Increase in Ships Detained in China

Authorities in China are facing criticism over the number of ships they are detaining in their ports.

Speaking at the Capital Link Forum in Greece, Terence Zhao, President of Singhai Mariner Services said the Beijing government “has become very strict” on matters of safety, security and the environment.

“The rate of detentions is very high in China compared with the Paris and Tokyo Port State Control regimes,”

“The number of inspections being carried out is also much higher, with one ship in 10 inspected in some ports being detained”

Last year, 6,707 ships were inspected, with 5,771 booked for deficiencies, “some 85%” he said. Of the inspected ships, 358 were detained, 5.23%, considerably higher than the Paris and Tokyo PSC detentions. Chinese inspectors found an average of 3.5 deficiencies per ship.

Ships that are detained in China can oftenbe kept for up to 15 days, significantly impacting the operations of the ship owners.

Zhao also warned the ship’s flag state is a big factοr, rather the PSC records when it comes to inspections. He advised anyone travelling through the area to prepare for delays and should prepare their crew with drill training prior to sailing.


There are 55 ports with inspection centres in China. They employ around 3000 inspectors, many of whom are young english speakers. Although strict in initial reaction, it was noted that the authorities in China are prepared to listen to reason and reconsider their findings.

Experts in the region have countered Zhao’s claim, saying the increase in ship detentions in China is down to the increase in traffic through the area. With more people travelling through, they say it is not surprising more ships are being inspected and more and more ships are being detained.