In December 1981 the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) published a Memorandum on Shipping and the Environment, of which the following is a condensed version. Prior to publication, the Memorandum was favourably discussed at a one-day EEB Workshop on Shipping and the Environment, held in London, on 23 October 1981, and attended by representatives of the European Commission, the Marine Environment and Maritime Safety Divisions of the International Maritime Organization and shipping interests. The EEB is an independent, international liaison body which coordinates the activities of some sixty non-governmental environmental organizations operating in all the member States of the European Economic Community (EEC).
The EEB Memorandum intends to put into perspective various recent initiatives by the European Commission aimed at curbing pollution of the sea by ships, as well as improving maritime safety. These initiatives concern the development of a Community information system for marine oil pollution prevention and abatement, together with an advisory committee; the establishment of Port State control; and the adoption of a concerted action project on shore-based maritime navigation aid systems through European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical research (the so-called COST-301 project).
After examining the complementary roles of worldwide and regional arrangements for maritime safety and the prevention of vessel-source pollution, and in particular the distinct but related functions of IMO and EEC in this regard, the EEB Memorandum indicates two major aspects of ship safety and pollution control: the inspection of vessels in port, to ensure compliance with generally agreed safety standards, and offshore vessel traffic management in areas of safety and pollution hazard.