Maritime security and port state control in the Indian Ocean region
This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the Port State Control (PSC) regime in relation to ensuring the safety and security of international shipping against threats of piracy and maritime terrorism in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Responsibility for ensuring compliance with required international standards of safety and security rests primarily with the flag states of vessels, but in practice, effective compliance is verified mainly through the system of Port State Control (PSC). However, PSC appears ineffective in the IOR, including around the Horn of Africa, where acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships are prevalent. Significant numbers of sub-standard ships operate in this region. These vessels are more likely to be successfully attacked or involved in illegal activity than quality ships. This situation could be symptomatic of wider problems in international shipping that throw doubt on the effectiveness of current regional regimes for ship safety, security and marine environmental protection, including measures to prevent maritime terrorism and illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials.