Port State Control in Malta
Malta is mindful that the principal responsibility for the effective application of international standards rests upon the authorities of the State whose flag a ship is entitled to fly, but yet also recognises the key role port States have in preventing the operation of substandard ships. A well developed port State control regime contributes substantially towards ensuring that ships are operated in a safe manner, provide a safe and healthy environment, and do not pose a pollution risk. This in turn can help bring about the eradication of sub-standard shipping.
Each nation has the sovereign right to exercise control over foreign flag ships operating within areas under its territorial jurisdiction. Port State control is codified in Articles 211, 220 and 226 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This right is also enshrined in a number of international maritime conventions adopted by the International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation; these provide States with the powers to conduct port State control inspections of foreign ships visiting their ports.
Building upon the foundations of UNCLOS, Transport Malta, through its Merchant Shipping Directorate, has, together with other Mediterranean maritime Administrations and with the assistance of, inter alia, the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the European Commission strived towards the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding for the Mediterranean region that was eventually signed in Malta in 1997. Malta continued also its active participation in the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on port State control where Transport Malta is a member since July 2006.
The Maltese Administration is committed to continue with the strengthening of its administrative and operational capacity and legal infrastructure to attain this goal and to commit the necessary funds to meet the responsibilities emanating therefrom.
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