The China MSA investigates marine casualty accidents in PRC coastal and inland waters, as well as accidents involving China-flagged ships in international waters, in accordance with the Maritime Traffic Safety Law of PRC, the Regulations of PRC on the Investigation and Handling of Maritime Traffic Accidents, the Regulations of PRC Concerning the Administration of Traffic Safety on Inland Waters, and SOLAS Chapter XI. The functions performed by the China MSA are to identify the cause of maritime traffic accidents, establish liability, impose administrative penalties on violations of maritime traffic rules, recommend measures for improving maritime traffic administration, in order to maintain maritime traffic safety and protect the safety of life and property at sea.
China MSA exercises jurisdiction over 14 MSAs directly under the Ministry of Transport (MOT), covering the nation’s coastal waters, the Yangtze River, the Pearl River and the Heilongjiang River. The scope of its maritime investigation includes maritime traffic accidents in the nation’s coastal and inland waters, as well as marine traffic accidents involving China-flagged ships in international areas.
Investigation of marine traffic accidents are conducted by 14 MSAs directly under MOT, following the principle of priority for territoriality jurisdiction with ship registry port jurisdiction as the supplement. Maritime traffic accidents occurring in port areas are investigated by the relevant MSA in charge of the port area. Maritime traffic accidents occurring beyond port areas are investigated by the relevant MSA in charge of the nearest port or the vessel’s first port of arrival in the People's Republic of China. If necessary, the China MSA may designate a subordinate MSA to investigate an accident.
Accidents involving fishing vessels only.
Very serious accidents (an accident leaving over 30 people dead or missing), which are investigated by a task force established by the State Council or by an agency authorized by the State Council. The China MSA, as part of the task force, is responsible for the technical aspect of investigations.