What lead to the formation of Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the shipping Industry?

In the year 1978, a massive oil spill was caused on the coast of France by the grounding of the oil tanker named Amoco Cardiz. Because of this oil spill 12 European Maritime authorities and the European commission decided to develop a harmonized system to inspect foreign ship for defects and deficiencies in their ports.

An agreement was concluded in 1982 which is famously known as Paris Memorandum of Understanding on port state control (Often referred as the Paris MOU). Under this act, each administration decided to inspect at least 25 % of the foreign ships visiting their ports.

Other things which were discussed in the Paris MOU were harmonized inspection procedures and centralized recording of all inspections of the ship which are to be stored in the computer database.

It was after this that the Paris MOU was founded. After it was put into practice, it was realized that if neighboring countries also exercise control on the same ship within short intervals, then this would lead to unnecessary duplication of work.

So with regards to this, a regional co-operation amongst the countries was agreed which would avoid duplication of work. Under this act, it was also decided to share information and tracking of ship movement and previous history of the ships between the maritime countries. As per the information, the inspections can be followed up as required.

After Paris MOU in 1982, other regional MOU have also been signed. Some of the prominent ones are as follows such as:-

  • Tokyo MOU
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG)
  • Vina-Del-Mar Agreement (Latin America)
  • Caribbean MOU
  • Mediterranean Sea MOU
  • Indian Ocean MOU

You may also like to read-Understanding Conventions, Protocols & Amendments

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