Istanbul, Turkey - Representatives of the Port State Control Committee, the governing body under the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Black Sea Region (BS MOU), met by virtual means for the Twenty-first session from 13 to 15 April 2021. The 21st Committee meeting, which was originally scheduled to be held in Constanta, Romania in March 2020, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and afterwards was organized virtually as agreed by all member Authorities. The meeting was chaired by Captain Alexandar ILIEV - Harbour Master of Port Burgas, Bulgaria.
The Chair made a welcome speech and officially declared the opening of the meeting. In his opening speech, Mr. Alexandar ILIEV stressed the important role of port State control for promotion of safer shipping and cleaner seas and the responsibilities of both flag States and port States. The port State control activities have been heavily affected by the circumstances arising from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He expressed gratitude and appreciation to all the Black Sea countries for their valuable support which contributed to the success of the initiative. Moreover, he encouraged BS MOU to further enhance and improve its activities so as to promote safety of navigation, protection of the marine environment and the labour conditions on board ships. He also conveyed his condolences to Captain Hüseyin YÜCE, the ex-Secretary of the Black Sea MOU Secretariat, who passed away on 07 January 2021. Lastly, he reaffirmed the commitment and continuous support from all member states to the BS MOU and declared opening of the meeting officially.