This article provides a refined technique to measure and interpret variables associated with the quality of an inspection—be it port state control or vetting inspections towards the probability of a very serious, serious or less serious casualty. It concentrates on filtering out the effect of variables such as detention, the port state control regime that inspected the vessel, time in-between inspections, deficiencies found during an inspection and the effect of vetting inspections. The consensus amongst policy makers in the shipping industry is that data cannot be combined to target vessels. While this article does demonstrate that the decrease in the probability of casualty is stronger for the South American Region, the Indian Ocean Region and Australia versus North Europe, North America or the Caribbean, it also demonstrates that the data can be combined to target vessels for inspections. Since the time in-between inspections and detention is mostly not significant towards decreasing the probability of casualty, these results reflect the lack of coordination amongst port state control regimes and industry inspections. Due to this lack of coordination and trust, a ship might be inspected in several regimes during a relative short time period where the benefit of an inspection can be easily saturated. Our recommendation on direct policy implication is to promote the harmonization of inspection databases across port state control regimes, preferably with the coordination of the development of the Global Integrated Ship Information System (GISIS) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to review the policy of a release of a vessel from detention and to increase cooperation amongst regimes with respect to the follow up of the rectification of deficiencies.

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Marine Policy
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Knapp, S, & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2008). Econometric analysis to differentiate effects of various ship safety inspections. Marine Policy, 32(4), 653–662. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2007.11.006