NAFO Port State Control Measures

The NAFO Measures on Port State Control were first adopted by the Fisheries Commission at the 30th Annual Meeting in Vigo, Spain, September 2008.  The Port State Control measures apply to landings or transhipments in ports of Contracting Parties by fishing vessels flying the flag of another Contracting Party.  The provisions apply to landing or transshipment of fish caught in the Regulatory Area, or fish products originating from such fish, that have not been previously landed or offloaded at a port.

The four basic principles of these measures are:

  1. Prior notification. The master of the vessel has to present a prior notification to the competent authorities.
  2. Confirmation from the flag State. Released by the prior notification form which is sent by the port State to the flag State. The flag State confirms the legal status of the catch by answering yes or no to four questions. The form is then returned to the port State.
  3. Authorization to land or tranship. Such authorization is given by the port State if the flag State has confirmed the legal status of the catch by answering yes to all four questions. No authorizations shall be given if this is not the case. By derogation an exception can be made, but the catch can not be released from storage before the required confirmation is given.
  4. Transparency. The forms containing the prior notification, the confirmation and the authorization are posted on the secure part of the website.

These measures are reflected in Chapter VII of the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (2014):

These measures allow Contracting Parties to designate certain ports for landing or transshipping of catches made in the northwest Atlantic. This allows for comprehensive port inspections to take place with well-trained and up-to-date inspectors. Prior notifications have been established in order that ports may be prepared for the fishing vessels arrival at port and in order to conduct the inspection in a timely manner. Contracting Parties assign a contact point for communication between fishing vessels and ports. Specific forms have been developed based on a system used in North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) since 2007. The flow of information between the vessels, contact points and the Secretariat functions well.