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What is the difference between ISGOTT and the Declaration of Inspection

This article is part of the Newsletter Streamlining the Ship-Shore by Smartflow Digital ISGOTT. 

Table of contents

  1. The declaration of inspection

  2. ISGOTT vs The Declaration of inspection

  3. Terminal Use Case

  4. Upcoming webinar

Stay tuned

This article zooms into three parts: 

  1. What is the Declaration of Inspection? Comparison between ISGOTT and the Declaration of Inspection. 
  2. Terminal use case. Digitalizing the Declaration of Inspection
  3. Upcoming Webinar. ILTA welcomes Smartflow & NSW Ports in a live webinar. 

Part 1. Understanding ISGOTT and the Declaration of Inspection

Ports and terminals from Europe, the USA, Australia, and Asia are now actively using the Smartflow Digital ISGOTT Solution to streamline their ship-shore operations. Despite the many similarities, the ISGOTT, as we know it in Europe, is often referred to as the Declaration of Inspection in the USA, for example. Continue reading this edition to learn how they are similar and what differentiates them.

ISGOTT (International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals)

ISGOTT is a globally recognized set of guidelines designed to promote safety, environmental protection, and best practices in the operation of oil tankers and terminals. ISGOTT is an invaluable reference for tank storage and maritime professionals, especially in Europe.

Read the article: The impact of ISGOTT 6 on ship-shore checklists

What is the scope of ISGOTT?

ISGOTT covers many topics, including cargo handling, safety procedures, emergency response, and environmental protection. It applies to both oil tankers and the terminals that handle them.

The ISGOTT 6 does not provide strict regulations but emphasizes clear recommendations. Industry professionals have the bandwidth to adapt the guidelines to their specific circumstances as long as they maintain a high level of safety.

Is ISGOTT applied globally?

ISGOTT is not Europe-specific, as professionals worldwide recognize and follow it. Its global acceptance makes it particularly relevant for multinational corporations and international trade. 

The Declaration of Inspection

The Declaration of Inspection is a document used primarily in the United States by tank storage terminals to record and report the results of inspections and tests conducted on bulk liquid storage tanks and associated equipment. It serves as a compliance tool to meet regulatory requirements set forth by agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental authorities.

It specifically addresses the requirements of inspections, reporting, and record-keeping for aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) and associated equipment. 

What is the scope of the Declaration of Inspection?

The Declaration of Inspection focuses on criteria such as leak detection, corrosion assessment, structural integrity checks, and compliance with environmental regulations.

The results of inspections conducted following the Declaration of Inspection are reported to the relevant regulatory authorities. Stringent record-keeping is essential to demonstrate compliance.

What is the difference between ISGOTT and the Declaration of Inspection?

While both ISGOTT and the Declaration of Inspection aim to enhance safety in tank storage operations while building use cases around both of them, we identified both differences and similarities:


Safety Focus

Both ISGOTT and the Declaration of Inspection prioritize safety and environmental protection. They guide professionals in identifying and mitigating potential risks within their operations.


Both standards require thorough documentation. ISGOTT emphasizes documentation of safety procedures, emergency response plans, and operational guidelines, while the Declaration of Inspection mandates detailed records of inspections and tests. 


Both frameworks allow some degree of adaptability. ISGOTT provides recommendations tailored to specific circumstances, and the Declaration of Inspection allows operators to address inspections based on their unique equipment and regulatory requirements.



ISGOTT has a broader scope, covering both tankers and terminals, while the Declaration of Inspection focuses primarily on tank storage terminals in the USA.

Regulatory Basis

ISGOTT is not a regulatory document but a best practice guideline. In contrast, the Declaration of Inspection is firmly grounded in U.S. regulatory requirements.

Geographic Applicability

ISGOTT is recognized and followed globally, whereas the Declaration of Inspection is specific to the United States. Organizations operating in multiple countries often find ISGOTT more adaptable to their international operations.

Part 2. Terminal Use Case. Smartflow digitalizes the Declaration of Inspection

One of our USA-based customers, located in the heart of the U.S. oil industry, faced significant challenges in managing its Declaration of Inspection (DOI) processes. With hundreds of aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) and stringent EPA regulations to adhere to, manual DOI documentation had become a laborious and error-prone task. 

We supported the terminal in solving the following challenges by digitalizing the Declaration of Inspection:

Tedious documentation. Data entry errors and incomplete records were common because of the paper-based data capture process. 

Data accessibility. Retrieving historical inspection data quickly during audits or inspections was challenging due to the scattered nature of physical records. 

Slow ship-shore collaboration. Communicating with all the stakeholders in real time was impossible due to the physical nature of the operations and the traditional ways of gathering and sharing information. 

The expected results after the solution went live at the terminal

  • Terminal specific solution
  • Efficient data collection
  • Streamlined reporting
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Automated compliance checks
  • Data centralization

Long-term benefits

  • Improved accuracy of the ship-shore processes
  • Time and cost savings
  • Quick audits
  • Operational efficiency
  • Employee satisfaction 

Technology-driven solutions like Smartflow that focus on industry-specific needs and own in-house knowledge about terminals and port operations drive enhanced operational excellence and ensure safety and compliance in the tank storage industry.

Part 3. Upcoming Webinar. ILTA welcomes Smartflow & NSW Ports in a live webinar.

Are you curious to learn more about the digitalization of Declaration of Inspection, ISGOTT, and other inspection processes in the tank storage sector? 

In collaboration with the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA), we are excited to announce a special live webinar on October 4 at 2 PM EST! 

Hear directly from our customers, NSW Ports, how the Smartflow DIgital ISGOTT Solution has transformed their ship-shore operations. 

See the solution in action and talk to our experts! 

Register here: 

Next steps

>>> Contact us for a free demo session

>>> Talk to a consultant about your specific needs 

>>> Visit the Smartflow Digital ISGOTT page if you are interested in digitizing the ship-shore process at your tank storage terminal 

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Tank storage operator holding a rugged tablet with the smartflow inspection app open on it