Is port state control influenced by the COVID-19? Evidence from inspection data

Ran Yan, Haoyu Mo, Xiaomeng Guo, Ying Yang, Shuaian Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Maritime transport plays a key role in global trade. The safeguard of maritime transport is the Port State Control (PSC) inspection implemented all over the world. The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in 2020 presents new and unprecedented impacts on global supply chains and the ports as well as the entire shipping industry. Various measures were adopted by the countries and regions to halt the spread of the pandemic, mainly by reducing face-to-face interactions. As PSC inspections involve getting onboard vessels and in-person communications between the inspectors and the crew, its procedure and results are highly likely to be influenced by the COVID-19. This study aims to explore whether, how, and why the global and regional PSC inspection statuses are influenced by the pandemic through analyzing real inspection data. Specifically, three general indicators, namely inspection number, average deficiency number per inspection, and detention rate, are considered. Moreover, a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the inspection data at the Hong Kong port is conducted, including the number of inspections conducted, the average deficiency number and detention rate, the types of inspections conducted and ships inspected, the detailed deficiency and detention conditions, the relationship between the local pandemic situation and the PSC inspection status, and regression analysis on the influencing factors on inspection outcome. It is found that the COVID-19 pandemic indeed has an impact on PSC. Meanwhile, pragmatic and flexible measures are adopted by the port states, and the PSC has always been acting as a ‘safety net’ to guarantee maritime safety, promote the marine environment, and protect the seafarers' rights even under the difficult times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-103
Number of pages22
JournalTransport Policy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Deficiency code
  • Maritime transport
  • Port state control (PSC)
  • Ship detention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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