Port State control (PSC) comes into the scene when shipowners, recognized organizations and flag State administrations have failed to comply with the requirements of the international maritime conventions. Although it is well understood that the ultimate responsibility for implementing conventions is left to the flag States, port States are entitled to control foreign ships visiting their own ports to ensure that any deficiencies found are rectified before they are allowed to sail. Port State control is regarded as measures complementary to the flag State control.

Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific Region, known as the Tokyo MOU, was concluded in December 1993 at its final preparatory meeting in Tokyo.

Signed: 1 December 1993
Effective Date: 1 April 1994
Governing body: Port State Control Committee
Secretariat: Tokyo MOU Secretariat
Database center: Asia-Pacific Computerized Information System (APCIS)

Port State Control Committee

For the purpose of the Memorandum, a Port State Control Committee composed of representatives of each of the Member Authorities of the Memorandum is established. A representative from each of the Co-operating Member Authorities and Observers will be invited to participate without vote in the work of the Committee.

The Committee will:

1. carry out the specific tasks assigned to it under the Memorandum;
2. promote by all means necessary, including training and seminars, the harmonization of procedures and practices relating to inspection, rectification and detention whilst having regard to paragraph 2.4;
3. develop and review guidelines for carrying out inspections under the Memorandum;
4. develop and review procedures for the exchange of information; and
5. keep under review other matters relating to the operation and the effectiveness of the Memorandum.

(For information on activities of the Committee, please refer to Annual Report.)

Tokyo MOU Secretariat

In accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum, the Tokyo MOU Secretariat was established on 15 March 1994 in Tokyo, Japan.

Main duties of the Secretariat:
  • serve Port State Control Committee and other meetings
  • organize PSC officers training courses and seminars
  • conduct research and analysis of the PSC inspection data in the region
  • collect and disseminate information regarding PSC for the participating Authorities
  • assist in providing technical assistance

(For detailed information, please refer to the page of the Secretariat.)

Asia-Pacific Computerized Information System (APCIS)

For the purpose of the Memorandum, the Asia-Pacific Computerized Information System (APCIS) is established for the purpose of exchanging information on port State inspections, in order to:

1. make available to Authorities information on inspections of ships in other regional ports to assist them in their selection of foreign flag ships to be inspected and their exercise of port State control on selected ships; and
2. provide effective information exchange facilities regarding port State control in the region.

The central site of the APCIS is located in Moscow, under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation.