Global trade largely depends on maritime transport, and appropriate ships are needed to
protect cargo but to minimize environmental damage and to this end, flag and port state
authorities expend considerable effort in ship safety inspections. This paper investigates
the safety gains of current inspection rules as well as options for further developments.
The analysis is based on a dataset of over 400,000 ship arrivals covering 2002–2007, and
is complemented with data on port state control and industry inspections and casualties.
The results indicate considerable potential for safety gains from incorporating casualty
risks more explicitly in port state control strategies to select ships for safety inspections.
keywords: inspection strategy; risk factor; hazard rate; port state control