Members' Research Service By / August 29, 2023

Revision of the Port State Control Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

With 80 % of the EU’s external trade being seaborne, maritime transport is a very important artery for both the EU and the globalised economy.

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Written by Karin Jacobs (1st edition).

On 1 June 2023, the European Commission presented a legislative package to modernise and reinforce maritime rules on safety and pollution prevention. This package contains proposals for the revision of five legal acts, among them the Port State Control Directive (PSCD). The aim is to update these acts so that they are in line with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization and the regional organisation for port state control established under the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The directives should also harness the potential offered by new technologies.

The proposal for a revision of the PSCD, which is the specific topic of the present briefing, focuses on port state control (PSC) – one of the two pillars of maritime safety – the other one being compliance with flag state rules. PSC is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the ships’ condition complies with international regulations, including for crews. The PSCD would be extended to cover additional international rules, such as new conventions on ballast water and removal of wrecks, as well as updated rules under the Paris MoU. It would attach greater importance to the environmental performance of ships in determining their risk profile. Additionally, it would boost the Member States’ capacity to detect and address cases of non-compliance with standards and rules on safety, environmental protection and pollution prevention. The scope of the directive would be extended to fishing vessels, and PSC-related operations would need to be digitalised.

Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) is leading the work on this legislative file. The Committee on Fisheries (PECH) has been invited to provide an opinion.


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/16/EC on port State Control, COM(2023)271 final
Committee responsible:Transport and Tourism (TRAN)COM(2023) 271
Rapporteur:Vera Tax (the Netherlands, S&D)2023/0165(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Ljudmila Novak (Slovenia, EPP)
Pierre Karleskind (Renew, France)
Clare Daly (The Left, Ireland)
Ordinary legislative procedure
(COD) (Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Publication of draft report

EU legislation in progress

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