on their ships. By the late 1980s, the number of blatantly substandard ships entering our ports threatened our commerce and environment. As a result of this trend and public concern resulting from the EXXON VALDEZ grounding, the CG began a concerted port state control effort in 1994.
Proposed Action / The Course Ahead :
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