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Monday, June 7, 2021 

The recent virtual meeting of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) Committee discussed the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on port State control in the region.

Although ship calls and inspections increased since the last Committee meeting in October 2020, port State control (PSC) efforts are still being impacted. The Committee underlined the importance of adapting the temporary Paris MoU guidance related to Covid-19 for port State control authorities, published in PSCircular 97, to the changing circumstances. This guidance refers to the latest ILO Information note on maritime labour issues and Coronavirus. The Committee also considered the work of a task force that had addressed the impact of the pandemic on the harmonised risk based approach of the Paris MoU. One of the most notable elements was an increase in the number of cases where the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention, especially regarding Seafarers Employment Agreements (SEAs), were not complied with. The Committee expressed its concern about this and confirmed the need for further and ongoing monitoring.

The Committee acknowledged that there is a clear need for a PSC regime applicable to fishing vessels, looking at accident statistics and expected future developments such as the expected entry into force of the Cape Town Agreement. The Committee agreed to establish a new task force to consider the matter further and to advise the Committee at its next meeting.

The Committee recalled its earlier decision, due to Covid-19, that concentrated inspection campaigns (CICs) would be postponed by a year. This resulted in a new schedule whereby the CIC on Stability will be held in 2021 and a CIC on STCW in 2022. The Committee also approved the questionnaire for the Inspection Campaign on the Polar Code scheduled for June and August 2022. Other MoUs were invited to make use of the developed Inspection Campaign programme, where appropriate.

The Committee adopted the 2020 Annual Report, including the White, Grey and Black list of flag States and the performance list of Recognized Organizations. The report will be published 1 July 2021.

Chairman Brian Hogan concluded by remarking that significant progress has been made on port State control issues both regarding the Covid-19 situation and on the longer term.

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