On 3 March 2020, The European Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) concerning the oversight of recognised organisations (ROs) for the survey and certification of commercial vessels.

At present, the European Union and the U.S. Coast Guard cooperate with several ROs such as, amongst others, Lloyd’s Register, DNV-GL, and Bureau Veritas, sharing a large amount of information. Consequently, the MOC aims at providing a uniform framework for coordinating not only those information, but also all the activities and best practices for oversight of ROs carrying out inspection and certification of commercial vessels on behalf of both the United States and the governments of the European Union’s Member States.

Agreements such as this are greatly encouraged by the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Code for Recognised Organisations. Sharing information, indeed, fosters a better oversight on the performance of the ROs and contributes to increase transparency and safety, relieving, at the same time, the regulatory burden on the ROs themselves as well as the need for further oversight activities. Therefore, the wish is for this memorandum to be the first of a long series involving always more IMO members.