San Marino Flag State Inspections and Pre-Inspections

Notice to: Ship Owners / Managers/ Operators / Surveyors / Masters

C23042 | 17 August 2023

This circular is issued to advise the general terms and conditions required by the San Marino Ship Register for performing Flag State Inspections and Pre-Inspections. The requirements are detailed in the San Marino Bulletin: SMBU–2022-007_rev1. Key points are:


All inspections are conducted in compliance with the San Marino Flag State inspection protocol and uploaded to the San Marino Flag State Database.

During the inspection, the Flag State Inspector assumes the powers and functions granted to inspectors by San Marino Law n. 120 dated 2nd August 2019 and must act in accordance with its provisions.

In accordance with Article n. 3 of Law n. 120 dated 2nd August 2019, the designated inspector can prevent, for the purpose of maritime safety and pollution prevention, the operation of ships flying the San Marino Flag, informing the Authority accordingly. They also have the power to require repairs to a ship, if necessary.

Flag State periodical inspections are consistent with the Flag State oversight program referred to in IMO resolution A.1070(28).

Flag State Pre-Inspections are carried out to assess whether a vessel is eligible for registration with the San Marino Flag.

Inspections are to be conducted during hours of daylight. Inspections in darkness are only conducted in exceptional circumstances with appropriate control measures in place.

No other inspections are to take place on the same date and at the same port.

No recording devices, audio or visual, may be used during the inspection. If any use of audio, camera or video recording devices without the knowledge or prior inspector’s consent is noticed, the inspection is to be discontinued with full inspection charges to the owner/operator.

On completion of the inspection, the inspector provides the Master with a written summary of all observations, if feasible. Otherwise the inspection report containing the observations is sent to the ship’s Management Company in due course.

The Flag State Inspector must be able to disembark from the vessel as soon as the inspection is complete.

Any deficiencies found during an inspection are to be rectified as early as possible and, in any case, no later than the required date stated in the inspection report. Written confirmation with objective evidence of the closure must be sent to the Flag Administration

Accessing the ship by launch:

It is the Master’s/Operator’s responsibility to provide a launch for the Inspector, if necessary, that complies with the following:

  • The service boat must be licensed to carry passengers.
  • The boat’s crew must consist of at least two suitably trained and qualified persons.
  • Every member of the boarding party and the boat’s crew must wear appropriate personnel protective clothing and buoyancy equipment (auto inflating lifejacket), whilst outside the boat’s accommodation.
  • Appropriate lifejackets must be available to/from the shore and to/from the vessel for the attending inspector.
  • The service boat must carry a search light, blankets, first-aid kit, rescue equipment and any other required safety and firefighting equipment.
  • The service boat decks must be kept clear of any obstructions allowing a clear passage to/from the embarkation area.
  • The embarkation area must have handrails and be visible from the helmsman’s position.
  • The boat must be fitted with appropriate navigational equipment.
  • Weather conditions must be reviewed prior to leaving the boat station and prior to boarding.

If it’s observed that any of the above criteria is missing, the inspector has the right to suspend the inspection and a full cancellation fee will be applied.

Running Tests:

The ship’s physical inspection includes running tests of machineries and systems. The inspector may request to test/operate equipment, including but not limited to:

  • emergency fire pump;
  • emergency generator;
  • lifeboat engines;
  • emergency steering and communication with bridge;
  • oily water separator;
  • oil discharge monitoring equipment;
  • oil mist detector;
  • P/V valves;
  • engine room bilge level alarm;
  • breathing apparatus;
  • firefighting hoses;
  • fuel oil leakage sensor;
  • deadman alarm;
  • fire detection systems;
  • ventilation shut down;
  • quick-closing valves;
  • gas detectors;
  • IGS;
  • etc.

The Flag State Inspector may also carry out a visual inspection of at least one ballast tank in order to detect any potential problems with corrosion giving priority to bulkheads adjacent to compartments with heating arrangements. The inspector may ask questions to crew members to verify their familiarity with the ship’s equipment or procedures.


The Master should have available copies of all necessary documentation including:

  • Crew List
  • Minimum Safe Manning Document
  • Certificate of Registry
  • The complete set of statutory certificates
  • Oil Record Books Parts 1 and 2, Cargo Rec Book if applicable
  • Certificate of Civil Liability for Oil Pollution; P&I Club certificate of entry USCG Certificate of Compliance
  • Class Certificate, Enhanced Survey File with Condition Assessment, if applicable, and the latest quarterly Class reports
  • Updated Class Status including recommendations and memoranda
  • Ballast Water Management Certificate
  • Condition evaluation Report
  • CAP if applicable
  • Approved Manuals: Stability, Damage Stability, Inert Gas, COW, ODME, as applicable
  • Approved SOPEP/SMPEP, and VPR Manual if applicable
  • Certificates for servicing breathing apparatus, emergency escape breathing devices, fixed fire extinguishing installations and foam sample analysis
  • Records of fire and emergency drills
  • Safety Committee meeting minutes, near-miss reports, accident reports as applicable
  • Superintendent visit reports, Internal Audit Reports/ follow up action and Master’s Review
  • SOLAS Training Manual, SOLAS Maintenance Manual, LSA and FF maintenance records
  • Procedures and Arrangements Manual for Chemical and Gas Carriers
  • Officer’s and Crew’s national Certificates of Competency, Continued Proficiency, and Dangerous Cargo Endorsements
  • Manager’s Operating Instructions
  • Company Drug and Alcohol Policy, and records of unannounced testing
  • Garbage Plan and Garbage Record Book
  • Records of the testing of mooring winch brakes, mooring rope/wire manufacturer’s certificates, bow stopper certificate, emergency towing equipment certificates if applicable, lifting gear registry
  • The last Port State Control Inspection Report with follow up
  • Hot Work and Enclosed Space Entry Permits, procedures, and risk assessments
  • Permits for other work areas
  • Technical Publications listed in the latest edition of the OCIMF Harmonized Vessel Particulars Questionnaire
  • Records of crew rest periods
  • Vessel Emergency Response Manual
  • Overview of last ballast tank and cargo tank inspection records including the last dates of inspection
  • ECDIS type-approval and ECDIS type-specific training records
  • UCK Policy
  • ECDIS safety parameter setting requirements, Shallow C, Safety D, etc. and safety cone/frame • Deviation card
  • Last shore gyro service
  • Contract chart correction provider
  • Shore-based maintenance contract
  • Master’s standing orders
  • Pre-arrival and pre-departure checklists completed most recently
  • Latest Master/Pilot information exchange and Pilot Card
  • VDR last annual verification
  • Inventory and calibration certificates for personal and portable gas detection equipment
  • Last shore calibration certificate (if fixed gas detection is fitted)
  • Foam test certificate, if applicable
  • Gas-tight chemical suits, certificates, if applicable
  • Evidence for the last inspection of SCBA equipment by shore
  • Evidence for the last pressure test of CO2 bottles
  • Copy of the last hot work permit issued for hot work outside engine room workshop, if any, including associated risk assessment
  • Routine activities RA library and review
  • Non-routine activity risk assessment, last carried out
  • Certificates for the last yearly and five-year inspections of lifeboat, rescue boat and cranes
  • Copy of the latest enclosed space entry permit with associated risk assessment
  • Certificate for annual inspection of life rafts
  • Record of the last lifeboats/rescue boat launching and maneuvering in the water
  • Air quality test report for the breathing apparatus air recharging system
  • Evidence of latest D&A testing and calibration records for the alcometer
  • Last cargo pump cofferdam purging records, if applicable
  • Copies of shore calibration certificates for all UTIs available on board, if applicable
  • Evidence for cargo tank pressure and temperature sensor calibration/comparison
  • Opening pressure of P/V valves, latest service/test certificate, as applicable
  • Stability program – does it work online? Does it have a damage stability module?
  • Latest load and discharge plans
  • Maximum Allowable Relief Valve Setting (MARVS) – gas tankers only
  • Evidence of latest complete overhaul and pressure test of P/V valves, including MARVS where applicable, performed during dry dock
  • Class approval certificate for the Stability and Damage Stability programs
  • Evidence of the last cargo and COW lines pressure test, if applicable
  • Evidence of calibration/shore servicing of ODME if applicable
  • Evidence for the last winch brake test
  • Copy of mooring line certificate, if mooring lines do not all have the same LDB, one copy per LDBF
  • Details of the Ship’s Design MBL
  • Copy of Operator’s policy for retirement of mooring wires/ropes/tails
  • Copy of Mooring System Management Plan Register
  • Copy of Mooring Tails certificates with TDBF
  • Planned maintenance system program

The above documents can be sent to the Administration before the inspection to optimize the time onboard.

Inspection Fees:

Inspection fees, charged on a per day basis, include report writing and traveling days. Travel and hotel expenses are charged at cost plus administration fee.

Once the inspector has commenced travel to the vessel, any delays to the inspection will incur additional charges in regard to expenses for travel, rescheduling and hotel accommodation.

The inspection fee paid to the San Marino Ship Register is non-refundable. The prospective refund of any such charge and/or fee will be subject to the sole and absolute discretion of San Marino Ship Register.  If the inspection is cancelled by the owner, any travel and accommodation costs already incurred will be charged. Where the inspection is cancelled by the Flag State Administration, the inspection will be rescheduled at no extra costs to the owner.

When the agent fails to arrange safe and secure access on board, the same provisions apply as above. The owner must ensure the agent is properly instructed to provide the range of assistance to the inspector.

The inspector shall use local transportation to the port where practicable. In countries where there is no regular and reliable public transport system, the owner shall arrange and meet the cost of local transportation.

The owner is responsible for arranging, as necessary, with all costs settled by the owner’s representatives:

  • launches,
  • agent’s fees,
  • clearance fees,
  • access permits, or
  • any other permits.

Transfer of the above-mentioned sums is to be carried out within three working days after receipt of the pro-forma invoice.

Act now

Ship Owners, Managers, Operators, Surveyors, and vessel Masters should note the contents of the San Marino Bulletin, and be guided accordingly.

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