A short history of the Paris MoU on PSC

The Paris MoU on PSC is an administrative agreement between twenty-seven Maritime Authorities.

In 1978 the 'Hague Memorandum’ between a number of maritime authorities in Western Europe was developed. It dealt mainly with enforcement of shipboard living and working conditions as required by ILO Convention no. 147.

However just as the memorandum was about to come into effect in March 1978 a massive oil spill occurred off the coast of Brittany (France) as a result of the grounding of the VLCC ‘Amoco Cadiz’.

This incident caused a strong political and public outcry in Europe for far more stringent regulations with regard to the safety of shipping. This pressure resulted in a more comprehensive memorandum which covered:

  • safety of life at sea

  • prevention of pollution by ships, and

  • living and working conditions on board ships

Subsequently a new Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control was signed in January 1982 by fourteen European countries at a Ministerial Conference held in Paris, France. It entered into operation on 1 July 1982.

Since that date, the Paris Memorandum has been amended several times to accommodate new safety and marine environment requirements stemming from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and requirements related to working and living conditions of seafarers.

The organization expanded to twenty-seven member States over the past years.