Commercial Vessel Compliance

Coast Guard, European Commission sign memorandum to improve oversight of mutually recognized organizations

Submitted by Mr. John Hannon, Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Flag State Compliance Division


 Rear Adm. Richard Timme, Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, and Ms. Magdalena Kopczynska, Director Waterborne, European Commission, sign a new Memorandum of Cooperation for oversight of mutually recognized organizations for survey and certification of commercial vessels. The signing ceremony took place Feb. 28, 2020, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Staci Weist

The U.S. Coast Guard and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) for oversight of mutually recognized organizations for survey and certification of commercial vessels, during a signing ceremony Feb. 28, 2020, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The MOC provides a framework for sharing and coordinating information, activities and best practices for oversight of recognized organizations (ROs) that carry out inspection and certification of commercial vessels on behalf of both the United States and European Union.

Sharing information improves the oversight the European Union and the United States utilize to measure and verify the performance of these ROs, helping to increase transparency and safety. It also relieves the regulatory burden on ROs by potentially reducing the need for duplicate oversight activities.

Similar cooperative agreements between IMO Member States are encouraged by the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) Code for Recognized Organizations. The Coast Guard and Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security signed a similar MOC in 2016. This most recent MOC with the European Commission could serve as a model for future agreements with additional IMO Member States.

Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard and the European Union both recognize and work with the following RO’s:  American Bureau of ShippingLloyd’s RegisterDNV-GLBureau VeritasRINA Services, Class NK and the Indian Register of Shipping.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.